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FI Weekly – July 26, 2022: Saving on College, Internet is Free University, HotelSlash


Saving on College

I don’t usually say things like this, but Jonathan and I have been in a real groove on the ChooseFI podcast recently, pumping out high-quality episodes with some of our all-time favorite guests.

After doing this for nearly 6 years it would be easy to get complacent, but we’re honestly just having a blast right now and I think the quality shows in these episodes.

If you haven’t listened to the show in a while, now would be a good time to get back into it! 

A particularly interesting show was Episode 386 with the Millionaire Educator on how he and his son have both found an ultra-cost-effective way to get a Bachelor’s Degree using internet learning, CLEP Tests, ACE courses and community college.

That episode is a must-listen if you or anyone you know are thinking about going to college in the next few years (and the show notes have links to all the resources we talked about).

After listening to episode 386, Molly wrote in: 

“I listened to podcast Episode 386 this morning and it inspired me to share on Twitter a thread on how I graduated from UC Berkeley when I was 18. I started going to community college after school and all summer when I was 14 and essentially earned an Associate’s Degree by the time I was 16.

I graduated high school a year early (using those same college credits) and I had already done my 2 years general ed requirements when I got to Berkeley. I then did all my legal studies prereqs in 1 year and all of my legal studies courses in 1 year. It saved me so much money.

I graduated at 18 and got a job at a big law firm in Silicon Valley and that’s what led me down the FI path–I found Early Retirement Extreme, which led to Mr. Money Mustache, and the vibrant community we’re a part of today.”

Molly shares more details on that Twitter thread as well…

The Internet is Free University

I came across this great thread on Twitter that tied perfectly in with the above on cost-effective learning:

The internet is free university. But 99% don’t know the best spots on this virtual campus” by Ben Meer.

While some such as Duolingo and Khan Academy (my girls are using this during the summer to hone their math skills!) are quite familiar, sites like UXcel, FreeCodeCamp and Instructables were brand-new to me. 

Check out that thread for details and links for all the sites Ben recommends.

Free Lifetime Membership to HotelSlash

I’ve mentioned repeatedly how the ‘All the Hacks’ podcast is one of my favorites, and the most recent episode with AutoSlash co-founder Jonathan Weinberg on all things rental cars was especially compelling.

I’ve used AutoSlash for years and I was excited to learn they have a new site called HotelSlash, which they describe as “a website designed to get you the best possible deal on a hotel each and every time.”

It seems as if they are contemplating making this a paid membership site in the future, but right now during their early stages, if you have the right “early access code” you can lock in what Jonathan described as free lifetime membership.

Just head to their site and mock up a hotel search and enter the early access code “allthehacks” to lock this in.

This seemed like a no-brainer to pass along to the FI Weekly as soon as I heard it (and got permission from ‘All the Hacks’ creator Chris Hutchins of course)!


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Steph said, “My 1% better for the week is that I submitted an application for Direct Loan consolidation so that my student loans qualify for the new IDR Waiver. I started following Student Loan Planner after I listened to Episode 202 that you had Travis on and he has been doing a phenomenal job staying on top of all the recent changes in student loans and with the info he shared, I will be eligible for loan forgiveness 4 years earlier than I expected. Thanks for always having a great variety of guests pop on the podcast!” (Brad note: Travis does consultations as well and will be back on the podcast soon to talk about the state of student loans)
  • Julian said, “My 1% this week was the decision to get off the auto-leasing cycle. I’ve been leasing vehicles since 2007, but the current car market has caused the same “good deal” leases to become astronomically more expensive. I decided that I was going to buy out my current lease at $36K. Then I pushed myself to make sense of what I was spending. I never drive during the week anymore, since I started working from home. I don’t expect to head back to the office – ever. So why spend that much on a vehicle? So, I am turning the lease in and just purchased a similar model a few years older for only $21K! I paid cash for it too! But I am going to take out a loan because I got approved for a 3.5% interest rate and I’d rather invest the money elsewhere. This might not be the right path for everyone, but I think it’d be one step closer to FI for me!”
  • Jenn said, “My 1% is that I enrolled in the Talent Stacker program! So maybe it’s slightly bigger than 1%. I’m spending at least 1-2 hours a day working on my skills, and planning to take my admin exam in the next two months. Thank you for showcasing this opportunity – I would never have heard of it if not for the podcast!”
  • JJE said, “My 1% better this month was buying our dream lake home. Usually a 7-figure purchase such as this would be discordant with the FI philosophy, however let me explain. We sold our current home with 300k net profit + equity after several years of sweat and DIY upgrades. We were able to buy the new home pre-market without getting into multiple offer scenarios. The new home will allow me to work part-time from home and my wife to grow her wood crafting business, while we enjoy the surrounding life giving woods and waters we’d previously had to drive to. We negotiated to purchase the boat and lift for 1/2 price. As we are already COAST FI and otherwise debt free, a recent promotion will allow us to accelerate paying off the new mortgage, keeping us ontrack for FAT FI.”
  • Dillon said, “My 1% better was taking a “red X week” in July. My wife’s company shuts down the 1st week of July and I also took the week off. Instead of traveling, or visiting family, or tackling home improvement projects we did NOTHING and it was glorious! We were inspired by Brad’s red X month he takes in August and from Jillian Johnsrud’s episode about mini-retirements. Now that we know how much we enjoyed getting to relax and explore our surrounding area we definitely want to expand from 1 week, to 2 weeks, to 1 month, and eventually take a year off together. We’re more inspired to save and prepare for these longer breaks and I’m already looking forward to next July.”

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