041 - The High Cost of Living path to FI Paige

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Time Speaker Text Tags
0 - 81 Jonathan Mendonsa Alright so today we have a very special episode that we're incredibly excited to get to present to you guys. And really it goes along with this idea that this process of achieving FI is a journey it's a story. And frankly Brad and I don't always know where it's going to go and so we had the episode several weeks ago with Scott Ricans who's doing the documentary playing with fire and in that episode we somewhat brazenly accepted the fact that you can't achieve FI in a high cost of living area and Paige who's in or who's in our community actually reached out to us almost the next day to say guys that is a limiting belief. And you just let it slide. You didn't question it. And I'm calling you out on it. And Paige lives in a high cost of living area and she was a late start to FI. And she's just rocking this goal. So we knew we wanted to get her on the podcast. We wanted to find out her story and exactly how she's doing this how she's leveraging creativity and unconventional choices to just completely crush this game. And as an added bonus we were able to do this with Sam who introduced Paige to Mr. Money Mustache and the FI community. And Sam has been living this lifestyle long before we documented the process and started to use the word FI. But Sam has taken a slightly different approach and instead of just retiring early he has done a form of intermittent retirement and so he has really more accurately retired often. So that's our show today. I'm very excited to do this and to help me with this episode. I have my co-host Brad how are you doing today buddy.
playingwithfire
81 - 117 Brad Barrett I'm doing quite well. Yeah I'm excited about this. It's it's a neat thing that we get to get so much community feedback right like we are literally recording this. Fourteen days after the episode went live where Paige called us out and that's just so cool that we get to speak with Sam and Paige here two weeks later and get this on the podcast and get it out there to the community because frankly we screwed up. We took that limiting belief and we ran with it. And Paige to her great credit called us out on it and we're here to rectify that mistake and I think that's powerful and I'm excited to speak with them.
117 - 123 Jonathan Mendonsa All right so for the first time on the ChooseFI podcast we have Paige and Sam. How are you guys doing today. Good.
123 - 125 Paige Excellent. Thanks for having us.
125 - 156 Jonathan Mendonsa Well thank you for being so willing to just call us out and this is going to be great. We're going to get a chance to see what ideas and thoughts you have about what this journey looks like and the challenges that you face because you live in L.A. which if it's not the most expensive cost of living city in the United States it's certainly one of the top five or six. And then just see how you've got a chance to tackle some of these hurdles and where you're headed with your journey. So Paige I guess why don't we start why don't you tell us just a little bit about your backstory and how you discovered the rabbit hole of FI.
backstory
156 - 164 Paige Well yeah I mean like we talked about just a second ago Sam is really the person who introduced me to the MMM forum.
164 - 179 Sam I will take credit for introducing her to the Mr. Money Mustache website. But from that point on she pretty much developed her own obsession and is now far exceeded anything that I had ever done with financial independence.
179 - 241 Paige When I got my first real live grown up job I had been an artist and a sort of budget. I mean I was always good at keeping to my budget but I basically earned played and spent. And I got my first really grown up job in 2014 which is I'm a little bit embarrassing because I was 44 years old and I had lived cheaply and just said one of my sons to do with all this extra money to get this money. And that's when Sam pointed me in the direction of Mr. Money Mustache and I mean honestly just my whole brain just sort of exploded. I was the only frustrating thing was if I had done it in reverse which is more the way he did it I could have worked saved and then retired and lived the rest of my life as an independent artist without the financial insecurity. But instead I did it. I retired first and now I'm working so that I can retire again.
241 - 272 Jonathan Mendonsa Well you know and if you had done it the right way the first time we probably wouldn't have gotten the chance to get you on the podcast talking about this so I guess the one upshot to this whole situation is at least our audience is going to get a chance to benefit from your experiences. So help us unpack this. You got your job in 2014. I believe you started your FI journey in 2015. And what's interesting about that is that even at that point your financial freedom clock hadn't started yet because I believe you had at the age of 44 or 45 you had a negative net worth. Am I correct in that.
networth
272 - 336 Paige Yes I had and still have student loans. I started out oh my gosh I didn't even know when I started paying my student loans for a very long time ago at about $100000 which I feel very grateful. On some levels that I'm not a millennial I wasn't able to get private loans so I was able to refi those into a 4 percent fixed 30 year loan. That has been very manageable. All of my working career even when I was making nothing I could make my student loan payment. But yeah I mean I still had all that when I started. And really as far as debt goes the House and the purchase of the house it brought my net worth to zero so it's not as though I paid off those student loans to get here. Not like you. Jonathan I chose to keep them in a 4 percent rate. I just my time is so truncated that I feel like the time horizon to invest is too important for me to go down the path where I pay off this low interest loan and then start saving when that happens.
career, college-loans, debt, networth, savings
336 - 355 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I guess that makes sense since you're investing timeline is so much shorter. So I think we'll be really beneficial for our audience today as if we could start by maybe highlighting some of the obstacles that other people could look at and say Will this just how can I do it because I didn't discover this in my 20s. I have student loans. I live in a high cost of living area. Do you make a six figure income.
college-loans
355 - 373 Paige No no no no. I mean at that point in 2014 I made forty eight thousand a year. By the time I found this in 2015 I think I had broke 50000. But I mean I might not have been even breaking 50000 at that point.
373 - 384 Jonathan Mendonsa And so with all of those obstacles in place you could see how someone could say to themselves Ah well this just isn't for me this is for those other people. And yet you have a goal of hitting FI by the year 2025.
384 - 425 Paige Yes absolutely. For me it's doable. I mean all those years of living as a starving artist I think was good training. But honestly the mindset shift I have lived on $30000 and earned $30000 and that feels a certain way. But earning more but still living on 30,000. I feel so much freer. I feel so. It feels so different and I can't really describe that feeling other than to say this FI journey sort of set me free of a lot of those feelings of like oh how come I can't have those things and why can't I. Now it's like why would I want those things. I'm getting something else.
mindset
425 - 431 Brad Barrett That's fascinating to me. So the mindset really did shift but maybe not in a traditional way.
mindset, traditional
431 - 448 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I totally agree Brad. And the other thing to me that's so encouraging especially with regards to Paige's gold hitting FI by the year 2025 is just that she's right to be optimistic. It's totally doable and you can say that because it's just a function of the math and you're hitting a 50 percent savings rate.
savings
448 - 476 Paige Yes absolutely. I do. Pretty much a solid 50 percent and have the whole time. And that even happened after the housing increase. And that was a little bit harder transition than just sort of cutting back and really taking things down a notch to really hit the numbers earlier. When I was making a little bit less but it's still doable because in the end I just didn't want to lose the 50 percent savings rate because the math works.
savings
476 - 488 Brad Barrett So Paige talk us through what that savings looks like where where do you stash it. Are you maxing out IRAs 401Ks things like that. Or you know talk us through what your savings actually looks like.
