092R | It’s not the Idea, it’s the Process

092R It's not the idea

Plans for ChooseFI to support education, the value of a life resume, travel rewards tips for active duty military, and hurricane preparation.

  • Hurricane preparations in Richmond, Va.
  • Alarmist or appropriately prepared?
  • ChooseFI community offering to help people flee the hurricane zone.
  • Wendy, a local-group admin, coincidentally stayed in an AirBnB owned by another local-group admin in Tuscon, Ariz.
  • What are indicators that someone might be receptive to conversation about financial independence?
  • How has Jonathan expanded the topics that he can find in common with other people?
  • How do Brad & Laura keep their children excited about school?
  • Miriam from the ChooseFI Educator’s group & who writes at Millionaire Millennial shares why teachers should create a Donor’s Choose account to raise funding for classroom projects.
  • How can Brad’s family help their children’s teachers improve the classroom experience?
  • Dani, Rob and Miriam are working on a curriculum to teach about financial independence.
  • What is the future of the ChooseFI Foundation?
  • What is the process for starting a foundation?
  • Brad and Jonathan were excited to hear about how Will Boland, from Monday’s episode, explored the process of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Is there value to writing a business plan?
  • When creating a business, find a real problem. Then you can solve it.
  • If you wait until it’s perfect, it’s too late.
  • It’s ok to get better as you go.
  • What is the value of a “life resume”?
  • Is building a life by design the same as being in a position to retire early?
  • Voicemail from Military Dollar with tips about travel rewards for active duty military.
  • Message from Steve from Develop Good Habits shares Brad’s appreciation of Todoist, to help manage reoccurring tasks.
  • What does ChooseFI want to hear in voicemails from the community, and how can someone leave a message?

The Groovy Guide to Financial Independence Price: The Groovy Guide to Financial Independence Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Freedom Is Groovy

Leave a voicemail


092 | Will Boland | CarLotz |Entrepreneurship Case Study

092.Will Boland Carlotz

CarLotz co-founder Will Boland talks about making the leap from investment banking to entrepreneurship, the challenges and benefits of leading a growing company, and what it means to build a life resume.

What you'll hear in today's show:

  • How did Will become an entrepreneur?
  • What was the inspiration for CarLotz?
  • What experience during his work in investment banking gave Will the motivation to become an owner/manager?
  • Will is 2nd generation FI. What did his journey look like?
  • How did Will present and convince his family that it was a good idea to pursue entrepreneurship instead of continuing with his well-paying job?
  • Did Will accumulate significant student loans while completing his undergraduate degree and master’s?
  • What is a life resume, and does Will keep track of his?
  • What role have mentors played in Will’s career?
  • Will has been very open and honest with mentors and co-workers about his specific goals. How does he create an environment at CarLotz to encourage the same from his employees?
  • Why didn’t Will’s mentor want to see his business plan?
  • What was the thought process when Will and his co-founders could only secure small startup investments?
  • What is the advantage of selling a car on consignment?
  • What hiccups did CarLotz overcome in their early days of business?
  • “If you aren’t embarrassed by the first iteration, you’re launching too late.”
  • How does Will encourage employees to share good ideas?
  • Why do pursuing FI and starting a business complement each other well?
  • How did Will and his co-founders create space to share work-place challenges within their partnership?
  • Has Will caught up, financially, to where he’d be if he had continued his job in investment banking?
  • Is he happy with where he’s at?
  • Does CarLotz need to be a financial success in order to keep Will on track to reach financial independence?
  • Why is running Will’s favorite life hack?

Links mentioned during the show:



“The Tail End” – Wait, But Why?



091R | Real Estate Inside an IRA

091R Real Estate Inside an IRA

An overview of how to own a house with an IRA, Jonathan attempts to optimize his recipes and shopping list, a list of the top 5 ChooseFI episodes and a travel rewards win.

