7.31.19 Back to school sales; Medical bill shock; Free fitness classes

Back to school sales have begun in much of the country. Overwhelmingly, schools have migrated to Chromebooks as the computer of choice. Chromebooks are easier to manage and maintain and are less vulnerable to viruses. No frills Chromebooks are under $100. If your child is going to a Chromebook based school, your cost will for a really capable one will be around $150. If your child is going to a Windows school – a good Windows laptop will cost around $199.

Yet another medical bill shock. In mid and large size communities hospital systems are expanding to gain market control, with generally 3 such systems dominating a metro.  In addition to ‘roll-ups’ – the buying out of smaller independent hospitals, large hospital systems buy up individual doctor practices. If the doctors choose not to sell-out, they get no referrals. When your doctor’s practice is purchased by a hospital, know that is a landmine for your wallet.

Clark is not an athlete but is a self-motivated fitness nut. In order to sustain an exercise program, many find they do much better as part of organized group activities. That's a hot trend right now. Many traditional fitness centers are failing (so don't pay big money upfront for a gym membership). Experiential facilities offering group classes are the rage now. This is labor-intensive for a facility and therefore expensive for consumers. If you know you need group motivation, consider your local YMCA as an affordable alternative, where classes are offered for less. Also, all over the country, there are free exercise group activities to be found. Search a site like MeetUp.com to locate a free local meetup group.

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