401k, ira, savings
488 - 538 Paige Yes. I do the 401k and I just barely missed maxing out last year. I would definitely max out this year. So for two years I did a Roth IRA because that is basically where I keep my quote unquote emergency fund. And having lived sort of for want of a better word like poor my whole life the whole huge emergency fund has never really made that much sense to me. But the Roth as an emergency fund that really worked in my mind. So that's where I spent two years maxing that out as my quote unquote emergency fund. And then so now I have a traditional IRA. I have my 401k and then I also am hoping next year to hit the trifecta of HSA IRA and 401k Max.
401k, emergencyfunds, hsa, ira, roth
538 - 541 Jonathan Mendonsa Oh that's awesome trifecta. We need to lock that down Brad.
541 - 580 Brad Barrett Yeah I love that. And just to clarify for the audience Paige is putting contributions into a Roth IRA and you can actually pull your contributions out at any time tax and penalty free. So since Roth IRA dollars go in after tax they've already been taxed. You can pull them out again tax and penalty free. Now that's just the contribution portion so I'm assuming Paige put in the Max the fifty five hundred dollars per year. So in her example she has $11000 sitting in a Roth IRA that she theoretically could pull out at any point tax and penalty Pre as an emergency fund. That's a cool little hack.
ira, roth, tax
580 - 615 Jonathan Mendonsa So one of the reasons that doing this with you and Paige at the same time is so powerful is because you took a radically different approach. You found this concept much earlier in life and as a result because you did that your outcome where you are right now and the choices that you made look radically different than the choices that Paige made but also really from anybody else's we've discussed up to this point and I'd say that your motto if you are going to have a bumper sticker would be don't retire early retire often. And that's the story that I really want to highlight with you can you catch us up to speed on how you discovered FI and how you've been on this journey probably predating Mr. Money Mustache.
615 - 668 Sam Let's not underestimate the importance of a difference in starting points because I had a couple of advantages which is I didn't have to have any student loans. I went to in-state schools for both undergrad and graduate school and I was poor but I didn't have to borrow money so the whole time I've not had the extra $600 a month to have to pay in student loans and that's made a large difference. In addition I had parents who were aware of the whole investing in the stock market thing and had put a small amount of money in that in my name before I even knew what any of that was. So I was familiar with the concept of investing long before I even was making any money myself. And I think that's another you know my mind was aware of that side of the economy but I was also very broke when I got out of graduate school.
college-loans
668 - 692 Jonathan Mendonsa I think that's really powerful and I think what you're describing. It's very interesting. We have this conversation about what it's going to look like for second generation fire. And the idea that we are going to try to start slowly creating a space for them to start exploring what this FI journey might look like at a younger age. I think it's very interesting that you can reflect back and see the impact that your parents putting that money aside for you had on your decision tree and on your journey.
2ndgenfi
692 - 764 Sam Yeah and I would say for second generation fire you have to use force because I think that we're just naturally in our early 20s unable to think about these issues because that's the time where you're invincible. That's the time. If you're 22 you don't even want to think about turning 23 because the future is infinite and unknown. I remember I had a friend who was trying to talk to me in my 20s about saving up for retirement. And what are you doing for that and I just I couldn't hear what he was saying because it just was so far away from what my priorities were. So I think as far as the people are going to successfully second generation fire are going to be those whose parents made them do it who simply opened the account said this is what this account is. This is how you put money in it. This is why you put money in it. This is where you put the money. When you find that you have some extra money and make that process as seamless as just spending extra money would be and introduce them to kind of the game of that and seeing how that money can grow over time. Because otherwise I really believe that I in my 20s and I'm assuming other people in their 20s are just not, It's just not part of who you are as a young person worrying about what's going to happen 20 years from now.
2ndgenfi, savings
764 - 789 Brad Barrett Sam that's an incredibly insightful point and certainly an actionable tip for all the parents out there. I'm curious so you said Obviously your parents put this money away for you in the stock market did they overtly sit you down and have that conversation about. This is what you do all those things you just described. Do you recollect that occurring and then do you think that directly led to you then putting more money into your own accounts once you had your job in your 20s.
stocks
789 - 815 Sam Yeah I would say that they explained it to me. But it wasn't until much later that I started putting my own money in. But also if they ever had any money or gift they wanted to give me they wouldn't give the money to me. They would put it in that account. So any money from home was going to the right place rather than going to me and then making me think about oh what am I going to do with this Christmas money. It's already in the account so I'll just leave it there.
815 - 828 Paige Much later for Sam was not. Twenty years later much later was a couple of years later by the time you had started earning an income you consistently started putting away this money.
828 - 829 Sam Right. Right.
829 - 837 Paige In your mid 20s I mean maybe not at 22 like 25 you were consistently putting away chunks of your income into this account.
837 - 846 Paige Yes exactly. But I don't know if I would have gotten over just the friction of having to open an account unless it had already existed for me.
846 - 888 Jonathan Mendonsa I love that. Getting that ball rolling. Your parents already lowered the bar of entry. So you just had to keep the thing going. Yeah the second half of that that really strikes me is that the question changes. Brad you know how when we talk to gas at some point we say what was that light bulb moment for you. That's clearly a first generation fire type question. I think it changes slightly when you're talking to second generation fire. Instead it becomes at what point in life did you truly understand appreciate that your parents had lowered the barrier of entry that they had lowered the friction to be able to get this ball rolling and you actually appreciated where all that time or all those birthday presents were those Christmas presents where all of those funds actually ended up and you said Wow. That is awesome. And it sounds like for Sam he was about 25 26 years old.
2ndgenfi
888 - 912 Sam Yeah I would say that's that's true. And we're not talking a whole lot of money. But the fact that it was in the right place and that it was easy for me to if I've found that I had bunch of paychecks that year and had extra money left over at the end of the year I could electronically transfer from my checking account into this brokerage account just with the click of a button. And then that would continue because it was an easy thing to do.
brokeragechoice
912 - 914 Jonathan Mendonsa And Sam you are at FI now right.
914 - 922 Sam Well according to the math I think I could but I'm still you know going to work after this interview and I have not yet pulled the trigger.
922 - 943 Jonathan Mendonsa yeah I'm glad you brought that up because we place the emphasis on FI as opposed to fire for that exact reason but I think it's really interesting to talk about in the context of your journey because I know that while you may be working right now instead of the traditional path where you put 40 years or the FI path where maybe you just work 10 to 15 years you have retired many times from many different jobs.
10yearstogo
943 - 946 Sam That is one way to spin it.
946 - 948 Jonathan Mendonsa That's what we do. We do a lot of spin.
948 - 994 Sam Yeah. Well I as a lot of people in Los Angeles I started out as an artist and I've had a variety of jobs to support that habit. And I think that I've had the luxury of being able to leave them from time to time to do interesting things. I took some time off to work on some political campaigns. I've done a little bit of traveling and I think that having the low burn rate is the most important thing. Always have been able to find cheap places to live never having learned how to be frivolous with money almost to a fault has given me the freedom so that when jobs end either because they ended or because I left them I've always had enough of a buffer that I can take those chances and go do something else for a while that I found interesting.
travel
994 - 1001 Brad Barrett Sam What is that. Low burn rate look like you know so let's say I don't know 10 years ago. What was your annual spending.
