Mark's "Lee's List"

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Mark’s “Lee’s List”

Mark is ‘last but certainly not least’ ๐Ÿ™‚ He knows the value of ‘passing it on’, as you will see when he describes how how repaid his education ‘debt’ to his mother, by funding the educations of his brothers. Now, if they each do the same with two others, we have the beginnings of a ‘quiet revolution’ . Mark also seems to have found the balance between NEEDS and WANTS for this stage of his Lee’s List ….

Building Lee’s List reminds me of the movie, “The Bucket List“. While the movie describes two terminally ill men completing their wish lists, what we are building here is different. The Lee’s List is our “being” goal and not a static list of things to do. What we are building is something that will support our Life’s Purpose.

AJC builds his Lee’ List based on his life purpose here and it is a great example out we can break down our Life’s Purpose in detailed

Let’s revisit my Life’s Purpose: To be a good steward of the resources I have, enjoy good relationships with family and friends, and enjoy life!


Being a good steward of a lot of resources is what I’m looking for. There is not much to be responsible for if the pool of resources is small. I’m not looking to be a money manager or managing other people’s estate either. I first learned about financial stewardship through Crown Ministries. So what exactly am I looking for here?

At the minimum, I need to:

(1) Create something meaningful

One of my greatest life experiences is actually being able to financially support my two younger brothers (twins) to pursue their education. I don’t think I can quantify how much value they both received from their education and experiences in college. I’m very proud of them and how they have developed so far.

I’m also a product of someone else’s kindness- my mother who believed in me and used up her life’s savings to put me through college and also through the Freeman Foundation program at IIE.

For this, one of my life goals is to create an Education Foundation that will help people realize their education dreams.

For this to be meaningful, I will need to start with at least $500K

Family and Friends

Relationships with family and friends are very important to me. My life experiences have been enriched by almost everyone that I’ve met. You can’t live life without relating to other people. Maintaining good relationships can be difficult especially if they are far apart. I hate it when I have to miss so many of my family and friends life events.

At the minimum, I need to be able to:

(2) Travel to my family and friends at will

This is at least 2-3 international trips per year and about 4-5 domestic trips. Currently, I can make do with about $5K per international trip and about $1K per domestic trip. This translate to about $20K per year. However, the number could easily grow if we are talking about more lavish travels and if there are other family members traveling along.

Enjoy Life

I once heard that a comment on the common phrase, “Money can’t buy you happiness”. The comment was, “They obviously don’t know where to shop!”. I value life experiences more than material things.

This means that at the minimum, I need to be able to:

(3) Learn anything I want, whenever I want

I could be scuba diving in South East Asia, rock climbing, learning to hunt on a horse with bow and arrows, learning a new language or to appreciate art. I definitely have an interest on a wide range of activities. Some of them are more expensive. I figure that $20K per year should be able to wear me down on some of this activities.

(4) Live a comfortable lifestyle

It is fortunate that I don’t have a highly materialistic nature. It does not mean that I don’t indulge in luxury once in a while. I must admit, I’m quite comfortable at the moment and according to Quicken, it will cost about $70K at the moment (including taxes, charity, vacation, etc).

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Reader Comments

@ Mark – I Have followed Larry Burkett and Crown Ministries for many years, it is indeed a great foundation to work from. We all lost a great mentor when he died.

Also thank you for your comments on creating something meaningful, it should make us all stop and think about our own personal goals.

@Mark – I absolutely love your list and how it supports your Life Purpose. I’m really happy to see that you’re doing something that will help more people gain a college education – it’s the biggest source of my current debt and had I known then what I know now- I would have been able to avoid it and still made it through college. Programs like yours will help more people graduate without the burden of tens of thousands or more in debt.

@ Mark – The rest of your life is a long time, and since you are going to have the luxury of ‘retiring’ very young, you will need to plan for the ‘nuclear family’ (or, if you’re a certain politician: ‘nucular family’): travel for 3 or 4+; education/college for 1 or 2+ kids; etc. This may or may not be included in the above … but, as you get towards calculating your Number, these are the sorts of practicalities that you are going to have to think of.

