Starting Your Own Charitable Foundation

I love reading about personal finance and the more you read it feels like the same stuff is repeated over and over. However, The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins is one I just finished and it’s a short no-nonsense guide that I really enjoyed. This quote sums up his advice perfectly:

Simple is good. Simple is easier. Simple is more profitable.

Every part of the book focuses on simplicity and things that any of us can do, as long as we remove and avoid debt. Outside of the personal part one part that made me really think was at the end he has a section on what to do with your wealth after you’ve spent a lifetime generating it.

Once you reach a certain level where you can live comfortably off your investments he recommended starting a charitable foundation and what is surprising to me is you don’t need to be a multi-millionaire. You can open your own foundation with a minimum of $25,000, and he recommends the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program because of the low fee structure. Mr. Collins states quite a few benefits to doing this:

  • You get the tax deduction in the year you fund your foundation. So I got to take the tax benefits when they mattered most to me.
  • If you have stocks, mutual funds or other assets that have appreciated in value you can move these directly into your charitable foundation. You get the tax deduction for their full market value and you don’t have to pay any capital gains taxes on the gain. Double tax win and more money for your charities.

Outside of, this the greatest advantage is that everything runs throughs the foundation and not you personally. Based on this advice you can give freely and keep yourself distanced so you are not getting inundated with people asking for things.

I’m currently in my 30’s and very far away from this but I think it’s a great idea to keep in the back of your mind to support causes that matter to you.

Humor: Freelance Email Generator

The folks over at toggl created a humorous email generator for freelancers that features two sliders for how much they want to pay you, (from nothing to way too much), and for how professional you want the tone of your response.

Freelance Email Generator
Example of the Freelance Email Generator

The email for this option comes out as follows:

Hi there,

I don’t usually work for exposure, however I’ve got an alternative offer for you.

I’ll charge you my usual fee but give a $100 rebate for every new paying client this work brings in over the next few months. If we manage to break even, I can even offer a commission on new clients!

Now, I get why you may not want to take this offer.

There isn’t any guarantee you would get your money back. Now think about it this way – this is almost the same deal you’re offering. With exposure, there is no guarantee that it will lead to paying work.

If you’re not willing to take the deal I offered to you, why would you expect me to take the offer to pay with exposure?

Sure it’s meant as a parody but still fun to play around with. They just need more emails so they randomly change as you move around the sliders.

Using the Noun Project for Journaling

2018 is just getting started and I know many have set out to start new habits break old ones and begin with a fresh start. One of the things I started is keeping a daily log book so I’ll be able to revisit memories that happen throughout 2018.

As I was researching log books I came across this awesome daily plan bar by Mike Rohde who is the sketchnote genius.

I love how all his have little drawings and color that make it look like a work of art. Not being a great artist I wanted to duplicate this effect and I found a little life hack for creating drawings quickly, search the noun project.

If you are not familiar with the noun project it is the home of millions of icons for almost everything. I use the Mac app but the site works as well. Just enter a keyword and then use the results as inspiration in your log book or journal.

The featured image on this post is an example I put together for this post and I think having the little icons and visual flare makes it easy to come back to in ten years and flip through your history.

Hawaii missile alert

On Saturday morning a missile alert was pushed out from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and according to the Washington Post this was the cause:

Around 8:05 a.m., the Hawaii emergency employee initiated the internal test, according to a timeline released by the state. From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” He was supposed to choose the former; as much of the world now knows, he chose the latter, an initiation of a real-life missile alert.

I can’t imagine how a designer, developer, QA, and all the other links allowed something this bad to even make it into production. Much less something so important as a missile warning system.

I can’t imagine how scary it would have been to be on the island when this was pushed out and it makes me think of all the cold war bunkers we still have peppered around our nation. Back then I imagine everyone would have had the thought of dying at any minute in their mind. Which if we are honest is not necessarily a bad thing since it would keep your focus on what matters most to you.

MLK on Slavery in Strength to Love

Today in the USA we celebrate the life of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

As I think about his life I’m reminded of an excerpt I read from his book Strength to Love:

Men convinced themselves that a system that was so economically profitable must be morally justifiable. They formulated elaborate theories of racial superiority. Their rationalizations clothed obvious wrongs in the beautiful garments of righteousness. […] Religion and the Bible were cited to crystallize the status quo. Science was commandeered to prove the biological inferiority of the Negro.

He continues…

So men conveniently twisted the insights of religion, science, and philosophy to give sanction to the doctrine of white supremacy. Soon this idea was embedded​ in every textbook and preached in practically every pulpit. It became a structured part of the culture. And men then embraced this philosophy, not as the rationalization of a lie, but as the expression of a final truth. They sincerely came to believe that the Negro was inferior by nature and that slavery was ordained by God.

Years later and this can describe many of the race relations still facing our nation. He then brings it all back to this verse in Luke that quotes Jesus before his crucifixion:

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Dr. King was also a Baptist Minister and by tying it back to these ten words it would have been a powerful statement to those he was trying to reach.

Freebie: Heroicons UI

Heroicons UI make the perfect fit for any in-app UI. Their soft edges and consistent 2-pixel​ stroke give them a friendly personality​ that work great for both professional and playful UI’s.

This is a great new icon set by Steve Schoger that he decided to release free under the MIT license.

Steve Jobs on Creating

one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there
and you never you never meet the people
you never shake their hands
you never hear their story or tell yours
but somehow in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love > something’s transmitted there and it’s a way of expressing to the rest of our species our deep appreciation.

I love this so much. When I create things I take pride in it and put a great deal of care and love into it. That’s why I find the statement, “You are not your $creation” so offensive.