1001 - 1020 Sam I wasn't keeping track of exact numbers but when I got out of grad school I moved into a house that had four other people in it. And my rent there was probably like less than 600 a month. And then the owners of that place started renovating it and they finally got to ripping the roof off of the room that I was living in. So I had to move.
1020 - 1023 Paige While he was living in it. They opened the wall.
1023 - 1127 Sam Yeah. We didn't have a kitchen for like half a year because they had done the first part of renovating the kitchen and not gotten to the actual putting in a new kitchen. It was an interesting situation. And then after that I lived in a very very tiny house under the flight path from Burbank Airport. So I learned how to modulate my conversation level based on what planes were going overhead but my share of that house with $300 a month which was even then was ridiculous. And then during the first housing bubble the owners of that house decided they were going to sell it. So I had to leave that that's when I moved into Paige's place which was the same place she had been in since graduate school. And at that time there were already might have been four other people in addition to her living there. Yes. So eventually my share of that rent was like $600 a month and then slowly the other roommates moved back home or moved out or. And then it got down to just three people. And then the owner of that building decided she was going to sell the new owner decided she was going to renovate and flip everything. So we all got evicted and that was the most recent change. But by that time combination of 20 years going by Plus constantly saving and the assets that I had in my account fortunately had inflated inexplicably along with the housing market recovery. So we were just able to put that to work to move to the house that we're in now. So the story of the low burn rate is also the story of being chased around Los Angeles by low rent opportunities. You know the market catches up with you and forces you out and then you have to go someplace else. So it's not completely under my control where I ended up. And it was not secure or comfortable but it's it was possible.
housing, savings
1127 - 1133 Jonathan Mendonsa So I'm interested during this period of time over the last decade or so. What was your what was your average income.
1133 - 1156 Sam It was I haven't made more than 50(k). Probably the first real corporate job I got which was a bizarre flexible job I was probably getting 35 a year and that was as an independent contractor. And then I got a corporate theater job meaning one with a paycheck and that was roughly 40. And the job I'm in now is probably like 46. So I haven't I haven't broken 50 a year yet.
lowincome
1156 - 1176 Jonathan Mendonsa And somehow despite being in this extraordinarily high cost of living area like Los Angeles and having a average or maybe even low income job you've been able to maintain an extraordinarily high savings rate. We talked about your burn rate but to put a number on that how much has your life cost on average. And I'm sure there's some variances there but how much has your life cost. Year to year.
lowincome, savings
1176 - 1190 Paige Well we did the math and it came out to 12. Now I think that's a good average for Sam for sure. I have always spent more than that because I've always serviced a lot more debt.
debt
1190 - 1233 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I think this is very interesting. I'm trying to piece together for Sam to be at fi that there's a few keys there one this extraordinarily low burn rate and I'm trying to figure out what part of that can be extracted and applied to maybe just a general audience that's listening to this and a couple of things are just striking me right out the gate. One is that you had very little or no student loan debt so like you said that's the extra $600 a month that just right out the gate wasn't there. And then you were willing to do what it took and be as creative as necessary to keep your costs of rent your costs of shelter your biggest expense to keep that down even in an extraordinarily high cost of living area like Los Angeles. And it looked to me like you're saying your average rent all the different areas that you lived in was roughly $600 a month.
college-loans, debt
1234 - 1235 Sam Yeah I would say that's true.
1235 - 1279 Brad Barrett Paige I'm curious in your original email to us you said that by living in a high cost of living area you can definitely reach fi but you need to just be a little more intense or you might have use the word extreme. Can you give us some examples so you know what Sam described. That's while Sure not be perfect world situation where you're living alone and in a ritzy apartment. But who cares frankly like you're living with roommates. And many of us do that. I wouldn't describe that as extreme but you know certainly it's something that you're willing to do to reach fi. But like what what other examples of this intensity can you describe that that you guys have undertaken on your path to FI.
1279 - 1395 Paige Well I know that living with roommates until the house was huge and I think it cannot be under emphasized and I have I managed a restaurant for a while and so I worked with a lot of like really young 20 somethings who were not necessarily engineers. And my advice to them was always find the cheapest place you can find and as big as you can and fill it up with people and save the difference. And that has made a big difference for both Sam and myself. And then we've never had a car payment either one of us has never had a car payment my car in Los Angeles cost me $400. And then Sam fixed it for me so that it would run beautifully for years it was 69 VW bug stick shift automatic and I sold that a few years ago. I want to say right around the time I found Mr. Money Mustache. I had already been biking to work so the car had been sitting for ever and it finally just made no sense whatsoever to even keep it. And so there was that. And then we don't have cable television although when we had a lot of people living in the last apartment over the course of that 10 years we had cable for years during that period but because it was cut up between four or five people and this was a four bedroom townhouse so you can save four or five people. That seems like a lot but it really wasn't that bad. and so sharing expenses and then as the people dwindled we just let those expenses dwindle. We cut the cable and we've always had just liability insurance. During the time that we both have had cars. Why not. They're not new cars. And then I biked to work for. I mean a solid decade even before I found FI I was biking to work. I think that's the big ones.
insurance
1395 - 1432 Sam And also when we know where every Goodwill store and Salvation Army is in the entire Los Angeles basin if you look around this place I could take you on a tour of our house and tell you every alley we found some piece of furniture in every thing that was left behind by a previous roommate. That's now something that we're using I think the only new things that we buy are are shoes. I just bought a new pair of shoes. Technology like computers and phones and stuff. But other than that everything is Goodwill, Salvation Army. We have a saying that sooner or later everything you need shows up in the alley.
1432 - 1435 Paige The alley will provide.
Guest_Catchphrases
1435 - 1438 Brad Barrett That's fantastic.
1438 - 1441 Jonathan Mendonsa The Alley will provide that kept getting better with every additional sentence.
1441 - 1469 Brad Barrett Yeah that's really cool. And I didn't want to gloss over here. Sam you said your yearly spending has averaged somewhere in the vicinity of $12000. And if your monthly living expenses averaged around $600 a month that that leaves about 48 hundred dollars for the year which is $400 a month. So that is the rest of your life spending according to my kind of back of the envelope calculations here. I mean does that sound about right.
1469 - 1492 Sam Yes. Well that would be 50 bucks a week for food if you're not eating out. And then that leaves $200. It's hard to spend $200 at goodwill and if you feel like you need some retail therapy if you wander in a shopping mall you're in trouble if you wander into the 99 cents store. How much damage could you possibly do. So it's not impossible. And if you're busy you don't have a lot of time to try to figure out how to spend extra money.
