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FI Weekly – June 7, 2022: Buy Nothing Project, Stock Splits Explained, Community Wins

Buy Nothing Project

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby and one of the most interesting parts of watching them prepare for the arrival is how much success they’ve had using their local Buy Nothing Project group.

They’ve essentially sourced everything they’ll need for the baby through the Buy Nothing group for their local community.

And I mention that community because that’s what I’ve been most impressed by; there are true community ethos as each group represents a precise location, and it’s amazing how community members look out for each other (they’ve made friends in the group who message them when new baby items appear, etc.) and how members want to pay it forward.

We hosted a baby shower for them this weekend and when we were cleaning up, I asked if they wanted the decorations or if we should throw them out. Scott responded that he knew someone in the Buy Nothing group who would want them, so he’d definitely take them home. 

I was so impressed how this community spirit was a part of them after such a short time. This community spirit is what we envisioned for the ChooseFI Local groups when we founded them almost 5 years ago, and what I hope the groups can be for those of us pursuing FI:  a place where we can support each other, share resources and be there along the way as a true community.

Stock Splits Explained Simply

Our good friend Brian Feroldi, author of “Why Does the Stock Market Go Up?”, published the best (and simplest!) explanation on Twitter of how stock splits work in concept using the recent Amazon 20 for 1 stock split.

Here’s his graphic:

As you can see, the company is still worth the exact same on Monday June 6th as it was the close of the market on June 3rd.

The share price is exactly 1/20th of the old price and there are exactly 20x the number of shares.

Each existing shareholder got 20 shares of the newly split stock for every 1 share of the old stock they owned, so they are in the same position they were as before with their ownership percentage.

The new share price of $122.35 simply makes it more accessible for new people to buy in and own a share of Amazon (though it’s important to remember they are buying 1/20th of what they would have been buying with “one share” of Amazon stock last week).

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Kathy said, “I have been listening to you guys for the last 3 years and I have so much to share on the point that Choose FI is a lifestyle choice and not a finish line. First, my daughter graduated from college with a double major in 4 years with zero student loans. She worked hard to get credits in high school and AP credits. She applied for every scholarship we could find every year. We did do some 529 savings prior but in total that was only $50,000. She knows that not having those loans hanging over her head will make a huge difference going forward. Then for the best part, with using travel rewards points, we went for a 2-week trip to Scotland and Ireland. Chase rewards paid for the airline tickets and a combination of Marriott and IHG points covered all of the hotels. My Venture card paid for the train tickets in the countries. In total, I paid $400 in food and such as we made sure to have free breakfast at the hotels and grab some extra fruit for during the day. It was a vacation of a lifetime but the best part was to have 2 weeks with my daughter before she starts the real world of adulting. I would not have known about the travel rewards had it not been for you guys and I figured out that the airline tickets alone would have cost me $2,000. As a single mom, I would have never been able to find this extra money to take such a lavish trip for cash. I also gave her the Choose FI book for graduation and she read it cover to cover on the plane. So, thanks guys and as I continue to save toward my own retirement, I hope to help guide my daughter toward the ability to have her own freedom from the hamster wheel.”
  • Amy said, “My 1% better is leaving my job that had terrible management. I now earn a little less but have more benefits that increase the quality of my life. Benefits include flexi hours and the option to work from home when I want which means I can help out at my son’s school and not be stressed rushing around. It has increased time in my day which I can use for hobbies, and I don’t have the fear of management each day. Totally worth it.”
  • Jeff said, “Last month my wife and I were able to sleep soundly because of our emergency fund. We had an unlikely series of large expenses to face, but did so with peace instead of panic. Between May 1 and May 31, we unexpectedly had to replace: our washer and dryer, our stove, our hot water tank, and our shower plumbing. Oh – and in the middle of all that our 13-year-old dog had an emergency surgery. All in all, it was several thousand dollars in unplanned expenses. By having a healthy emergency fund and keeping our regular expenses well below our income we were able to slow down and take a moment to make sure we were putting our money into the right option and not just the cheapest option. In every area it feels like we have gained ground – our new appliances are more energy efficient than the previous ones. We called customer service and we were able to negotiate scratch and dent discounts on the appliances that will live hidden in the basement. And our dog is recovering physically and his personality seems to be back to that of his younger years. Taking the time to ask thoughtful questions really made a difference for us and I don’t think we would have been able to do that without the peace of mind that our emergency fund provided.”
  • Shelly said, “With our auto insurance policies coming up for renewal soon, I finally did Item 33 from ChooseFI’s 100 Ways to Get 1% Better with Your Finances article which is – Shop Your Car Insurance Rates Every Year. By spending a little time to do the needful comparison and talking with our current provider, that effort resulted in a 50% savings while still providing the coverage we needed. The time spent was definitely not a waste!”
  • Anthony said, “Our family of four starts full-time global travel in August. We are selling many of our possessions, and last week we had, well, more than a 1% win. Our 2016 Nissan Leaf has been an awesome introduction to having an EV, but it also has gone a long way toward both our FI and travel goals. I contacted Carvana, Vroom, Shift, Carmax, and two local dealerships for no-trade, sale-only estimates. Carvana gave us the best. Plus, I was able to navigate their process almost entirely on my phone, from taking photos of the car to scanning and uploading documents. Once we met our Carvana contact, she inspected the vehicle, and then right in front of us, processed the sale for the quoted amount. The full proceeds were in our account the next morning. While we loved our Leaf, it is now helping our family with our bigger dream of traveling the world with our children. Some of the proceeds have gone toward investments, some toward a “landing fund” for when we return, and the rest toward travel.”

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