024 | FI180 | Make a U-Turn and Choose FI

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Today we have Joel and Alexis from FI180.com on the podcast.  They changed their financial lives dramatically, going from spending over $100,000 per year to having an 85% savings rate and on the path to FI in just a few short years.

1500 days
In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Joel and Alexis from FI180.com tell their story of how they went from spending over $100,000 per year to having an 85% savings rate
  • FI can only be a few steps away and this story is the perfect example
  • They bought new cars, a new house and didn’t track their spending at all
  • In 2014 Alexis was in a terrible car accident and that led to the awakening that changed their financial lives. They took the $10,000 they received from the car and invested it in Vanguard
  • The costs (financial and health) and opportunity costs of a long commute
  • Every month they tried to make one change to improve their finances
  • Their savings rate was only 7% at their lowest and last year it went up to 85% (since lowered to about 75%-80% to add happiness)
  • Joel’s brother is also on a path to FI now and is “racing” them to FI
  • It isn’t a race though – it’s about enjoying the journey and finding happiness
  • Their happiness has increased after finding this path to FI. “Happiness is the goal”
  • “We were using our spending as a way to try to numb the effects of a workday”
  • They have learned how to cook at home and save money and eat better. Previously were going out to eat twice per day!
  • Line items from their ‘Our Savings Snowball’ article on what they were previously spending and what they are spending now
  • The awakening when they chose to pursue FI after the car accident in 2014
  • There are certain things that are in your control and others that aren’t. Focus on what is in your control
  • Hot Seat Questions
  • Favorite blogs: Mr. Money Mustache and The Wealthy Accountant
  • Favorite life hack: Alexis was not allowed to go shopping without a list and couldn’t buy anything not on the list. As well as not using a shopping cart or basket
  • Food shopping game called the “$3 rule” where they tried to see how many “luxury items” they had over $3 at Aldi each week
  • How to save big at Aldi on your food bill
  • Biggest financial mistake: The house they bought originally in Florida at the height of the housing bubble which almost immediately went down 60% in value
  • Their thoughts on investing in real estate
  • Is Alexis leaving her job next year or just Joel?
  • Joel’s advice to his younger self: Reading his post to his 22 year old self

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

16 thoughts on “024 | FI180 | Make a U-Turn and Choose FI

  1. I agree with their praises regarding Aldi. I go to Sam’s Club sometimes but as a single person with no kids, Aldi is great, especially buying for one person. The large produce sizes at the warehouse clubs can be a bit unwieldy for one person to consume before the vegetables start to go bad.

    • Aldi is the best! Hoping Brad tries it out soon and reports back- it really did cut our shopping budget in half. We have one about a mile from our house, but it’s being renovated, so we’ve been driving out about 20 minutes north to the next closest location. Still worth it!

      In case you’re interested, here’s our post on our food savings from Aldi:
      http://fi180.com/2017/01/31/monthly-savings-food/

  2. This is, hands down, your best episode (with the possible exception of J. L. Collins). Actionable (Aldi), Funny, Relatable. Interesting on the real estate – glad to see they got burned but aren’t afraid of trying again on different terms. It’s Tuesday night, and I’ve listened to this 3 times already. I loved the idea of going to extremes on frugality and then backing it off. Alexis gets it – she won’t quit until she knows what her 2nd life calling is – and it’s not Netflix 🙂

    Best episode – good luck on the next episode – this one will be hard to beat! Thanks guys!

    • That is quite high praise- thank you! So glad you enjoyed our story. I’ll be writing more about my transition into FI, and Alexis’ transition into a reduced workweek later this year when we take the plunge. I hope you’ll check out our blog and follow along!

  3. Hey guys. Finally caught up to real-time on the podcast feed, and I wanted to say that I’m enjoying your work. I also want to give a big thank you for changing up the intro to the hot seat. The bit about the government and corporations was too gimmicky and not what your podcast is all about. The focus on consumerism and life-style inflation is much more suited to what y’all are doing. Hopefully you guys will stick with it. It was the only part of your show that I felt wasn’t well-done, and because I liked everything else so much I actually got to the point where I was writing up a post to convince you guys that you should change it. I even went so far as to go back to listen to old episodes and catalog the ways that it contradicts your message. Anyway, for now you’ve been spared my devastating critique. Just kidding! (Definitely would have been devastating, though) Great job on the new language and keep up all your hard work on the content. I’ll continue to listen closely and keep you guys on your toes.

    • Hi Eric. You nailed it with your comment. I 100% agree and I addressed it on the roundup that goes out today 24R. but thanks for the feedback and glad to have you here

  4. I agree about changing the hotseat intro–it’s perfect now.

    I absolutely loved this episode with Joel and Alexis. They have such a great story!

    Great work you guys!

  5. Nice episode! I loved the part where he says that he has a great job but it still sucks to wake up 5:45. I can totally relate to that, I have a cool job but, at the end of the day, life is even cooler!!

    Good job guys, keep it up!

  6. I have listened to many hundreds of podcasts and this was one of the best. We have larger 180 to make than your family and we will see if we can pull it off. Thanks for the podcast and the pointers…it’s a must listen to episode that I shared with my family and friends. Congratulations on your freedom….well done!

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