1492 - 1536 Jonathan Mendonsa I'm so glad that Brad got in front of a line on that one for me and asked you that because that's what I was fixating on as well. And I think I just wanted that a little bit more closely. So the part you said $50 a week for food. I mean what does that what does that look like. Obviously that's not going out to eat. Brad has talked many times about he focuses on doing $2 per person per meal. And so you had more or less be accountable for 90 meals a month. And I'm just wondering are is that kind of in your mind is that a metric that you use as well. Or do you find yourself. Do you have any sort of life hacks you could share with our audience and how you game this thing out. do You use repetition. Is there any sort of batch cooking process that you use what are your routines and habits when it comes to food.
cooking, mealplan
1536 - 1596 Sam One of the interesting things about the whole fae community is I feel like I've been doing these things accidentally all along. So now that I found the different Web sites and the blogs and and I it's giving me a language to talk about it. And it's also giving me additional ideas of how to do it even better. But I feel like this is something that I've been doing my whole life that my parents instilled in me and that has just always kind of made sense. And the education and the kind of formalising of this lifestyle that you guys and other people have been providing has made me better at it made me more aware of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. So things like food and not eating out eating out is something that never really made sense to me if I could cook and eat something at home. I was eating an embarrassing number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at work. I am fortunate that I tend to find things that work for me and stick with them over and over and over again. I don't feel like I'm missing out by not not going out to eat.
1596 - 1657 Paige Yeah and I know I I do most of our grocery shopping and I could almost walk into a trader joe's close my eyes and buy our groceries. We are so creepy consistent and we buy our food for the week and we eat our cupboards bare. There is no need. There's times when our refrigerator. On Thursday night. Oh my goodness. Well I guess there's some pasta somewhere and some something. OK. I'm sure we can eat. We've just never cared deeply about food. My parents were foodies and I think a life of waiting for good food to show up and being just starving as a child waiting for this amazing food to show up just made me like just someone get this ordeal over with. I just I literally eat to live. I do not live to eat. It just is never. And luckily Sam is the same way. So we buy what we buy. We eat it and that's it.
Guest_Catchphrases
1657 - 1675 Jonathan Mendonsa I know Brad was laughing in the background because he's come over my house when it's like the day before shopping. And it's totally empty. I mean we just decimate the kitchen there's nothing left in it. We eat everything in fact in our house. It's like a badge of honor that right before your next grocery run you have eaten everything. There is no waste.
1675 - 1682 Brad Barrett Yeah looks like nobody lives there. It's the day before a food shopping event. So yeah I think that sounds very similar to your house.
1682 - 1684 Jonathan Mendonsa And we are also creepy consistent.
1684 - 1684 Paige Yeah.
1684 - 1720 Brad Barrett Yeah but there's a lot to be said for that right. Jonathan you and I have spoken about decision fatigue and just the sheer fact that Paige and Sam here aren't worrying about their food. They're not stressing over it but it sounds like you guys could go through a given week and just know precisely what you're eating for those 21 meals. And that's there's a lot to be said for that it just makes your life so much easier. Not stressing over what are we doing for the next meal. And that becomes a daily occurrence where many people are just wasting time running back and forth to the food store. When I say food story that's like one of my little I got called on it.
1720 - 1721 Paige My favorite thing is.
1722 - 1733 Brad Barrett It's so ridiculous. For some reason people from Long Island say food store and it's like we sound like crazy people but it is like five million of us saying this but I realized that I sound like a lunatic.
1733 - 1752 Sam You guys were you guys were talking at different podcasts about Aldiwhich is a store I don't think we have out here. But it's but we have Trader Joe's which is the same kind of everything's a store brand. You only have a few choices. So for people who who suffer from decision fatigue you just want to get in and get out. That's that's where we go nice.
1752 - 1776 Brad Barrett Yeah that's that's a good tip. And I actually just went to a place called LIDL. It's another story very similar to all these so if anybody out there has this store it's LIDL. It's a new it's similar to a German owned company is similar to Aldi highly highly recommended. I know my wife Laura likes that even more than Aldis. So I get definitely a little tip if you if you have that store opening in your area.
1776 - 1828 Jonathan Mendonsa So Brad I want to come back to this idea of limiting beliefs because we get it over and over and over again all of the reasons that I can't do this so I'm going to try to just set this up. And Paige. I would love to hear your approach to how to knock down these sets of limiting beliefs for all the people out there that think it's not possible because they didn't discover this in their teens. And I'm just going to roll through these limiting beliefs and then let's just hear you respond to it. I got my first real job at 44 at the age of 44 I only had $3000 in my 401K I had $3000 in credit card debt. I had $60000 left on my student loans. I live in a super high cost of living area. I'm not married and I make an average or below average income. I can't do this for all of these reasons. This only works for the select few that found this early in life. So fine you do you. But I can't listen to this anymore. What do you have to say to those people and how would you respond to that set of limiting beliefs.
401k, college-loans, debt
1828 - 2008 Paige Well I think it's about setting priorities and I know you guys talk about this too and I don't think there's any clearer way to do it. It's if your priority is to live like you look like you have money. Los Angeles is a fantastic place to do that. Go spend every penny and you can live this amazing opulent life here. And good for you and that's your priority and I judge not go forth and prosper. That turned out not to be my priority. And so then it was a matter of like drilling into those priorities and knowing what I could control and what I couldn't control so the things I can control are kind of the big three are housing food transportation so housing like Sam has outlined is a little less in your control but if you're willing to make certain sacrifices to space or comfort levels being near the airports arbitrage within your own city or roommates and those kinds of things you can tackle that first big one with a certain amount of flexibility. The second one is food. If you are a foodie and you need to go to restaurants then you need to tackle it a different way maybe finding a way to find a job that allows you to do that or just find a way. Like Paul talks about find a way to do it for free. Find a way to do that for free. There is a way to do that for free but if not then limit what you eat. Simplify what you eat batch cook eat consistently those same things that work and move on and then as far as transportation goes. I mean if you have to have a car which I don't have although I have access to one of Sam's then buy used and cheap as you can. Cars are not as unreliable as people like to pretend they are and we've never paid more than twelve hundred dollars for a car. And now Sam and I are both hardcore DIY. So he keeps those cars running and that is its own thing. But it's not like that cars breaking down all the time. It's not. Little things happen but little things happen to more expensive cars so once you've got those three big things dialed in everything else is just nibbling at the margins. I mean I still eat out every once in a while. Sam's much better about that. But I still eat out occasionally. And we go places we do things and I think that frugal woods has touched on this when you live in a city which is where most of the high cost of living areas are. There's so much to do that will cost you nothing. You can step out your door and you can bike you can hike you can go to museums you can do all the good concerts in parks there's so much free happening that you really don't have to pay for that lifestyle. You just are choosing to pay for it to some degree and however much you choose. Hey good for you. Go for it. We just made a slightly different choice which it might be more intense but it's getting us where we want to go.
