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FI Weekly – October 5, 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.

Salary Negotiation Wins

I’m continually blown away by how much the concept of salary negotiation has resonated with the ChooseFI Community. 

I’d recommend you go back and listen to these two actionable episodes on salary negotiation that contain specific scripts of what you should say to create a win-win for you and your employer:

Here are the two wins from the community I wanted to highlight this week:   


“This week my 1% better is an 18% raise!! I listened (and re-listened!) to episode 211 with the Financial Mechanic and took notes about how to negotiate my salary. I did my own market research, applied for another job to gauge what I could potentially get paid, (landed an offer and negotiated that starting salary – first timer here!) and then used that competing offer as leverage to ask for a raise in my current position. My current employer was appreciative that I came to them before leaving the company and agreed to match the competing offer! Now, I know I am getting paid my worth and I am that much closer to FI! You never know unless you ask! My brother shared this podcast with me ~2 years ago and it has been life changing. BIG Thanks to my brother and BIG Thanks to the ChooseFI podcast and community for keeping me motivated and inspiring me to think outside the box!”


“My 1% better was actually 20% better! I found myself walking into salary negotiations for a new job this week with the mindset, “There’s no limit on income.” I surprised myself by asking for a 20% increase from my previous salary… and I got it with no questions asked! I would never have had the confidence to do that before taking FI 101 and listening to the podcast. Oh, and I only applied for jobs with unlimited PTO and 401k matching. I’ve never had either perk before. Thanks so much for what you’re doing to change lives!”

Living in Amazing Times

I’ve previously mentioned Tim Urban’s essential piece The Tail End, and I just came across this gem of a quote on Twitter:

“It’s crazy that with an iPhone, a little Starlink antenna, and a solar power unit, you could live in an isolated cave in the mountains (or on a raft in the middle of the Pacific) and get a world-class education, start a business or art career, & make friends all around the world.”

What a time we’re living in!

I think a lot of us focus on the negative drumbeat of news, but there’s a case to be made we’re living in the most exciting time in human history.

Never before have we had the access to knowledge, communities and options that we do at any given moment of the day.

Take advantage of it!

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Sandy said, “My 1% was going to the eye doctor to get a prescription…When they seated me at the eyeglass choosing station I chose two frames, got the distance between my pupils measured, got their quote…($1,020 for two pair) and then asked them to write down all that information, print my prescriptions, and ordered from Zenni instead for a total of about $175. I was nervous, feeling somehow like I “owed” it to them – but then I thought, “Actually, I’ll be the one owing! Ouch!” Thanks for giving me the courage to walk away!”
  • Brandon said, “My 1%+ is centered around taking action in life not only financially – During my daily school walk with my kids instead of ducking under all of the branches hanging over the sidewalk or poking us in the head, I grabbed a pair of shrub scissors to cut all of the tree branches hanging over. I have started a mini-physician FI group with my spouse’s peers where we trade ideas for savings and retirement. I have noticed a big improvement in their life and energy. Many are actively or contemplated dropping to 80% or less due to applying the tenets of FI. In addition, I have started a personal finance newsletter at my work employees to spread the word. I have already had 10+ people reach out to me for additional questions and help.”
  • Valerie said, “My 1% better…a cup of coffee got me a round trip flight to Greece! My boyfriend and I just completed our first credit card rewards travel vacation. We both signed up for the American Airlines card. There was no minimum spend required – you just had to make 1 purchase on the card (I bought a cup of coffee). I earned the 60k reward miles and cashed them in for a round trip flight to Greece. I also turned in Marriott Bonvoy points I had been saving from business trips pre-Covid to pay for 5 nights at one of the hotels we stayed at. Between these 2 hacks we easily saved at least $3,000!”
  • Jazmin said, “My 1% better is being under contract on my 3rd rental property in 3 years! Although adding a third won’t make me rich overnight or allow me to quit my job, I know I’m just one step closer to compounding my wealth over time and eventually being financially free through real estate. Cheers!”
  • Kathleen said, “My 1% better is I shop my pantry/freezer prior to going grocery shopping. For example, I’ll Google “recipe chicken breasts, Greek olives, sazon flavoring” and see what recipes come up. It’s been really fun to add this additional level of strategy to my weekly meal planning.”
  • Kyle said, “A friend and I are both listeners and readers of the show. We’ve worked on our budgets the last few years and we are both fairly competitive. We started a “game” where we have a shared Google sheet where we track our non-grocery food expenses: dining out, snacks at a gas station, etc. each month a “winner” is declared. It’s been awesome to see us trend downwards on our spending in that category, an area we both identified as a “needs improvement ” section of the budget. It’s hard to say exactly, but it’s cut our spending in that category anywhere from 50-75%, pretty great! That’s just one of many ways we’ve made our lives “1% better”, with a little friendly competition.”

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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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