045R - The Journal

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Time Speaker Text Tags
1 - 15 Jonathan Mendonsa Congrtulations guys you have made it to the weekend and this is your Friday roundup. Honestly guys for the first time Fall is officially here we're in Richmond Virginia and it is cold outside. Very excited to get a chance to do it. So today and it helped me with this. I have my co-host Brad here with me today. How you doing buddy.
15 - 30 Brad Barrett I'm doing well. Yeah you're right that fall has arrived in full force. It's funny. It was I think 39 degrees last night. Which is crazy. It was wonderful to sleep. I don't know about you Jonathan but I love sleeping when it's cold outside so I've been looking forward to this day for quite some time.
30 - 44 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I put the fan on man. It's ridiculous middle of December fans still on and I am wearing my Birkenstocks with socks which basically just indicates that I've given up on life. But I am very comfortable at the moment.
44 - 46 Brad Barrett I have a mental picture of that now I I like it.
46 - 52 Jonathan Mendonsa It's equally awkward in person. Hashtag working from home hashtag snuggy.
52 - 55 Brad Barrett And we just lost the whole audience.
55 - 57 Jonathan Mendonsa Objectively it's pretty bad but I'm doing it.
57 - 58 Brad Barrett As long as you're comfortable with it.
58 - 63 Jonathan Mendonsa I am with that. So I do have a frugal win of the week Brad.
FWOTW
63 - 64 Brad Barrett Oh do tell.
64 - 145 Jonathan Mendonsa All right so unfortunately my oven did just crap out on me. Totally gave up the ghost. It was an old one. It was one of those when my mom every single time she came over at our house would kind of like cringe and wish oh Can they not afford a new stove but I just been trying to hold out hold out hold out. And it did finally give up the ghost so we we're going to get a new one but I you know I'm like you it's this whole value thing. I just can't bring myself to pay retail I need to get a good deal just so like the extension of camel camel camel which we've talked about purchasing stuff on Amazon and getting the best price. I kind of want to do the same thing with these larger appliances. I don't consider myself a particularly good negotiator. I just want to set myself up to be able to purchase an item dramatically below retail but without having to use any sort of brute force negotiation tactics so I went to check out that Sears outlet store which is here in Richmond and I know this is something that a lot of people have access to. You can just go to Sears outlet and you can type in your zip code and you can find if there's one near you but it's kind of like a scratch and dent store where you have the floor models that may have some sort of defect with them or maybe they were returned that somebody installed decided they didn't like they work. But there's going to be some defect with it and they won't come with the nice packaging. They may have an instruction manual that sort of thing. Brad I got this ridiculously nice of it and I think it probably retails for close to $2000 for 70 percent off.
145 - 146 Brad Barrett That's pretty good.
146 - 152 Jonathan Mendonsa I landed it. Yeah I landed it's a convection oven I landed it for just under $600.
152 - 167 Brad Barrett So are there like bells and whistles that you're going to use on this. You know $600 to me sounds about what we spend on our our oven our standard and I think it was probably in the first year of 500. Tell me about what's the difference between a $500 oven and a $2000.
167 - 192 Jonathan Mendonsa I had a feeling I probably have to justify this. This probably comes into that whole utility aspect but it does. It is a convection oven. I don't really understand how all the features work on the oven but it's got a touch display on the front. It's a Kenmore Elite. Apparently the sticker price on this thing was $2400 close to $2400. And yeah I got it for right around 600.
192 - 208 Brad Barrett Wow that's cool. So I mean right. Even worst case scenario you've got a nice oven for about the price that you could get to a lower tier model for now. That works right. That has utility. But then there is potential upside. So yeah that's cool. There's no no downside to that purchase at all. Good for you.
208 - 212 Jonathan Mendonsa Now here's where I leveled it up. I went ahead and installed it myself.
212 - 216 Brad Barrett Ooh I thought you're going to make a joke and say you bought a warranty with it.
216 - 219 Jonathan Mendonsa Well they did offer one but I can't bring myself to do warranties.
219 - 222 Brad Barrett I'm sure they offered it. They love those warranties.
222 - 319 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I couldn't bring myself to do that at all about that self-insuring when I can. But no no I installed it myself so the price to have your old one removed installed with some was going to be somewhere between 200 and $400. So I was like you know I really think I can do this myself. Now I know I know nothing about electricity so this is kind of like my disclaimer I'm not necessarily recommending that you do this and in fact when I got on line to go look up how to do it Bob Villa said you should hire an electrician. But when I dug through and found the YouTube videos I and I ended up first of all making sure that I could tell how the power is on and off and testing live currents and all the stuff. And once I was completely sure that this wasn't going to be a story about how I electrocuted myself and ended up in the emergency room I felt more comfortable learning how to do the wiring and I got it all figured out and want to give a shout out to two people one is Captain D.I.Y. who writes over at D.I.Y. to FI dot blog he's going to be coming on the show as our in-house expert for everything DIY but also to Sam who if you remember from episode 41 we featured in the high cost of living in path to fi and he's this radical in sourcer and also the the originator of the line the alley will provide. So these two together really inspired me to try and go out of my comfort zone and tackle something like this. And I knew that I could just pay to have it installed I could afford to have it installed. But then I wasn't going to get the chance to experience something new and get that kind of sense of accomplishment that comes from learning a new skill and then practically applying it. So I spent a fair amount of time making sure that I didn't electrocute myself. And then a little bit more time actually installing the thing. And then today I got to benefit from the effort I guess you could say.
