The Happy Medic answers some FAQs about Ebola.

Unless you’ve been in on the moon over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard of this lit­tle thing called Ebola. It’s reach­ing epi­demic proportions…at least in the media. From LEOs in Texas con­duct­ing search war­rants to health care work­ers in hos­pi­tals, there is a con­cern about being exposed to this hor­rific disease.


But is it really all that?  My buddy, The Happy Medic stops by the blog to give you the low­down on Ebola, if you should be con­cerned, and whether or not you can nick a pair of gloves from his rig.

Blameshifting: The American Pastime.

In my pri­mary career as a motor offi­cer, I hear lies excuses all the time.  I have grown to affec­tion­ately refer to the expe­ri­ence as “blameshifting”.4520266264_ddec56bf04_m

Blameshift­ing is the sub­tle art of trans­fer­ring respon­si­bil­ity to some­one else.  Hear are some high­lights I’ve heard:

  • Why didn’t you stop the per­son in front of me that was going the same speed?
  • Why can’t you stop those kids from rac­ing up and down my street?
  • Why didn’t you stop the guy behind me that was so close I was forced to speed up?
  • Why, oh why, won’t you stop the “real crim­i­nal” instead of me?

My answer to them all tends is eerily similar.

Take respon­si­bil­ity for your actions.

Guess what?  The same applies with your finances.

In the last five years of our finan­cial jour­ney, both per­son­ally and lead­ing Finan­cial Peace Uni­ver­sity, I’ve heard a bevy of finan­cial excuses as well.  Here are some high­lights I’ve heard:

  • I’m glad it works for you, but I just don’t under­stand money very well.
  • I could never live with­out my credit cards.
  • The hol­i­days are approach­ing.  We’ll get seri­ous after Christmas/Birthdays/Arbor Day.
  • I don’t have a reg­u­lar income, so your plan won’t work for me.
  • I have a big trip/medical issue/wedding/made-up-reason com­ing up and it’s just not con­ve­nient for me now.

Have you seen a pat­tern yet?  Guess what my answer will be.

Take respon­si­bil­ity for your actions.

Stop mak­ing excuses about why now is not a “con­ve­nient” time for you to begin a finan­cial plan that will lit­er­ally change your life and the lives of those that you love.  I am not blow­ing smoke here.  I am dead seri­ous.  This. Will. Change. Your. Life.

How do I know?

Because I did it.

Know what the dif­fer­ence between start­ing now and start­ing a month from now is?  Another month with­out a plan.  Another month of drift­ing aim­lessly, spend­ing more than you make (either by omis­sion or sim­ply due to the lack of a plan), more inter­est to your cred­i­tors, more stress, more fights with your spouse/significant other.  It’s another month of won­der­ing how you’ll meet all your obligations.

Do you want to face that again?  How are you not sick and tired of feel­ing that way?

Let me explain some­thing.  I’m not fac­ing those things and I’m sick and tired of it just from writ­ing it all down!  I used to feel that way.  I had those expe­ri­ences and I don’t miss them in the least.

Take the oppor­tu­nity to stop mak­ing excuses.  Take respon­si­bil­ity.  Take a step toward gain­ing con­trol of your finances.

It’s time to turn the cor­ner.  It’s time for a plan.  It’s time to nav­i­gate from where you are to where you want to be.  With the right guid­ance, you can cre­ate a plan that works for you and your sit­u­a­tion.  We can work together to cre­ate a plan with inten­tion­al­ity and pur­pose that will give you the upper hand for which you have longed.

…and I’m here to help.

Com­ing soon, I will be part­ner­ing with Sean Eddy from in a new pod­cast project in which we focus specif­i­cally on First Respon­ders and their money.  We aren’t invest­ment gurus, but we know a thing or two about get­ting out of debt and cre­at­ing a bud­get that will make you feel like you get paid more than you do and give you a new-found sense of free­dom and control!

