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October 26, 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.

Taking Action is the Goal

The (not so subtle) secret behind the FI Weekly newsletter is this: My entire goal is to inspire you to take life-changing action.  And it starts small, one little change after another, until your life has radically transformed for the better.

Last week I linked up a Forbes article that gave exact directions on how you could take 5 minutes and check if you had “unclaimed money” with your current (and prior) state of residence.

Here are some wins from the community from people who clicked and took action:

  • Miranda said, “I found almost $18,000 of unclaimed money for an immediate relative and made her day today by sending her the attached screenshot! AMAZING! She had no idea but she will definitely be getting in touch with the comptroller’s office :)”
  • Debi said, “I found $58 in Florida and my family has some money in Missouri they didn’t know about!”
  • Steven said, “I was able to claim over $200, including $50 from my grandfather who died before I was born…Oh snap! It was actually $800! I had an unclaimed auto insurance payout for… ???. Who cares!? Haha. Thanks Brad!”
  • Cory said, “I recently went on the unclaimed money scavenger hunt- and found a few hundred bucks!  One thing to note is that you need to have proof of living at the particular address the unclaimed money is linked to. I am purging tons of old files and paperwork, so I made sure to save some sort of concrete documentation of addresses. The unclaimed money was really fun- I found so much unclaimed money for my family. it was really cool!”

If you’re reading this email, don’t just take it in passively.  Click this link for the Forbes article, find your state in the handy map they’ve included and see if you have any unclaimed money.

Then hit reply and let me know what you found!  I want to be your accountability buddy for taking action on this.

How to Win (Without Talent or Luck)

Amanda wrote in with something I had to share with the ChooseFI Community:

“In their newsletter this week, M1 Finance shared a Twitter thread from Sahil Bloom titled “How to Win (Without Talent or Luck).” I saw a lot of the Choose FI worldview in the advice here, so I wanted to pass it on to you as a potential share for an upcoming newsletter. You’ll find it here: “

This is a 25 Tweet thread each with an essential life lesson.  These all resonated with me, but to give you a flavor:

  • Give More Than You Receive
  • Simplify Where Others Complicate
  • Develop a Bias for Motion
  • Change Your Mind
  • Play Long-Term Games
  • Adopt a Positive Sum Mentality

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Wendy said, “My improvement is more than 1% to report. While listening to multiple episodes of your podcast while driving, I realized I could take a portion of my (I’m self-employed) emergency fund and open a non-retirement brokerage account with money I don’t need right now – or likely won’t need for at least a year. This EF is there in case I don’t have work for a few months and, as of now, I have dedicated work for at least the next 6 months. I’ve left 2 months’ salary in cash account, just in case, and invested the rest. Thank you for sparking this idea!”
  • Erin said, “I am re-listening to all the podcast episodes in a row now that I have a deeper financial knowledge. I recently listened to EP140 with Nick True. He was talking about college scholarships and how he just kept submitting applications year after year. I also found it interesting that the applicant pool is very small for some scholarships. Because of this, my family got 1% better this week! Our state recently announced a 529 scholarship for K-8 students. Our daughter just started kindergarten so we applied. All she had to do was draw a picture of what she wanted to do in college (she wants to be an Olympic swimmer…how adorable!). We just found out SHE WON! Without listening to this episode, I would have never thought we would have a chance. Thank you for giving me the confidence to just keep trying. The FIRE is spreading to the next generation :)”
  • Tiffany said, “I started listening to Choose FI two years ago. At the time, I was freshly divorced, had 7k in credit card debt, a relatively expensive apartment, and didn’t make a comfortable salary to pay all of it. I decided to sling pizza until I got debt free, which I did in Nov ’20! I’ve since leveled up my salary by 56% and split ALL of the extra money into my TSP, high yield savings (saving for a house), and VTSAX, I also ordered an AA credit card that came with 60k points from the first purchase…paying it off every month of course. I use my extra time volunteering at a community food bank, and I’m grateful that I have more TIME to give back now. I have since shared your podcast with a ton of my friends and we often find ourselves dreaming and scheming new ideas on how to save and make more money. Your podcast is a gem. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!”
  • Brandon said, “My 1% better this week was creating a personal finance 101 course. At the hospital system I work at, we have the newer nurses, called nurse residents, go through this 12-month nurse residency. We meet monthly and one component of the meeting is self-care. I immediately knew, as a facilitator, financial education would be something I would love to present in regards to self-care. I spoke to my leader and her committee approved me to give a 20-30 minute presentation about finances. I of course put some nice FI principles in my presentation, and spoke to them about getting 1% better. One thing that makes me happy is talking about finances and getting younger folks excited about this topic. Having people ‘light up’ during something like this is such a blessing. Thanks for all you guys do, and I hope to keep the FIRE spreading in my little world.”
  • Noah said, “Some months ago I read in the FI Weekly that a community member contacted their insurance company to lower their auto insurance rate due to no longer having a commute while working from home. I thought that was a great idea and made a Todo for myself to contact my insurance to do the same. While unfortunately that Todo sat un-Todone (!) for a few months, I did finally call yesterday, and the representative was able to change one vehicle usage type from Commute to Pleasure, while lowering both cars’ annual mileage estimates, and with no change in my coverage I was able to reduce my 6-mo rate by $150, over 17% savings! The extra $300 a year will help continue to grow my savings, but also lowers my FI number by $9000, so that’s one step closer to FI, just by (finally) taking action on this good idea the community shared. Hoping others can do so as well, maybe with less procrastinating than I did :)”

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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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