Guest_Catchphrases
319 - 379 Brad Barrett Good for you. That's cool. Yeah we actually have a in-sourcing frugal win of the week as well. Thanks to my lovely wife Laura. She actually stained our deck on the House. We're just very lazy. I don't know. We're very content is probably the more appropriate way to look at it and maybe some people are call lazy with the house like we just don't feel the need to like upgrade things or I mean we don't let anything fall into disrepair certainly. But like we're not going to go out and paint a room just for the fun of it or stain the deck until it gets pretty bad. But we both looked at really like Yeah this thing looks pretty terrible and Laura just took the initiative one morning. Now she now since Molly is out of the house Laura has all this time and she's like you know what I'm going to stain the deck. And she just went to Home Depot bought all the items that she needed and literally stained it in in one morning and then did a I think she did a second coat that afternoon and the thing is done and it looks just amazing. It looks like a brand new deck. So yeah that was a huge win from Laura.
FWOTW
379 - 434 Jonathan Mendonsa Love it man. Congratulations. Congratulations to Laura on the in-sourcing. Very cool stuff. So let's go and take a few minutes and talk about this past week's episode. This was a really exciting one Brad. It's kind of cool because we're here on twice a week basis we can to some degree present these really exciting things that are happening both in the FI community and also in the personal finance community almost in real time. JD did scoop us a little bit. He did make the announcement formally on his Twitter feed on Sunday but it was kind of neat that we were able to share this news on Monday. It just it is so exciting. It's so exciting for the FI community but it's also a really big deal for the personal finance committee and to me this episode very intentionally was a nostalgic episode because it kind of walk you through not only JD's story but also the story of many people in the blogger space that followed a similar model where they were willing to just share their journey and get better along with their audience.
434 - 532 Brad Barrett Yeah I agree. I mean I think it's hard to overstate how important this is and how wonderful really. Like for me and for so many tens if not hundreds of thousands of us who read get rich slowly 10 years ago like how amazing this is that J.D. is back at the helm. And you know frankly like the people who bought the site it it just kind of fell into disrepair or it just wasn't as interesting. JD wasn't there. His voice wasn't there leading leading that blog. I mean frankly like I haven't visited get rich slowly in probably five plus years at this point because there really hasn't been a reason to. But now there truly is a reason. And J.D. is back. As of today I mean he is there you can see his words on the blog and he's taking over and he said he's going to redesign the site which hasn't been done I think since the very beginning essentially. So yeah it's just it's really really cool. And I'm just very happy for J.D. obviously. Jonathan as you kind of alluded to in the podcast JD you can just hear it in his voice how much he loves get rich slowly and how much it means to him. And like he has set up these limiting beliefs around Moneyboss which I really thought was kind of silly. Like he said he boxed himself into a corner going for maybe a slightly different type of person than he was originally trying to speak speak to at get rich slowly and like to me it just seemed like this arbitrary contract that he had set up. And like I didn't really understand it but I think like maybe deep down I was always just get rich slowly is his baby. And like he almost didn't want to infringe on that territory and some in some capacity and like the cool thing is he doesn't have to worry about that anymore. He's back with it slowly and I can't wait to see like his creative forces unleashed on him.
532 - 628 Jonathan Mendonsa I want to talk about this because this episode I mean really when you look at it there were so many actionable take aways but a lot of them weren't related to personal finance. I think this one in many ways appealed to the to the blogger community. It appealed to the people that have been in the personal finance committee for a long time. But one of the things that was so appealing directly about this episode is how your unique story can change the world. What's so powerful about JD is just that there is nothing particularly special about JD just objectively when you look at it. You have this normal guy from a middle class family wasn't handed a silver spoon wasn't a state championship football is going to have an Instagram feed that's going to blow anybody's mind like this is just a regular dude. This is me. But J.D. started this close to 20 years ago and he latched on to a concept that says you know what my life is a story and I want to take the time to turn that story and commit that to paper and then share that with other people that might be interested. And what he found is by by being vulnerable by taking his ideas committing them to paper sharing them on the Internet. He was able to find a community of like minded people that wanted to grow right alongside him and that journey progressed from frankly what started out as just a word Journal talking about cats and comic books into this natural progression and getting better at every single aspect of your life this life optimization strategy and it became a gateway to personal finance for an entire generation of people many of whom ended up becoming bloggers in their own right to discover this world of personal finance. And in many ways Brad. He changed a generation.
blogger, families
628 - 759 Brad Barrett Yeah that's a really great point. I wonder how many blogs were spawned from readers of get rich slowly. It's got to be I mean I would think thousands and I mean that's that's a remarkable impact because if you think about it then like the second level effects of that all these other people who have to count in the millions who have read all these other thousands of blogs I mean it's it's crazy the impact that this one person had. Like I mentioned in passing on the podcast like J.D. had a direct and significant effect on my life and it was just from one passing random article that he wrote on one credit card six years ago at this point I mean it was in the history of get rich slowly. this was one of the least important articles that he probably ever wrote frankly. But for me it was the most important article because it got me on the path towards travel rewards which led me to being mentioned in the New York Times and on NBC and CBS and then starting travel miles 101 and then educating people here at ChooseFI and the financial independence community about travel rewards I mean like I alone have impacted potentially tens of thousands of people and that's just because J.D. wrote one random article it boggles my mind to even think about it when I'm talking through this like it's almost getting me like choked up. It's crazy. J.D. wrote one article and potentially tens of thousands of people were impacted for it in the last six years. Like that is just so cool. And to think about then all the other hundreds of much more important articles that he's written that have had a real direct impact on people's lives it's incalculable how much of an impact JD has had on the world. And it's just a really cool thought to when you think through that that level of impact. And you got to ask yourself what other point in human history could you know spend 20 or 30 dollars and create a web site and then put all of your put all of your thoughts and ideas on that Web site and then have the opportunity for essentially no additional cost to reach tens of thousands hundreds of thousands millions of people what a unique point in time in human history.
