From Welfare To Wealthy: Sabrina’s Story

From Welfare To Wealthy Sabrina's Story

It was 2008 when 27-year-old Sabrina found herself a divorced, single mom of twin three-year-old girls and a four-year-old son. She despite working a full-time job and a part-time job she still qualified for low-income housing, food stamps, and subsidized child care. But despite her struggles an limited time she still managed go back to school. Soon after graduating, and a few years of experience, she landed a job which … Read more

Fulfilling The Dream Of Becoming An Underwater Filmmaker

Fulfilling The Dream Of Becoming An Underwater Filmmaker

Essentially, the reason we are all on the path to FI is because we want the freedom to have options. Freedom means something different to everyone, but having options is the essence of what all us FIers have in common. We want to get off our own hamster wheels and finally stop trading our time for money. Interestingly, there are some people who don’t ever get ON the hamster wheel. … Read more

Health And Finances–Why They Overlap More Than You Think

Health And Finances Why They Overlap More Than You Think

When soulmates from vastly different backgrounds find one another and decide to become a permanent team, a whole lotta adjustments happen along the way. Jake and Laura are living the dream! They both are Certified Anesthetists making darn good money. They are “livin’ the dream”–well, redefining “the dream” after much realization and compromise. The Early Years: Laura Big city China was all Laura knew as a child. Her parents divorced … Read more

How This Couple Paid Off Their Mortgage In 506 Days

How This Couple Paid Off Their Mortgage In 506 Days

According to Jim Rohn, “We are an average of five people that we spend the most time with.” The older I get, the more that quote resonates with me. I’ve learned how to identify people that I want to learn from and be around and be influenced by, and those I do not. Nowadays, when I see FI characteristics in people, the gravitational pull does what it does naturally. Introductions … Read more

I’m Qutting My Job To Write Comics

I'm Quitting My Job To Write Comics

As a kid, comic books were a popular form of escape, and they still are today. In fact, the industry is thriving, as can be evidenced with a new superhero movie making its box office debut every time we turn around. Whether we get them as hand-drawn images or video form in the palm of our hands, they hook us. The adventures of Batman, Superman, The Hulk, Thor, and so … Read more

How This Reluctant Spouse Got On Board With FI

How This Reluctant Spouse Got On Board With FI

Granted, if you’re reading this, you are already a FI geek. However, your other half may not be cut from the same cloth. I, (Vicki) was the last one on board with making some changes to what we we were doing, so I wanted to share a bit of our journey. Though I wasn’t a “Reluctant Spouse”, I was a “Clueless Spouse”. Yet, in the past few years I’ve mastered … Read more

Our Expensive Dog

Our Expensive Dog

One topic that comes up from time to time in the FI community is the high cost of pet ownership and its impact on our individual journeys to FI. Mr. Money Mustache had a take a few years ago about how great it was that dog ownership is optional because you can do without and reach FI faster. To his credit, he also balanced this opinion out with a rebuttal from … Read more

The Journey Begins–Why I’m On FIRE

The Journey Begins--Why I'm On FIRE

“Are you almost done daddy?” My oldest son eagerly asked, dressed in his policeman Halloween costume. Behind him stood his younger brother, dressed as batman, his younger sister as batgirl, and his baby brother as Spider-Man. They had been looking forward all day to a trunk-or-treat at the church and had been doing their best to be patient. I was sitting next to our only vehicle with dirtied hands and … Read more

Guest Post: What I’ve Learned From ChooseFI

What I've Learned From ChooseFI

This is a guest post from a listener of the podcast. He’d like to remain anonymous for now, so he’s going by the name MrSeabiscuitman. To further protect his identity some of the details in his story have been changed. We’ve used an asterisk (*) to point out when we have changed a detail. My background I’m currently 29yrs old, and up until the age of 23 had grown up … Read more