@ Debbie – Do I see an e-book: “Avoid Debt And Still Make It Through College!”? ๐Ÿ™‚

@Mark – I think we all had an initial Money Making 101 coach like Crown Ministries, I just checked out there site for the first time, seems like a very needed ministry especially in the body of Christ. My “coach” was John Cammuta, but now I see how if you want to make in excess of 2 million, your going to have to do things a little different.
I’m definitely looking forward to what Money Making 201 strategies your gonna be working on Mark.

@ Josh – You’ve made an important leap: it’s not the Makng Money 101 STRATEGIES that are important, but the MM101 HABITS, which stop you from spending all of your MM201 and 301 money ๐Ÿ˜‰

@ Debbie – I second Adrian’s idea about your book. One of the things I saw the universities doing is pretty much allowing more and more foreign students into the universities in order to pay for the scholarship programs. Even so, they are not enough.

I feel like if my own sons don’t buckle down enough to get a good scholarship (i.e., full-ride is still not the whole ticket), then the best thing I can do for them is make them earn it when (and if) they decide they want it. There’s a lot to be said about working for something.

Yet, a book that could tell someone how to do it without going into debt would be a good way to give someone a helping hand up. Hopefully there aren’t already a dozen out there being ignored due to poor marketing.

@ Mark – I enjoyed reading your list. Your goals remind me a bit of the book/idea (a movie, too, I think) called “Pay it Forward” or PIF.

Rather than paying someone’s kindness in return, you do something good for someone else. There are now commercials which are trying to use the same idea, but I forget what product they’re trying to sell.

Didn’t someone in here have that idea with regards to funding an educational pot of money? Where the recipients would repay it, but at a higher level than it cost (paid them) (assuming it’s adjusted for inflation already)? Perhaps having them sign up to mentor/support two others as a condition of the funds and mentorship they themselves receive (two sequentially rather than concurrently)? It could be named after your twin brothers; definitely a positive pyramid “scheme,” lol.

I received one scholarship for the MBA program based on volunteer work, and doing volunteer work during the time I received the scholarship was a condition of the scholarship as well. It was available to more undergrads, but was only at two universities (I think) at the time. It was from the Mitte Foundation and the slogan had to do with lighting a candle. So, the concept is there, and hopefully growing.

Good luck!

@ Diane – I was watching a football game yesterday on TV (can’t remember which teams), and I recall the commentator saying that the father of one of the coaches had made his son pay half his own tuition at HIGH SCHOOL (maybe it was a private school?) … somehow, he always came up with the money. What a learning lesson in life!

Naturally, that means that I agree with your idea of making yours earn their own college tuition, although we have decided that our children’s 1st degree is our ‘treat’, but houses/cars? Fuggedaboudit!

@Diane – there are universities that are 100% free around the country. I didn’t know about them when I was applying to colleges but maybe they can help your son. I wrote about them here:

I’m pretty sure if you get into Stanford, and are “underprivileged” (not sure how this is defined) you go there completely free. They started this about six months ago I think.

@Lee – I like to have a balance. Personal wants and needs and also something to give to humanity.

@Debbie – You will be surprised that there are a lot of scholarships and grants out there. I hope my brothers and I will help fund this Education Foundation that I’m planning to create. I’m going to focus more on third world countries – well, I’m from a third world country.

@AJC – I did realize that I’m putting out numbers as a single. With a family, the Number will need to change. I will tweak my number in anticipation of a family. As for my brothers, we only gave them tuition money mostly. They have to work part time for their living expenses. We did help for example when one of my bothers wreck his car.

@Josh – Agreed. We all need a strong foundation and MM101 habits is the foundation.

@Diane – I’ve seen Pay It Forward. I enjoyed the movie except for the ending. I certainly don’t want to end up that way. I believe Jason Dragon has similar vision.

@ Josh – yes, definining “underpriviledge” can be tricky. After borrowing federally to help fund the part of living/school expenses needed for my MBA (beyond what was covered by the Grad Admin Asst )GAA)and the scholarships), I found that making more than $65k a year meant that the INTEREST on these student loans is not tax-free. Does that qualify as “bait-and-switch” tactics? I doubt my sons would qualify as underprivileged.