I remember the first time I learned the difference between an asset and a liability. Sitting on the couch as a young teenager, I wanted to share my new-found knowledge with my mother. I explained to her the difference between the two knowing that she would be proud of me. She wanted me to make good financial decisions so I didn’t make the same mistakes as her.
My mom introduced me to personal finance at a young age. She wanted me to free myself from the poverty cycle we were in. And I couldn’t do that without making solid financial decisions.
She went through two divorces, bankruptcy, and many other financial challenges that could turn anyone into a victim. My father walked out and later committed suicide for a number of reasons (one being financial obligations). But my mom never became a victim and she found a way to improve her situation. We went from being homeless and broke to living a fulfilled and rich life.
I knew what it was like growing up with nothing, I became obsessed with learning how to equip myself with the right tools to one day become financially free. I read books like the Total Money Makeover, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind which all helped build a foundation and are all great books.
However, after reading many books, I felt like I was learning all there was to know about personal finance. How much is there out there on the topic?
I Was Missing Something
I was missing two things: (1) a community of like-minded people and (2) a way to optimize what I knew. Every book kept telling me that if I just save and invest a small percentage I would be financially free. But financial freedom felt so arbitrary and it didn’t feel like I would ever obtain it.
Then one day, in December of 2017, I was just finishing up college, I came across a podcast of a guy that had just quit his job as a pharmacist. I just joined the Millennial Money Man Facebook group and it was around the time he was on the ChooseFI podcast.
I realized there was a living and breathing community of people interested in the exact same things as me. Two podcast episodes later and decided to start from the very beginning on the ChooseFI podcast. I’m glad that I did because my life will never be the same.
I Found My Tribe
Along with a ChooseFI book review, this post is an inside look and review of the FI community.
I’ve since had the chance to meet Brad and Jonathan a few times at FinCon as well as get to know Chris Mamula very well who is a fellow Utahn. (Utah is home even though we currently live in Texas).
I was excited to read the new book they were putting together that gives a great overview of this new movement and what a superpower financial independence can be. This stuff is life-changing.
Before I get into sharing what I love about the ChooseFI book, it’s worth noting that soon after I found the FI community, my mom decided to jump on the bus with me. We’re now currently on this path to financial independence together. She introduced me to personal finance, and I introduced her to financial independence.
Here’s What I Love About the ChooseFI Book
The ChooseFI book gives you a clear framework on how to live a financially independent life. It begins with the “Stages of FI.” These can be compared to the Dave Ramsey “Baby Steps.”
Except these are far from baby steps. These are big boy steps. In my opinion, they’re way more difficult. It’s not simply a matter of becoming debt-free, it’s becoming debt-free and getting to the point where working is optional. Once you reach financial independence, you’ll never have to work another day in your life if you decide not to.
This is what was missing from the idea of becoming financially free. To me, that meant crushing it and buying an island which is something almost no one can achieve.
After telling one of my friends about this online community of people working toward the same goal, he told me was how he liked the idea because it’s something anyone can do.
Reaching financial independence is driven by what your annual expenses are. It forces you to be frugal. What they mention in the book a “Valuist,” which is someone who spends money on what they value and cuts back ruthlessly on the things they don’t.
Minimalism and Simple Living
I appreciate how these guys discuss minimalism and simple living at great length. For me, life was never about making as much money as possible, it was about living a meaningful and intentional life. For years I was promised all of these opportunities to make a bunch of money and was sold this lavish lifestyle that never really appealed to me. My desire was to one day live a life of simplicity and independence like Henry David Thoreau.
One of the biggest advantages of reading this book is the fact that they don’t shy away from the nitty-gritty details. Something most financial books, podcasts, and financial planners stay away from because it doesn’t relate to the masses or they want to hold on to the information themselves.
Advanced Personal Finance Topics
I couldn’t believe the education I was getting from reading and listening to the podcast was free. I was learning more practical and applicable information than in business school or a master’s program in personal financial planning. Things like tax optimization, mega backdoor Roth, sequence of return risk, and different investment strategies. They go into a lot of advanced strategies. But at the same time, they keep it simple and easy for anyone to understand. Plus they talk about ways to increase your income.
I couldn’t get enough of it because it was all geared toward helping me make more money, spend less and enjoy the journey. My wife and I were on a date one night (she was sick of me talking about this), and I told her “I found my tribe, these people get it.”
“I found my tribe, these people get it.”
Even though I’m still getting started in my career and I have faced a lot of challenges in my younger years, I can honestly say I feel very grateful to have learned these things at such a young age because I know what kind of impact it will have on me and my family. These are all principles I want to instill in my son, Everett. Which will hopefully one day become 3rd generation FI.
Get Your Blueprint to Financial Independence Today
If the ChooseFI book is a book you already know you want to purchase, you can go ahead and get it on Amazon by clicking the link below! It makes a great gift for someone you think could benefit from it as well.