020 | Entry Level Middle Class Lifestyle | Intro to Insurance

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020-Entry Level Middle Class

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ChooseFI Favorite: top rewards card for beginners

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card​

Looking for the best credit card to start earning travel rewards points? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our pick. With a 50,000 point signup bonus (after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months), the $95 annual fee waived the first year, and ultra-flexible points (transfers to 13 airlines & hotels!), this is our top choice!

The Entry Level Middle Class Lifestyle is a tool that you can use to supercharge your path to FI. Jonathan and Brad go through their expenses one line item at a time. Then they start the conversation about a FI approach to insurance, with an emphasis on life insurance


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • What Jonathan and Brad’s lifestyle and budget look like. We go in-depth into our actual spending and budget line items
  • What have we talked about previously? How to crush your food budget, how to get fit while being frugal, basics of investing, how to save 75% of your income, tax loss and tax gain harvesting, travel rewards and the unfair advantage for teachers.
  • Housing prices and mortgages for Brad and Jonathan
  • Jonathan was looking for an older neighborhood with a generational shift going on with kids coming in
  • Brad’s net cost per month is under $800 per month on his house in a great school district in the Richmond-metro area
  • How to maximize insurance: be sure to shop around and get quotes and don’t be complacent. Also determine realistically how much coverage you need and don’t just follow the advice of your agent.  Increase your deductible as much as possible to save money.
  • Life insurance: Get term life insurance until you don’t need the insurance any longer (when you’re at Financial Independence). Policygenius is a terrific way to make sure you are getting the best price on term life insurance.
  • The insurance agent will always attempt you to buy whole life insurance; in the vast majority of cases term life is the best possible option.
  • Once you’re at FI, you can self-insure since you don’t need the lump sum
  • Car expenses: Jonathan mentioned the forthcoming ‘true cost of car ownership’ article
  • Jonathan does currently have a car payment
  • Brad has not had a car payment on either car for well over 5 years
  • Cell phones: Jonathan has Project FI and Brad has Republic Wireless
  • By being smart about your cell phone you should easily be able to save $100 per month
  • “Easy choices, hard life; hard choices, easy life”
  • Cable bills and internet packages from Comcast and Verizon
  • Jonathan buys an internet-only package from Verizon
  • What happens when you give up screen time entirely? Talk, play board games, etc.
  • Gym memberships: Brad pays $20 a month for Crunch fitness. Jonathan does not have a membership any longer.  He paid $1,000 to build a top-notch home gym for a one-time cost
  • Brad now does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through Gracie University and the free Gracie Garages
  • Take a step back and see what you can work on long-term to get better at life?
  • Keep track of your food and alcohol budget and it will help you cut down
  • Where do we spend that might be “frivolous” but where we get a lot of value?
  • Financial independence is not deprivation. It is about being intentional

Links from the show:

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10 thoughts on “020 | Entry Level Middle Class Lifestyle | Intro to Insurance

  1. You guys are crushing it. I really like the episodes so far, and there is a lot of value in what you guys are preaching. I am hoping y’all can do a side hustle episode soon.

  2. You guys mention at the end 26k a year to be fi or 14k without a mortgage. n a future podcast do you break that down. I would love to see a breakdown that shows how you cover all bills with 14k. I would expect home taxes, insurance, car insurance, medical, food, gasoline, electric, water, and internet at least. For me this is over 14k already so i am trying to compare.

  3. During the episode, one of you mentioned that the insurance will cover the funeral expenses of $20,000.

    Here are a few life hacks (or death hacks to be more appropriate).

    Donate your organs to a hospital. You will get to save some one’s life and the hospital will cover the expenses of the burial.
    Donate your body to science and the hospital or university will take care of the expenses of the burial.
    Do a green burial. This can cost about $5,000 on the high end.
    To find out everything you need to know about saving money after death, I suggest you interview Elizabeth Fournier. She knows everything you need to know about how to save money after death, or you can listen to the podcast episode I did with her where she goes in detail about being buried in an environmentally friendly way and saving tons of money. Here it is: http://www.alainguillot.com/elizabeth-fournier/

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