Avoiding Peer Pressure On The Path To FI

Avoiding Peer Pressure On The Path To FI

The world at large does not want you to be financially independent. It wants you to spend, consume, and fuel the fires of commerce. It will try to break your will at every turn. But as sinister as that may sound, it’s not shadowy corporations who are the biggest threat to your FI commitment. It’s your friends and family, the people you trust, respect, and listen to. In a world … Read more

How To Get Your Kids On The FI Bandwagon

How To Get Your Kids On The FI Bandwagon

The benefits of a FI lifestyle don’t click for most people until a certain age. Some get the message early on, but it’s usually not until we reach our 30’s, 40’s, or even 50’s that we start questioning the cycle of consumerism and debt that comprises most people’s financial habits. That’s why it can be so hard to get your kids on board. They just don’t have the life experience … Read more

Freedom Is Not Found At The Store: A Shopping Ban Experiment

On episode 81 of the ChooseFI podcast, Brad and Jonathan interviewed Cait Flanders, author of the book, The Year of Less. In this book Cait detailed her journey with consumerism and debt, and her path to freedom from both. She experimented with lifestyle changes, did some soul searching, and even implemented a year long shopping ban. In 2014, Cait embarked on her first year long shopping ban. Her experiment was … Read more

What To Expect Working With A Financial Planner

What To Expect Working With A Financial Planner

I have often heard people question “if financial planners are so valuable, do financial planners have their own planners”? I thought that was an interesting point, but even I had a hard time justifying the cost. Especially since I have the training and figured I could do all the work myself. What we do isn’t exactly dentistry or brain surgery–I should be able to do my own planning work right? … Read more

How To Be Minimalist With Minimal Work

How To Be Minimalist With Minimal Work

Minimalism is not for everyone–but most of us can benefit from the lightness that comes with decluttering. Simplifying allows us to see our spending patterns more clearly, and make our daily routines seamless. Oddly though, most of our physical baggage is weighed down in emotional baggage. Many of us hold onto things we don’t actually want or need because we feel obligated to keep it, or tell ourselves it will … Read more

Frugal Holidays: How To Get Your Family On Board

Frugal Holidays How To Get Your Family On Board

Ah, the holidays–the pinnacle of excess eating and spending before everyone wakes up on January 1st with an emotional and literal hangover, with a resolution that it will “totally be different this year!” Cynicism aside, the holidays can and should be aligned with the FI mindset. It’s a time to connect with loved ones, put value in moments together and enjoying meaningful traditions. For some of us though, we might … Read more

The FI Roadmap For Your 20’s

The FI Roadmap For Your 20's

If you’re reading this in your 20’s, you are on a path that many of us envy–the chance to start working towards FI with time on your side! You may be coming to the FI path at this age after getting into loads of student loan debt, or, you may be starting your journey at a fabulous $0 net worth with no debt whatsoever. No matter where you’re at, your … Read more

What Have You NOT Sacrificed On Your FI Journey

What Have You NOT Sacrificed On Your FI Journey

Sometimes, it seems like achieving financial independence (aka, FI) is the only thing that matters. You take a hard look at your finances and find every piece of fat you can cut. For a while, it may not seem like a big deal. After all, you’re working toward FI which is the ultimate freedom. However, after a few months or years of living at the bare bone minimum, it can … Read more

Getting Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed Or Retired Early

Getting Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed Or Retired Early

Whether you’re self-employed or early retired, one of the biggest challenges you face is getting health insurance. Many employees have the benefit of an employer subsidized health insurance plan. That’s almost always the best deal possible. As an employee, you may pay $400 per month on the plan the cost $1,000, with the balance being covered by your employer. Since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the only health … Read more

Is Delaying Financial Independence Ever Worth It?

Is Delaying Financial Independence Ever Worth It

Achieving financial independence (FI) is a big deal. Once you reach FI, you no longer have to work for money and can do whatever you like, at least in theory. However, many of the people that focus on achieving financial independence do so by adopting a mindset of reaching FI as fast as possible. They want to try to escape the rat race and finally live life. But is that … Read more

10 Money Quotes That Will Inspire You To Optimize Your Finances

10 Money Quotes That Will Inspire You To Optimize Your Finances

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. ~ Jim Rohn The FI community lives frugally and saves a large percentage of their income in order to retire early. They buy time instead of things. Check out “The Why Of FI” to learn more. There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich. ~Marlene Dietrich … Read more

How To Be Thankful For Your Finances (No Matter What Stage You’re At)

How To Be Thankful For Your Finances (No Matter What Stage You’re At)

Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate it in Canada or the States, is often a holiday that is already overshadowed by the consumerist binge fest that surrounds Christmas–but for FIRE enthusiasts, it really is the best holiday of the year. The FIRE path is often a long one, and sometimes a challenging one. While it’s easy to get down about how long the journey is or our personal missteps along the way–in … Read more

Scary Money: Overcoming Your FI Fears

Scary Money: Overcoming Your FI Fears

Halloween is quickly approaching, so while your Netflix queue may be filled with frightful flicks about phantoms and ghouls–you don’t have to be freaked out about your FI plan! Many of us encounter some fear and uncertainty when we plot a course towards FI. We might be worried we have calculated our numbers wrong, we haven’t anticipated all the uncertainty, we’d lose friends along the way, or even an especially … Read more

You Can Pursue FI–Even On One Income

You Can Pursue FI--Even On One Income

There are a variety of reasons why a couple might consider living off of one income, which can be a bit more challenging for both parties if you’re also striving towards an early retirement date. If you are in a season of your life where an aging loved one needs more care, one spouse is going through some health problems or job loss, or your growing family needs more attention–it … Read more

The Aggregation Of Marginal Gains

The Aggregation Of Marginal Gains feat

The aggregation of marginal gains is a concept made famous by British cycling coach Dave Brailsford, who eventually lead the British cycling team to take home 10 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Previous to this victory, the team had not been able to pull off any significant wins. Brailsford believed that victory at the Olympics would be achieved by focusing on a 1% margin for improvement in everything … Read more

ICE Binder–The Done For You Legacy Binder You’ve Been Looking For

ICE Binder feat-min

No one wants to think about what happens when we die. But, we have to. It’s better to be prepared now than make your family try to guess what you would have wanted after you are gone. That’s exactly why you need a legacy binder! A Legacy Binder is exactly what it sounds like–a binder (or folder, or bin–you get it) full of your personal information that you leave your … Read more

50 Ways To Improve Your Finances By 1%

50 Ways To Improve Your Finances By 1% feat-min

Shaving 10 to 20 years off of your retirement date is one of those eye opening ideas that might keep you up at night.  It’s just so exciting! Of course, anybody on the path to FI also knows that after the enthusiasm of a new way of thinking wears off, the journey to FI can start feeling more like a slog. If that’s you and you feel that there’s just … Read more

Where Are All the Tradespeople (In the FI Community)?

Where Are All the Tradespeople In the FI Community feat-min

A couple of days ago I ran into an article on Mr. Money Mustache’s blog called A One-Question Survey–Who Are the Mustachians? The survey asked readers what their fields of work were. Among the choices were such illustrious occupations as Software Engineer, Lawyer, and Teacher. Naturally, I proudly placed my vote in the “Trades” category, and then the results came in. Guess where the trades are on the list? If you … Read more

When FI Is Lonely & What To Do About It

When FI Is Lonely & What To Do About It

When you first discover the financial independence community and a path that’s different from the mainstream, it might feel like a thunderclap that wakes you from a long sleep. For others, discovering this path was simply putting a name and community to something they’ve identified with for a long time. If you fall in the first category, and FI has given you a new zest for life, you might find … Read more

How FI Is Different From Personal Finance

While Financial Independence (FI) is personal finance, personal finance is not always FI. Many people come to the FI community and way of thinking because of an interest in money, or perhaps because they’ve worked through Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” and now want to level up their money savvy. But FI is not just about finance. It’s more! FI Is Personal Finance 2.0 FI is different from personal finance, and … Read more

How Do Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Path To Financial Independence?

There’s a lot to be thankful for in today’s economy. With the Dow at 25,000,  the stock market is near historical highs. Housing prices have recovered from the Great Recession and are setting new records. And unemployment is so low that there are more job openings than people looking for work for the first time in 20 years of data collection. But, with the economy humming along like it is, … Read more

How To Calculate Your Savings Rate

How To Calculate Your Savings Rate feat

If you’ve been hanging around the financial independence community, chances are you’ve heard people quoting their savings rates. Why? A savings rate could allow you to calculate how many years until you reach financial independence. For others, a high savings rate is a badge of honor they’ve worked hard to obtain. Here’s how to calculate your savings rate. Regardless of why you may want to calculate your savings rate, I’m … Read more

What Does Retirement Really Mean?

Ah, early retirement! Pitch your hammock right now, because you’re not going back to the cubicle like everyone else! That sounds amazing doesn’t it? Many aspiring FIRE walkers (as we’re lovingly called) latch on to the idea of retiring early with glowing fervor because it would be so absolutely nice to kick our feet up and relax a bit before we’re in our 70’s. For us, we’d like to have … Read more

Is It Ever Too Late to Start My FI Journey?