travel, travelrewards
759 - 861 Brad Barrett Yeah you're absolutely right and it couldn't be easier to start a Web site and obviously not everybody is going to be J.D. Roth or Mr. Money Mustache but you get your creative thoughts down on paper and you just never know where it takes you like it could take you somewhere it could make you interesting friends. It could help you really hone in on your life's message just for yourself. Even if you and your five closest friends are the only people who ever read it. It doesn't have to change the world necessarily. And you know this is just an extension of what we did when we were kids right. Writing in journals or chronicling what we did over a summer. I've found personally that just putting my thoughts on paper it helps me think through an issue so much. And certainly having this podcast helps even more dramatically. You just sit and ponder things that you otherwise just take for granted. You kind of most of us even people who are in the FI community and who are more locked in on things you still sometimes sleepwalk through certain aspects of your life and like I find that this challenges me so much and it just makes me a better person. And I think that's the real takeaway that I'd like for the audience is even if you've never thought of starting a blog and we're not necessarily saying that like every single person in the world has to start a blog. That's not where we're getting at here we're just saying like it's going to help you. It's going to help your life and you might add some value to the world and make some connections some friends that you otherwise might not have and like that's just a really cool thing for something that. I mean it literally costs just about nothing to start a Web site I think it's like $8 a year to get a domain name and maybe four or five dollars a month for a blue host hosting or something like that. So I mean you can do this for under well under $100 a year and like to me there's great value there.
861 - 920 Jonathan Mendonsa And I also think specifically journaling or blogging on the Internet is one of the few advantages that the unique individual has over the corporation. I think that's what we've seen over the last 10 years and it's one of the reasons that this business ended up selling this Web site back to J.D. is that the power is in your specific story. It's not in necessarily having this major corporations going out and finding these different writers and bringing all these different topics. That's a that's a big task. I mean that is a that is very difficult. But the power of the unique selling proposition of get rich slowly was always that unique individual story and that's what you bring to the table. And so tying this back to some of the other episodes talking about is there an opportunity is there something there. Just ask yourself Have I found anybody that speaks to me that I relate to that understands my struggles my situation. And if you say no I'm not finding that yet. Then the answer is yes. You have something to add to the conversation. And there are other people that will relate to your story.
blogger
920 - 1044 Brad Barrett You know one aspect of what JD was talking about in the podcast was that really resonated with me was talking about like the internal locus of control where he's quote the one in charge of creating the life he wants. And I think that's really an important way to go through life to realize that that you do affect change on your life and like the decisions you make matter because so many people just think about like all these outside forces. They don't think about it probably as overtly as I'd like in this malevolent way but they do think oh my genetics are leading me to be this or Oh I can never get ahead because I have to pay too many taxes or my boss doesn't like me. So I'm never going to get a promotion. Those are all just like such limiting beliefs and you really have to take control of your life at some point and just say like I'm the one in charge. And if this situation isn't good I can fix it if I know in my family there are some issues with people being overweight having diabetes and there's some history of cancer and like it's easy to just sit back and say like oh poor me like my genetics are bad. Well I reject that completely. I've decided to take control. And what that means for me is eating in a more healthy manner not having carbs and sugar all the time because diabetes does run in my family very directly and not just sitting around all day like I'm working on stretching and mobility and now CrossFit and jujitsu like I'm doing these things so like I can be a productive member of society at 70 and I can travel the world like I want to with Laura and hopefully my kids and grandkids and like I'm not taking that as oh poor me I'm going to get this. It's such a negative way to go through life. I believe I have control over every aspect of my life and I intend to make that impact. And I think that's just really crucial that we all don't just sit back and complain and moan about about the negative forces around us just stop that when you find yourself with those limiting beliefs just stop and figure out like how can I take ownership of the situation and make change.
Brad_Catchphrases, families, health
1044 - 1102 Jonathan Mendonsa And when you're saying that there's two things that come to mind because most of us can identify with this feeling of helplessness that goes along with this idea of dependence. And in my mind what's what I'm struggling with this trying to figure out is there a way that I could have identified the things that I actually have control over at a younger age. What actions could I have taken at the age of 10 11 12 16 that would have allowed me to adopt more of an ownership mindset younger in life because the choices you make when you do latch on to that set of behavioral principles it's so powerful you know just like we talk about your investing time line and the longer you have the better how much more so is that with your behavioral choices and when you're operating from this place of ownership. I know what I can control and I won't sweat the difference. Once you can latch onto that then very quickly you can start talking about what is the one thing I can do today. Imagine the power of being able to have that sort of ownership of your life in your teens. I didn't.