What you'll hear in today's Friday Roundup:

  • Is the financial independence movement growing?
  • “Playing with FIRE” documentary set to come out in early 2019.
  • Jonathan and Dani are ready to accept the vegetarian challenge.
  • How is Jonathan trying to optimize his grocery shopping and recipe planning?
  • If you can’t find it, build it.
  • Should someone who is looking at real estate investment look into their own city?
  • The 1% rule: 1% of the cost of the house < monthly rent.
  • The 50% rule: about 50% of your income will be expenses.
  • Is real estate investment for everyone?
  • Rich built a system that works, from a distance, and makes $100k a year.
  • Jonathan has been putting together a team (list of people) who he’ll call for specific work in his life.
  • How to own property with an IRA:
    • Roth IRA -> sell some of his investments into cash -> moved the cash into a self-directed IRA company -> fill out forms -> the IRA company buys the property
  • What is the advantage of owning property in your IRA?
  • When the house is inside an IRA, whatever money comes in isn’t taxed.
  • Can you use a loan to buy a house through your IRA?
  • You have to have plenty of money in your IRA to purchase the house, and to make any repairs to the house that might arise. You cannot spend personal money on a house that’s inside an IRA.
  • Voicemail from Brian sharing a travel rewards win in Hawaii and which credit card he’s using.
  • Top 5 ChooseFI episodes:
  • Facebook question from Eileen wondering why more people don’t pursue financial independence?



Wunderlist Parser (turns notepad line items into checklist- Perfect for creating grocery list from online recipes)

Wunderlist App 

091 | Rich Carey Real Estate | Building a Rental Real Estate Snowball Machine without Debt

091 Rich Carey Real Estate Building a Rental Real Estate Snowball Machine without Debt Wordpress

Rich Carey, officer in the U.S. Air Force, talks about learning to live frugally, buying his first townhouse, and building his real estate empire from one to 20 houses in Montgomery, AL.

  • How did Rich get interested in financial independence?
  • What did Rich’s frugal life look like before he found financial independence?
  • How did Rich’s wife inspire their frugal living?
  • Rich and his wife paid off their mortgage in seven years.
  • Why did Rich have so much student loan debt as a military officer?
  • How quickly did Rich’s mindset change after he began dating his wife?
  • When did Rich and his wife purchase their first rental property?
  • House hacking runs deep in Rich’s family – how did his grandmother get him interested in house hacking?
  • How many homes does Rich currently own and rent?
  • How did Rich come to own these properties, and how did he pay for them?
  • How much savings were Rich and his wife able to use for paying off their mortgage?
  • Did Rich opt to pay off his mortgage as his sole investment, or did he also contribute to his retirement accounts?
  • Rich didn’t purchase any other houses until his initial mortgage was paid off.
  • How does appreciation work?
  • How to get from one house to 20 houses…
  • What is a price-to-rent ratio and the 1% rule, and why did Rich decide to invest in Montgomery, Alabama?
  • Are there deals to be found in the MLS?
  • What are the advantages of purchasing a house with cash?
  • Smaller, less-populated and less-advertised cities inside the U.S. more likely to offer deals that fit into the 1% rule.
  • Are Zillow, Trulia and other easily accessible online tools useful?
  • How involved is Rich in maintaining his properties, and why he did opt to use a property management company?
  • Building a strong relationship with his property management company gave Rich the opportunity to continue buying properties while living overseas.
  • Generally, someone can expect expenses to cost about 50% of the rent.
  • Rich owns 16 properties in an LLC, and the remaining four are in IRAs.
  • What’s next for Rich and his family as he approaches 20 years in the military?



JL Collins Blog

Rich on Money

“Why You Need F-You Money” – JL Collins


091 Rich Carey Real Estate Building a Rental Real Estate Snowball Machine without Debt.Pinterest

090R | Longest Vacation Ever

090R The Longest Vacation

Brad gets back from vacation, Jonathan talks about bringing vegetarianism into his diet, and voicemails from the community highlighting CLEP tests and a 401k win.