Guest_Catchphrases, cooking, geoarbitrage, housing
2008 - 2028 Sam I would add that in any positive change you're going to make in your life the first and most important step is to forgive yourself for not having done it sooner. Because if you get hung up on that like oh why didn't I start this in my 20s why didn't I. You're just going to get stuck and you have to keep reminding yourself to forgive yourself for not having made this change sooner. And then just move forward.
Guest_Catchphrases
2028 - 2090 Brad Barrett I think that's really powerful and I try to touch on that pretty often here on the podcast that people just can't beat themselves up about decisions they've made in the past. Good bad or indifferent that's in the past. You need to take action today and you just can't look backward and just rue the past. It just makes no sense whatsoever. So I like to say the best time to start investing was 20 years ago. And the second best time is today and that is an essential essential point and Paige a couple of things that you talked about where flexibility and control and those are two themes that we talk about here. Basically every single episode that if you can be a little bit flexible most of the people that are pursuing this path to FI we're not doing anything that extreme. We're just being a little bit smarter and a little bit more flexible. And I think those were a central point so I really really appreciate that. Another thing that you had mentioned in your email to us is you said and just FYI we are not minimalists we are quite the opposite. I'd love to hear you talk through that.
Brad_Catchphrases
2090 - 2210 Sam I have a theory that we're at peak crap. Just in the world like our ability as humans to manufacture things, clothing, toasters, all that stuff has gotten so good that there are more cars in California than there are people just the amount of stuff that exists is so high that the fact that you're paying for any of it or paying anything significant or buying anything new is completely unnecessary and don't feel like you have to prop up the industry with your paying for things. They'll be just fine. The robots have already taken over and they're going to churn out more crap tomorrow. There's just so much stuff. So understand the theory behind minimalism and how to simplify your life and a lot of people were comfortable with that. One of my experiences is being an extreme do it yourselfer, I've ended up with a lot of tools I've ended up collecting not just objects but skills that I can use like fixing cars. The fact that I haven't been to a mechanic since my 20s I figured out every time something breaks. It's a new opportunity for me to figure out how to fix it. And these skills add up and I feel like that has been an important part of Independence is not being dependent on others to do things for you. You could argue what the economics of that is but it's been a relief to me to know that if my car ends up on the side of the freeway I will probably be able to get it going again before a tow truck shows up where other people if their car is not starting. It's a life crisis that has to be solved before anything else can happen. And the side effect of all this is the jobs I now have. The way that I'm making money in the world is is I'm fixing things. I'm a facility manager at a building which is basically a big car without wheels with problems that need fixing. So all the skills that I've been developing over this process of being a cheapskate basically have come in handy and I'm actually making money off of it now.
2210 - 2210 Brad Barrett That's powerful.
2210 - 2260 Paige Yeah and one of the other things that not being a minimalist in being DIY like we want to really fancy vacuum cleaners called Dyson's. They are. I hate them. I will own them forever because Sam will keep them running for ever. And we found both of those on the street because people moved out of their apartments or some little thing went wrong. They didn't know they could fix this $600 vacuum machine and they'd left it on the side of the street and Sam hauled it home looked it up found the part ordered it put it in and now I like the newer one better but I thought the Dyson's they are not all they're cracked up to be. If you have ever thought about buying one don't. They're awful. I hate them and I'm stuck with them for the rest of my life.
2260 - 2274 Sam If you like models or puzzles like sozzled snap together models that's that's what a Dyson vacuum cleaner is. It's a puzzle. And once you've figured out the puzzle and put it all back together then you get to do some vacuuming.
2274 - 2310 Paige That's kind of like that. Basically those vacuums in my mind sum up our lack of minimalism. It's like we find these things that can be rescued and we haul them home and rescue them we do this with a lot of the stuff we have and sometimes they make it back out of our house into other people's homes. We had some friends move here from New York and we furnished their entire apartment out of our apartment. And that I'm not making that up. He gave them so much furniture that we basically furnished their first round of living in Los Angeles.
2310 - 2313 Sam The alley was very generous that year.
Guest_Catchphrases
2313 - 2337 Brad Barrett Hey Sam I'm curious so you describe that you last took your car to a mechanic in your 20s. So that suggests to me that you didn't grow up as like a six year old kid learning how to fix cars and fix vacuum cleaners from your family and that would therefore imply that you learn this at some point. How did you educate yourself on being able to fix everything at the alley. Giveth to you.
families
2337 - 2407 Sam This is an interesting idea. Maybe for a future episode is like the dangers of financial independence and how extreme one can get and whether or not that's actually a good idea. My dad was an engineer. So certain household level things we would do ourselves when I was growing up when I moved to California. The car that I could take was my mother's old car that she had bought in the 60s which was still running because my parents are cheapskates too. And then one day that broke and I got on the internet and found the most dangerous book I've ever bought which was the technical service manual for this car. And I read it and it's got all these detailed drawings and explanations and how to do things and I was able to fix the thing that was broken and get the car back running for no money and that kind of sent me off on this path that I was probably genetically programmed to go down in any way of always looking at things that are broken and figuring out how to fix them. And that's like a hobby and other people will put a puzzle together and OK great you've pretty picture and it took you out of time for me that puzzle is the broken oven or the broken car or the bicycle with the chain that fell off.
2407 - 2410 Jonathan Mendonsa Paige those Dyson vacuums are never going away.
2410 - 2486 Paige Never never. Now I will never I will never get a vacuum I want that. But that's one of the things about being super frugal too is at some point I go Well I don't care. They were free. That's the thing about free things is when you limit your choices and you say I will accept what the alley provides. It's so simple and you don't have to agonize over. I know I have. I've listened to the mad Fientist in podcasts about researching things to death in making that purchase and how agonizing it is. We were thinking about getting some shelves or a book case where we moved dead to the house and I needed the shelf to go in this one spot and we're thinking about it and thinking about it and I was thinking about how could I make it. And then one day I'm walking down the street and there's one that I'm like oh you know I think that will fit in the spot. I think I'll just drag that home from the dog walk and it felt good enough and had I purchased one I would have needed it to fit perfectly. It's like it takes the agony out of those kinds of decisions when you say I will accept what becomes available to me and I get that that doesn't fit into the minimalist concept of perfect utilization but it gets the job done.
Guest_Catchphrases
2486 - 2519 Sam So all the various objects have have a meaning and have a story behind them of where they came from and what we had to fix to make them work. So they mean something different than oh is this like fashionable or in style. It mean something more important. The danger of being an extreme do it yourselfer is if you find something that's broken in a way that you know how to fix it that something becomes very attractive and it's almost like you'll pay more for something if it's broken. And you know how to fix it just so you can have that experience and that's where things go a little bit over the edge.
