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FI Weekly – April 26, 2022: On the Right Path?, Children & Money, Community Wins


Are You on the Right Path?

Codie Sanchez from Contrarian Thinking is someone I enjoy following via her newsletter and numerous podcast guest appearances.  She generally talks about building and especially buying “boring” cash flowing businesses that I think would greatly appeal to the FI Community.

I’m highlighting her here for a Twitter thread she recently posted on checking in weekly to determine if she’s on the right path in life, as I think it can be useful for you.

From Codie:

“Every Sunday I have a little ritual where I check in to make sure I’m on the right path.

I use a framework called the 1 in 60 rule.

It means that for every 1 degree a plane veers off its course, it misses its target destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles you fly.

Further you go, further away from your goal you get.

I think this is true in life too.

So how do you make sure you’re even on the right path? You grab yourself a nice big glass of red. You sit down to some music (I like instrumental). You open your computer.

And you ask yourself some questions.

  • Am I happy doing what I am doing right now? On a scale of 1-10 how happy and you can’t use 7.
  • What would I do if no one was watching and success was inevitable in it?
  • What would I NOT do if I knew for sure it would fail?
  • What would I do EVEN if I knew it was going to fail?
  • What am I doing right now because I think I SHOULD do it?
  • Looking back at last week how much of my day was spent doing things I actively enjoyed? How’d that compare to the week before?

Then throw all those answers and questions in Evernote and see how you progress.

It turns out it’s a lot harder to get lost when you’re constantly looking at the map.”

Children and Money

In the FI community, I hear from so many parents that they want to share the knowledge of Financial Independence with their children early, but don’t know an age-appropriate way to go about it.

Dani Mendonsa (Jonathan’s wife), a lifelong educator, has worked with the Choose FI Foundation to help build the Pre-K to 12 Financial Literacy curriculum that can be used in classrooms and by homeschoolers.

In her efforts to make learning more fun for children, she also authored 5 books for children ages 7-10 about money. The Baobab Money Tree series (after the majestic Baobab trees from her native Zimbabwe) is a beautifully illustrated series of books that follows the fictional Nelson family and their discussions on money, budgeting, and keeping up with the Joneses.

Books 1-3 are now available for pre-order with 4 and 5 soon to be announced. Please check them out here and join me in congratulating Dani on this amazing series.


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Emily said, “My 1% better was getting the Los Angeles Public Library to order a copy of Brian Feroldi’s “Why Does the Stock Market Go Up?” As soon as I heard you mention it on the podcast, I checked to see if the LAPL OverDrive app had it as an e-book or audiobook, but they did not. I clicked a button on the app that let me recommend the book for them to purchase. After a little over a week, I got an email yesterday saying, “Good news! We bought the e-book you recommended,” and I am next on the waitlist to read it! In addition, I was able to book a last-minute birthday trip to see a Dodgers Spring Training game last month with the flights and hotel completely paid for using credit card rewards. It’s been a great couple weeks of small wins. Thanks for all the tips!
  • Mitch said, “My 1% better is a culmination of many small and big things from the past two months. I finally started my travel rewards journey with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I passed 6 months of not drinking any alcohol. I started using Todoist which has helped me floss every day and work out every other day. I completed a paid one-month sabbatical from work which I used as a “practice retirement.” In addition to relaxing/hiking/traveling during my time off, I started selling old stuff/collectibles on eBay (just surpassed $7500 in sales!), and I began preparations to move to MN to be closer to my family. I asked my employer if I could work remotely from MN knowing they have a strict no remote work policy. Although my employer gave me the expected “no,” FI habits and lifestyle allow me to operate from a position of financial strength and stability. I gave my employer my three-months’ notice which means I have enough time to fully transition projects and ensure clients and co-workers are in a good spot when I leave. Most importantly, it means that I am three months closer to being near family! Next up is waiting for my new credit card to arrive so I can earn those bonus rewards points.”
  • Harrietta said, “I paid off my student loans after 19 years and a number of financial setbacks. I put extra money towards it and tracked it. I am so happy ChooseFI community has been an inspiration! Slow and steady won that race!”
  • Chris said, “My 1% better this week was starting a Roth IRA for my 7-year old daughter. 1 year ago she fell in love with a stuffed animal in a store. I told her that she has enough stuffies but she can choose to buy it with her own money. She bought it and later asked me “how can I get more money?” We talked about jobs and starting a business. Two days later, she came to me with two business ideas. Long story short, we implemented one of her ideas, a dog walking and sitting business, which earned $565 in 2021. $565 is now invested in FZROX in her Fidelity Roth IRA. That $565 without any additions, averaging an 8% annual return will grow to $33K in 53 years, when she turns 60.”
  • Jen said, “Here’s my 1% better: We are at a point in our FI journey where the best thing we can prioritize to accelerate FI is to reduce our expenses, but we haven’t had great visibility into how current expenses add up. I finally took the time to set up a system to track monthly expenses in a way that works best for me: manually entering everything into a spreadsheet, categorized by expense type, as well as importance (Basic or Optional-High or Low Priority) which is a huge and necessary step toward getting clarity around our FI targets. (Pivot tables for the win.) March was the first month I have this summary for, and I am looking forward to getting a better idea of what our baseline spending and trends are!”
  • Melissa said, “My 1% better this week was buying used baseball gear for my 8-year-old son. What we normally do is drop $100 on new shoes and new baseball pants that he’ll wear for the season and grow out of by next year. This year, I took his last year shoes into a local used sporting goods store and traded them in for (minimal) credit. I then bought “new to him” shoes for a fraction of the cost of new. I scoured Poshmark and found the exact size and color of pants he’d need. We only spent $25 on gear this year, and the savings covered the entire cost of the baseball registration fee. Next year, I may try to organize a “used gear sale” for the league.”

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