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FI Weekly – July 11, 2023: Personal Money Rules, Emergency Binder, Art of Stillness

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.

Your Personal Money Rules

If you haven’t listened to Episode 444 of ChooseFI with Doug Cunnington and Carl Jensen on ‘Spending for Happiness’ that came out last week, I think it was one of our best and most important episodes.

We’re already talking about doing round 2 soon!

We talked about Ramit Sethi’s “Money Rules” and I referenced an outdated version, but just found that Ramit posted his updated list of 10 Money Rules last week on Twitter.

Along the lines of ‘spending for happiness,’ the ones that jump out to me are:

  • “Never question spending money on books, appetizers, health, or donating to a friends charity fundraiser.”
  • “Business class on flights over 4 hours.”
  • “No Limit on spending for health (personal trainer) or education (courses, events, etc.)”

I think this is a fascinating exercise for you to take on for your own life and I’d love to hear about it so hit reply and let me know a Money Rule you set up for yourself that has added value to your life.

FI Essential: Emergency Binder

Michael Girdley went viral on Twitter a few days ago with his thread on ‘The Green Box Exercise’ for how to prepare to make life easier for your loved ones in the days after you die.

This was a comprehensive look at all the documents and contacts you need to have listed out for your family members so they are not flailing around looking for essential documents, financial matters, etc. amidst an already incredibly difficult time.

This reminds me that Chelsea Brennan came on the podcast in Episode 125 to talk about her Family Emergency Binder, which makes this process of documentation so easy.

I know this is something we don’t like to think about, but it’s so important to have in place!

Chelsea kindly offered our community a 20% discount on the Family Emergency Binder when you use the discount code ‘CHOOSEFI’ (this is entered after you click “check out” in your cart and it takes you to the checkout page).

At the current price, that means the discount takes you down to only $31.20 for something that is truly an essential piece of life planning.

The Art of Stillness

I listened to the ‘Richer, Wiser, Happier’ podcast (part of the ‘We Study Billionaires’ podcast feed) Episode 29 with author Pico Iyer and they discussed this quote from his book ‘The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere’ that I thought was profound:

“In an age of speed, nothing can be more invigorating than going slow.

In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.”


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Robin said, “My 1% better this week is installing Freedom, Limits and Pause extensions on my web browser and using them to set limits on time spent mindlessly browsing sites that do little to enhance my quality of life. I set boundaries around general time spent on each site, but also blocks around bedtime and early morning. The bedtime block has been especially helpful; when I’m tired is when my self-control is lowest and I have spent many a night negatively impacting my sleep due to getting sucked into mindless online time. By blocking access ahead of time, my brain is clearer for other things and my sleep is improving!”
  • Neelesh said, “During last Thanksgiving, your podcast was my faithful companion during my drive from North Carolina to Disney World and back, filling every spare moment of my journey. By the time I returned home, I was armed with a comprehensive strategy to maximize my retirement fund options, boost my annual savings from 5-10% to a staggering 50%, shift my investments to low-cost funds, and navigate my family of four to Europe and back using credit card points. Six months into executing this plan I have everything I was shooting for in place and I am delighted to share that I’ve saved over $6500 on flights and $1000 on hotel stays in Europe, all thanks to the wisdom I gained from your podcasts. The community you’ve built, and the podcast itself, have had a transformative impact on my family. My heartfelt gratitude for all you’ve done!”
  • Chelsea said, “Thank you for this and every email you send out-it’s always so inspiring to me. My 1% better this week is that I can max out my 401k this year! I have been on my FI journey since 2019. I have had so many hiccups and wonderful life moments since I began this journey. I got married, had a wedding, financially supported my partner through being laid off in 2020, changed jobs, bought a house (controversial, I know!) had a baby, and now finally will be maxing out my 401k this year! And my partner will also be maxing out his 401k! I’ve had a goal for us each to reach 100k in our retirement accounts and I am hopeful that will happen next year. I look forward to writing you that email! 100k each is simply a goal. I hear all the time on ChooseFI that you really see growth once you’ve hit the 6-figure hurtle and therefore it’s been the goal keeping me chugging along. Maybe this will spark someone else, like so many others have inspired me.”
  • Lucy said, “Happy Independence Day Brad and ChooseFI family. Where have I been? I found you 2 months ago. Where do I start? Hope it is not too late for me. To get my bearing, I listened to 2016-2018 podcasts and every new episode that is released. I like what I am hearing! I am proud to report my first 1% win. Yesterday I changed my 403b contributions to the maximum allowed for this year. There is a lot I need to work on but next on my list is housing and travel rewards. Hopefully in a couple of months I will have another win. ChooseFI family is the family I want to have forever.”
  • Nate said, “This week my 1% better was paying off my student loan with money I had saved during the pandemic AND I finally took the plunge and switched to Mint Mobile saving $40.00 a month essentially keeping the same service.”
  • Rex said, “A couple months ago my company issued a blanket return to office policy announcement. While I technically could commute to this office, It is farther than I would want to. I initially took this as a remote position and would not have accepted the offer if I had to make that drive. I went looking for a new job either remote again or closer to home. I found another remote position with similar pay but much better benefits and accepted an offer this week!”
  • Doug said, “My husband and I love your podcast and the weekly newsletter. A few 1% updates: On our family walk tonight, I mentioned to our 13 year old son that I’d like to spend more time with him on investing, and start investing together. Without missing a beat he said, “Sure. I mean, I already know a lot about investing, thanks to you.” So I guess we’re all winning — lol. Happy freedom for all day (I write on July 4th). We just got back from a road trip to Southern California, and we used the Capital One “travel reimbursement” feature to cash in points to pay for a chunk of our hotel stay. Hooray!”

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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