Is It Ever Too Late to Start My FI Journey

The most popular financial independence (FI) stories on the internet these days seem to be the ones where people latch on to the idea of FI early in their high earning career, save a massive percentage of their income and retire in their 30s. All while traveling the world. Unfortunately, many people have never heard of the FI movement and even if they are aware of it, many didn’t find … Read more

Life After Dave Ramsey–Baby Steps 8-10

Life after Dave Ramsey

Nearly everyone on this site has heard of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University. He’s changed a lot of lives! And helped people get out from under piles of debt. Of course that’s all well and good, but what happens after you’ve completed all of Ramsey’s seven Baby Steps? What happens when you’re debt-free? How do you maintain financial freedom? I’ll answer these questions and more today! This piece … Read more

The Side Effects Of Listening To ChooseFI

Nurses are always concerned about the side effects of the medications we administer. We want the medication to have the positive effect that was intended, therefore we are attuned to the possible negative effects. This analogy can be compared to many aspects of life. Striving towards positive side effects is what we desire.  For example, if we stop watching TV, the effect may be more outdoor activity or more time … Read more

How To Get Your Spouse On Board With FI

How To Get Your Spouse On Board With FI

So, you’re absolutely fired up about FI, but your significant other or spouse totally isn’t. You’ve devoured dozens of podcast episodes and poured over FI blogs and perhaps even contemplating what you’d do in your post-retirement life. Anyone who is within earshot can hear you drop terms like “house hacking” and “geo-arbitage” that are now fully integrated into your lexicon. Of course, you may be super excited about discovering an … Read more

Losing a Loved One: The Importance Of A Financial Legacy Binder

Losing Loved One

In April of 2017, my family received devastating news when my mother-in-law called us one day from Florida. Through tears and sharp, sad breathing, she told us that the sudden onset asthma symptoms she’d been coping with during the previous six months were actually the signs of terminal, stage 4 lung cancer. Her prognosis was finite, she only had months remaining to live, and with that news, we were instantly … Read more

Making Your Own Milestones To FI

Making Your Own Milestones to FI

“What gets measured gets done” I’m sure you’ve heard this quote a million times before. Whether it’s when you have to set targets at work or New Year’s resolutions, the more measureable a goal is, the more likely it will be achieved. This could be putting a quantity or timeline around the goal such as, “eat five servings of fruit or veggies a day” or “learning to dance the waltz … Read more

The “Baby Steps” Of FI

The Baby Steps Of Financial Independence

“Baby Steps” is a term popularized by Dave Ramsey to teach people a step-by-step process to help them pay off debt and take control of their finances. Perhaps the Ramsey way of thinking lead you to the financial independence movement and you’re looking for something more, or maybe you’re starting on your own financial journey from day one and need some next steps to get inspired, FI style.  The goal of … Read more

Top Five Lessons From Women On FIRE

Top Five Lessons From Women On FIRE

When people hear about financial independence and early retirement, or the FIRE community, they often picture a 30-something high income male software engineer with no kids, riding his bike everywhere, and possibly traveling the country–or the world–as a digital nomad. Unfortunately, when this is the image people picture, most people don’t see themselves in that person. This can cause them to dismiss the idea of financial independence all together, thinking … Read more

Top Recommended Books To Start Your FIRE Journey

Top Recommended Books To Start Your FIRE Journey

If you’re just getting started on the path to FI and are hoping to reach financial independence and dream of early retirement, there are a lot of helpful books out there to frame up your journey and keep you motivated along the way.  Additionally, if you know of anyone who is interested in FI/RE and you want to send a useful book their way, the recommendations below are intended to … Read more

Why This Homesteading Property Is Perfect For Us

Why This Homesteading Property Is Perfect For Us

I recently purchased a property that my wife and I plan to use to homestead. Here are the reasons why this property fit the bill for us and see if I can convince you to be as excited as I am! Location The location of the property is about as good as we could get I believe. It sits between two small towns, about 10 minutes from each. Those towns … Read more

Is It Worth Giving Up Stuff You Love To Reach FI?

Is It Worth Giving Up Stuff You Love To Reach FI?