2519 - 2554 Jonathan Mendonsa I visualize you guys as viewing Los Angeles itself the entire city as this puzzle. And you're saying How can I extract as much as possible from the alley that giveth and then on top of that specifically for you Sam I see that almost every interaction you have with this land of broken toys this the environment we live in where we're just spewing out maximum crap for you. It's the puzzle that keeps on giving and it's it's really cool because it's so closely lines up with how we view this personal finance journey as a game. And I'm synced up with you man. I'm totally synced up with you.
2554 - 2634 Paige Yeah. And it also allowed us to do the final big hack which is the house. I mean yes it eats a significant amount percentage of my income which I know is not very FI or mustachian or whatever ism you want to apply to that the math of our house. But we were able to purchase a house that a lot of other people would not have put their hands anywhere near as a matter of fact five people tried to buy our house and fell out of escrow before we got our hands on it. And we're thrilled about that because we live in a great neighborhood and it's not officially the worst house in the neighborhood arbitraged our neighborhood quite a bit. We did a lot of searching for the safest bad neighborhood in Los Angeles and I think we found it. But the house needed things and we were working with a pretty traditional realtor. And we walked into houses that had giant holes in the floor all the way down into the foundation. And our realtor would have this look of horror on her face and we go oh that's fixable. OK well let's look at the right. Let's look at where it is and what we need and can we extract everything else we need. A floor is easy. A lot of other people don't think quite like that because of our life time of fixing and DIYing.
2634 - 2679 Sam Right. buying a house is a crazy experience especially someplace like Los Angeles because so little of it is in your control. You figure out how much can you afford to spend and what is available and where is that available. There are so many people trying to get the cheapest house and then the competition drops off as you go up the scale. So you're basically arbitraging your skills against what the average person is willing to do. We bid on a couple of houses that we thought were in rough shape and they still went for way more than we would have been willing to pay for it. The one we ended up in there was an obvious gas leak. When you walked in the house and I think that probably turned a lot of people off. I imagine you know.
2679 - 2682 Brad Barrett Dying in your sleep is going to turn people off.
2682 - 2688 Sam And you can imagine that some people would be into it. Yeah. Yeah.
2688 - 2694 Jonathan Mendonsa Facility Manager Sam walks in and says Paige This smells like opportunity.
Jonathan_Catchphrases
2694 - 2727 Sam But it's a it's a very narrow band because if there is a house that is reasonable and low price a Flipper's going to get it in these Flipper's come in. They pay all cash and they put in $50000 and then they resold six months later for 150000 more than they bought it for. So you're competing with those people so you got to the house that's been neglected where sadly to say the last generation has passed on and the kids when one is just sell it and get on with their own lives and it has to be.
2727 - 2730 Paige Just bad enough the flippers don't want it.
2730 - 2731 Jonathan Mendonsa Exactly. Exactly.
2731 - 2813 Paige And that's the house we found and luckily we did. Gas leak seems to be on the list of things even Flipper's don't want that and one car garages. They don't want to deal with that. Yeah but it put us in a position along with the fact that Sam has zero credit history from a life of frugality and whatnot. We were in a really tough bind we could do zero traditional financing between the market and his situation. We had to do. I mean we basically had to do a cash purchase which really put him in a tough financial situation not tough in the sense that but it ain't a lot of his FI money and it was not what he wanted to do with his FI money. And then I had to find an independent broker to do my mortgage refi because the banks even at that point didn't really I couldn't find a bank that was willing to touch me alone even with the asset purchased. So doing things nontraditional means for house buying is its own interesting and freaky world that we just stumbled into based on the math of the fact that market rent in Los Angeles is so ridiculous right now that we were just better off finding the right house.
frugality
2813 - 2830 Sam Yeah the place where we were basically evicted from when we left. We were paying 1850 a month split between three people and previously that had been split between as many as six people in the years before. The woman who bought it fixed it up put it back on the market at five thousand seven hundred dollars a month.
2830 - 2833 Brad Barrett Wow. So triple essentially.
2833 - 2838 Sam Yeah. And so that's how crazy things are. Rent wise in Los Angeles.
2838 - 2840 Jonathan Mendonsa What was the purchase price of the house.
2840 - 2842 Paige 475000.
2842 - 2843 Jonathan Mendonsa With a gas leak.
2843 - 2850 Sam With the gas leak. No contingencies no saying oh you guys got to fix this first. None of that just as is.
2850 - 2852 Jonathan Mendonsa And you purchased this cash.
2852 - 2869 Sam Yeah. Well the fortunate thing is even as the housing market recovered in the last three or four years the stock market has also done some inexplicable inflating. So it was basically selling every single asset I had to raise the money to buy the house which I was able to do.
housing, stocks
2869 - 2893 Brad Barrett So Sam I'm curious what the the intermediate to long term play is here. You sound like a compulsive fixer right. So is this a project for you. Is this something where you think that the two of you can come in and fix this up and add a lot of value and then you'll sell it for a profit. Or is this like a long term just housing play.
housing
2893 - 2941 Sam It's a long term housing play. But the fact that we can do all the work ourselves is what made it financially possible. And the fact that it has things again like what I said about you find something that has problems with it that you know how to fix those become features. Those are things that are attractive. And this house has plenty of problems that we know how to fix them. And that's that's what made it possible for us to move in here. And plus the fact that the opportunity cost of the money that is now in this house and the mortgage for Paige's half of it is still less than we would have been having to pay for any similar place in Los Angeles if we were still renting. The math has recently flipped so that renting is just impossible. And and buying starts to look like it makes sense.
housing
2941 - 3021 Paige Especially at this price point it at this price point kind of makes the math work especially well. But it is the fact that we are long term people I know. Jill Collins who wrote an article about the house and we don't necessarily consider it an investment. It is a living expense but in that article he says are you a person who needs wings or are you a person that needs roots. And I moved around most of my childhood and I need roots. I lived in the apartment I lived in when I moved to Los Angeles for 20 years. I was there through multiple roommates lots of changes but I was the consistent 20 year renter and I'd like that. I like that idea of putting down the roots and then just luckily we just happened to be by an area where we are not currently and did not have to pay for the privilege. But very soon within the next year and a half will be less than two miles from a train stop in Los Angeles that big deal and it's huge sports development down the road. And we got lucky and we didn't have to pay for those privileges. But they will by the time we did the refi the house had appraised at six 10 and some of that's the work we put in. And some of it is just this ridiculous housing market.
housing
3021 - 3022 Sam And we we fixed the gas leak.
3022 - 3024 Paige Yeah we fixed the as leak.