  • Brad is back from a month-long vacation in the U.K.
  • Is this Brad’s first experience with “slow travel”?
  • Where will Brad’s family go next?
  • If you can optimize small things, they add up.
  • Brad joined a ChooseFI meet up in London, with Barney from The Escape Artist and Ken from The Humble Penny.
  • Is there a more efficient way to be active than slaving away on the treadmill?
  • Are your health and exercise habits actually adding value to your life?
  • Brad thinks maybe he’ll try a vegan diet for a short time, as was recommended on Monday’s episode.
  • How has Jonathan incorporated additional spices into his family’s meals?
  • “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – Michael Pollan
  • How much money could Jonathan save if his family went vegetarian?
  • What is intermittent fasting?
  • Email from Alex, confirming the advantage and benefits of veganism.
  • Does veganism have a PR issue?
  • What tools will Jonathan use to increase his vegetable diet during the next few weeks.
  • Voicemail from Ben, about using CLEP tests, which are free for members of the military, to decrease the time it takes to complete a university degree.
  • Voicemail from Michael: strategically moving money from taxable investment accounts into non-taxable accounts will move him into a 0% tax bracket.


Recipes Mentioned by Jonathan

Vegan Pad Thai

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Links Mentioned on Show

Araminta Financially Mint

James | Rethink the Rat Race



Products Mentioned in Episode

Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer Price: $119.95 Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Paderno World Cuisine 6-Blade Vegetable Slicer/Spiralizer, Counter-Mounted and Includes 6 Different Stainless Steel Blades Price: $27.49 Paderno World Cuisine 6-Blade Vegetable Slicer/Spiralizer, Counter-Mounted and Includes 6 Different Stainless Steel Blades Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices - Black (wired, 3.5mm) Price: $177.99 Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices - Black (wired, 3.5mm) Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.





Thank you for being a part of the ChooseFI community!  ? If you want to support us, here are some easy ways:

1) Leave an iTunes review: http://www.choosefi.com/itunes

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Note: We may receive a commission if you are approved for cards on this page

3) Most importantly, find your friends, coworkers, and family members who may be open to this message and tell them about the podcast! (Episode 21 is a great starting place)

As Jonathan would say, “The FIRE is spreading my friends!”

090 | Vegan Path to FI

James and Steven pull back the curtain on veganism, talking about the health, lifestyle and financial benefits of veganism, alongside the practical details of how to actually make it work.

What you'll learn from today's show:

  • Terms for the conversation:
    • Veganism: essentially a belief system. Vegan don’t use animal products
    • Vegetarian: no meat products, but includes eggs and dairy
    • Flexitarian: vegetarian most of the time
    • Plant-based veganism: don’t eat any animal products
  • Steven’s veganism started with chronic wrist and hand pain.
  • James is a vegetarian body builder from Alabama.
  • What’s his story?
  • How did tacos change James’ life?
  • Vegetarian or veganism is almost inevitable for a person who is fully optimizing their meals.
  • Cheapest proteins per ounce: Beans, Lentils, Oatmeal.
  • How much protein should the typical American diet include?
  • What is the max protein amount that a body can make use of in a day?
  • Recommended sources of protein:
    • Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Lentils, Edamame, Chick peas, black-eyed peas
  • What are hemp seeds, and where can someone buy them?
  • What is protein, and what foods contain protein?
  • Why does Steven’s current diet look a little less “American”?
  • How do ethnic foods lend themselves to a vegan diet?
  • What snacks does James eat when he’s hungry?
  • What is the difference between plant-based and whole-foods plant-based?
  • Recommendation for shopping:
    • Protein
    • Berries
    • Cruciferous veggies: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
    • Leafy green – mostly dark leafy greens
  • How do James and Steven season their food to keep things exciting?
  • What does being a vegan cost?
  • How has Steven and James’ health adjusted since becoming vegan?
  • What is the most compelling reason that someone should be a vegan?
  • How can someone give veganism a try?
  • Where is James at on his journey toward FI?
  • How does becoming vegan feel similar to committing to financial independence?
  • “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.”


