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FI Weekly – December 28, 2021

Help to Cut Down on Distractions

Last week I included a Twitter thread (I’m on Twitter and would love for you to interact with me there) on how to get better at email.

It focused mostly on keyboard shortcuts and processing emails quicker which is really helpful info, but I’d suggest two quick life hacks for you that have cut down on my phone & email stress significantly:

  • Go into the settings of your phone and app-by-app shut off notifications until you are left with only the truly essential notifications.  For me this is only two things: phone calls and text messages.  That’s it.  All other notifications are gone, so no distractions every time I get an email or social media notification.
  • Ruthlessly unsubscribe from the likely hundreds of junk email lists you’ve signed up for over the years.  It takes just a small bit of intention to, instead of taking the easy, in the moment option of just hitting delete, actually open the email and scroll down to the bottom and hit “unsubscribe.”  Take the next month and every time a company sends you an email that you aren’t interested in any longer, just scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe.  You’ll be amazed at how many fewer times a day you’ll “need” to check email because nothing is in your inbox.

Ikea Hacking?

I saw this amazing article on “Ikea hacking” in The Hustle newsletter a while back and wanted to link it up today.

‘Ikea hacking’ is essentially an entire industry built around taking older Ikea furniture and giving it a makeover to look like designer furniture for pennies on the dollar. 

I can’t do this article justice in a short writeup, so take my word for it and give it a read.  This could be a potential hobby or even a side hustle for people in the FI Community who share this ethos of doing more for less.

ChooseFI Resource of the Week: Community

For the past 4 years the ChooseFI Local Groups have been the center of the entire ChooseFI Community worldwide.  There are 300+ groups with in real life meetups in 300+ cities (25+ countries!) around the world.

The journey to FI can feel lonely at times amidst a sea of consumption and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, and it’s really wonderful to be in a group of kindred spirits where you’re able to talk freely about finances, life goals and dreams while playing some board games, having a potluck dinner, going on a hike or just hanging out.

These groups, along with the online “cohort groups” such as military, DIY, business owners, singles, expats, etc., are a true resource for all of us.  If you’re not part of a local group, click here to see if there’s one nearby.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Allen said, “My 1% better this week was booking a week-long trip in Arizona for the family using only credit card rewards. We have booked 4 round trip flights, six hotel nights in Phoenix, Sedona and Williams all for roughly $150 out of pocket. We will take the money we *would have spent* on flights and hotels and put that into our taxable investment account.”
  • Courtney said, “Hi Brad, our 1% better this week was saving $50 on an activation fee for simply moving our router to a different location in our home. We were told the company would send someone to activate the port, but my husband found a YouTube video and did it within 30 minutes. $50 saved!”
  • Michael said, “Last night we reached out to Xfinity our cable and Internet provider, dropped the home phone, reduced tv package saving $60 per month. The best part is the change comes with no contract.”
  • Aaron said, “My 1% better this week is to book a trip using travel rewards. I’m relatively new to it, so I didn’t get a crazy redemption, but I did get to book a surprise trip (flights, hotels, and a couple activity/museum/meal reservations) for my girlfriend and I to go to Hawaii for over a week next year for less than $600! With more planning I think next time I might be able to do even better, but that’s still pretty good in my book!”
  • Erin said, “I started listening to you in January 2020. By summer 2021 I had paid off about $90k in debt and saved about $70k in retirement accounts, working part time. I thought I’d be in debt my entire life. I never wanted to think about financial stuff before then, but now I’m so passionate about it! Thank you!!”
  • Kenny said, “My 1% better. We’ve been maxing out our HSA and keeping a journal. But with the HDHP our monthly medications can be over $250 with insurance! Enter GoodRx. We now pay under $150. There is a problem with this as GoodRx is a coupon NOT insurance. So my payment is not automatically applied to my deductible. But I found a hack. My insurance company, Cigna, has a Prescription Drug Claim Form that I submit and the payment is applied to the deductible. This has saved us thousands of dollars in taxes and medical bills in just one year. It’s exciting to think about how much we are able to invest and save with this process. THIS IS WINNING!!!!”

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