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June 15, 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.

New Adventures

One of the things I’m personally working on as part of the mastermind group I’m in with Dominick Quartuccio is being open to new adventures in life. Too often I don’t seek out new experiences or doing something I’m either scared of, or could fail at.

It’s nice to have routines, but routines become boring when you don’t mix it up at all.

Exactly one year ago in this newsletter I mentioned Ben Aldridge’s book, “How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong, Resilient Mindset” and I coincidentally just picked it back up again this week as part of my “Adventures in Life” project.

I’m now on the lookout for adventures of all types, no matter how small. My definition of adventure is loose, basically just going outside of my comfort zone and trying something my brain would normally steer me clear of.

Adventure #1 last week: I saw a friend at the pool who had the telltale signs of the “cupping therapy” on her back (famously Michael Phelps showed up at the Olympics with these marks all over his back). Within 24 hours I had my first session plus a massage and it was a really interesting and surprisingly relaxing experience!

I know this is small, but the mindset shift is enormous. Now that I’m on the lookout for adventures, I see possibilities everywhere!

What can you do this week that helps you step outside your comfort zone, even just a little?

The Investing Horse Race

I’m pleasantly surprised how many of you reach out saying you get huge value from our individual stock investing episodes with Brian Feroldi (most recently Episode 328) and nuanced investing strategies such as those discussed by Frank Vasquez and Paul Merriman.

If you missed ChooseFI Episode 329 released yesterday entitled “The Investing Horse Race,” I wanted to pass this along as it’s one of the most interesting things our team has ever put together:

We asked 5 friends of ChooseFI (JL Collins, Paul Merriman, Paula Pant, Jillian Johnsrud and Frank Vasquez), plus our very own Edmund Tee, to give us their specific investing strategies (down to the exact funds!) and we created portfolios you can track and invest in at M1 Finance.

We plan to both add more friends of ChooseFI to this list (respond to this email with anyone you want us to add!) and track their portfolios over time to see how they stack up in the “horse race.”

As an intellectual exercise, I genuinely think you’ll find this fascinating. Here’s the link to the page on our site with all of these strategies described in detail including a dividend strategy, Paul’s Ultimate Buy and Hold, plus JL Collins’ portfolio during accumulation and wealth preservation.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Molly said, “My husband and I were on the path to FI about 3 years ago and then slowly drifted back into our old habits. Over the past two months, we hopped back on the bandwagon because we are expecting our first baby in July and want to be able to have the flexibility to be there for her once we hit FI. We started off by doing the daunting task of updating our budget tracker and projecting what our budget will be for the next month. This was eye opening as to how much we were truly spending in each category. Over the past two months we have cut cable from Xfinity and are doing internet only, saving us over $100 a month! We are about to switch mobile carriers from AT&T to Mint Mobile, which will save us close to $400 annually. We had a Spotify monthly Premium subscription which we cancelled. I cannot believe we had been paying that for this whole time in quarantine! This will save us $120 annually. We also just signed up for a BJ’s Wholesale membership to allow us to cook in bulk and freeze meals. I am in the military so getting their military discount of $15 off the membership price was a nice perk. We have saved so much time during the week by meal prepping and it has been so nice to get some time back! We also started using our local library to read more books, especially books on personal finance! We love hearing the stories of struggles on ChooseFI followed by success stories, which inspire us to continue on this path. Thank you for changing our lives!”
  • Matt said, “I had saved a previous e-mail from you regarding Policygenius. I called them for comparison pricing of my auto and homeowner’s insurance policies. I was able to save over $600/year!!! The very next thing I did was to log onto my Vanguard account to adjust my automatic contribution to reflect the monthly savings. I was feeling great. Later that day, my high was crushed when my Internet bill came in reflecting a new rate of $20 more a month. I did some more research and was ready to switch to a new provider for half the cost. When I called to cancel with the current company, I employed the “Just Ask” mentality and asked them to price match, and they did!!! My spirits were lifted again, and between the auto insurance, homeowners, and internet, I will be saving about $92/month. Without the little reminders and tips courtesy of ChooseFI, I don’t know that I would have asked to comparison price as much. Thank you so much.”
  • Isaac said, “My most recent marginal improvement was beginning doing my workout routine at the fitness building at work on my lunch break, giving me back 30 minutes of my evening to spend with my family. Time is one of our most valuable resources, and I am time poor – so this was a big one. Using all of our resources efficiently is a huge game changer. The discipline it takes to be efficient in one, usually translates into all other areas as well. The other gain is replacing my property manager with one who will be a better fit for my needs – providing more of what I need in addition to actually doing what the incumbent is supposed to be, taking more off of my plate. Cheaper is not always better. It is always about the value proposition at the end of the day.”
  • Kristen said, “Not sure if we can consider this “1% better” (might even say 5,000% better), but one thing that listening to the podcast and shifting to a FI mindset has provided is just general positivity and a lens of hope through which to view the future. Pursuing FI has really made me realize that the possibilities for the future are endless and that the limitations I used to see really don’t have to be limitations at all. I don’t have to work until 65 just to have an active healthcare policy, my expenses truly can be lowered, the growth we see from investments we’re making now may seem slow but really does add up over time, the costs of daycare don’t have to prohibit us from having the size family that we’d like to have, … the list goes on and on. Thanks to you & Jonathan for the podcast — it really makes a difference in peoples’ lives!”
  • Katie said, “My 1% better is my move to DC. Although still pricey, I rented a 1 bedroom, 682 sf apartment right across from work. I have zero commute (well, seven minutes apartment door to desk). Since I get a parking spot at my work, I save $200 a month and just enjoy a bit of an extra walk to my car. I learned how to scooter and bikeshare so I can explore more of the city. I also minimized and got rid of over 500 items, slowly getting to what is truly essential to enjoying daily life. I still have a pile of stuff to sort on my dining room table but other than my two closets, I have zero other stuff or storage. #winning”

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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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