Steven's Beginner guide to Vegan


Links to resources mentioned:

Vegan FIRE Facebook Group

Mr. Money Mustache

Root of Good


Mr. Money Mustache: The True Cost of Commuting

Rethink the Rat Race


Vegan FI

089R | Let Me Check With My Accountant

089R Let Me Check With My Accountant

An introduction to the Family Bank and what ChooseFI’s accountant-on-call thinks about it, as well as how to navigate rental car insurance, and what soft skills are crucial to a career in retail?

What we dig into in this Friday Roundup:

  • Jonathan is exploring new, non-computer-based hobbies.
  • It can be overwhelming to figure out what specific goals we want to pursue.
  • You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
  • Do children who find entrepreneurial hobbies as end up as millionaires?
  • Retail jobs are everywhere – it mostly requires soft skills.
  • What’s the problem with being over-educated and under experienced?
  • How important is it to be friendly, kind and nice?
  • Do your county’s high schools offer programs to help students graduate with an associate’s degree?
  • Voicemail from Brent, who is curious about selecting rental car issuance.
  • Credit cards that include some form of car insurance coverage:
  • In order for credit card coverage to kick in you need to: decline rental company collision waiver, be the primary driver of the rental vehicle, and pay for the card in full with the card that offers the insurance protection.
  • Does your primary car insurance actually provide rental car insurance?
  • An email from Shari who recently made huge adjustments in her investments strategies, and realized that her son is 4th Generation FI.
  • Chris talks about his “Family Bank”.
  • How and why did Chris get this started?
  • What are the logistics of how the loans and “accounts” work?
  • Why does Chris’ family opt to use the Family Bank as opposed using traditional mortgage loans?
  • What impact does the Family Bank have on Chris’ investment strategy?
  • The first step toward the family bank is having transparent conversations about money.
  • What does Shane Mason, CPA/CFP, think of the family bank?
  • Does Shane consider the family bank an investment comparable to bonds?
  • Does the Family Bank need to be considered a business?
  • Interest income is always a taxable income.
  • Might the IRS have an issue with taking a loan from oneself?



Brooklyn FI

089 | Retail Path to FI with College Investor

089 retail path to fi with college investor

Robert, from The College Investor, talks about his lucrative job as a Target store manager, building his blog into a highly profitable side hustle, his relationship with frugality, and the keys to success in a retail interview.

What you'll hear discussed on today's show

  • How did Robert end up where he is now – side hustler for life, and founder of The College Investor blog.
  • What was Robert’s original business?
  • How did Robert progress from collecting carts at Target, for the first 17 years of his career?
  • What is Robert’s experience with tuition reimbursement, and does he generally recommend that to students?
  • What were the steps that led to store manager?
  • What’s the key to being a successful retail manager?
  • Does it make a difference where an employee’s college degree?
  • Why are many young adults “over-educated and under-experienced”?
  • As a hiring manager, what did Robert look for during interview?
    • Are you friendly?
    • Are you nice?
    • Can you look me in the eyes?
    • Can you have a conversation with me?
  • What inspired Robert to start The College Investor?
  • How does Robert feel about his first blog posts?
  • When and why did The College Investor evolve from just an investment blog, to address college loans, personal finance, etc.
  • How did The College Investor get to 2.4 million unique viewers per month?
  • What role did does consistency play in the blog’s success?
  • Networking and connecting with other financial bloggers had a big influence on Robert, educating him and building partnerships.
  • Does Robert consider himself frugal?
  • Why does Robert focus more on income than frugality in his pursuit of FI?
  • What factors did Robert consider before he left his job at Target?
  • Why doesn’t Robert own a car?
  • Maxing out your company 401k contributions is different from contributing whatever your employer will match.



The Financial Samurai

The College Investor: How Honest Financial Advisors Should Disclose their Fees



088R | What Have You Built?