3024 - 3060 Brad Barrett Minor details right. Your point about the roots. I think that answers my question because because I was curious why you wouldn't just in three years once you've fixed everything up and the house went up a couple hundred thousand dollars because I assume once you get rid of gas leaks and holes down to foundations and things like that back in L.A. The House is going to go up a couple of hundred thousand. Then you don't just move to the next house that you find with a gas leak and whatever infestation. Right. And so to me that was my curiosity. But I think you answered it with the roots did that pretty much summarize what your thought.
housing
3060 - 3224 Paige Yeah I think so we've also talked about the idea of considering it a lot a slightly longer term. Live and flip but thinking along those lines depending on what does happen. I mean the housing market is so crazy that there is a little part of me that says. But that's the other punishment we get for not being minimalists. Moving is a much bigger ordeal when you have so much stuff. But and that's that's a priority issue. So for everything that we do quote unquote. Right. We do a ton of stuff wrong and we're still able to make this journey work. You just have to choose what you're going to do wrong. I do housing wrong and I get that. There's no spin that fixes the fact that 60 percent of my spending capital goes to housing. There is no fixing that now. That is a mistake in the math. It's not going to affect me reaching FI because I opted for that to mean I would make other. I don't want to call them sacrifices because the truth is they don't feel like sacrifices when you have something you want and you're getting something you want you don't feel like you're sacrificing and on some level. Also we have enough stuff what more stuff could I buy. We have plenty. I'm fine I'm happy. I'd rather. Have my home and now build it into a sanctuary for myself to live in. And also we're older so we do think about it in terms of you know it's a single storey house with a big backyard for me to putter and garden in I'm going to be a little old lady not long from now. It does change certain things as you get older and you still I know I listened to a radical personal finance where he talked about the fact that you have to be prepared that your priorities may change. And he was warning against the idea of the ERE style lifestyles or the Mr. Money Mustache which is kind of funny that they were the same thing in his mind a $9000 a year living lifestyle and a $25000 year living lifestyle where the same those are very different. But you know he put them in the same category and called them extreme. And I just think that the nice thing about having started this journey at 45 years old is I already knew so many of the things of who I am. I don't have to worry that oh in 10 years I'm not going to like living here in 10 years am I going to like the things I like now. I liked these things 10 years ago. I have a lot of life behind me to know that yes this is a mistake but it's the right mistake for me.
Guest_Catchphrases, housing
3224 - 3260 Jonathan Mendonsa And to me you know what that is it's not early retirement extreme it's extreme ownership. Brad I know you're a big fan of Jocko and the Jocko Willink podcast but it's this idea of you take ownership of the decisions that you've made and you work with what you've been given and so FI is still possible for your burn rate. Your cost of living is $30000 a year. You just said that 60 percent of that is going to housing. And I think where I want to land is with with everything that we talked about earlier with all those I guess you could say quote unquote disadvantages that you'd been handed. How do you hit FI by the year 2025. What does that scenario actually look like.
Jonathan_Catchphrases, housing
3260 - 3438 Paige Well there's a couple of benefits to being old. In this particular case one of which is within the next three years I get to contribute significantly more to my 401k. And as long as I stay on a minimal raise trajectory which I should if not make a little baby leap here or there I can max out even that added benefit. I also get that same added benefit in my IRA. I don't get any benefit to the HSA but the HSA is sort of my sort of Health Savings Account kind of concept and then just I've done the math conservatively. I know you guys like to use 8 percent I personally like to use 6% because it just makes me feel a little safer and if I can take what I have and keep it growing I should knock on wood. But by the end of the year I should hit my first hundred thousand. And then keep that growing over the course of this next eight years. Then I turned 55. And the benefit there is the age 55 rule where I can take from my 401K penalty free and there's a little tiny baby catch to that rule that your work has to be amenable to the idea that you're going to take from your 401K in irregular withdrawals and my work currently to where I work is amenable and it would definitely be a question that I would bring to the table if I interviewed for a new job is whether or not their 401k was amenable. Not that we can't get around it or do all kinds of things but it means I don't have to do quite as much kabuki. On the other and to figure out how to do the ladder and all those kinds of things because I'm going to be able to draw straight from my 401k at 55 when I walk away from my job. And so there's a lot of things in my favor being older that are helping me and also the numbers low. I'm looking at my end of FI number is under $500000 it's about 480. If everything goes according to plan which I hope and see no reason it shouldn't and I can pay off the house for a huge chunk of that and get that debt off my back my student loans should be dead before that. And then I draw on that. And luckily I'm already 55 I will make a certain amount of money with being an artist and working on the side. It will take so little money. It's hardly worth talking about. And then within ten years at 65 I will have Social Security which will cover every penny of my living expenses because I will have a paid off house and yada yada. So even if I burned through if I got the worst withdrawal ever retired in the worst decade possible I only have to live a decade on what's left in my stash to make it to 65. And Social Security that will pay more than I need to live if my stash lasts I should get a big fat raise at 65.
401k, age55rule, college-loans, hsa, ira, rothladder, socialsecurity
3438 - 3445 Jonathan Mendonsa Brad this is what crushing it at every level looks like Paige. I just want to stand and give you a standing clap for that. Well well-played.
3445 - 3449 Paige Thank you. That's very kind. But it's really just math.
3449 - 3451 Jonathan Mendonsa It's just about math. It's just that.
3451 - 3452 Paige It's just the math.
3452 - 3455 Jonathan Mendonsa All right guys. Are you ready for the hotseat.
3455 - 3460 Paige Yes.
3460 - 3488 Speaker In a world drowning in debt and rampant consumption. Trapped by the chains of lifestyle inflation. These questions highlight the secrets of those who are broken free. Welcome to the choose F-I hot seat.
debt
3488 - 3496 Brad Barrett All right. Our first question for each of you is what is your favorite blog. And this could be financial independence or or otherwise any any site out there.
hotseat-blog
3496 - 3535 Paige For me. I'm going to go with the mad fientist just because it's not just the things he's laid out. It's the sort of simplicity of trusting the math that as a non math person I am not an engineer I am an artist through and pretty through and through. And so being able to really look at the map and say the math is solid really had a profound effect on me so I have to go with that. I mean that and like someone like big ern who just crushes a math I I really appreciate those sites.
3535 - 3557 Sam I would say Mr. Money Mustache and specially the forums because there's so much there. I think with advertising spending billions a year to make us stupid with our money you kind of need to counteract that with a few hours every couple of weeks hanging out on these forms and just refreshing and resetting your brain to what the priorities should be and why they're important.
3557 - 3560 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah nothing like a couple of solid face punches to wake you up.
3560 - 3561 Sam Exactly.
3562 - 3565 Jonathan Mendonsa All right question number two Paige your favorite article of all time.
hotseat-post
3565 - 3593 Paige Well for me it's kind of hands down the shockingly simple math. I mean Sam had showed me pointed me in the direction of Mr. Money Mustache and when I stumbled on that. I mean I started reading and never I mean I don't think I stopped for a week and a half but with that article and its simplicity of this percentage gets you this percentage gets you this was like a light bulb went off in a room that I didn't even know was dark. It was amazing. It was amazing.
3593 - 3628 Sam I'm going to go old school and say the first chapter of Thoreau's Walden where he's sitting in this little hut in the woods and talking about what his expenses are and and figuring out that he doesn't need to be in the rat race at all. If he doesn't want to. I read that in my early 20s and I think that had a profound effect on how I looked at how I was going to interact with the economic world around me and how I was going to try to find ways to maintain my independence and not just get sucked into a cycle of spending and dependence on earning and not having control.
