Author: Doctor in Denim

Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

After over a year of Stateside travel adventures, we are finally allowed to get a passport for Baby J! Naturally we’ve lost no time in trying to book some trips abroad. But we also bought a house and moved this summer, so we are really tired of spending money.

I’m happy to say that even though I think Maui will take the travel-hacking cake this year, we’ve been able to work a little magic to send 2018 out with a bang!

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Ferry Rides, Fireplaces, and Other July Spending

Ferry Rides, Fireplaces, and Other July Spending

A quick reminder: these spending reports are an effort to keep myself accountable to the idea that doctors do not have to spend a totally ridiculous amount of money to live well and love life. We’re trying to do these spending reports for every month of 2018.

As I have mentioned before, we do not do traditional budgeting. You absolutely should do traditional budgeting if that works for you as a way to control your spending.  More on this topic here.

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Air Travel with Infants

Air Travel with Infants

My husband and I travel a lot with our kids, one of which is pretty tiny. Apparently we don’t seem too beat up by it, because people keep asking us for advice on traveling with infants. Here’s what I’ve got:

Check Bags Like it’s Going out of Style

Most airlines allow strollers and carseats to fly free. We always check these at the ticket counter (although you can often check strollers at the gate too) and carry Baby the rest of the way. Call your airline to confirm policies on checked and over-sized items.

When flying with the kids, we like to pack everything we need and not worry about checked baggage fees (shout-out to Southwest Airlines, which allows us to not worry about them anyway).

I recommend you embrace the checking of whatever amount of luggage makes traveling with your kids easier. Your days of spending a month in Europe with one carry-on suitcase and a messenger bag are over, and that’s okay.

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How We Accidentally Saved $5,000 on Cell Phones

How We Accidentally Saved $5,000 on Cell Phones

I’ve been hearing complaints from a lot of people about their cell phones and/or cell phone service. Most recently, it was from the guy fixing my fireplace. Turns out he is spending way more on his phone and phone service than I am, and he isn’t nearly as happy with it.

I’m not sure why it’s not already common knowledge, but more people should know this: cell phones do not need to be expensive.

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Where We Go When We Can’t Leave the USA

Where We Go When We Can’t Leave the USA

One of the many complexities of being foster parents is that we have to get written permission from the Department of Child Services to leave our state with our foster kids, and we have to get written permission from a judge to leave the country.

For a couple that once considered themselves to be travel-savvy globe-trotters, this restriction has been a bit of a challenge. In the years between when we started dating and when we started fostering infants, our airplane adventures looked something like this:

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Teaching Your Employees How to Ask for a Raise

Teaching Your Employees How to Ask for a Raise

I believe that we should be teaching our employees how to be successful – not just in their specific roles in our business but also in their own career paths as the professional men and women they are. This means they need to know how to ask for raises and negotiate pay.

I don’t do raises or performance reviews just because another calendar year has passed. I meet with my employees when I need to or want to. I have an “open door” policy that allows my employees to schedule time to meet with me when they feel the need. This has worked well for my particular business.

I want my employees to love their jobs. I want to empower them to ask for the things they want out of their job, including raises.

The instructions below were written with the help of an excellent employee of mine who has been with me for four years.

 

Here is what I ask my employees to do when they feel they have earned a raise:

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Fancy Family Vacations and Other June Spending

Fancy Family Vacations and Other June Spending

A quick reminder: these spending reports are an effort to keep myself accountable to the idea that doctors do not have to spend a totally ridiculous amount of money to live well and love life. We’re trying to do these spending reports for every month of 2018.

As I have mentioned before, we do not do traditional budgeting. You absolutely should do traditional budgeting if that works for you as a way to control your spending.  More on this topic here.

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FAQs on Student Debt, Loan Forgiveness, and Refinancing

FAQs on Student Debt, Loan Forgiveness, and Refinancing

Okay friends, I’m starting to get questions about student loans pretty frequently from my fellow doctors. It’s some version of “Good for you for getting your student debt under control and all, but WTF am I supposed to do about mine?”

Usually the more detailed questions go something like the following, so let’s go through them one at a time and I’ll do my very best to answer in a reasonably helpful way:

How did you decide what to do about your loans?

Great question!

Here’s why we decided to destroy our student loans, as well as the update on our progress from May of 2018.

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“They’re Too Young to Appreciate It” & Other Objections to Traveling With Kids

“They’re Too Young to Appreciate It” & Other Objections to Traveling With Kids

Let’s take a well-deserved break from talking about houses and moving and house projects and money and dive back into the topic of travel!

As somewhat seasoned travelers who have now entered the life phase of family travel, we run into a fair number of objections to traveling with young kids (and even medium-sized kids):

“They won’t remember it.”

“They’re too young to appreciate it.”

“It’s too expensive to take the whole family.”

“The kids would rather just stay home and play (latest trending video game) anyway.”

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Doctors with Money Problems

Doctors with Money Problems

I was just about done with the original version of this post when the Wall Street Journal published this article with the apparent goal of making my profession look like it’s composed entirely of Tesla drivers who can’t do math.

This article of course popped up almost immediately in my social media doctor groups and in my social media finance / FIRE groups and got thousands of comments and shares and emoticon reactions.

The doctor group’s reaction was largely along the lines of “No one understands what doctors go through, student loans are the worst, school costs so much, the educational system / federal loan program is oh-so-broken, etc.” The FIRE group’s reaction was (to bring it down to PG vocabulary): “Stop whining and pay back your debts like you said you would, you spoiled rich brats.”

Things got so exciting that Dave Ramsey got involved.

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