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FI Weekly – July 20, 2021

The Essence of FI Part 2

Last week I included a section called the ‘Essence of FI’ and after some reflection, I wanted to add a Part 2:

Part of the Essence of FI is how much you love your future self, and how much you value that future self. 

It’s easy to merely live in the moment and maximize enjoyment now, with no care for the future you.

Enjoying life is essential, but if you reframe delayed gratification as an act of self-love instead of deprivation, I think this slight mental pivot will greatly enrich your day-to-day life. 

In my own life, I know I’m giving a gift to my future self when I save money, exercise, eat less, and go to bed instead of scrolling on my phone.    

I’ve started a practice of literally thinking about my future self when I grapple with difficult decisions that I know are a long-term benefit, but would be so easy to do the opposite in the short-term.

Active Duty Military: Huge Benefit

A large percentage of our community is active duty military, so if that’s you or you know someone on active duty, please pass this along:

American Express waives the annual fees on their credit cards for all active duty military members!  This is especially huge when considering the Platinum Card:

Amex includes over hundreds of dollars of annual perks with Platinum Card membership and these perks are free for active duty military, so this is a nearly can’t miss opportunity! 

Here’s the full rundown of all the benefits of the American Express Platinum Card.

Wisdom from Naval

I’ve spoken previously about Naval Ravikant, my favorite modern-day philosopher (this free pdf download of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant will make your life better), who never ceases to amaze me with his profound wisdom, this time on Twitter:

“What if your life was a sacred responsibility?

The body, a temple.

Every motive, pure.

Every glance, compassionate.

Every word, true.

Every act, right.

Every moment, holy.”

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Tim said, “I recently transitioned to part time work to be able to spend more time raising my 2 year old! Me and my wife are ER nurses and work a total of 36 hours a week between the 2 of us. We are not FI or even CoastFI yet, but we are able to max out both our 401k’s while affording our normal household expenses and working part time. My stress reduction is paying dividends but I do still struggle with being fully present with my new found time off. To help fight the urge to constantly check my account balances and end the debate of if should I pick up an extra shift or not to add to my investment portfolio I decided to sign up for Jonathan’s podcast course to start my own side project that I just started to work on early mornings and during my sons nap time.”
  • Jessica said, “My husband and I have a health share plan, rather than traditional insurance, so we pay out of pocket for our doctor’s appointments. At my husband’s doctor appointment this week, he was told that he needed to have seven different blood labs drawn. However, the self-pay price he was quoted was an exorbitant $740 to have his labs drawn at the doctor’s office. I knew there had to be a better solution. After a brief amount of time Googling, I found Ulta Lab Tests, where you can order the labs you need online (without a doctor’s order), have your blood drawn at a local lab (Brad Note:  I’ve used Ulta and they are amazingly convenient and professional!), and then receive the lab results in a secure online portal. We were able to order all seven labs for only $169.25! Thanks again for everything you do to foster such a fantastic community of people striving to make their lives 1% better.”
  • Veronica said, “I just reviewed our finances for the first half of 2021 and I’m proud to say that we reached our goal of having a 50% savings rate! My husband and I have not only stuck with our budget and decreased unnecessary spending, but we’ve also taken up side hustles to earn more! At the start of the year we both fought hard to get our salaries increased as well, which worked in our favor. Looking forward to crushing the rest of 2021 on our journey to FI! Love the show, you two have truly inspired us to take control of our finances and our lives :)”
  • Caleb said, “Just wanted to share a tactic I’ve been using to combat a habit I’ve built up over the last few years. Like Jonathan, I am a big fan of caffeine, both from coffee and sugar free energy drinks. Coffee (being brewed at home) being the more FI friendly option, anytime I start to crave an energy drink, I take the cost of that energy drink ($2-3) and purchase VTSAX within my brokerage account with it. Long term, I’m assuming my desire for energy drinks will decrease quite a bit, but right now this approach has been effective at replacing the action of drinking an energy drink with investing, even though it’s just a few dollars at a time.”
  • Mary said, “This week, I finally opened my IRA and contributed my first amount! I plan to max it out for this year and I added more funds to VTSAX. I’m excited to see it grow over the years so I can hopefully reach FIRE in the next five years, by the time I’m 30.”
  • Bethany said, “We made our lives 1% better (maybe even more) through the wonderful art of negotiation. My husband and I have lived in the same apartment for 5 years. We’re moving cross-country soon, so we renewed again only for a short-term lease. This renewal proposal was going to increase our rent by almost $400/month!! A year ago, I probably would have just accepted that as “the way it is.” But lately, I’ve learned that there’s absolutely no harm in asking – I gathered a list of thoughtful arguments around why this rent was too high and had several conversations with the apartment manager. He ended up agreeing to only increase our monthly rate by $185. We’ll save over $1,100 in the next 6 months, simply because I wasn’t afraid to negotiate!”

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Lessons From a Young Entrepreneur | Ep 422

At least once in most of our FI journeys, we have pondered what our life would look like if we started earlier. Maybe you have even wondered what value could’ve been gained if you had started in your teenage years. Well, for some context into the possibilities decision that could provide, we decided to have 17 year old listener Devin on the podcast to discuss what life can look like when you go against the cultural norm of going to college, and instead opting for an entrepreneurial and FI friendly lifestyle. Oftentimes we mention that there are rewards that come with stepping out of your comfort zone, and the same can be said for going against the societal norm and carving out your own path! For our younger audience who may be interested in getting started with their FI journey, let this episode be a useful resource and reassurance that this journey can begin no matter your age!

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