Monday, February 19, 2018
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Don’t Let an Emergency Fund Ruin Your Finances

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Doctors, above anyone else, know exactly what an emergency looks like. If your PM is anything like mine, Im sure you have heard the stories…

That time they did chest compressions on a kid while in medical school or the time when that mother delivered a baby before she could make it to her hospital room?

Yep, those were emergencies.

Of course, there are financial emergencies that pop up from time to time too, and it’s important to be ready for them so they don’t negatively impact your hard earned income.

In fact, if you read almost anything out there relating to personal finance, you know “the rule.” The experts constantly say, “Save 3-6 months of your total monthly expenses.”

The real goal, though, would be to invest your money so wisely over time that you become one of the cool kids. No not just us in the DMD Facebook group (although I admit there are some pretty cool guys in the group!). I’m referencing the physicians and their families who are more established in their careers, have ample savings in their non retirement investment accounts, reliable monthly income from outside investments (ex: real estate rental income) and who are at financial independence.

To learn more about why emergency funds are important and how to reach the cool kids club, see my most recently post about how you shouldn’t let an emergency ruin your hard earned income.

How Doctors Can Grow Their Retirement Accounts Tax Free

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As physician families, sometimes it can feel like you’re constantly paying taxes. For as hard as you work, this can definitely be a drag. Luckily, when it comes to your retirement accounts, there is a way to grow your retirement money tax free, allowing you to keep a significant amount of your gains over the years.

Under current law, the government allows individuals to place their money into an account that grants their investments the ability to grow tax deferred or tax free depending on which account is set up. These accounts are called Individual Retirement Accounts, commonly referred to as an IRA.

There are two main types of IRA accounts: Traditional IRA accounts and Roth IRA accounts. While both accounts allow your investments to grow tax free from now up until you retire, they have some major differences that you should be aware of.

To learn more about IRAs and the differences between Traditional IRA accounts and Roth IRA accounts, please check out the full post at the Physician Wealth Services blog. Also, remember that regardless of which IRA plan you choose, make sure you take the initial step and actually open one up! Every source of income, whether it’s tax free or not, is important in retirement. The goal is to supplement your 401k and add to your retirement nest egg so you can achieve financial freedom quicker and retire when you want.

Norlan Whisky Glass – Review and Unboxing

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If you had told me that a glass could change the way my whisky tastes, I would laugh have laughed in your face.  I have drunk whisky from many a glass (or plastic red cup) and have always found the taste pleasing… especially the more drinks I had.

But then, one of our esteemed DMD members, introduced me to a glass that would forever change the way I drink whisky and any liquor for that matter.

Should Physician Couples Combine Their Finances?

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For many medical couples, combining finances might be a big mental hurdle to overcome once they tie the knot.

After all, you’ve been “on your own” through medical school, residency, or maybe even after training. You’re used to managing your own money, and you might even be accustomed to splitting rent, utilities, food, and other expenses while dating your other half or living together.

If splitting expenses has worked in the past, you might be wondering why you should switch it up after marriage. However, there are a few reasons why I think physician couples should definitely combine finances.

First of all, when it comes down to it, you make a vow when you get married and stand before your family and friends showing that you have selected your partner for life (forget the whole 51% divorce rate for a minute). You’ve also promised that you will support each other through better or worse and sickness and in health.

If that’s the truth, why would you want to complicate every financial decision for the rest of your life by figuring out who is paying for what and when?

Plus, that’s only one reason why I advise couples to avoid separate accounts. To find out what the other two reasons are, check out the full post at the Physician Wealth Services blog so you can succeed financially as a team.

Should You Rent or Buy Your Home in Residency?

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There’s nothing more exciting than matching into a residency program, especially after four years of enduring medical school. Plus, with that new work contract often comes new colleagues, a paycheck for the first time in a long time, and perhaps a new city to live in. This is also the time that many young doctors think about buying their first house too.

With the increasing availability of physician mortgages, it’s easier than ever for medical school graduates to become homeowners. After all, many physician mortgages allow young doctors to buy a house without saving a significant down payment or paying private mortgage insurance. You do need to have a signed work contract in hand as well as a good credit score to secure the best rate, but in many ways, a physician mortgage is relatively simple to obtain for most young doctors.

On the other hand, because of the intense nature of residency and the typical student loan burden doctors face, many graduates wonder if buying a home is a wise financial decision. If this is you and you’re curious whether to rent or to buy in residency, consider the points mentioned here in the full article on the Physician Wealth Services blog.

 

Butcher Box – Review and Unboxing

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As a busy dad, I can’t think of anything better than having access to a company who has dedicated themselves to providing high-quality meats to me and my family at a great price (less than $6 per meal) and conveniently to my door on my schedule!

DMDLifestyle.com is proud to partner with Butcher Box.  We receive a referral bonus that helps to support this website and it’s amazing staff and contributors for every order that comes from our link.

