024 | FI180 | Make A U-Turn And Choose FI

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.

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.


Podcast Episode Summary

  • 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

Listen to Brad and Jonathan’s thoughts about this episode here.

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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