mindset
1102 - 1141 Brad Barrett Yeah I didn't as well because you're just not thinking about it and you're going to school every day you're just kind of going through the motions. And at that point your life is what other people make of it. I have to be at school from 750 to 312 every day or whatever it may be and the soccer coach makes me do X Y and Z and like that's kind of how I looked at it instead of taking control. What do I want out of my life. What do I need to do to be the best at x. I've never really pushed myself for anything like that. And that kind of ties into something. JD also said which I thought was really impactful which was quote You've got to do the work. There's no shortcut. And Jonathan I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
1141 - 1196 Jonathan Mendonsa This One. This one always kind of rubs my hackles the wrong way a little bit because I agree with the underlying principle behind that you do have to put in the work. But I think it's kind of naive to say that it's just doing the work. There's plenty of examples in life we're just doing the work isn't enough. You need to have a strategy. And I think what both of us were getting at with that question and what we continue to push for is looking for the strategy looking for that 80/20 principle. Yes you have to do the work but you need to focus the work that you're willing to put in so that you don't put it into things that don't give you a return. That's the key it's not this idea of you know being lazy and getting everything you want. No it's the idea of I can only put in so many hours a day into anything that I want to do in this world how can I make sure that the time that I am willing to put in the work that I am putting in. How do I get the most return for that. And I think that's the focus where they're where we land and that's the pushback that I would have on the on that statement.
1196 - 1267 Brad Barrett Yeah that's interesting because I never looked at it that way. The he was kind of implying just just do work and not have a strategy. Like for me I guess strategies so embedded in every aspect of how I look at life almost like a cost benefit analysis of everything that like it never crossed my mind that he wasn't implying there was strategy behind it. Like I don't think you want to just do work for the sake of doing work and not having any plan. So I totally agree with you Jonathan there needs to be some larger thought behind what you're doing what the end goal looks like and what are those steps. You know Jonathan you just said something like what's the most important thing I could do today. That's I know I got that from the book. The one thing by Gary Keller and it just it really changed the way I looked at my life and not just going through the motions and doing answering all the emails to get to inbox zero or something like that but trying to really focus on what matters what will move the needle in whatever aspect of my life. The podcast my web sites my relationship with my wife and my kids I mean just anything like what would actually make a difference and what could I do that would get me there. So I think that level of strategy is is important.
relationships
1267 - 1362 Jonathan Mendonsa So I guess my overarching takeaway on that is I agree with with JD's thought process on this. Yes you need to do work. I don't think it's enough to just do the work. I think you need to understand what Lane is the best place to put that work. And I see this massive build up of people that put in time but just didn't have any focus they put in time but they didn't get results because there are those people out there and they just they're frustrated right they're frustrated and they're bitter on the process. And in my mind there are people that are lazy that don't get results. There are also people that do put work in but don't focus that work and they're doing all the things that maybe they arbitrarily heard of but there's no direct path. You also you see the same thing in the. You see the same thing in the fitness world and this is probably the easiest comparison to make. I see people that are going through ridiculous contortions to try to get their weight under control but because they're missing these one or two key points they make no progress and they end up falling off the wagon. I see people that are putting the working on the treadmill. But then there is blowing it with the diet they're crushing it. Monday through Thursday. But then they're drinking on Friday and they're undoing all of their work and they're letting that snowball after putting three or four weeks worth of work into a diet they're just undoing all of that hard work within one or two days. So there's plenty of examples of people that put work in. But because there's no overarching framework because they don't understand. The one thing that they need to do each day in order to finally hit their goal. You don't see the potentially well-deserved results of that hard work. It's not just enough to do the hard work you need to know how to stay inside the funnel that will produce the results that you're looking for.
fitness
1362 - 1539 Brad Barrett I think part of this strategy also and part of the cost benefit analysis is is looking at what isn't worth your time. Also what's not worth this hard work and effort to figure out. And like I know for instance we had a very long and incredibly intelligent conversation in our Facebook group this week about different investment strategies and VTSAX versus some people thinking that's na├»ve and just silly to only focus on this one fund. And you know I get both perspectives. I really do. And I think on some level it might be a disservice to the audience that we're constantly talking about this one fund because there clearly are other investment strategies. There is real estate there are people who invest in bonds there are people who invests in different types of mutual funds and individual stocks and like people spend a lot of time researching that. And I think very clearly there are many ways to succeed in investing and we do talk about the VTSAX because I think there's elegance in that and I think where I've arrived is that I could spend thousands of hours trying to understand the markets and understand the precise technical details of investing and I still don't know that I'd come away with a better answer than low cost index fund investing. And for me it's just a simple cost benefit analysis of I've looked at some of the writings and research of people that I trust and respect and they've come away saying there's a very high likelihood almost looking at it as like like a bet right a bet in life of what's worth my time and energy. They've come away saying like there's a very high probability that you're going to do as well or better in a low cost index fund than in any type of active investing. And for me I'm looking at that again it's just like a bet that I don't want to spend thousands of hours like many of these MBAs and investing firms and and come away with an answer that I could have just had with elegance and simplicity like low cost index fund investing. So I think there are so many hundreds of thousands or millions of people who believe they're they know better. And I've yet to find any of those people other than maybe Warren Buffett and a handful of other people in the world. So like just from a pure cost benefit analysis and like a anti doing the work. I don't believe that there is a high probability of if I put in that work I'm going to have a better answer. So I'm going to stick with the elegance and simplicity of low cost index fund investing and that's kind of the opposite of what JD's saying here with put in the work. But I think it's equally as compelling and I think J.D. would agree also on some level that there are times where you don't have to put in the work where part of that strategy is figuring out where you want to put your time and resources and going for it and then putting in the work. So Jonathan I'd love to hear your thoughts.