3628 - 3632 Jonathan Mendonsa That's solid man. I have a feeling that even Brad hasn't read that one yet.
3632 - 3636 Sam Yeah you got to read it it's a. You'll recognize it it'll sound oddly familiar.
3636 - 3646 Brad Barrett Nice. Yeah. That'll go on the book list. I'll Go over to their library website. As soon as we finished recording here that's wonderful. Are you guys question number three your favorite life hack.
hotseat-lifehack, library
3646 - 3676 Paige YouTube. Hundred percent. If you're a DIYer you cannot live without it. I mean I've learned how to plaster walls how to do woodworking things how to deal with various types of old and new paint how to use strip paint how to leave paint and sand it properly. I mean it just it has everything. I mean I think it's I hate to say it. I would say it's just a tiny bit better than the library but just barely.
library
3676 - 3684 Jonathan Mendonsa I'm with you though. The YouTube is pretty darn solid. I'd be very interested in seeing what Sam's YouTube playlists looks like. I have a feeling it's pretty epic.
3684 - 3745 Sam It's all about how to fix your foundation and how to earthquake proof your house at the moment. I would have to agree with Paige on this. Just the gift that people give by putting on YouTube how to do these things. It should be changing the world. And I bet if you were a good social scientist you would be able to measure the effect that it's having on the economy that it's having on the ability of people to be independent that you can find a video that shows you how to fix the problem you're facing instead of always having to either let it continue to exist or find someone else to fix it for you. It reminds me of that technical service manual I got for my car when I was 22 and the huge difference that made I. I wonder what would be different in my life now if YouTube had existed back then. Like how many things could the whole world have figured out just by that sharing of information that people are willing to give that just didn't get fixed or didn't get done. So I would say that's a way to add to your superpowers that we didn't have 10 or 20 years ago.
3745 - 3752 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I love that don't collect stuff collect skills. Yeah. All right Paige question number four your biggest financial mistake.
Jonathan_Catchphrases, hotseat-mistake
3752 - 3766 Paige Well for me it's definitely that starting late Luckily I mean in the end it's not going to affect me and I found a couple of really positive things about starting late that are going to work in my favor so caesura.
3766 - 3808 Sam I've been surprised at even with the mistakes I've made just being on the right path has almost taken care of itself. I didn't find the whole put everything into an ETF and just leave it alone until later on. But what I had been doing had been close enough to that that it still worked. I mean I would have done better if I had just done everything into an S&P 500 ETF at the beginning all along if I put money in sooner. At the beginning of years instead of at the end of the year. But even with those mistakes just the fact that I had gotten on this path even unintentionally as early as I did has made enough of a difference. So you rescue yourself from your own mistakes just by being in the game.
Guest_Catchphrases, hotseat-mistake
3808 - 3812 Jonathan Mendonsa All right. Question number five. Advice you would give to your younger self.
3812 - 3845 Paige I think it's definitely the same. I mean the mistake is the advice I would give my younger self I would have done it backwards I would have I'd have gone out when Sam could have gotten out. I would not have done it the way he's done it and used a little bit you know used that money to buy his intermittent freedom. I would have just saved gotten out and then just rode it out to the end. But that's you can't go back so there's not really much sense in getting too nostalgic about the mistakes of your younger self.
3845 - 3899 Sam I would say my advice to my younger self is make it automatic. Like for me the fact that it was kind of automated for me early on made a huge difference because I would not have done it by myself as disorganized as I was in my 20s. It was really helpful to just that minor little head start. And the gift of having that set up for me even though it was just a small amount made a huge difference. And I would recommend that for second generation financial independent people use force. Parents use force make the kid have the right kind of account put something in it. Show them how to put something in it if at all possible that will make a huge difference. Keep your burn rate low. This is stuff that I that I that I did that I was successful in doing and also figure out how to enjoy your life as it's unfolding and not worry too much about sacrificing for the future.
2ndgenfi, hotseat-advice
3899 - 3920 Brad Barrett Yeah I love that. That is profound wisdom and advice. And yeah we all can certainly take something from that. So I agree. We appreciate that. And we have a fun little bonus question so I'm not sure if the answer is going to be anything for you guys since that's not from the alley but have you made a favorite purchase on Amazon.com in the last year.
hotseat-purchase
3920 - 3925 Jonathan Mendonsa And if you have we won't tell the alley we can keep it a secret.
3925 - 3928 Sam The alley gets so mad.
3928 - 3973 Paige Yes so we did a lot of research when we refinished our wood floors here in the house and there was a very particular product that the state of California does not like but we wanted badly to do our floors with because it's a little more old school and it's also a little better wearing when you have pets and we're kind of hard livers we drag project in and out of our house and having the newer wood finishes was going to be a little bit tougher for us. And so we wanted this little bit older school wood finish and Amazon was willing to send it to us. And so that is my favorite purchase I have made on Amazon in the last year was getting our this particular would finish for the house.
3973 - 4006 Sam I got a really good soldering iron that I got for my birthday a couple of months ago it was used Weller with the adjustable thermostat and if you ever do any work on electronics or or soldering it is a life changing difference to get a really good high quality professional level soldering iron instead of just a little cheap radio shack thing you plug into the wall. And I think if I ever do want to treat myself it's to get the really good version of a tool instead of continuing to suffer with lesser versions.
4006 - 4045 Jonathan Mendonsa Awesome. Yeah I'm with you all that 100 percent. So Paige and Sam you know I know people are going to want to connect with you guys and there's a segment of our audience probably a large segment that has been under-represented on the show to this point that identifies with much of what you said the high cost the living limitations the maybe potentially lower income limitations you finding FI later in life limitations. They're looking for someone that they can relate to someone that has a similar set of struggles or obstacles that they face someone that has done it has been on this path and found a way to succeed and even thrive. And so there's going be a lot of people in our community that are going to want to connect with you. What's the best way for them to reach you.
lowincome
4045 - 4060 Paige Well for me I think this will include Sam too. You can just I'm in the Facebook group so you can just reach out to me to the best of my knowledge I'm the only Paige in there so I am at. I meant the Paige Hardgrave in the Facebook group.
4060 - 4062 Jonathan Mendonsa Thanks so much for coming on the show today.
4062 - 4073 Paige Well thank you for having us. I really appreciate it. I know that probably trying to connect with people who are not professional bloggers and podcasters was probably a little scary for you guys so I appreciate you taking that risk.
blogger, podcaster
4073 - 4095 Brad Barrett Yet we were not worried in any way shape or form. You know like we always say and we don't say this to be like self-deprecate we're just regular people believe me and you know six months ago we were we had no idea what we were doing with that. So yeah this is not a risk. This was really appreciate you sending us that e-mail and continuing to send us all your emails so thank you for being a part of the community. It's wonderful.

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