When you use our affiliate link below and order a box of organic, grass-fed chicken, beef and/or pork you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • $10 off your first order
  • Free Ribeye Steaks – 2 x 10oz steaks in your first order

Click here to order your Butcher Box!

Butcher Box - Back to Nature

How much social media is ok for us parents?

I’ve done some soul searching and one of the conclusions I came up with was that I spend way too much time on social media than is healthy. We all focus on how much screen time our kids have. My son is allowed 30 mins a day on his iPad but I would spend hours on my phone. I would spend countless hours playing on Facebook and playing random games I had downloaded on my phone. Also I have noticed how much my children love the phone and iPad. My daughter who is only 19 months old loves the phone! Her eyes light up like she’s holding a treasure when she gets ahold of it and her hands are like little vice grips. She’s probably thinking, “what is this thing that my daddy loves so much?” So I decided to give it up and it lasted around 2 weeks. Here is what I discovered.

I am a stay at home dad and my 5 year old son attends preschool mostly full time and my 19 month daughter attends a Kids Dayout twice a week. After giving up Facebook I noticed that I could keep on task a lot easier. I was able to accomplish many more tasks because I was more efficient. I stopped letting household chores pile up like I had and I’ve been able to keep the house picked up and kitchen clean. I have also read the book “The 5 Love Languages” and my wife’s #1 love language is Acts of Service which isn’t hard for me to do but she’s kind of a perfectionist and I am not. So I quickly found out that what I had been doing over the years drove her crazy and I’m slowly rewiring myself to do some of the tasks in a type A manner. One of my main jobs around the house is the dreaded laundry. Nearly everything my wife and daughter owns has to be hang dried which I do. Well my daughters clothes have tons of layers and pieces and they don’t always come out neatly ironed. You can only whip back and forth the wet clothes to get the wrinkles to fall out before you hand it. So now I’m ironing every hang dry piece of clothing they two own. Btw, I could iron 10 of my shirts in the amount of time it takes me to iron one outfit of my daughters and she’s a size 18 month! But if thats what it takes to make my wife happy then its worth it to me.

Second, I noticed how much more time I was able to spend with my family. I don’t know how many times I’ve played “kitchen” with my daughter and how many times I’ve read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” but she’s been enjoying the fact that I’m not glued to my phone anymore. I also have noticed how much time I devote to her versus the amount of time I do for my son. She’s at that stage where you have to keep both eyes glued to her because she is into everything. My son is a pretty great kid. I also found myself tired at night and when my son asked me to play with him I’d say no I’m tired. So after realizing I’ve been doing this a long time I decided to let him pick out one activity to play with him each day that I couldn’t say “no” to. The first thing he chose was to vacuum and wash my truck, so this is definitely starting out well.

Lastly, I’ve enjoyed it the most. Its like a freedom lifted from me. There are studies that state that you get a dopamine release every time someone “likes or comments” on your social media posts. Which this release of dopamine is the reason we all stay glued to our phones right? After I gave it up I noticed I now longed for smiles on my families faces instead of likes on my phone.

In conclusion I am glad that I did this for both me and my family. My family are the ones that I find so dear and not my superficial Facebook friends. Don’t take offense FB friends that now family is now taking up my free time and not you. I did decide to take Facebook back up but only to give weekly updates with pictures and such so distant family can keep up. If anyone is looking for a change or to experiment like I did I would encourage you to give it a try. Good day.

Maintaining your Manhood. Teaching your son how to ask a woman out on a date.

There are lots of ways to maintain your manhood. One in particular is teaching your son how to properly ask a woman out on a date. And what better person to start with than your mom? video of him asking soon coming…

How to successfully Vacation with Young Kids

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How to successfully vacation with young kids said no parent ever. Well unless you are those smart parents that bring your nanny with you to do all the work so you can go out and play.

Has anyone ever winged a vacation with kids? Yeah it’s nearly impossible. It takes weeks maybe months to prepare when you have small ones. My wife and I have a 5 y/o and 18 month old so we are like zombie apocalypse preppers when it comes to vacationing with these always hangry, wanting your iPhones, little angels. And I do remind my son from time to time that the devil started out an angel. Not sure if that’s appropriate or not but then again I’m not the perfect dad. How many times do you tell your kids “You keep acting this way I’m not bringing you back for the next vacation and just mommy and daddy will go and leave you at your grandparents?” We might have over used that statement to the point where my son knows we are bluffing. Only bluffing because I don’t want to do that to my parents just yet. Maybe in the next couple of years we will attempt that.