indexfunds, stocks
1539 - 1716 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah and what a great pivot and moving from this specific episode into this massive conversation which is the value of simplicity versus the value of trying to put that extra amount of time in to beat the market. But at a higher risk. And I'll tell you I read every single comment on the Facebook group that has to do with the nuances of investing because I'm very interested in making sure that I that I haven't missed something or that there's not something that I can add to what I already understand about investing and I struggle with this Brad. I really did because I almost want someone to be able to convince me that I'm doing it wrong or that there's a better way a more obvious way to introduce people to how to invest. Just generally speaking but I'll be honest even at this point I'm not convinced that there is because I see plenty of people that are willing to try to pick apart our general strategy or Jl Collin's strategy. But I haven't heard anybody get anything that's even close to a one size fits all strategy. As a place to start I feel very confident that if you just embrace broad based index fund investing that is the best tool that the average middle class investor has to achieve true wealth over a long period of time. And I see plenty of arguments made about how you can make it more sophisticated potentially how you how you can lower your risk maybe by diversifying into other asset classes weighting your allocation more toward small cap or global or international funds. But I have yet to see someone make it easier to understand for the average investor and make it something that somebody else could replicate and adopt. I think that we talked about it with this episode with JD. There's a big difference between what is optimal and what you will actually follow through on. And I will say that right now I am 100 percent VTSAX and it was a very simple decision for me. I can also understand this idea of shifting as you get closer and closer to the point where you're drawing down on your wealth. That is a very simple philosophy that's easy for to me to understand and because I understand it I'm more likely to do it if I tell someone that they need to go out and purchase six or seven different funds and this person right now had no investing experience. This is their first entry into it. This show is all about getting someone to take action. And our community is going to be wildly better off because they just got started. Is there a way that maybe you could squeeze out a few extra basis points of security by making a few tweaks at the margins. Possibly but is there a larger percentage chance that maybe someone doesn't make any decision because they just think it's too complicated. I'm not going to take action on this. Yeah maybe in theory one of these days I'll get around to making some changes in my allocation. I don't think you can spend too much time highlighting the value of the simple path to wealth and I think there is somebody that could write the blog the complicated path to wealth in fact maybe there's a lot of them out already that they go under a different name but the value of the simple path to wealth is that it's easier for people to take action. You do not need to get ridiculous rates of return in order to crush this game. If you just get average rates of return and you combine that with a high savings rate you can retire in under 20 years.
indexfunds, savings
1716 - 1852 Brad Barrett And it's interesting that J.D. Roth actually had a quote on this precisely which is taking action is quote the number one thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people in all aspects of life. And that really does tie into this perfectly Jonathan which I didn't anticipate is that it's about psychology and people who are trying to basically tell us that our investing strategy is wrong and I get that on some level like people are have advanced knowledge and they think that we're being slightly simplistic or naive and like I guess I understand that from a certain perspective but I'm still A not convinced that there's a better long term strategy when taking into account the hundreds or thousands of hours I would have to research to even figure something out that may or may not be different. So even putting that aside from just a cost benefit analysis. But when you're talking about people making changes in their lives and taking action like it needs to be simple if you tell somebody you need to spend four thousand hours researching investing and then you can get into it. What percentage of people are going to actually do that. Well less than 1 percent if not a thousandth of one percent. I mean nobody basically. And what we want here is to get people to understand that. Keith from the wealthy accountant says if you save 50 percent of your income invested in low cost index funds you're going to have a a successful life like that's that's a paraphrase obviously but. But is there so much power there if you can just break it down into something that people can understand and take action on. They are going to do that and especially when you then bring in all the other positive life implications of pursuing FI that we've talked about over 60 plus episodes like it just becomes a very compelling story. And one thing that people can really grab hold of and take action on and that to me is the most important thing I would rather everyone out there match the market by buying a low cost index fund and just match the market for the next fifty years than having a few people succeed. A couple of percentage points per year higher but nobody else take action. Like if we can all just try to match the market and take action by having that savings rate that is success to me. So that is what I focus on.
accountant, indexfunds, savings
1852 - 1971 Jonathan Mendonsa And is not to say that we can't continue this conversation. This show has years of life than it and we can we can try and go. Bring on Paul Merriman. Larry sweet Dreux I would be happy to reach out to them and see if they would like to come on the show and present their point of view. I know that we have a fairly large percentage of our audience that actually follows their particular brand of investing strategy and I think that is a reasonable conversation to have. Happy to present other trains of thought other perspectives on this issue so we can reach out to them in 2018 and see if that's a possibility if they'd like to come on the show. It's not that we're afraid to have someone challenge our sacred cows. It's that we want the population at large and specifically our audience to win at life and we think you win when you take that first step. And frankly this is this is not something that we're telling you to do that we're not doing ourselves. We are following the advice that we're giving on the show. This is what we're doing. And if I feel like there's a compelling reason to adjust that I will let you know I'll be happy to let you know. But so far I don't think that I've heard a compelling reason to deviate from the concepts that we have presented and that the community has been presenting for the last decade. Rather we talk about investing. But this is much more than just an investing show. This is a life optimization show which means that we can then spend much more time talking about the tax optimization strategies talking about how to jack up your savings rate past two or three percent all the way up to 50 or 60 percent. How to tackle frugal living how to tackle starting a business. How to get started with real estate travel rewards. I don't want to get a doctorate in investing. I don't want to spend thousands of hours learning how to be a master of this one course I'd rather be a jack of all trades and know a little bit about everything. And I think that's just that's the place we want to land with this conversation. Once you add in all these other aspects that have the potential to decrease the cost of your life by $3000 a month or more it is going to infinitely surpass whatever return you would have gotten by putting all your extra time thinking about investments. And so I think that's just kind of where Brad and I have landed from almost a more holistic model.