Hiking Through Student Loans And A Career To Financial Freedom

Hiking Through Student Loans And A Career To Financial Freedom

This is a guest post by Millionaire Mob, a blog focused on investing in dividend growth stocks and travel hacking. We have helped thousands of people with bettering their financial future through passive income and dividend investing. Hiking Through a Student Loans and a Career to Financial Freedom It was gloomy, rainy day at a midwestern college. Looking out the window there was no one around and not much to … Read more

Life Lessons, IRAs, And Nursing–My Start To FI

There I was on a slow (nurses never say this s-word out loud but it may be okay to type it) night shift scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed. Fortunately, the majority of my posts are from ChooseFI, but occasionally I happened to see a few other non-FI posts permeate my feed. Abruptly, a post caught my attention. This individual’s post was bragging about their job. Naturally, I perk up … Read more

How I Convinced My Wife To Join The FI Journey

I have been on the FI train for a long time now and it seemed like my wife has just tolerated it. She has always been a good saver, but we had short term goals to save for, like travel or a home purchase. She had career aspirations and didn’t see the point of leaving work behind to pursue other endeavors. Lately, she has gotten much more interested in financial … Read more

My Late Journey To FI

With some serious career hacking in 2017, I get to start out 2018 debt free! You need to understand the gravity of that first statement–I own my entire income. I get to choose where my paycheck goes and I choose FI! I have pretty much been in debt from the age of 18, when I bought my first new car, until now, age 45, minus a short stint when I was living … Read more

Finding My “Why Of FI”

Finding my why of fi

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When I passed the distance marker and read, “1 Km”, I knew that I was in trouble. After all of my training doing hills, cross training, long runs, short runs–I was finally taking on my first marathon. But as my knee began to twinge and a recurring back injury started to whisper to me, I knew that this was going to be a long, … Read more

Why I Pick Up Pennies

I pick up pennies, and nickels, and dimes, and any sort of currency because it pays well, that’s why! Okay, there…I gave you the answer to my hook. Why should you read on? Well…because there is a deeper mindset behind finding money and picking it up. And I’ll also tell you how well it pays! Where my Pennies Come From You may know that I work in the automotive field. … Read more

What My Parents Taught Me About FI

My parents never taught me about investing. They taught me how to save money and curb expenses, but they never had a huge savings pile or invested money. I feel that my FIRE path has been hindered from a lack of investing knowledge until later in life. Imagine if I started a Roth IRA when I was working part time at age 17 with almost no expenses! Instead my money … Read more

A Series Of Fortunate Events

I’m having a hard time even remembering when I first found out about the concept of early retirement, which began my journey towards FI.   You could say that I’m second generation FIRE as my parents retired in their mid 50s. By that point, I was already in my working career and I’m proud to say that I was able to work on a financial plan with them and confirm … Read more

Overcoming Negative Money Beliefs To Start On The FI Path

As a child I was constantly exposed to negative money sayings. I still remember that saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” from my childhood. It was used to argue against buying an item. In the end I had built a framework in my mind, that money is not inherently bad, but scarce. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had created my own world where money was constantly tight. That was just … Read more

Vitamin FI–Cures All Your Financial Anxiety

Shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness or tingling, nausea and cramping. These aren’t just a list of symptoms on the latest drug infomercial. These are also the symptoms of logging into your online bank account. This is likely how you feel when that credit card statement arrives, or when you check the remaining balance on your student loan debt. So what do you do when financial anxiety hits? Check with … Read more

Pursuing FI From The Other Side Of The World

Holy crap. What the heck am I doing? I was having a slight freak out moment. Actually, it wasn’t slight, and my internal monologue was a little more colorful than “crap” and “heck”. It was August 28, 2008, and I just landed at Incheon International Airport. Looking out the window of the plane, I couldn’t understand any of the building signs. I was 26 and seemingly ruining my resume by … Read more

Why I Pursue Financial Independence

This probably makes me weird, but I was thinking about retiring before I ever got my first real full-time job. I went through college during the healthy economic times of the late 90s. Everything was great! Employers flocked to job fairs to hire young talent. Signing bonuses were commonplace. And a bachelor’s degree–oh yes–this was the ticket to landing a good paying job. As I neared graduation, the promise of … Read more

