Category: Mindset

Our Death-Defying Feat of Driving Old 2WD Cars (and How it Saved us $66k in 5 Years)

Our Death-Defying Feat of Driving Old 2WD Cars (and How it Saved us $66k in 5 Years)

My husband and I are now on our 18th winter of driving non-fancy 2WD cars in snowy climates. Locations we’ve driven said cars during winter include most of Colorado, Chicago and other “lake effect snow” parts of the Midwest, and our current mountainous hometown, which averages 100 inches of snow per year in town (double that on the higher mountains around us).

This past winter brought us one storm with over 35 inches of snow in 24 hours.

Our current vehicles are both 2WD. They were made in 2004 and 2007, were bought with cash, and cost us less than $100/mo total to insure. The costs for gas and regular maintenance (oil changes, etc) are negligible.

Read More Read More

When the Answer to “How’s it Going?” is “Boring!”

When the Answer to “How’s it Going?” is “Boring!”

As you may have picked up from some of our previous posts, we like a good adventure. We realize they’re not all winners, and in fact some of them are solidly in the “once was enough” category, but we like to feel like we’re doing stuff. We also realize that being bored is a first-world problem, and we own that.

Read More Read More

$500k of Business Debt Bites the Dust

$500k of Business Debt Bites the Dust

Honestly, it’s mind blowing for me to write this post. I have major imposter syndrome anytime I even think about numbers this high.

And before we go any farther: please don’t send me messages telling me I’m limiting myself by “not thinking big” or some such nonsense. These are freaking huge numbers. And not only on a global scale (where the median household income is under 10k) but in the USA as well (where the median household income is about $61k) and even in the shiny bubble of doctor salaries that I live in, where the average individual income is anywhere from $100k to $300k depending on your specialty and time in practice and blah blah blah.

So, yes, it feels crazy to write this post. It’s also really fun for me to write this post, because I’ve been waiting impatiently for this day ever since I realized it was within my grasp this calendar year.

Read More Read More

Second-Hand Holidays: Why Our Kids Aren’t Getting New Stuff for Christmas

Second-Hand Holidays: Why Our Kids Aren’t Getting New Stuff for Christmas

There’s something about the prospect of getting new stuff that causes kids to go a little nuts around the holiday season. I’ve heard “You know what I want for Christmas…?!” approximately a thousand times since Halloween. And the answer to that question is not a single, simple item. Heavens, no. Long gone are the days when kids sent a hand-written letter to Santa asking for a jump rope. Kids are now making online “Christmas wish lists” on par with wedding registries, and plenty of parents are boldly crowdsourcing holiday shopping money “for the kids!”

We’re kind of over it.

Here are five reasons why my husband and I – despite loving the holiday season and having plenty of money available to spend on our little angles –  have all but nixed Christmas presents in our household:

Read More Read More

Announcement: We’re NOT Selling Everything to Travel the World!

Announcement: We’re NOT Selling Everything to Travel the World!

Whaaaaaat??!!

This might come as a huge shock to those who know us, what with the recent upsurge in nomadic impulses among Millennials – especially those who, like us, have always loved traveling and are drawn to minimalism.

If you were unaware of this trend, just search “nomadic lifestyle” or “millennial nomads” or “digital nomads” or “nomadic families” or anything similar and you’ll be up to speed in no time. People seem to be hitting the road in droves with one-way tickets in hand.

Could we if we wanted to?

Read More Read More

Why Business Partnerships Might Just be Perfect for Millennials

Why Business Partnerships Might Just be Perfect for Millennials

Millennials are changing the workplace. Love ’em or hate ’em, this is a reality.

And it’s a reality we’ll all have to deal with for the next several years, since the tail end of the Millennial generation is just starting to graduate college, move back in with their parents, and apply to part-time jobs so they can spend 20 hours per week at rallies protesting student loans.

Haha! I’m totally kidding. Sort of.

Read More Read More

Ski Passes and Other August Spending

Ski Passes and Other August 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.

Read More Read More

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:

Read More Read More

Why “I Make More Money at the Office” is a Bad Excuse to Avoid Real Work

Why “I Make More Money at the Office” is a Bad Excuse to Avoid Real Work

It seems to me that as soon as we doctors are making any kind of decent money (which is usually immediately after graduating) we start looking for reasons to not do any actual work outside of the office.

Usually the reason given for this attitude is some version of “I can make way more at my job than what the (insert any type of manual laborer or domestic service provider) charges me per hour, so why would I not hire that out?” If we want to throw an extra layer of guilt on for anyone who might object, we say something like: “Well I have to pay someone to clean my house and cook my meals and cut my lawn so I have time to do things with my kids!”

Both of these excuses may have some superficial merit, but neither one holds much water when examined closely.

Read More Read More

Upsizing our House to Downsize our Life

Upsizing our House to Downsize our Life

In our ongoing efforts to be minimalist-ish, we decided last year that our small-town life was getting too big.

You may already know that we skip the use of our cars when we can, but even so our car commutes have started to annoy us in a big way. The main road in town that takes me to my office is getting more and more congested with each passing month, due to the ever-growing population here and some new high-density residential construction. My car commute is now well over 20 minutes during rush hour, which if you’ve done any research at all on happiness you know is a bad thing.

The interstate is the least-terrible route between our current house and my husband’s work, as well as our current house and Baby J’s daycare. Those drives are still in the 15-20 minute range, but if we’d wanted to spend time every day sitting on the interstate we would have moved to a big city. 

Read More Read More