savings, travelrewards
1971 - 2019 Brad Barrett Yeah and it's it's important also to say we can love this conversation. As Jonathan mentioned. He and I both look at every single post in the Facebook group and it's it's fantastic to have so many intelligent people there with different perspectives and it's so cordial. That's what's so great about it. Like on on the Internet there's so many places where things just spiral out of control and people start hating each other and I have not seen one instance of that when we're talking about investing. I mean people have different points of view and that is wonderful and we really really appreciate it. And as always for anyone in the audience you can join our Facebook group by navigating over to choose FI dot com forward slash Facebook and we'll send you a link for the private group. And yeah I mean it's a really vibrant community and it is the lifeblood of this show at this point. So definitely join as soon as you can.
2019 - 2179 Jonathan Mendonsa One cool thing that we might be able to do in the future is actually get a roundtable with a few of these thought leaders that maybe have slightly conflicting viewpoints on the approach and maybe also bring in one or two of our community members that have some questions and ideas as well. So if you're in that group and you've been a part of that conversation certainly that is on the table this is not to shut down the conversation but to extend it. And certainly as Brad was indicating our thought process is not to shut down conflicting points of view which we want to encourage that conversation but it is important to publicly state where we're coming from where we are right now and hopefully that opens up the floor for where we go in the future. So this is really cool so obviously Brad and I spent a ton of time talking about what an impact JD has had on our lives directly. We're very excited to announce that him and Stephen the organizer of camp FI have been in contact and JD is going to be coming to camp FI mid-Atlantic. So that is very very exciting. He's going be joining Brad and myself a big Ern from early retirement now. And Joe and Alexis from FI180 So to everybody that already bought your tickets. Very excited to see you there. And also there may be I think there's only one or two left and they may be gone by the time this airs but if you're interested in going you can go to choose FI dot com slash camp FI CAMPFI and you can maybe hopefully scoop one of those last couple of tickets. And that's going to be in April of 2000 18 and get all these all the details at the link that I just mentioned and actually guys I have another huge announcement to make. This is very exciting. You know how much time and thought Brad and I have been putting into how to help these communities not just have an online presence but extend to like physical communities in your local geographic regions they can kind of be a hub for helping you optimize your life in the specific place that you live. And we're just absolutely thrilled to announce that there is now a choose F-I group out of San Diego they have their own Facebook group which Brad and I are in and certainly glad to be a part of. But really more than that it's just exciting to see these communities really come together. And we wanted to let you know if you're listening to us from San Diego and you want to find some like minds in your community definitely you get more information about that on the Facebook group. We'd love to connect you and make that happen and it's just really exciting to think about the fact that this is happening in San Diego already. It could very likely be a place that we could start doing some screenings for the playing with fire documentary next year could be a place where we can really get the information out there. If We're able to start setting up any sort of large scale meet up in the future. But just the fact that people are taking initiative and taking action and really developing a community that shares this intention of reclaiming their life in this abbreviated time line of 10 to 15 years. I think that's. It can't be overstated how valuable that is.
campfi, playingwithfire
2179 - 2226 Brad Barrett Yeah I totally agree and yeah it was wonderful like you said to see the initiative of our San Diego group just had this thing pop up. And I think they had something like 20 plus people which was remarkable. And and they're already scheduling the next meetup so I mean this seems like a real community already. And that's just wonderful I know. Another one popped up in Los Angeles. They already had their first meet up and sent me pictures from this really cool brewery that just looked like like a really good time. And yeah a couple of months back we put out a call for meet up leaders and we thought there was going to be some very structured way to go about this. And it seems like that's not the right path it seems like this organic method is just much much better. And considering we have nearly 5000 members in the Facebook group I think we're going to let this form organically.
2226 - 2283 Jonathan Mendonsa So many of you have already reached out to us to say that you're interested in helping facilitate this and be a meet up leader. I think what we're going to try to do instead of you having to start from scratch. We're going to try to connect you with with some of the organizers behind the San Diego group and what we'd like to see is taking advantage of the Facebook platform which is so good at connecting people with shared interests and helping you set up something similar in your in your local community. And I think it's really exciting to see where this could go. Ideally we'd like to keep all of these groups attached to the larger choose the Facebook group. And these would be more a way for you to leverage the specific resources and talents of your community. But I think there is a symbiotic relationship here that can happen and so hopefully we can just continue to find a way to connect people with the ChooseFI community and their local geographic region and just the fact that this is happening organically is just absolutely incredible. All right so we have a really exciting voicemail that we're going to play for you. And this is from Curtis.
relationships
2283 - 2328 Curis - (voicemail contributor) Hi chooseFI listeners this is Curtis calling in from San Antonio Texas where the weather is warm and the tacos are delicious I had perhaps the ultimate frugal win of the week last week. During our wedding ceremony my wife vowed I promise to pursue financial independence with you so. We can be free to spend our time exactly how we choose. Now as a physical therapist I very much enjoyed my work and I hope to do it for decades but not having to work 40 hours a week. is What excites you the most about the FI journey. I found this community to be both encouraging and practical and it feels good to know I'm not in the trenches alone as around as I'm trying to balance enjoying my youth and preparing for a future where I may not want to be at the hospital for 40 plus hours a week. So keep up the good work Brad and Jonathan. And maybe we can talk again soon.
