The Sunday Best 12/18/2016

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The Sunday Best is a collection of a handful of posts I share with you each week. With so many informative and inspirational writers out there, I have no trouble coming up with a number of worthwhile reads each week.

Every featured post should be of interest to any physician seeking financial independence. Some will be written by your physician colleagues; others will be written by our friends and patients who share common goals and interests.

Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:

 

An urban homesteader @ Unconventional Sustainability talks golden handcuffs, minimalism, and bicycle commuting in Managing Our Life Anchors Through Financial Independence.

 

Have you contemplated setting up a revocable trust? Allow your friendly cardiologist from Dads Dollars & Debts walk you through Setting up a Revocable Living Trust with LegalZoom.

 

LeverageRxAre you taking full advantage of your 401(k)? The Biglaw Investor is, as he explains in The Government’s Free 401(k) Match.

 

Let’s hear from another of our lawyer friends. Your Money or Your Life, asks I, Vigilante. He also asks, “What’s the difference?”.

 

In an oldie but goodie, Maggie Banks of Northern Expenditure shares her experience with minimalism in Alaska: Lessons from Decluttering Everything.

 

Blogs sure can be fascinating. Dr. John Jurica, the Vital Physician Executive, introduces us to some that are familiar and some others I have yet to read in My Fascination with Physician-Authored Blogs.

 

While an Emergency Fund is regarded as essential by many, alternatives do exist. The Doctor in Debt explores one in that he has used in How a Personal Line of Credit Saved Me From a Cash Crunch.

 

Understanding a safe withdrawal rate is paramount if you’re planning to retire early. What does a Ph.D. economist evaluate the SWR? With numbers! Early Retirement Now gives us The Ultimate Guide to Safe Withdrawal Rates Part I and Part II.

 

When you start reading about money, you can start to obsess with money. Sometimes it’s best to look away for awhile, as the Canadian physician @ Table for One did last month. Find out why she decided to start Ignoring Money.

 

Free Beer!

 

Did somebody say free? Did somebody say beer? Did somebody combine two of my favorite words into one perfect phrase — free beer?

Yes, somebody did. My favorite local brewery participates in a rewards program that involves an app, some points, and rewards that can be earned. Occasionally though, like an aunt that hasn’t seen you in way too long, they send you a little gift for no reason at all.

Last week, my phone lit up with a notification. It said “something something free beer something something.” They had me at free beer.

With a day off on Friday, I made plans to take my wife on a lunch date at a new restaurant followed by a stop at the brewery for… you guessed it… a free beer.

 

beer sample platter curved

 

Meanwhile, our friends Nate and J$ at Rockstar Finance launched the Rockstar Community Fund, an initiative to invite personal finance bloggers to do some good in their respective communities. They were offering $20 gift cards to be used to brighten someone’s holiday. For free! Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity.

I just had to decide how to use that $20. I could buy meals for the hungry, but I’ve already done that. I could give money to the animal shelter to feed some pets waiting for a home. We’ve done that, too, though. In fact, I’ve donated generously to support every bona fide charitable organization that we wanted to support this year.

I decided not to give this money to charity. At my marginal tax rate, I can give nearly $40 to charity at a cost of $20 to me. This is $20 cash, so I might as well brighten someone’s day in a non-501(c)(3) charity sort of way.

 

So I bought beer.

 

My $20 from the Rockstar Community Fund made a handful of patrons a little bit happier on a Friday afternoon in the form of free beer.

When I went in to collect my hoppy gift of a freebie with the rewards app, I dropped $5 in the tip jar, gave the bartender a $20 bill, and asked him to give one free $5 beer to the next four customers. He thought that was pretty awesome, as did the next person that approached the register.

I was hoping to see a few more surprised and happy faces, but apparently I was among a very small minority of people that thought it cool to visit the brewery on a zero degree day at 1:30 p.m.

So that’s my free beer story. The bartender thanked me again on the way out, and a few more thirsty souls got to enjoy some free beer to start their weekend right. I’ve since subscribed to give to the Rockstar Community Fund monthly, so that others can experience the joy of blowing someone else’s money on whatever they might consider to be a good deed.

What would you have done with the $20, assuming you had already done all your usual charitable giving and gift buying for the year?

 

Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


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