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Updates & Inspiration for Your Financial Independence Journey

Curated and written by ChooseFI Podcast host & co-founder Brad Barrett, the FI Weekly Newsletter is the weekly check-in you need if you’re pursuing FI.

Every Tuesday morning you’ll receive an email with:

  • Three key sections summarized to maximize your ability to take action
    • Recent examples include: Redeeming rewards points for NYC, finding Unclaimed Property, Gift Tax Exclusion rules, daily routines of high performers…and more.
  • Six ‘1% Wins’ from FI Weekly readers – what they did this week to make their lives better. The secret sauce of the newsletter is the motivation and inspiration you get reading these wins.

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Interested in past newsletters? View the full set of previous emails here!

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Explore the Archives

FI Weekly – September 15, 2020

Making the Best of a Difficult Situation My daughters started virtual school last week and the care and effort the teachers put in to make this a “real” school year is astonishing! Nothing is ever perfect and there have been some minor hiccups, but it was a great week. The attitude and mentality you approach a situation with generally dictates your outcome. Laura and I could have infected the kids with negativity and complaints about this less than perfect situation. Instead, we chose to focus on the positives and asked a variation of: “What if the worst thing that ever happened to you turned out to be the best thing that ever happened?” My 3rd grader set up a bike-riding group with her friends, so they all meet at our driveway for recess and ride bikes for 20 minutes! And then they rotate hosting daily picnic lunches. This is an incredible way to look at the problem and come up with the “best thing” solution. What I’m Listening To The newest episode of The Mad Fientist podcast with Morgan Housel, author of the recently released ‘The Psychology of Money’ is a must-listen. It is so jammed packed with essential quotes

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FI Weekly – September 22, 2020

Back to Basics: The Impact of Fees Following our theme on the podcast of ‘Back to Basics’ I wanted to quickly touch on the impact of fees on your investments. This illustrates why we believe in low-cost index funds so strongly. From Vanguard’s site: “Imagine you have $100,000 invested. If the account earned 6% a year for the next 25 years and had no costs or fees, you’d end up with about $430,000. If, on the other hand, you paid 2% a year in costs, after 25 years you’d only have about $260,000. That’s right: The 2% you paid every year would wipe out almost 40% of your final account value. 2% doesn’t sound so small anymore, does it?” I wrote an article years ago that walks you through a few examples – I think it’s good to get a refresher on this critical topic. ChooseFI Foundation: Easy Way to Support I just found an incredibly easy (and free!) way to support our Foundation’s mission to bring FI and financial literacy to underserved communities. At ‘Amazon Smile,’ with one click you can select the Foundation as your designated charity and then do your future Amazon.com shopping at smile.amazon.com. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchases at

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FI Weekly – September 29, 2020

My Fail of the Week: Last Week’s Email Communication is all about getting your point across, and last week I had a colossal fail when talking about Amazon Smile. There was a lackluster response, which means I did a terrible job of communicating and that’s 100% on me. This is important, so here’s attempt #2: Do you shop at Amazon.com? Of course you do. Here’s a way to do something good while shopping at the internet behemoth: Simply go to https://smile.amazon.com/ first and then shop like normal at Amazon. You get the exact same low prices and Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to a charity of your choice. A FREE donation to your favorite charity is hard to beat! All you have to do is designate a charity the first time you visit Amazon Smile and then go through smile.amazon.com EVERY. SINGLE. TIME you make a purchase and that’s it! Better yet, automate the process. Update your bookmark, or if you shop through the app, go to Settings>Amazon Smile>Turn on AmazonSmile and you’ll never need to think about it again. There are a lot of worthy charities trying to make the world a better place. This is the easiest way to

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FI Weekly – October 6, 2020

As part of the “take action” credo at ChooseFI, we always advise you to get new quotes on your car and home insurance each year. You’ll be shocked at how much you can potentially save just by going to a different insurance company. I’d always start with traditional carriers like Geico, State Farm, and Allstate to get a baseline, but two companies just were introduced to me that are disrupting the insurance industry in unique ways: Metromile: My car is a large paperweight right now, so paying for car insurance based on how many miles I drive is really appealing! Ed, our CEO at ChooseFI, switched his auto insurance for 2 vehicles and 2 drivers to Metromile and was able to get his monthly cost under $40 a month when his city was locked down. Even with some summer road trips, his monthly auto insurance is less than $60/month. The downside is it is currently only available in: AZ, CA, IL, NJ, PA, OR, VA, WA. Check out our in-depth review of Metromile here. Lemonade: Jonathan used Lemonade to get his latest homeowner’s insurance policy and he couldn’t stop raving to me about how quick and easy it was. In classic Jonathan-style, he

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FI Weekly – October 13, 2020

What Have you Splurged on Recently? We talk a lot about cutting expenses at ChooseFI and while there’s room in most budgets for cutting wasteful spending, the path to FI is decidedly NOT about deprivation. It’s about finding what you truly value in life and putting your time, energy, and resources into those things. I think this is critical, and to prove this point I’ll share a recent expensive purchase we made based around value: We bought a Concept2 rowing machine for our home gym for around $900. I agonized over this purchase at first, because my frugal nature is still strong, but here’s how I framed it around value: All four of our family members will use this multiple times per week, as it’s incredibly easy to use and actually fun. It’s amazing exercise and we significantly value health and fitness. And while most items you buy depreciate 75%+ instantly (check out a garage sale to prove this point!), this rower could be sold at any moment for at least $650. Fun Activities for Less Jonathan, a new member of our Facebook group, asked a great question recently: “What fun activities do you and your family like to do

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