All the Hacks
My friend Chris Hutchins, who appeared on Episode 71 of ChooseFI and again on Episode 121R with one of the most important segments we’ve ever published, entitled “How to Get Any Job”, just started up his own podcast called “All The Hacks” that I highly recommend subscribing to.
I’m going to be a guest on an early episode and I’m brainstorming some of my favorite life hacks; off the top of my head, here are a few:
- The public library: We save thousands of dollars a year taking books out of the library
- ToDoIst: I have outsourced my entire brain to the ToDoIst app, down to when I need to schedule my annual physical or when my passport needs to be renewed X years from now. It’s all there.
- CamelCamelCamel: Nearly every item on Amazon.com fluctuates in price commonly by 10%-50% and you can set price alerts on CCC.
- Automate my entire financial life, including autopay on all credit cards and automatic transfers to investment accounts
- Sleep: Blackout curtains and cold sleeping temperature (we like 63 degrees)
- Yoga Nidra Meditation for “non-sleep deep rest” as Stanford neuroscience Professor Andrew Huberman calls it.
I’d love for you to hit reply to this email and send me one or two of your favorite hacks!
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
I’m reading Matthew McConaughey’s memoir “Greenlights” and I’m blown away by how good it is. The most deeply introspective memoir on living a good life I’ve ever come across kind of good. Makes you look differently at how you’re living kind of good.
And I’m embarrassed to admit I would have written it off entirely until I heard him on the Armchair Expert podcastand I realized he has knowledge about living life that I could deeply benefit from (I must have some previously undiscovered bias against actors, because I would have assumed Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast would be a vapid waste of time, but I now believe it’s one of the best podcasts, and he one of the best podcasters, in the world).
A few sections that jumped out to me:
“Less impressed, more involved.
The sooner we become less impressed with our life, our accomplishments, our career, our relationships, the prospects in front of us – the sooner we become less impressed and more involved with these things – the sooner we get better at them. We must be more than just happy to be here.”
“A Roof is a man-made thing
…Don’t create imaginary constraints. A leading role, a blue ribbon, a winning score, a great idea, the love of our life, euphoric bliss, who are we to think we don’t deserve these fortunes when they are in our grasp? Who are we to think we haven’t earned them?
If we stay in process, within ourselves, in the joy of the doing, we will never choke at the finish line. Why? Because we aren’t thinking of the finish line, we’re not looking at the clock, we’re not watching ourselves on the Jumbotron performing. We are performing in real time, where the approach is the destination, and there is no goal line because we are never finished.
…Reach beyond your grasp, have immortal finish lines, and turn your red light green, because a roof is a man-made thing.”
Article I Enjoyed This Week
Our good friend J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly wrote this article on the myths and misconceptions of the FIRE Movement. It’s worth a read:
ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week
- Barbara said, “1% better: my daughters partnered with the neighbor’s children to launch a dog biscuit business. They baked peanut butter dog treats and sold at a local dog park. Great way to learn about budgeting for ingredients, teamwork for production, pricing and marketing. The kids kept a ledger and plan to expand to other pet treats once they build their following.”
- Samantha said, “After listening to your show on Friday I decided to get serious about travel rewards (instead of going the cash back route like we have been) and applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred(Brad note: Highest all time bonus on our favorite travel rewards card!)and started moving all of our recurrent spending to that card. I’m so excited thinking that we won’t have to miss out on traveling in our prime years with our son on our path to FI!”
- Eric said, “After years of waiting on opportunities to come to me at my current job, I decided to take charge and create my own opportunity. During the pandemic, my company went through multiple layoffs and, although I was blessed to keep my job, salaries and promotions were frozen. I started searching for a new job and after nearly a year of searching, I finally accepted a position with a 16% raise, a more comprehensive AND less expensive benefits package, and an 8% retirement match! Plus, I will get to work from home roughly 3 days/week so that means more time with my family as we are expecting twins in May!”
- Shirelle said, “As of today, we are under contract on a little house with an existing Airbnb cottage in the backyard! We have 4 kids including 1 teen about to go to college and another right on his heels. The main house that we’ll live in is smaller than most of our peers would find acceptable, and we joke that every time people shake their heads and think we’re weird, that usually means we’re doing something right. The mortgage will be less than our current rent, plus we’ll have income property that will allow me to continue to be the primary stay at home parent to our kids while managing the Airbnb. Everything about this house should bring down our expenses: there is less grass to mow and water, less to heat and cool, and the taxes are much less than they would be on a bigger house. It will allow us to help cash flow what college tuition remains after scholarships so our sons don’t have to go into debt. It’s a win all around! Did I mention we live in a beach town where tourism is a staple of the local economy? We are so excited! We’re calling this the financial independence house!”
- Jami said, “Hi Brad – this week I started the paperwork to refinance my mortgage. I actually got some help from the FB group on this – I had inquired about a refi last year, but since I owe less than $60K on my property, no one was interested in helping me. Someone in the group asked for all the basics that I owe and suggested I refi and pull extra out to pay off existing debts to come to a figure that my credit union would want to fund. I’ll be moving from an interest rate of 5.125% to approx. 3% – my monthly mortgage payment will go up about $100, but I’ll be saving about $600 per month overall, because I’ll be paying off my car and 3 existing credit cards. Based on the new interest rate, I’m calling this 2% better!