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FI Weekly – May 18, 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.

The Power of FI

Cam wrote in with a powerful message I wanted to pass along:

“The most recent episode (320) regarding stress at work made me reflect a little bit on the power of FU money and my own recent win. I’m not FI, but I’m about halfway there (though with compounding interest, probably *a lot* closer :))

I was moved to a new team this time last year, and my skillset and preferred work was not being prioritized, in an attempt to try and inject life into this other team. I was stuck doing work that I was okay at and hated, instead of the work that I was passionate about and that truly lit me up.

In January, I decided I had enough, and figured if I couldn’t find a new job in the next few months, I’d still be able to live off my savings for 20+ years anyway, so explained my situation, and said if I couldn’t move into a more favorable position, I would have to leave and pursue something else.

I ended up being moved to the team I wanted and have a much better work life now, all because I realized I didn’t need to slog things out for a paycheck, which gave me the confidence to not just *ask* for an improvement, but (politely) demand it.

This single act has alleviated so much of the “bad” stress from bureaucracy and grind, and added a lot of good stress from growth and passion.”

Just by pursuing Financial Independence, we all have so much more power than we previously believed possible and, as we say, “everything is negotiable.” Especially from a position of strength.

Make Your Kid a Millionaire

We covered this in detail on Episode 319, but the Roth IRA for Children is such a critical (and overlooked) concept that I wanted to give you a link to our in-depth article on Roth IRAs for Kids here in the FI Weekly.

If your child has earned income, then they have the ability to contribute to a Roth IRA. This is the perfect opportunity to start teaching them a number of FI concepts including compounding, retirement matching and the importance of saving money generally. This is literally a million dollar lesson.

Freshman Year For Free

Thomas wrote in with a hack that his family used for a “free freshman year” of college via CLEP testing (Millionaire Educator talked about this on Episode 238 of ChooseFI) via

From their site: “Modern States’ “Freshman Year for Free” made preparing for a CLEP exam easier than ever with 30+ online courses available for free anywhere on-demand. Now you can finish a Modern States course, request a voucher to pay for the test fees and then take the corresponding CLEP exam right on your computer.”

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Anna said, “I recently made the very tough decision to walk away from my high paying job at a Big 4 Firm that I have been at for 15 years (since College) to be home with my three young kids. I was working a ton of hours and although I made good money, did not like the trajectory I was on with my family life balance. When I put in my resignation, the Firm literally bent over backwards and asked what they could do to have me stay. I told them I wanted the Summer off with my kids and would consider working part time only in the Fall. I am now on a 4-month Sabbatical and will be returning in September at only 20 hours a week (with Full Benefits!) when my kids return to school. I feel like I won the work/life balance lottery as I still did want to continue working at some capacity but couldn’t continue with my current pace. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do this if it weren’t for your podcast and shifting my mindset.”
  • Brady said, “Two frugal wins of the week: 1. I’m an avid cyclist. My roof rack from 2013 finally rusted through. I recently decided to replace it with a trunk rack. A new one would have been $169.99. I found the same one, new-in-box, on Craigslist for $35! Easiest $135 I’ve made all year – and that’s before any aerodynamic / fuel efficiency savings! 2. I booked a round-trip flight for “free” by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points (see Sapphire Preferred above) to a travel partner. A measly $11.50 later and I’m on my way to my brother’s wedding. This is life on cheat codes!”
  • Brianne said, “I couldn’t be more excited to share some big wins with you that made my life at least 1% better! Last week we signed a HELOC so we can invest our emergency fund in index funds. This got me so excited to implement more of what I’ve learned from your podcast! I’ve been dragging my feet about moving my Roth IRA because I wasn’t confident in my knowledge, but I bit the bullet and emailed my fund manager to let her know I’ll be moving my investments and managing them myself! I started learning about Paul Merriman’s ‘ultimate buy and hold’ strategy, and plan to implement it once my funds have moved over! I cannot thank you enough Choose FI podcast, these are huge steps early in my life!!”
  • Sheila said, “My 1% better is, I helped a newbie by introducing her to a friend in the ChooseFI Chicago local group (click here for the list of 300+ local groups), and getting her ready to know which questions to ask by reading “The Simple Path to Wealth”. I have now maxed out my 401k and ROTH IRA for 2021 and am in the process of locating remote side gigs to help me complete my savings goals for the rest of the year. In 3 years, I should be FI!!!!”
  • Matt said, “Here’s my 1% better for the past few months. I work in IT and my work pays for any continuing education costs such as certificates and training. For some reason, I’m the only one taking advantage of this program. When I asked if there was an incentive for passing the certification tests, my work replied “Yes! $300 per certification.” Over the past 6 months, I’ve taken and passed 3 certification courses completely paid for netting me an extra $900! Talent stacking for the win! It’s amazing what will be granted if someone just asks!”
  • Nancy said, “My 1% better this week is that I used GoodRx for the first time. I’ve been meaning to look into it for a while and after listening to episode #318, 100 Way to Get 1% Better, where you mentioned it again, I finally took action. The price differences between pharmacies shown on GoodRx for the exact same medication was staggering. After finding the cheapest pharmacy for my prescription, I simply made one phone call to the pharmacy and they took care of the rest. By not using my insurance and instead paying out of pocket, I’ll save $468 this year. Win!”

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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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