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April 30, 2024: Stoic Beliefs, ChooseFI T-shirts, What Money Buys, plus Community Wins

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Core Stoic Beliefs

I picked up Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living’ and I’m going through it one page per day as per the construct of the book.

It reminded me of a prior segment I wrote in the newsletter 3 years ago, which is worth highlighting again:

“One of our finalists for a new project management software for ChooseFI is Basecamp, which prompted me to go back and listen to Episode 195 of The Tim Ferriss Show with Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson. Among the many gems was their discussion of stoic philosophy and David’s article “It’s Always Your Fault.

This isn’t about beating yourself up needlessly, but instead turning the power around from the elusive “they” impacting you, to YOU being the source of power.

Tim remembered a powerful question a former coach asked him that I think is important for each of us to ask ourselves: “How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?”

To round this out, here’s a 2-minute video from Jocko Willink entitled “Good.” I hit this up for a little extra dose of motivation every now and again; it’s pretty intense, and I suspect not for everyone, but I feel like I can run through a brick wall after watching this video.”

For a little extra flavor, this article from Ryan Holiday is a great walkthrough of ‘The 9 Core Stoic Beliefs.’

ChooseFI T-shirts Available!

For the first time in years, we have ChooseFI t-shirts available for sale!

And I even brought back our original old-school logo for some of the shirts for an extra bit of retro fun.


I’m trying to make my life simpler, which is why we went away from selling the shirts in the first place, but I’m working with the company my CrossFit gym uses and they are fantastic.

I’ve selected high-quality shirts and lowered the price as much as possible to make this a break-even point. If you want to show your support for ChooseFI, I want to make it as inexpensive as possible.

This isn’t a scarcity play at all, but because of how they batch order and only print when we’ve sold a minimum number of shirts, the store will only be open through Friday, May 10th (2024) and shirts will be printed and shipped after it closes.

I’ll probably open this up once per year, so if you want a ChooseFI t-shirt, now is a great time to grab one!

I made sure these were super high-quality tri-blend shirts, so I think you’ll be really happy with their look and feel.

What Money Buys

The central thesis behind ChooseFI is that the path to Financial Independence moves you closer to freedom in every aspect of your life. I loved this quote from the modern-day philosopher Naval Ravikant, as it sums it up perfectly:

“Money doesn’t buy happiness – it buys freedom.”

– Naval Ravikant

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

Thank you so much for mentioning Points Yeah’s Explorer in this newsletter! My husband and I wanted to go to Spain this fall and I have been searching for rewards flights. Based on your recommendation, I used this site and found incredible redemptions using our points.

We are flying business class direct DC to Madrid on Iberia, and business class Madrid to Baltimore (via JFK) on KLM for only 101k total points per person. I have never flown those airlines and wouldn’t have thought to look at them for redemptions if I hadn’t seen them on PointsYeah!

Your newsletter continues to be an awesome resource. Thank you!

– Sara

My 1% better is finding a subletter for my room and renting it furnished for the summer. I work in the field with my accommodation covered in the summer and keeping renting is an unnecessary expense. By subletting I get to keep the place and not pay storage, plus get the bonus of renting it out furnished for a bit more than the costs.
This will all be money saved to invest and travel for my upcoming sabbatical/year off when I finish my masters.

– Ben

I am thrilled to be able to say I have finally crossed into $1M of investable assets as of this week!! It’s been a long road but I hope the snowball can keep rolling to help fund my plan of stepping back from full-time work in about three years!

– Carey

My 1% this week:

I took some time to do my quarterly “paring down” routine (100% inspired by Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism).

1) I check recent emails for newsletters/ads/site updates that do more harm than good (and that’s most of them).

2) I check for any subscriptions or recurring services that aren’t particularly helpful.

3) I check my phone for apps I don’t use (or wish I didn’t use). And then I get rid of them! Unsubscribe, cancel, delete. It’s seriously freeing both in terms of cost-savings and the mental space it takes to keep up with these things.

Thanks so much for this email!

– Courtney

My 1% this week may be a little late, but I heard the episode on effective giving with Jack and Rebecca, and yesterday I took my 1% pledge with One for the World after looking more into the institution. Seeing data-backed action on giving is such a crazy novel idea to me and one I really want to be behind. It helped mold my beliefs as previously I was on the train of only wanting to give locally.

I do have another 1%, and it is the fact that I talked with an advisor for my 401k plan – completely free through my provider – and I found out that my company will do a “True Up” for their 401k matching, and so now I am less afraid about towing the line for maxing out my 401k throughout the year for more consistent contributions since I know if I max it out before December, I can rest assured that my company match will still be their full percent promised!

Also through that talk, I found out my company plan allows for the Mega Backdoor Roth conversion, and this makes me even more excited for my future savings.

– Reilly

Our 1% better this month is finding and using two cool sites; Home Exchange and Trusted House Sitters. First, recently we were able to house/dog sit for a family in a resort area close to our home and had a free place to stay for the weekend and it only required walking and feeding a couple of dogs twice a day.

There are house and pet sits all over the world meaning, with some flexibility, we can find free places to stay as we travel.

Second, and much much more impactful, is Home Exchange. We have a guest house on Airbnb that is a studio apartment. Our place stays booked most nights, but we are in a very small community and our “per night” charge on AirBnb is pretty low compared to most of the tourist areas we travel to.

So, the dollar for dollar exchange rate is truly incredible for us. We listed our space on Home Exchange, had a French couple stay for 5 nights (about $400 real cost to us in what we would have made on Airbnb for those same nights) and we are now able to stay in Amsterdam for 6 nights, Brussels for 3 nights, and Cologne for 2 nights all FOR FREE!

Those nights alone would have cost us over $2200… Definitely worth the exchange. We are taking a family trip to Europe this summer and those were the most expensive cities on our itinerary but now they are completely free and we can use our resources for fun experiences and great food instead of housing. We already fly with rewards so doubling up with free housing while not dipping into more reward points for hotels is incredible.

– Josh and Sheena

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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