Which cities are the best for pursuing financial independence, how to hack your career, ideas for building a side hustle and how to assess the return on your college investment.

  • Jonathan is considering decluttering his gym.
  • How can you motivate yourself to get fitter?
  • What is the return on your college investment?
  • Are there specific courses of study that are more valuable than others?
  • Programming is a growing field that doesn’t necessarily require a college education.
  • How can you make changes in your life to get where you want to go?
  • Is it ok to take a step back before you move forward?
  • If you need a partner to help you build – find a partner.
  • Don’t follow the standard path – figure out what gets you excited and carve your own path.
  • Feedback from the community in response to a Facebook message from Colby about career hacking.
    • In some geographic locations your money goes farther.
    • There are often fewer jobs in less population-dense locations, but if the demand is high some jobs can still be quite lucrative.
    • Build your talent stack.
    • Look at the skills the people who work above you possessed, and develop those skills.
    • Dress like a manager.
    • Work hard, offer to help the people around you, show gratitude and be humble.
  • Mengdi leaves a voicemail asking if it’s possible to earn a raise as a pharmacist.  
  • Message from Danny asking about a list of the best cities to live in for FI.
    • Richmond, Va.
    • Denver, Co.
  • Super active ChooseFI local groups:


    • Washington, D.C.
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • San Diego, CA
    • Denver, CO
    • Dallas, TX
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Chicago, IL
    • New York, NY
    • Atlanta, GA.
    • Houston, TX.
    • Phoenix, AZ
    • Portland, OR
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Charlotte, NC
    • Tampa, FL
    • Raleigh, NC
    • Salt Lake City, UT
    • St. Louis


  • Voicemail from Sascha looking for advice about online side hustles.
  • Does a side hustle have to be a brand-new idea?




Ask a Manager: guide to asking for a raise

“Small towns will pay you up to $15k if you move there”

Episode 30: The Side Hustle

088 | Career Hacking the Tech Industry | Millennial Boss

088 | Career Hacking the Tech Industry | Millennial Boss

Millennial Boss and FIRE Drill podcaster, J talks about becoming a creator, career hacking, and salary negotiation, alongside of pursuing FI, side hustles, and a growing podcast.

  • What challenges did J face when she graduated college without many job options?
  • How did J become a creator, instead of a joiner?
  • What moment gave J the motivation to change her life?
  • What type of job did J first land, while also teaching at the library and managing a study-abroad blog?
  • How did J change her resume to reflect what she wanted to do, to ultimately land an internship with the USOC.
  • “Sometimes it’s more important where you work, not what you get paid.”
  • How did J use her previous experience to over-perform at internship with the USOC?
  • When J decided to pivot toward the tech industry, what did she take into consideration?
  • J earned her master’s degree: would she do that again?
  • What is a hackathon, and how did a hackathon lead to a job offer from Facebook?
  • Did seeking out networking opportunities come natural to J?
  • What is an affinity group?
  • What gave J the confidence to ask for a huge pay increase when applying for a job?
  • Four indicators that you have the power to negotiate your salary:
    • You’re very qualified
    • The business is very interested in hiring you
    • You don’t need the job
    • You’re not asking for that much more
  • J uses Glassdoor to research market-value salaries, or building relationships with someone how has that information.
  • Is it likely that someone will get a big pay increase while working in the same roll?
  • How can someone get on a recruiting list for tech companies?
  • Is coding know-how required to compete in a hackathon?
  • When and why did J adopt the FI mindset?
  • What did J cut from her spending when she jumped into FI?
  • How does having multiple sources of income help J with her job satisfaction?
  • Why does J consider herself to be a highly efficient person?
  • How did J create remote opportunities within her job, to help alleviate some difficulties in her current job?
  • What is an “abundance mentality”, and how does J apply that to her finances?



FIRE Drill Podcast

Mr. Money Mustache

Mad FIentist

Go Curry Cracker


Fiery Millennials

Mr. Money Mustache: The Shockingly Simple Path Behind Early Retirement