Should you give up stuff you love to reach FI/RE? The answer to this question is as simple as it is ambiguous–“well, yes you do, and also no you don’t.” If you’re on the FI/RE path and you’re wondering if it’s okay to still have two cars, hire a nanny, pay for a cleaning service or spring for a spa visit, read on. FI Is A Continuum & A Process Most … Read more

Beginner’s Guide To Reaching Financial Independence

Beginner's Guide To Reaching Financial Independence

Hello! New to Financial Independence, A.K.A. FI? Welcome, we’re happy you’re here. This guide will walk you through the basics of financial independence but if something doesn’t fit for your life that’s ok. This is your journey and your life. Use the tips you find helpful and toss the rest. We know as a group we can get a little extreme (ok, a lot extreme), but our community is full … Read more

Our Homesteading Journey Begins!

Our Homesteading Journey Begins!

My wife and I would like to move out of the DC area at some point. We have dreams of leaving the hustle and bustle of the city and homesteading. I’ve been on the lookout for properties that will meet our needs. Well a few weeks ago I found one that seemed perfect and we made an offer! We are still waiting for the closing date, since our contract is … Read more

Why You Should Pursue FI Even If You Can’t Retire Early

Why You Should Pursue FI Even If You Can't Retire Early

After pursuing FI for a couple of years, I find myself in a place where I may not actually reach FI any earlier than the traditional age, 65. Life has led me down a road where my savings rate isn’t quite what it used to be. But, I’m okay with it! And, I’ve found so many benefits of Choosing FI along the way. If I had to do it again … Read more

Why You Need A Legacy Binder

Why You Need A Legacy Binder

What is a Legacy Binder? It’s a central location where you keep all necessary information concerning your life. It can be a folder, a portfolio, a pouch, a suitcase, or a literal binder. You can even create a digital Legacy Binder at Fidsafe. But regardless of what you use, it serves to store the information that would become necessary to your loved ones upon your death. It’s not a subject … Read more

The Why Of FI

Why of FI

Why Choose FI ? What’s wrong with following the traditional path and retiring at 60? Nothing’s wrong with that! In fact, you can still reach FI and continue to work. FI is simply a life of financial independence–a life without debt, monetary concerns, and over consumption. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to reach FI–maybe you want to spend more time with your family, or you want to pursue … Read more

The Journey To FI On A Median Salary

I’ve read many articles by the likes of Mr Money Mustache, Mad Fientist, Fiery Millennial and more. I’ve listened to the podcasts, and read the books. High savings rates and index fund investing are great, but first you have to earn the money. According to Wikipedia, the median household income in the US for 2017 was $59,039. My salary as an electrician is almost exactly that, and with my side … Read more

When More Money Won’t Make You Happier

When is enough, enough? At some point, you’re going to want to know when you have enough money to stop ‘needing’ to work. Often referred to as F-You money, is it merely a matter of math that determines your FI number? Let’s examine that. Upon reaching their FI numbers, people will do one of two things: they will either worry or embrace it. The worriers will be concerned about how … Read more

Little FI-ers: Is Education Everything? Planning And Saving For Our Kids

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela The Education Dilemma Mr. MoneyPenny and I have two young boys and our oldest is starting Senior Kindergarten this year. Mini MoneyPenny is probably typical in many ways–super energetic and full of joy, but he’s also a bit of an anxious kid–very hard on himself and turning thoughts over and over in his head. … Read more

How FIRE is Different Today–Lessons From My FI Journey

My earliest memory of investing occurred when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was looking at a statement from a mutual fund (this was circa 1967 mind you). My dad talked to me about what the numbers meant and how there was an account for me and that there were separate accounts for my sisters. What stuck out for me were the four digits to the right … Read more

The 10 Pillars Of FI

10 Pillars of FI

By now, you’ve all likely heard the Pillars of FI episode where Jonathan and Brad discuss the building blocks of financial independence. For those of you who haven’t–Jonathan sums up the idea of FI nicely: …instead of focusing on buying stuff to make up for my unhappiness, what if I just focused on happiness? What if I made a list of things that actually made me happy?…What we find out … Read more

Planning For Healthcare In Early Retirement

Planning For Healthcare In Early Retirement_

If there’s a fly in the early retirement ointment–other than accumulating the portfolio needed to make it happen–it’s planning for healthcare. While you’re an employee, you can take advantage of employer-sponsored health insurance. Since it’s a group plan, and usually subsidized by the employer, it’s less expensive than coverage you can buy on your own. But how do you plan for healthcare in early retirement? And that’s the problem. When … Read more

How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Your Finances

How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Your Finances

Burning the candle at both ends is more than a way of life–it’s an American past time. In a country that values productivity, success and the “hustle” mentality above all else, it’s no surprise that most people fail to meet the standard for a healthy sleep habit. But as research is beginning to show, you can’t cheat the Sandman. Productivity and sleep are closely linked, and people who skip out … Read more