Why I’m Choosing FI

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.–Friedrich Nietzsche To succeed on the path to financial independence and/or early retirement, we can definitely connect with the “bear almost any how” portion of that statement. Some of us take great pleasure in the how, especially the nitty gritty techniques and planning opportunities. However, lately I have been spending a lot more time thinking about the “has … Read more

Let’s Win Together–Why I Want To Help You Reach FI

Hello Choose FI readers and listeners. For the past six months or so, I’ve been blogging over at Winning Personal Finance. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be writing here as well. Today, I’ll be talking a little bit about my journey to FI. Enjoy! My theory of FI As much as I want to reach FI, I don’t look at it as a race. … Read more

How I Was Set On FIRE

My first “technical” introduction to Financial Independence (FI) was in 2012. It came down to one exact moment, and I remember the exact words I said to myself. I was in a Christian thrift shop, thumbing through the books. It was there I picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (the cover where he is cutting a credit card with scissors). I looked at the book and … Read more

A Valuist: Intentional Living

I usually listen to podcasts on my runs. It makes the miles fly by and I kill two birds with one stone—I get smarter and fitter. One morning as I was running I had a big smile on my face listening to Brad call himself a valuist. What is a valuist? In terms of financial independence, it’s someone who spends money on experiences or things that they truly place value … Read more

How Not Being Able To Pay Our Taxes Changed Everything

Three especially important things happened to our family last year: Our fourth child was born. We went broke. We started our debt-free/FI journey. It was a big year. 2017, A Year of Reckoning In April 2017, Señor Firelit and I sat down with our accountant to do our 2016 taxes. At the end of the session, we realized this: come tax day, we would owe $23,000. To our names, we … Read more

My Financial Life In A Spreadsheet

I like numbers and quantifying things. That includes quantifying things like my personal progress towards financial independence. To feed this craving, I’ve started to keep monthly spreadsheets of spending in various categories. At end of each week I manually update a spreadsheet that I’ve set up with simple math expressions to track my savings rate. It takes me a few seconds to update this spreadsheet and instantly, I see the … Read more

Reaching Financial Independence Without Index Funds?

Ask any parent and they will likely have blocked out part (or all) of the first few months of their child’s life. Not because it wasn’t awesome, terrible, life changing or amazing, but because they’re so stinkin’ tired all the time. This is the delirious state that I found myself in when I first learned of the term, Financial Independence (FI). While the rest of the world slept blissfully, I … Read more

Why We Stink At FI–But Are Doing It Anyways

Hey everyone! Working mom here supporting a family of four. Budgets are tight, but I know my plans are tighter. Our work lies ahead of us and I’ve been excited about it since day one of this journey. However, we probably aren’t the best example of a FI fam and here’s why: We have student loan debt and it’ll be around for quite some time. My husband is still carrying some … Read more

The Moment My (FIRE) Life Started

Well it wasn’t actually a single moment, it was a series of moments which led to another moment. The Trudge “Trudge” verb – walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions. Synonyms: plod, tramp, drag oneself, walk heavily, walk slowly, plough, slog, footslog, toil, trek, clump, clomp, lumber. It started one day when I left the train at my station on the way to work. As with most train stations in the middle of a big city, all … Read more

How Hitting Rock Bottom Put Me On The Path To Financial Independence

So I have a pretty dramatic testimony, and I plan to be raw about it here in hopes of inspiring you. I’ve made a TON of financial mistakes and just recently discovered FI and before that Dave Ramsey. This has all occurred in my late 30’s/early 40’s. I’m a late bloomer. Where I’m From I grew up in middle-class America and somehow felt like everyone but me got the manual to … Read more

Comfortably Numb (And How I Woke Up To Financial Independence)

CHGO FIRE comfortably numb and how I woke up to financial independence

“Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?” — David Gilmour and Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, 1979 If you’re reading this post you have confirmed that, indeed, someone is in there. And together, in so many ways, we are all home in the financial independence community. Welcome to CHGO FIRE. It’s awesome to meet you. I hope to get to know … Read more