FWOTW
2328 - 2349 Brad Barrett Wow that is truly amazing. Our huge congratulations Curtis to you and your wife and man. No-Joke. I got chills. I have goosebumps on my arms when I heard the vows. I mean that is just the neatest thing. And that you guys are in this together and you have this remarkable life to look forward to for many many decades so a huge congratulations to you.
2349 - 2380 Jonathan Mendonsa And that doesn't happen because you just have a single conversation about it. That means that there's intentionality built into your day to day life that FI has become part of your world that the decisions that you're making along the way have led to a predictable outcome which you're excited about. You can genuinely get excited about it when you wake up in the morning and so you guys have turned this into a game and you're tackling this together and so just congratulations to you and your wife were just from Choose FI we're absolutely thrilled for you. Alright Brad and I got another voicemail that I'm going to play for you. This is from Melissa in California.
2380 - 2435 Melissa - (voicemail contributor) He brought in Jonathan this is Melissa from California. I just wanted to drop you a line because I totally channeled my inner Laura today. So before I went to the grocery store I decided to shop my cabinets to meal plan. I saw the Japanese curry blocks. So of course I decided to make Japanese curry. It's a really simple recipe. The ingredients are just Curry blocks. Beef potatoes onions carrots and water and you serve it with rice. So the recipe I was using for half pound of beef but when I got to the store they only had one and a quarter pound packages. My first thought was I can make this curry super meaty and it would be absolutely delicious. But then then my inner Laura reminded me that I could double the recipe by spending just another $2 and 75 cents. Now the effective price per serving is a dollar and 31 cents not including the curry blocks which we already had. And the rice that we'll serve it with and I won't have cook in two weeks because I'm going to freeze half the batch. So thanks for sharing those Laura meal prep tips they really stuck with me. And I'm looking forward to more of them.
"mealplan ", mealplan
2435 - 2439 Jonathan Mendonsa That's awesome. Laura Congratulations your tips are being used.
2439 - 2608 Brad Barrett Yeah Melissa this was great as soon as you sent in the voicemail. I played it for Laura and we just got such a kick out of I channeled my inner Laura. That was that was awesome. So it brought a big smile to her face and you know I mean this is what it's all about when it comes to food planning like it just makes such a difference both in time and in money. And you really can lower your effective price per meal so significantly just by putting that little extra bit of thought in and also being willing to freeze things and freeze them in individual dinner portions like that's what we do all the time. So Laura will cook and and like Melissa she'll just double what she puts in and plan it for another couple of dinners two or three weeks down the road when we haven't just had it a couple of times. So even for us it's hard to have a dinner six nights out of nine. I mean that's a little extreme. I mean I'm sure it works for some people but we would rather have three nights over a week and then put the other three dinners into the freezer and have it three or four weeks down the road. And like that it's just so cool knowing that you have all these meals that if something pops up you just pull it out of the freezer in the morning and boom you have a delicious home cooked meal that costs in most cases well under $2 per person per meal and it's just as simple as that. So it's just having that foresight. And also like we just keep a running list of what we have frozen and that way we have it at a glance and also Laura just cooks usually one new thing a week and it keeps on perpetuating this cycle of like us having these delicious meals with very little effort. I'm like that's the most important thing. Laura is a great cook and she loves to cook but she's not slaving hours a day over some meal for us. She basically cooks and I consent just that one time per week but it's just with that intentionality. And also even just little things like She recently decided to make breaded chicken cutlets because they could be used for so many different meals. I mean you put them on salads we put them on sandwiches or she can make chicken parmesan or really anything. I'm sure there's a huge list certainly of options and like she took an hour or an hour and a half and chopped and breaded and fried up like I think it was five or seven pounds of chicken. Jonathan it was crazy and like she just put them into individual servings and boom we have probably I don't know if it was a quarter pound a serving even which is a lot. You have 20 different individual servings from five pounds in just an hour of work. So like it's just so smart like how she approaches and I'm just constantly impressed just even with my own wife. I like just how intelligent she has this. And I definitely advise everyone out there just put some thought into your food prep and it will make such a difference both in time and money.
cooking
2608 - 2699 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah it really is incredible and we're so grateful for Laura to take the time to actually put those top 50 recipes that she's starting to work on actually putting them in the Choose FI Vault which Brad over 3000 people have access now. So those are spreading across the Internet. But for those of you that don't know this we do have a we're calling it choose FI Vault but just think of it like a digital locker that we can update and you can always have the most up to date resources if you want to get access to that is completely free. Just go to choose F-I dot com slash vault and it'll give you the instructions to get access to those recipes. I want to mention one more thing. In line with what we just talking about and that is that I have experimented with my first pure vegetarian dish and I should state for the record I'm not big and I'm not vegetarian probably never will be. I love I love steak. But if I were ever going to be a vegetarian this would be the meal that would carry me across that threshold. And it was featured on budget bites by Beth who writes over their budget bites really wonderful web site probably one of my top 50 websites of all time. And she actually lists the price per serving at the top of that web site under each recipe and this is called Slow Cooker coconut curry lentils. You can just Google that along with budget bites and it'll come up but it's 99 cents a serving and Brad. It is the most amazing vegetarian recipe I have ever had. I could eat it endlessly for lunch dinner and breakfast. It's so good. And we'll put a link to that in the show notes for you to go check that out as well.
