ChooseFI Logo

How I Was Set On FIRE

Top Articles

New users get 1 year FREE of M1 Plus and earn $30 if they fund their accounts with $1000 or more in the same month!

  • $0 commission-free trading
  • Investing made easy with automatic rebalancing
  • Low 2% rate for emergencies or to consolidate loans

Start a new,

HIGH PAYING CAREER 

No tech experience
or degree required

Take the Salesforce Challenge

Share This Post
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest
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.

My first “technical” introduction to Financial Independence (FI) was in 2012. It came down to one exact moment, and I remember the exact words I said to myself.

I was in a Christian thrift shop, thumbing through the books. It was there I picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (the cover where he is cutting a credit card with scissors). I looked at the book and said to myself, “I’ll pay a dollar to see if I can change my life.” Oddly, that dollar did change my life.

Enter Dave Ramsey

So I drank the Dave Ramsey Kool-Aid and ran with it. I could quote his book left and right. I watched every YouTube video I could find and listened to the audiobook a bunch of times. Thanks to all this, I was working hard to pay my car off and get out of student loan debt. But I wasn’t really “gazelle intense.” My income was sporadic, and although I picked up around 40 hours every week, I was technically a part-time employee.

In July 2013, I switched employers and took a small pay cut (but actually made more with consistent full time hours and benefits). I was unable to contribute to the employer 401k for a year and was unaware of Individual Retirement Accounts, so I just kept extra cash in my savings account while waiting to contribute.

In 2014, I got antsy and gave into peer pressure. My roommate had decided to work towards an MBA. I thought, well if I get my MBA I can climb the corporate ladder. My employer did offer tuition assistance, so I paid for books as much as I could.

In 2015, I ended up with about $25,000 in student loans. As I said I wasn’t very gazelle intense, even though I could quote Ramsey every way to Sunday. 2015 was a bit slow for my finances. I was just paying minimums to keep my head above water. Plus, I contributed up to the 401k match.

In 2016, I got a bit more serious about my finances. I was still using Ramsey’s 25% allocation to Small Cap, Mid Cap, Large Cap, and International funds and I saw my 401k slowly growing. Around this time, I met my current manager. He introduced me to Mr. Money Mustache. I didn’t take a look at the MMM blog right away. But this would circle back.

Enter ChooseFI

I can’t 100% remember when I first heard about ChooseFI, but I do remember listening to the Travel Miles episode of the Mad Fientist podcast with Brad. At the same time, I remember hearing about ChooseFI podcast coming soon after that, and I was ready to dig in, as I was quickly addicted to new finance podcasts. I remember also joining a lot of Mr. Money Mustache Facebook groups.

In 2017 I started to dominate my finances. I started keeping my net worth posted when I started my blog in September of 2016. In addition, I learned about high yield savings accounts, how to open different types of IRA’s, low cost index funds, and all the optimizations that the FIRE community recommend. I remember Brad on the podcast emphasizing the importance of taking action. So I opened a high yield savings account and a Roth IRA.

When the Facebook group was still growing exponentially, there was mention of the excitement in Jonathan’s voice whenever a guest was about to sit in the hot seat. I made a comment about how cool it would be to sit in the hot seat and I was fortunate enough to be allowed on a Friday roundup episode.

By listening to ChooseFI, reading financial blogs, participating in the FI community, and taking action, I was able to really focus on my finances.

How one regular guy found the path to Financial Independence

Subscribe To The FI Weekly

Action, accountability, inspiration, and community. Join the movement. Get started on your Path to FI

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.
More To Explore