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FI Weekly – July 6, 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. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Books I’m Enjoying (Plus a Quote)

I’m currently reading two of the best books I’ve read in my entire life (shout out to the FI Weekly community for recommending them!); reading these will definitively make your life better, so first check if your local library has them, but if not, the Amazon links are:

In the “Beyond Rich” chapter of Green’s book, this paragraph jumped out to me, as it touches on so many things we talk about at ChooseFI:

“Money can provide an invaluable cushion, a lifeline, a critical defense against uncertainty and misfortune.  But it’s not enough.  We also need the mental fortitude and resilience to weather those storms and rebuild in their wake.  For most of us, the quality of our lives depends less on our finances than on inner attributes such as equanimity, acceptance, hope, trust, appreciation, and determined optimism.  As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost, which he dictated after going blind, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”

Two Quick Life Hacks

As mentioned above, using the public library is one of my all-time favorite ways to save money and is a game changing “life hack.”  It reminded me I wanted to pass along two browser extensions I think you’ll find useful:

  • Our friend Chris Hutchins from the All The Hacks podcast recently mentioned a browser extension called “Library Extension” which allows you to browse around or Goodreads and see at a glance if your local library has the book (or ebook) available.
  • My single favorite web browser extension, and the only one I can’t live without is called Fast Dial.  When I open a new tab in my web browser, it opens to Fast Dial where I have ~45 websites (or specific pages) bookmarked and easy to see at a glance with visual icons.  I’m able to do essentially 95% of my web browsing just from this one page and it makes life 1% better for me.  I’m sure there are similar or even better options, but this one is my go-to favorite.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Christine said, “So many 1% wins this week! I started implementing Jonathan’s health accountability strategy and started a weekly check-in call with my Dad. Both of us are focusing on small behaviors that can move the needle in the right direction to improve our health and improve our relationship. Finally opened an M1 account and utilized Paula Pant’s pie! This is our first taxable account, and we are excited! My husband and I had a couple thousand extra in our emergency fund and decided to get it off the sidelines. I reduced my hours as a high risk Labor and Delivery nurse and am fully committed to the TalentStacker program to change careers into Salesforce! Hoping to have a new job by September and keep nursing as a side hustle. Thanks for everything you do at Choose FI! My husband and I have increased our net worth by 50% since the new year and are approaching that six-figure net worth goal! We could never have done it without this podcast. Love you guys.”
  • Kosta said, “My 1% better may potentially be a 23-31% better this week! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt underpaid for my position and wanted to stack the tools ChooseFI has given me to ask for a raise. The worst they can do is say no (tool #1). My boss has repeatedly told me I’m performing in the top 10% of my peers and feels that I’m bring a ton of value (tool #2) to the organization and most importantly my clients. I decided to do research on where my salary falls compared to peers in the same role and found out I was in the bottom 25%! Time to relisten to the episodes on negotiating your salary and use the “I believe this number would be a REASONABLE salary” verbiage rather than the demeaning “GIVE ME this salary” (tool #3). Lastly, before talking to my boss, I talked to my fiancée and we agreed that if I didn’t get the raise I wanted that we had the money for me to quit without anything lined up for over a year (tool #4).  Luckily for me when I had the discussion with my boss, not only did she agree with me, she was happy that I was advocating for myself. If all goes well this will lead to a $14-19k raise and will help max out my 401k which will be on top of me already maxing out my Roth IRA and my fiancée’s 401k every year moving forward!”
  • Bramyn said, “This past week was a major win for me! I sat down with my mom and her significant other to help them plan for retirement. Neither of them had any idea of what was going on with their finances, but now they have a solid plan to retire on time if not a few years early! They both set up and started funding Roth IRA’s (with a plan to max them), started tracking their expenses, and got excited about the possibility to become Financially Independent! Thanks for everything you and the ChooseFI team do!”
  • Kristin said, “1%s: Enrolled both my kids into the Florida prepaid college system and set up auto debit. Started a new job at my old job! I worked there 4 years ago and then took time off for kids never planning to return. They called me to come back and I said “here are my terms…” — which I thought were extravagant… but they took it! Limited hours and a strong base salary to start. All the flexibility and support I need. I took it because they agreed to my terms AND so I can access a 401k plan for savings toward FI. Which I get to enroll in today! Thank you for these eye-opening opportunities. My husband has a 401k but I had a blind spot that I could have one too even though I wasn’t working. When the opportunity presented itself, I could see MORE potential in the opportunity and seize it all. And feel powerful in so doing!”
  • Kirk said, “My wife took her car in for a smog check and it didn’t pass because the check engine light was on. The mechanic quoted her $750 to fix the problem causing the issue. We took a step back and decided to purchase an OBDII scanner (~$11). Turns out the gas cap needed to be replaced and also there was an EVAP detection pump that was leaking. We took it to another mechanic and he was kind enough to just take a look for free and noticed the pump hose was unplugged. I simply plugged it back in and cleared the check engine light, went to another mechanic to get a new smog check and it passed just fine. All in all we were out a little over $200 but that’s a lot better than $750! Thank you ChooseFI for enabling me to reframe my situation and come up with an alternate solution.”

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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. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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