Put Your Finances on Autopilot
The entire reason this newsletter exists is to compel you to take action to make your life better.
Today my ask of you is this:
Find at least one thing in your financial life that you do on a recurring basis where if you invest a few minutes today you could put it on autopilot for the rest of time.
I call this “frontloading the sacrifice” though that’s overplaying the difficultly level calling it a ‘sacrifice,’ but hopefully you get the picture:
What can you spend a few minutes on today to eliminate that decision or time investment every month in the future?
Some examples could include:
- Put your credit card payments on autopay
- Find any bills you still are paying by check or logging into an account to manually pay and see if they have an autopay option
- Setup automatic investments each month into a mutual fund or ETF of your choice.
Financial Literacy Month: Favorite Reads
April is financial literacy month and if you’re just finding the world of Financial Independence, I’d highly suggest you start with our free FI 101 Course, check out Episode 100 of the ChooseFI podcast and read JL Collins’ ‘The Simple Path to Wealth.’
If you’re looking for what’s next, here are the 5 best money-related books I read over the past 12 months.
- ‘The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness’ by Morgan Housel
- ‘Die With Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life’ by Bill Perkins
- ‘Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life’ by William Green
- ‘Why Does The Stock Market Go Up?: Everything You Should Have Been Taught About Investing In School, But Weren’t’ by Brian Feroldi
- ‘The Little Book That (Still) Beats the Market’ by Joel Greenblatt (Note: I’m not necessarily recommending the strategy, just found the book fascinating and it resonated with my understanding of the stock market and business)
The first 3 on the list are all about the mental side of investing and accumulating money (the main idea in ‘Die with Zero’ changed my life more than any other) and the last two are more about the fundamentals of investing.
ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week
- Niki said, “My 1% better is sticking to my commitment to pay off my house early, before the age of 40. We have a goal chart on the fridge and each month when we make the extra $1,000 payment; I have the kids watch me transfer the money and fill in the chart. We have it paid down to $14,950 and talk about money openly in our house, which our spouse and I never were raised to do. We are changing our family tree and have children that could tell you about the merits of investing and an emergency fund. I didn’t know this was possible before I found you guys! The FIRE community has shown me that it is all possible.”
- Meghan said, “My 1% better is more of a 1% better for FIRE in general: a 23 year old at work asked a question around what to invest in in our #personal-finance Slack channel. I recommended The Simple Path to Wealth and to look into the FIRE movement. Today he tagged me and said he read the book cover to cover and is now all in! I am SO happy I was able to point him in this direction. Many of us wish we’d found this movement earlier, so it’s incredible to have enabled that for someone!”
- Adam said, “My 1% better was using YouTube for all its worth (which is funny since it’s free). After years of having my mower serviced, I looked up a video and serviced it myself. Saved $45 after buying a new spark plug, oil, and air filter. Biggest YT win was fixing a broken dryer. Instead of calling someone or buying a new one, I opened the dryer up like I saw and found the culprit, a part that cost $32. Dryer works great.”
- Randy said, “My 1% better this week. I’m in a HCOL and recently divorced with kids. I’ve always thought about house hacking but with kids that nearly impossible. The other day speaking to a neighbor who has classic cars he offered me $250 / month to store one of his cars! Sure, almost empty garage you got it! Better yet he has a friend (another neighbor who I also know) that wants a spot too! If he commits, I’m buying a shed to move everything thing out. Payback for the shed would be 3 months! Cars are much better than roommates-lol.”
- Jess said, “After listening to the “milestones of FI” episode last month, I was inspired to keep track every milestone I could think of in my early financial journey. Last week, my invest accounts crossed into 5 figures and I was very excited to write down the milestone. I also was able to max out an IRA for the first time as well, which I marked down on my list. Thanks for inspiring!”
- Eileen said, “My 1% better is keeping a journal that includes all the action items that I learn when listening to the ChooseFI podcast, and other podcasts that also enrich my life. So often I would hear about something that I would want to implement in my life but then I would take too long to act on it or forget about it altogether. So now I use the notes app on my phone, or jot ideas on a post-it pad, and transfer everything to a bullet journal several times a week. Not only does this method help me to remember the action items, but the journal continuously keeps me focused on what has to be done, and moving forward with the changes already made.”
- Tanner said, “Our 1% is filling all of me and my wife’s IRA space for this year for the first time, and we used a little over half of my 457 space. Even though I only make below the median income for the US, we’re almost to our goal of a 50% savings rate once my raise kicks in in July thanks to being aggressive with our savings. We’re definitely towards the more extreme frugal end. The biggest things are super low mortgage of $400, driving 15-year-old paid off cars (even though I bike to work most days), and eating most of our meals at home. At this rate, I should be able to go part time in 15 years.”