In con­junc­tion, you can also be on the look­out for a new eBook from me deal­ing specif­i­cally with the issue of bud­get­ing for First Respon­ders.  Here are some of the things you can look for­ward to:

  • Learn how the Wife and I got a $500/month raise with lit­tle effort
  • Learn how to take applic­a­ble steps to seri­ously reduc­ing your debt
  • I will walk you through cre­at­ing your own spe­cific bud­get one line item at a time
  • I will teach you to iden­tify the dif­fer­ence between a “Need” and a “Want”
  • By the end, you will know how to cre­ate a real­is­tic bud­get based on your income

I’m excited about the impact the pod­cast and eBook will have on the lives of my fel­low First Respon­ders!  (By the way, the prin­ci­ples apply regard­less of your vocation…I just have a spe­cial place in my heart for those of us that put our lit­eral necks on the line day in and day out.)

Stay tuned for more infor­ma­tion com­ing soon!  In the meantime…

Ques­tion: Do you avoid bud­get­ing? If so, why? What pre­vents you from doing a bud­get? You can leave a com­ment by click­ing here.

Com­ing Soon! Sub­scribers will receive a FREE copy of MC’s upcom­ing eBook includ­ing never-before-published posts!

Fea­ture Image cour­tesy of Flickr and brett jordan


Little Suzie Signs Her No Suicide Contract. Atta Girl.

Imag­ine this. A lit­tle girl is get­ting ready for school. She has her lunch, her lat­est work of art, a jacket if it’s cold…and her No Sui­cide Contract.


Amer­ica, have you lost your col­lec­tive shit?

I’m look­ing specif­i­cally at you, Alabama. Yes, I am about to throw you col­lec­tively together as a state. Right, wrong, or indifferent.

Why am I sin­gling out Alabama? Because a pub­lic ele­men­tary school in Mobile made a 5-year-old sign a “No-Suicide-Contract.”

You read that right.

This is so epi­cally and foun­da­tion­ally stu­pid as to be offensive…but I guess when you’re the 5th worst in the coun­try inso­far as edu­ca­tion is con­cerned, we shouldn’t be so sur­prised. When less than 70% of your high school­ers actu­ally grad­u­ate, it’s hard to back you up.

Let’s look at the inep­ti­tude sur­round­ing this situation:

How to Screw Up Making $100K (Hint: No Budget)

When I orig­i­nally posted this col­umn on, there were a lot of com­ments and ques­tions about how a guy that made some much money could muck it up so badly.


What fol­lows is my response:

In my last post, I mon­i­tored reader com­ments on Facebook.

It seems a few of you took issue with the amount of money I made and the wildly lousy way I spent it.

I don’t dis­agree with the lat­ter sen­ti­ment (at least how I did it five years ago); how­ever, let’s go a bit deeper with the num­bers. After all, I pur­port to be a finan­cial coach on top of a motor officer.

The Case of the Twofer.

There is an elu­sive beast in the world of traf­fic enforce­ment.  I can count on one hand the num­ber of times I have bagged the creature.

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I have seen glimpses of it from time to time, but they were too small to be keep­ers.  What you are look­ing for is the full-grown adults.  The more aggres­sive and egre­gious, the more likely they are to cap­ture your attention.

I’m talk­ing about the tricky Twofer.

This past week, I had occa­sion to not only spot one, but I nearly took it to the taxi­der­mist to have it mounted on my wall.

Warn­ing: A Twofer is a dan­ger­ous beast and should be treated with cau­tion.  Pro­voke a Twofer too much and you risk any num­ber of neg­a­tive outcomes.

1 Simple Finance Tool to Maximize Your Cop (or any other) Salary: A Budget

This post was orig­i­nally pub­lished on  It is posted here with permission.


In 2009, I was earn­ing $100,000 per year as a top-step patrol offi­cer and I was liv­ing pay­check to paycheck.

I was work­ing an aver­age of 30 to 40 hours of over­time a month just to pay the bills. That’s two-and-a-half months of addi­tional work per year and an extra week per month.

That kind of out­put is unsus­tain­able if the rest of your life is to be at all bearable.

Why are Cops Shooting Unarmed Men?

Folks, it’s prac­ti­cally an epi­demic! Seem­ingly nary a day passes when the news isn’t report­ing on some poor, defense­less man being gunned down by maniac, loose-cannon cops.

Unarmed means not a threat, right?


I broke out the British swears for this one.

Let me explain some­thing to those of you that buy into this kind of reporting.

This minute’s “unarmed man” is the next minute’s armed man.

But, MC,” you say. “How is that possible?”

Here’s how.