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Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence Paperback – October 1, 2019
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"It (the Financial Independence Movement) has grown to be a movement in large part because of a podcast called ChooseFI." - Jean Chatzky, Co-Founder & CEO of HerMoney.com, and host of HerMoney Podcast, Financial Editor of NBC's TODAY Show
“This book is a practical, actionable and inspirational guide to taking command of your financial freedom and designing a future you can't wait to live into." - Dominick Quartuccio, author of Design Your Future: 3 Simple Steps to Stop Drifting and Take Command of Your Life
“This is a comprehensive book about how to become financially independent, filled with personal stories and inspirational examples of those in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community.” - Kristy Shen, co-author of Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required and the popular Millennial Revolution blog
“A few years ago the podcast, Choose FI, exploded on the scene. Each week Brad and Jonathan explored the how and why of achieving FI with the best minds in the space. Now with the help of Chris Mamula, in this book, they have distilled those hundreds of episodes into a concise, clear and achievable path. Well done and well worth your time.” - JL Collins, bestselling author of The Simple Path to Wealth
"This book is outstanding. A proven and effective financial philosophy coupled with specific, actionable advice addressing the biggest challenges to FI (including housing, health insurance, and more). This well-researched, easy to read book is brought to you by three of the finest students of FI around and should be on everyone's reading list. Thank you Brad, Jonathan, and Chris!" - Scott Trench, CEO - Bigger Pockets and author of Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream
"If you're looking for a step-by-step blueprint to reach financial independence, there's perhaps nobody better than Jonathan and Brad. Their interviews with members of the FIRE community, coupled with their commitment to highlighting actionable steps, makes them invaluable guides along the FIRE path." - Paula Pant, host of the Afford Anything podcast
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The reason it didn't get a lower review is that the price was very fair (and very FI). Other than that, this is not a book I'll be sharing with friends/family who are interested in learning more about FI. Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins and Playing with FIRE are much more interesting and engaging.
Playing with FIRE was super engaging and kept me wanting to drop everything I was doing to keep reading. I am not a blogger, have never met any of the FI personalities, and have no vested interest whatsoever in recommending one book over the other. I'm just someone who has become interested in FI over the past 6 months and am giving my honest assessment of what the better read is/was.
1) Getting Started
2) Spend Less
3) Earn More
4) Invest Better
Each of these sections is well-constructed, and unlike many other books out there, is not a personal diatribe from the authors' point of view on how to approach personal finance - rather it is an amalgamation of expertise from thought-leaders in the personal finance community, constructed by experts Chris, Brad, and Jonathan. There are many right approaches, bound together by certain thematic principles - this book has a great balance of making those principles clear, while also being welcoming to people approaching FI from any of life's many entry points.
This is a great book for those learning to learn about Financial Independence and get a grounding in how to approach it. Those already familiar with FI on well on their journey will find a helpful review of key concepts, and will also encounter familiar faces in the community who have contributed to the work through their appearances on the Choose FI podcast, and will find validation and great insight into what's next and the transition and inflection points that FI brings about to anyone who finishes out the journey.
Learning from others that have done it is a great wealth of knowledge! This book provides you that and also the fundamentals to get you started.
I would recommend it to anyone that wants to start the FI journey as well as those already in the journey. Its a great refresh on what you should focus your energy on and have the right mindset!
One of my favorite quotes so far from the book "FI is not about retiring early or retiring at all really. It’s all about having the freedom and flexibility to design your life in alignment with your values."
Top international reviews
Here are the 10 most important things I have learned and changed in my first 3 months on my way to FI
1. FI = Freedom
I have never cared too much about money because my focus has always been on living a happy and fulfilled life.
Now, I’ve realized that it is the other way round: Pursuing FI (i.e. being conscious about your money) will give me the time and freedom to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
2. Investing is NO rocket science
By educating myself about investing, I’ve learned some basic rules about investing the “FI way” and changed my whole portfolio to low-cost ETFs.
Now I just add to my portfolio at the beginning of every month and watch it grow.
3. Track your finances
Once you start tracking your finances, you will see patterns that are nothing less than astonishing (and probably shocking as well).
4. Choose smart habits around money
Once you start recognizing your habits and spending patterns, you can begin to change them.
5. Be creative
There are many things where you just have to become a little bit smarter.
Reading -> get the books in the library instead of quickly buying them on Amazon
Clothes -> I use less and I’ve learned how to fix little holes
Breakfast -> prepare a grab and go breakfast which is as good and way cheaper than a sandwich on the road
6. Enjoy free holidays
I got the idea from the podcast and it showed me that we have to challenge old beliefs from time to time.
Before that, I would have never touched the holiday budget. Now I’ve learned that there are ways to spend way less and have more fun, for example via trustedhousesitters.
7. Quit your gym (or sth. else you are getting no value from)
This is the best example for something I wasn’t really getting any value from but still paid lot’s of money for every month.
Now, I’ve got 100€ more in my pocket each month and I’ve got more time to follow my real passions.
8. Get your spouse on board
This is a long, exciting and fun journey and I don’t want to go it alone. I am talking about those concepts with my spouse and I find it very enriching for our relationship.
Mostly because it is NOT just about money, but about how we want to lead our lives in general.
9. Find other people who can inspire and teach you
There are so many places to get inspiration from, both online and offline.
Online: I’ve started to get inspiration from blogs and podcasts on a daily basis. Quite often it is just a little gem you find in an episode or article, but adding them up leads to incremental improvements in your life, both financial and in general.
Offline: I’ve founded the ChooseFI Cologne group on Facebook and we had our first meet-up already. It is great to talk with people who are following the same path and share the same interests but do it under different circumstances and in different ways.
10. Share your ideas with others
I started to share my ideas and experiences on my blog
So far, it has been a great experience for me to channel my thoughts and share them with the world. Hopefully, it can become a helpful resource for others as well!
Of course, I have included a FIRE Habit series and a FIRE Challenge series!
Best of all: I can’t wait to see what the next three months on my way to FI will teach me!