So for this trip we chose a Royal Caribbean cruise that had the Dream Works characters there. Thinking that maybe it would be comparable to Disney since Disney has been our last two cruise adventures but should have known better since it cost a 1/3 of the price. But ya know how you forget that you get what you pay for. My wife also found some cheap plane tickets that cost $520 for the 3 of us and a lap baby flying with the airline Allegiant. The only kicker is they fly out on a friday and return on a Monday and they nickel and dime you for everything. Also when we arrive to the airline tons of people were pissed because their am flight was canceled because not enough people were flying out to Orlando and they had to quickly switch flights, rent a vehicle to make it to Orlando. We said a prayer then that we would make our next flight coming home. So knowing we Allegiant nickel and dimed ya, I had a friend in Fort Lauderdale that my wife ordered diapers, wipes, swim diapers, swim toys, and mailed it to him so we wouldn’t have to spend an additional $50 for that bag considering we were taking a 10 night vacation and had an outfit for every night. Also we know how much bathroom stuff our wives can also pack…

So we make it in to Florida and then to our cruise. Guess what? We get a completely different room than we paid for. We paid for a room that was 275 sq ft because we had to fit our bed, sleeper sofa, and crib, but got stuck with a room that was 175 sq ft but it was considered an upgrade because it has a balcony. We wanted the room with extra space since our little ones like daily naps and we wanted the extra room. The balcony would have been nice but some rule breaking pricks had to ruin it and smoke somewhere close by because the smoke always found my balcony.

Cruise dinners. Anyone ever had a successful TWO HOUR DINNER with an 18 month old? Holy cow, we had her belly so full and stuffed she was refluxing by the time we got our entrees. Our 5 year old is fine because you toss him your iphone and he’s golden. Also we could leave early and drop him off at the Kids Club. So what we ended up doing at dinner service was going to the buffet so we could get in and get out.

Kids Club was great EXCEPT they charged for the 18 month old which we cheaped out on and didn’t use. My son enjoyed it though and they had lots of crafts and activities for him. Now I stated earlier that we’ve done 2 Disney cruises and they had family event after family event which this ship did not. We ended up going to 1 show which was an ice skating show and it was pretty awesome along with a welcome and good-bye parade. The other show we had planned on going to was a diving show but it was canceled every night they had planned on doing it.

Foreign country excursions: Went to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Martin. Did the beach thing in the Bahamas. It was a short day so we ended back on the ship for lunch. I give that day an “A.” St. Thomas we planned a Childrens Museum and if kids were acting good we would hit a brewery. Well after the museum our kids had a brat throwing meltdown, so we decided to eat lunch at a Mexican place there and head back to the boat. On the taxi shuttle home some people were talking about how awesome the brewery was.. 🙁 O’well as parents we chalk it up right? I give that day a “C-.” St. Martin we literally got off the boat walked around the port site and drank a fantastic coconut colada. We went back to the boat, swam, took naps. We didn’t expect much and I give that day a “B.”

Sleeping at night: Its been a while since I’ve slept in the same room as my whole family. My baby’s crib was right beside me and she had a ball with me. She was like “whack a mole” every night. She would stand up in her crib and say in her cutest voice “hey” until I would reply back “Lay down, go night night.” After doing that for 15-30 mins every night we would both give up caring and she would go to sleep. My son on the other hand wanted to watch tv all night long and would throw a fit when we told him to turn it off. Also the night after St. Thomas I had the worst abdominal cramps/gas, didn’t sleep, and hoped I didn’t have etec. I was fine the next morning and wife pointed out that we weren’t in Mexico and wouldn’t get etec. Crap I didn’t know I was just hoping I wasn’t sick.

Sex on vacations with young kids? I think you might have to be magician to accomplish that. Have 2 pills with you. 1 to knock out the kids and the other one to give each other for 30 mins of energy. Definitely not what your nights were on your honeymoon or before kids entered the picture.

Other mishaps: Wife got a nice case of strep throat while on the ship. This is the first time that we didn’t bring antibiotics on a vacation but by god we had some derma bond and bandaids incase of lacerations. Glad we bought the insurance because after wife went down to infirmary she was billed $250 for the visit and antibiotics. Also my wife lost her phone. Well to be honest our 18 month old had it last because my wife gave it to her with a game she likes so she could fix her fair without a struggle. I went and bought the internet service for $20 so maybe we could locate the phone. Well come to find out you can’t locate a phone that is in “plane mode.” But I was able to play around on my phone for the next day and we did find my wife’s phone. Baby put it behind the couch and we looked in that spot probably 3-4 times before we noticed it so that was a save.

After vacation ended I felt like, “I wished we would have just stayed home.” But then I look at all the pretty pictures with smiling faces and in a short time will forget about all the struggles until the next family vacation. We did learn one thing on this cruise. We will take out a loan to go Disney on our next one because Disney is the only way to cruise and I would have loved to hang out with Darth Vaders Storm Troopers and dressed like a pirate for Pirate Night.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott’s SAHD Journey: Sales to Teaching to Epic Chocolates

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Scott D of Epic Chocolates

“Honey, after this, no more, ok?  You need to spend time with your family this Christmas.”

“I guess,” I reluctantly replied.  “It’s just that this is my busy season.  And hey, you know what you married!”

“You were a Teacher when we met, not a Chocolatier,” my wife replied, her eyes rolling a little.

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