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May 28, 2024: Reading, Watching, Playing, Southwest Update, Rebel Finance School plus Community Wins

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.

What I’m Reading, Watching, Playing

Reading: My reading pace has slowed a bit the past month, but I’m still working my way through a few books.

I mentioned Stoicism and Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Daily Stoic’ here a few weeks ago, and my friend Matt gave me a stack of Ryan’s other books, so I’m starting from ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ and also concurrently reading a page a day of ‘The Daily Stoic’ and ‘The Daily Dad.’

Since finishing Brandon Sanderson’s ‘The Stormlight Archive’ books, I’m in the market for a new fantasy series, so if you have something to recommend, definitely let me know!

Watching: I’ve watched a lot of English Premier League football (soccer) over the past few months, especially as the season came to a thrilling end this past week.

While it was sad to see my beloved Arsenal fall just short of their first title in 20 years, I have turned watching matches into fun events:

While visiting NYC a few weekends ago, I found a bar where Arsenal supporters gathered to watch them beat Tottenham. The energy of watching this communally was really something special.

That emboldened me to seek out the Arsenal supporters in Richmond, and I went to watch a match with them and my good friend, Patrick.

I’ve even convinced my daughter, Molly, to watch some matches with me at home!

This is a long way of saying that I’m looking for new adventures and experiences and doing things a little differently than I’ve always done them. It’s fun to now be able to look up Arsenal supporters in cities across the world as I travel.

I wonder, how can you take this same spirit into your own life and your own passions?

Playing: Molly recently pulled out a game we hadn’t played in a few years, and it reminded us how much we love it:

The Crew – Mission Deep Sea is an incredibly fun cooperative trick-taking game. Because you can play as little as one round at a time, it’s an easy one to sit down and play.

And almost invariably, you wind up continuing to play ‘just one more round’ because you’re having a blast.

This is a sub-$15 game that I would highly recommend.

Southwest Now on Google Flights

Quick public service announcement:

Southwest Airlines flights and fares now appear on Google Flights!

This was one of the main drawbacks of Google flights, but as of this past week, that issue is no more.

Google Flights also allows you to track flights and prices and receive email alerts. Since Southwest allows you to rebook your flights easily, you can use this new capability to obtain these credits/cash back more easily.

Here’s an article from The Points Guy on ‘How to re-price a Southwest flight when the fare decreases.’

Rebel Finance School

Each year, my wonderful friends Katie and Alan Donegan run the Rebel Finance School, a 10-week, completely free course designed to help you manage your finances, get out of debt, understand how to invest and build wealth for the long term and learn how to talk to the people in your life about money.

This year’s course starts on June 10th, and you can sign up for the course here.

I spent a weekend with Katie and Alan in Las Vegas recently at our ‘Design Your Extraordinary Life’ event, and I can say with absolute certainty that they are inspiring, funny, engaging, and above all, truly gifted teachers with an amazing ability to distill concepts into actionable wisdom.

They see this free course as their gift to the world and expect nothing in return other than you taking action and improving your life, which is perfectly in line with the ethos of ChooseFI.

Depending on where you are on your FI journey, this could be ideal for you personally or it could be just the thing to share and help the people around you to get on top of their money.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

My 1% better is that earlier this year, my husband and I reached Coast FI, which gave us the freedom for me to decide to leave my job.

However, instead of just putting in my two weeks I pitched the idea of an incentived exit to my boss. In other words, could I get my company to pay me to leave my role?

I figured it was a long shot but the worst they could say was no and it wouldn’t change my plan either way…

Turns out, they were actually open to the idea as it would help free up their P+L during a particular difficult year.

They offered me 7 months of pay plus 2 months of health benefits in return for stepping down.

Sure beat just handing in my resignation for a job I was planning to leave regardless!

– Alaina

Long time listener and newsletter reader. I have a 1% win I’d like to share about passing down FI learning to my daughter. When she graduated from college, she not only had zero debt but a good size balance in her 529 college savings account. We knew she didn’t plan to get a master’s degree, so had decided to take the money out of the account, pay the penalty fee and taxes out of that amount, and give the remainder to her to invest.

She’s now 26, has learned many FI and investment principles I’ve passed down from Choose FI and others, and she is now just shy of $400k in her investment / retirement accounts. She’s always been naturally thrifty and a saver, and I love seeing my daughter well on her way to buying her financial freedom at an even younger age than I was able to.

– Diana

My 1% for this week was a BIG WIN!!! I made my last debt payment so I am now DEBT FREE!!!!😁 A total of $61k paid off over 5 yrs, now gone! Many thanks to guidance, podcasts, and suggestions from this community. Looking forward to building wealth with you. Life is GOOD!

– Vicki

We started doing all our grocery shopping on Thursday nights using the City Market (Kroger) app. Easy to clip all the coupons, price compare, and stick to only items on the list. We then do the (free) pickup on Friday to take advantage of the 4x Fuel Point Friday coupon. Now we spend far less time grocery shopping and almost always have enough points to get $1 off per gallon at the adjacent gas station.

– Nick

I payed $900 for 15 graduate level credits. This will move me to the farthest right column in my district’s educator salary schedule. I’m going to knock out the work as quickly as I can and then I will get an immediate raise that exceeds the cost of the credits. Between the credits, finishing another year of teaching, and benefitting from our union’s fight for teachers, I will start next year (my 12th!!) at 90K vs this year at 82K.

I’ve been maxing everything out for a few years and I’ll continue to do so but the small extra in my paycheck will go toward fun money for me and my daughter! I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as a single mama/teacher in a HCOL city.

I’m so thankful for what I’ve learned from ChooseFI and other FIRE resources!

– Anne

In early May, I completed my first ultra marathon. Now, you might be wondering how this correlates to finances. Well, a year ago, our staffing numbers at work were extremely low. Overtime was abundant, and mandatory. During this extended period of increased pay our family spending plan remained the same.

We did NOT take on any new monthly payments or splurge on expensive toys. We socked away 10k in a sinking fund for a new vehicle and paid cash for an unexpected bathroom repair. In the last few months, my hours at work have returned to normal, as did my paycheck.

If we had taken on additional payments or increased our spending in the past year, I would need to be working a part time job to cover the increased expenses. Instead, I was able to devote my new found free time to following a time-consuming training program for my race. Keeping lifestyle creep at bay will increase your happiness and security by WAY more than 1%, and help protect your most important asset, your time.

– Michael

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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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