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FI Weekly – July 27, 2021

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. Disclosures.

Taking Action

Sometimes I get an email that is just so amazing it has to be included verbatim in the FI Weekly. Tyler wrote in with the progress they’ve made in the 53 weeks since finding ChooseFI:

“This week we made an offer on our first rental property and the offer was accepted! 53 weeks ago, I found the Choose FI podcast. In those 53 weeks my wife, kids (8 and 6) and I have made some big changes. Like you said, nothing to do with pinching pennies but just being wiser with our time and money. In the last 53 weeks we have done the following on our path to FI:

  • Rolled over old 401k’s and invested them in low-cost index funds
  • Reached $100K in investment accounts
  • Changed cell phone carriers
  • Procured a library card and have read over 27 books (over 10 on personal finance), not bad considering I had probably only read 5 books total in the 35 years prior
  • Sold our “dream home” (a McMansion)
  • Paid off all of our consumer debt
  • Started and fully funded both my wife and I’s Roth accounts.
  • Created and started funding our kids 529 accounts
  • Purchased a smaller, beautiful home, two blocks from our kids school (costs 1/3 of our previous monthly budget)
  • Increased contributions to my 457
  • Taken a deep dive into my firefighter state pension system (with the help of Grumpus) and have a better understanding of where I want to be in 19 years (no need to retire early when you have the best job in the world)
  • Paid cash for a boat that we have utilized a ton this summer (we would have never been able to make this purchase before finding Choose FI)
  • Created budgets with my wife so we’re on the same page with our finances (I used to have my head in the sand…)
  • Taken several family vacations that were enjoyable instead of me constantly thinking we should be using the money for other things such as bills (again, my head was in the sand so I never knew what our financial situation looked like so I couldn’t enjoy the important moments with my family like vacations and buying a boat)
  • and this week we started the process of purchasing our first rental home!

I know you and Jonathan didn’t create the FI movement but I wouldn’t have found it without you guys. You have changed my family’s life, THANK YOU!”

Brad on Twitter?

Words I never thought I’d say:

I just joined Twitter.

I’m blown away by the value our good friend Brian Feroldi is adding to the world with his Twitter account and he convinced me to join and see if I could do something similar. 

I’m planning on making this account a more real-time “FI Weekly” with quick-hit thoughts, ideas, quotes, etc. 

If Twitter is your thing, I’d love for you to follow and interact with me there – I’m just learning the ropes, but it has been fun so far.

FI Wisdom

“Financial Independence doesn’t come from making or having a lot of money.  You know what it comes from?  Spending less than you make.  Living within your means.  It’s important to know that your anti-fragility comes from the extent to which you are not at the limit.”

—  Howard Marks, co-founder Oaktree Capital Management

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Monique said, “Our 1% better this week is seeing our investment accounts reach $100k! This was our goal for 2021 and it has already happened, before the end of May! This is especially exciting considering just 12 months ago our accounts were about $35k. Many thanks to the FI community for showing us the importance of increasing our savings rate and investing.”
  • Jennifer said, “My 1% win this week is that my daughter just graduated from preschool, and rather than keep her there until kindergarten starts in the fall, we put her in a summer day camp instead. This reduces our childcare costs from $1600 per month to $560 per month! I am also now biking to work now, rather than taking the bus, which saves another $100 per month and gets me to work 15 minutes faster! I immediately redirected these savings to my M1 investment account that I just opened earlier this month after breaking up with my financial advisor! So many of my financial decisions on my journey to FI are inspired by you and Jonathan! Thank you!”
  • Rob said, “My 1% better this week was calling the billing department for a medical bill we received that had a hospital charge. I asked if I paid the bill today if they could offer a discount. After a brief hold the representative came back and offered 20% off the hospital charge. That was a $461 savings that only took 10 minutes on the phone. As my late father always said, it never hurts to ask!”
  • Ariel said, “I quit my job this week! We have been working towards this for a few years, and now I get more time with my 5yo and 2yo sons! We have implemented a lot of money saving efforts such as a better phone plan, cooking at home more, and grocery shopping at Aldi! Thank you!
  • Holly said, “For my 1% – I had been attempting to use travel rewards prior to the pandemic. My husband and I knew we had a lot of points saved up because we had been planning vacations that never took place. We also had a lot of saved leave at work. We recently used all our points for a *very nice* hotel for 2 weeks in Orlando at the end of the year. Those points covered all but one day at the hotel and the resort fee for the stay. We then used our benefits from work to get cheaper park tickets to Disney. So far between the hotel and tickets the price is under $2k for 2 weeks for 2 adults and a 3yo. We’ve been researching food, and other options before we go to decide what to splurge on and where to save, as well as an itinerary. Our daughter is super excited, and neither my husband nor I have been to Disney before. At the end of this we are expecting a relaxing luxury trip with a ton of family pictures and memories for less than half the price. All of those components (saving money, spending time with family, relaxing and choosing our own adventure) are a complete FI win for me.”

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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. Disclosures.
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