2699 - 2745 Brad Barrett Nice. Yeah I can't wait to try that out. That sounds really really cool. And Jonathan I didn't mention this to you before but you actually spurred me on with your multiday fast. I haven't gone gone that far quite yet but I'm actually experimenting with intermittent fasting again and I'm actually on hour 16 of a of a fast right now so I intend to have lunch here and at noon. At the end of about an 18 hour fast and I'm feeling great. I had a cup of tea with no sugar or milk this morning and just a glass of water and basically that's all I've drank or eaten since last night at dinnertime. So yeah it's going great so far. And yeah this is something I plan to experiment with certainly over the course of the next weeks and months.
2745 - 2775 Jonathan Mendonsa That's really cool man. Thanks for sharing. Yeah I remember in the tools of Titans book Tim Ferriss mentioned that a large percentage of the high performers that he documented in that book they skip breakfast and do that intermittent fasting where they basically have their first meal around 11 or 12. So yeah keep us posted I'll be very curious to see how that works out for you and certainly the progression on that is doing a full 24 hour fast or 48 or 72 hour fast so it's not once you've done 16 it doesn't seem like a big stretch to go ahead and try and do it one day or.
2775 - 2813 Brad Barrett No it really doesn't. I mean I easily at this point believe I can make it so six o'clock a night. So who knows maybe maybe we'll see if I have another glass of tea or coffee around noon and see if I want to go for the full 24 hours. But yeah as of now I intend to eat lunch so we will see. But yeah it's fun just to kind of experiment with something that's be kind of the edge of what you're used to. So I'm you know as I'm constantly talking about here I just like learning new things and trying new things out and trying to make progress on health and fitness and and just general life optimization. So this is what I've read about a bunch of times and you know just wanted to pick up again. So Jonathan thank you.
fitness, health
2813 - 2873 Jonathan Mendonsa Oh you're welcome. Yeah I'm glad you're glad you're getting benefit. All right guys. Unfortunately that is going to bring this episode to a close. Thank you so much for joining us today. This has been a lot of fun. Now we finish every Friday round up by doing a drawing for a copy of a book that we found useful. And we do two books we do. Jl Collins book the simple path to wealth and dominant quartuccio's book design your future. We also will add a third book it as an option for a few weeks at a time typically as it's relevant to the content that we've been discussing. And for this week and next week we're doing the four hour work week by Tim Ferriss. So let me tell you how this drawing works. If you want to be eligible for this in a future week all you have to do just go to choose FI dot com slash iTunes. Just follow the instructions there. Leave us a short written review and then send us an e-mail to feedback at Choose FI dot com just letting us know what screen name you left it under so that we can match you up and then we announce the winners every Friday on the Friday roundup. We do one book for every five written reviews that we get. And Brad how many winners do we have today.
testimonial
2873 - 2878 Brad Barrett All right Jonathan we have one winner today and the winner is Cynthia.
2878 - 2954 Jonathan Mendonsa Cynthia says top five podcast ChooseFI is in my top five all time favorite podcast. It's rare to find a FI podcast that produces so many episodes and at the same time provides so much practical advice. I particularly like that the podcast offers a range of information from the very technical so understanding withdrawal rates to general lifestyle advice like the most recent interview with Brandon Pierce and specific life hacks like limiting your breakfast options to avoid decision fatigue. The only thing I would change is the length. Sometimes it's hard to digest an hour episode and although I tried to listen to it and 1.5 speed I found that I didn't like that. Other than that though. Great job. Thank you. Yes Cynthia thank you so much for that feedback really all of it including the feedback on the lengt. You know it's something that I struggle with and to some degree Brad does as well trying to figure out what's that sweet spot. It's amazing to me when we started. I was just going to do these 15 or 20 minute episodes. Obviously those are easier to produce. They don't take as long and I really struggled with doing that and we ended up landing with about an hour and sometimes we do a half hour and a half long episodes and it's it is hard to try and find that balance because we don't want to cut the conversation short and we don't we also don't want to have tons of filler content. So I think I'm still trying to find that that perfect balance. But it's it's tougher than it sounds.
lifeoptimization
2954 - 2989 Brad Barrett Yeah and also I would say keep with trying to listen in slightly faster speed. I know I've mentioned before I listen to all my podcasts and generally I like 1.6 or 1.7 X and I think it just it's just a little life optimization hack where you can get more content in in less time. And that's that's a win so even if it means starting at 1.1 or 1.2 X just give it a whirl and then I think your brain will get used to it. So and that's for the audience out there I think it's an important little hack. I think you'll get used to it very easily like 1.3 1.4 x without batting an eyelash.
lifeoptimization
2989 - 2998 Jonathan Mendonsa I was actually thinking do it the other way Brad. Go find some random podcast. Listen to it at 2.00 and then come back and listen to ours at 1.5 and it will sound totally normal.
2998 - 3000 Brad Barrett That's cool. I like that strategy. Yeah that could work.

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