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FI Weekly – June 21, 2022: Success and Sharing the FI Love, House Hacking, Letters to Your Future Self

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.

Success and Sharing the FI Love

A FI Weekly reader, who goes by the initials SMN, wrote in an amazing story of how they reached early retirement, prioritized their life and have spread the concept of FI to family and friends:

“Long overdue update from faithful listener from the beginning… the tldr; I DID IT!! I hit the “retirement button” in late 2020 and haven’t looked back since, big thanks to Choose FI for all of the inspiration, motivation, and hack-ifications along the way!

While it may not have been exactly to plan, the COVID shutdown provided me with the space to reprioritize my life, reclaim my time, and to realize the ‘one more year’ syndrome need not continue.

Since then we’ve “Red X’d” each February and August, done multiple month+ long road trips, and, oh yeah, got married!! (You may appreciate we not only paid for wedding in cash but even negotiated a 4-figure cash discount with the venue!).

Also meaningful to me and another huge point of pride is that I’ve been able to spread the Choose FI concepts and messaging to friends and family, a few have even started to follow my/our lead! Pretty impressive transition with a super close and longtime friend, he went from normal everyday American – truck payment, boat, two 4-wheelers, but no retirement and basically living paycheck to paycheck – to a model Choose FI’er, and all in just In just 18 months.

He started with selling boat, paying off the car and starting a Roth, then he started stacking 1%s from there. The last time we spoke he let me know he just negotiated a raise, promotion, 4 day weeks for summer and to red x August this summer, pretty impressive turnaround in under 2 years!!!

Helping this one friend really helped open my eyes to my new passion project – sharing the FI love! So far, I’ve helped another couple folks to ‘level up’ their finances, pro-bono financial literacy coaching is quickly becoming my new favorite pastime.”

House Hacking: Short Term Rentals

I love getting replies to the FI Weekly with tips that would have never crossed my plate otherwise, but that I know I immediately have to share with all of you.

Riza wrote in:

“I learned about renting (a room) to travel nurses through the Choose FI group on Facebook and immediately started to do more research on it. We have a spare bedroom that we never wanted to rent out because we use it for my aunt and uncle that come from out of the country to stay with us 1-2x/year, for about a month or two.

Now that I understand more about renting short term to traveling professionals, we put our room on a traveling professionals housing website and have someone set to rent from us for 3 months, right after my aunt and uncle leave 🙂 This income will be used for needed repairs on the house and for investing!
Thank you and the community for this great idea!”

I followed up for more details and here’s what Riza wrote back:

“I learned about Furnished Finder from the Choose FI group. Others suggested Airbnb, but when I followed an Airbnb super host group, I found it to be too stressful for my liking lol. Furnished Finder isn’t as user friendly and intuitive as Airbnb, but I feel it’s simpler for my needs.

Oh, I also found a two travel nurse FB groups-one that is nationwide (Furnished Finder for Travel Nurses) and one more local to my area. I spent about two months just reading posts and understanding the needs of traveling nurses/traveling professionals so I could tailor the room rental and my rental post to best fit both our needs.”

Letters to Your Future Self

One of the best threads I’ve read recently on Twitter is from Sahil Bloom.  He said:

“Every year on my birthday I write a letter to my future self.

It’s been a 10x unlock for my life.

Here’s why you should start doing it:”

Sahil goes into great detail, and trust me it’s worth your time to read the full thread, but just as an overview, he writes the letter to his 5-year future self on these main topics:

(1) Reflections on the present
(2) Changes to make
(3) Goals for the future
(4) Fun & crazy predictions

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Katie said, “AHHHHHH I have a savers’ high!!!! I just saved 64% on my car insurance, same coverage/same limits by going to Big Thanks to the FI Community because I didn’t know the site existed.”
  • Molly said, “My family and I are on our first “mini-retirement” in Providence, Rhode Island. Based on Jillian Johnsrud’s podcast about taking mini retirements, my husband and I were inspired to take a month off and spend it with our 3.5 year old daughter before she goes to preschool in the fall and our 2 month old son. Thankfully I’ve been able to incorporate this time into my already planned maternity leave, but my husband boldly asked for unpaid time off for a few weeks from his work, and was the first person to ever ask for this kind of leave. The amazing part of his asking was we were prepared financially to have him be on unpaid leave for the month but he decided to ask if he could use his sick leave (that he never uses). His boss checked the Vermont state laws and granted his request! Now we’re enjoying this amazing time in a new city, getting to know our new baby, and feeling energized to go back to work after this experience. We’re hoping to continue taking mini retirements as we reach our eventual goal of FI in 8-10 years.”
  • Anne said, “I’ve been reading your newsletter for a while and went through the free class on points and airline miles. My 1% improvements lately have really been adding up – I just negotiated a 25% raise, invested some of the cash from commissions into renovating my basement and adding a deck to increase property value, and was able to accumulate airline miles through bonus offers with the renovations (immediately paid off). Those miles will cover a week-long vacation for my son and me later this summer. I’m not yet where I want to be, but I have so many more options now that I’ve learned more about FI.”
  • Eric said, “My 1% better has been signing up one more athlete for my run coaching service. I’ve offered a discount to a few friends to get started, and the added benefit of staying in touch with friends more regularly was something unexpected. Working as a remote run coach has been a fun side hustle. I get to help people improve in a sport that I’m passionate about. I coach about ten runners now, all of very different backgrounds and experience levels. Since I’m on leave from my teaching career, I can dedicate time to learning this craft, and decide if it’s something I want to continue in my post-FI life, whenever that is. I also discovered that I love writing for the coaching blog, and I’m learning a lot about operating a (very) small business. All these options are possible thanks to what I’ve learned in the FI community, most notably from ChooseFI!”
  • Taj said, “I started my FI journey in 2021 at the age of 45. Since then, I have paid off 7 out of 9 debts. When I first began my journey, I had a savings rate of 10%. I now have a savings rate of 28%! I was able to increase my savings rate by “cutting the cord”, switching phone plans and electric providers, in addition to paying off debt. Recently, my wife and I wanted to have the carpet in our home removed. In the past, we would have paid someone to do this task. However, being on this journey has motivated me to find as many savings as possible. So we decided that we would do this task ourselves along with our sons. By doing this on our own we are saving $800! Your podcast, along with other podcast in the FI community and numerous books have truly changed my financial life. I would like to thank you and encourage you to continue the great work!”
  • Lily said, “My 1% better was having an honest conversation with my boyfriend and later my friend on wanting to host at our house instead of going out every week. Inflation sucks, but cutting back in other areas instead of changing my savings rate is important to me. Lucky for me they were both game for game night.”
  • Ian said, “Me and my partner started working towards FI about 1.5 years ago now and let me tell you, it’s been amazing and eye opening. We have now managed to pay off all miscellaneous debts and one of our vehicles are paid off now! And by this time next year we will have the other vehicle paid off! We’ll then be able to maximize our contributions to our Roth IRAs and HSAs and that is just amazing. Shooting to be FI in 10-15 years depending on how long it takes us to finish our degrees and increase that income now that we have slashed the expenses. Thanks for everything!”

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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