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FI Weekly – August 25, 2020

Focus on Simplifying

I’m a part of a mastermind group that ChooseFI podcast guest Dominick Quartuccio runs, and we’re currently focusing on simplifying our lives. I singled out my tendency to “just quickly check email and Facebook” as a constant low-level stress in my life, and then set out to fix it.

I very simply took a sheet of paper and wrote “Times Checked Email/FB” on it and wrote the days of the week down the page. This paper sits next to my keyboard and every time I check my email accounts and FB I jot down a tick mark to keep track of how often I’ve checked.

Just by adding this little bit of friction and gamification, I’ve dramatically cut my times per day down to well under 5, with the goal of 2-3 in sight!

My challenge to you: find a point of stress in your life and find a way to simplify starting today.

ChooseFI: Friends of the Library

My family quite literally saves thousands of dollars each year by using our public library, and I wanted to pass along a PSA reminder to all of you: Libraries are a great way to save money, and in this day and age of ebooks and audiobooks, it’s more convenient than ever to use your public library!

It takes me about 45 seconds and maybe 4 clicks to go from “let’s see if they have this book available” to reserved, downloaded and on my Kindle.

With apps like Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla in use by nearly every public library, the process is so simple. Your action item: See if your public library has ebooks/audiobooks available and walk through the process and take out your first book!

Cool tip from Eric from our Facebook group: If your library doesn’t have ebooks, the Brooklyn Public Library offers out of state residents access to their ebooks/audiobooks for only $50 per year.

Quote to Ponder

On episode 185 of the Impact Theory podcast, Tom Bilyeu passed along this gem:

“Failure is the most information rich data stream you will ever encounter.”

In case it’s unclear, “you are going to learn a lot” from failure – even more so than from success in many cases.

How many of us take the easy path because we’re afraid of failure? What if we reframed failure as the greatest path to learning and therefore ultimate success? Would you be quite as afraid?

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

Each week I ask you to hit reply to this email and let me know your wins from the prior week. Here are a few that jumped out recently:

  • Melaminah said, “I make about $100/week at a side hustle. I’ve decided to put all of it towards 1 credit card to pay it off faster.”
  • Adam said, “My wife started her first job last month. Before she even received her first paycheck, I enrolled her in both a traditional IRA (her employer doesn’t offer one) and ROTH IRA with Vanguard, and set up recurring contributions every month to both. On top of that I just paid off the balance on my car loan, which had a 5+% interest rate. Saving $25/mo now on interest alone, and will redirect the funds that would typically be for future car payments into investments.”
  • Sean said, “I finally paid off my college debt! I sent that 4,300 payment to Fedloan and it felt good! Now I am looking to build up my emergency fund and start investing in an index fund. It feels good to have a net worth for the first time in my life.”
  • Sarah said, “My husband and I paid off our truck this week and refinanced our home saving us an extra $550 a month! Now we are investing those extra savings rather than inflating our lifestyle.”
  • Steven said, “I’m an independent consultant and I started mailing myself paper paychecks. I know it seems silly to do something so antiquated, but it’s totally changed my relationship to mail. It’s not just bills in there now. We’re actually excited to check the mail and see if we got paid. It’s been a nice little life hack to get a dopamine rush, as opposed to silently adding money to the bank account with no fireworks. FI journeys take a long time. It’s important to find happiness along the way.”
  • Larry said, “I recently had some blood tests done that were not going to be covered by my insurance company. When I received the bill, I called the company that did the tests so that I could pay the bill. The woman I spoke to asked if I wanted to pay the full bill amount of $630. I kind of jokingly said I would be happy to pay less than that if they wanted to give me a discount. She immediately said she would apply the “prompt pay discount” so I only had to pay $504!!! A savings of $126. Wow, made my day!!
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