5 Gift Alternatives Speed Up Your Financial Independence Journey

A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.

The holidays are a upon us and with it the struggle to find that perfect present. Maybe by now, you’ve told your parents that you don’t need anything. “Please don’t get me anything.” Well, perhaps, it’s time to re-think your holiday wish list and instead ask for a few items that will get you to financial independence sooner. These may be some items you’ve never thought about because when we think of presents, we normally always think tangible items. If you are tired of getting another sweater, time to ask for something better this year. It’s never too early to start planning for your financial future. Whether you are in high school, college or just starting out, a little financial help can go along way.

How to Gamify the Journey to FI

I thought I would sit down and see how we can gamify the journey to FI based on existing principles of how to engineer an addictive gaming experience. A game takes effort, takes time and takes a bit of strategy. In a similar vein, managing and optimizing your finances requires as much effort especially if you want to do the unconventional and reach the level of financial independence.

My Thoughts on Unleash the Power Within with Tony Robbins

“If you’ve got a billion dollars and you’re not grateful, you’re poor as hell.” - Tony Robbins

So it’s been a few days now since I left the Unleash the Power Within (UPW) seminar with Tony Robbins and I am still reeling. I’m a fan of Tony Robbins and found a lot of amazing insight from his book Money: Master the Game and from watching the Netflix documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, but nothing really prepared me to experience Tony Robbins live.

9 Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt

Give a man an education and he will build a new world, but give a man a loan and you can own that man forever.

It’s been 10 years since I graduated from grad school. I still proudly hang up my diploma because it put me on a better path for my career and my income. It was also FREE. No loans, no debt, no soul to be sold. With that, I thought I might offer some ways to help reduce debt if you are a college student or have a child that is about to head to college.

Book Notes: Financially Stupid People Are Everywhere (4 Rules to Follow to Be Financially Smart)

“They sit mesmerized before advertising campaigns telling them to buy trifles they don’t need using debt they can’t repay.”

In “Financially Stupid People are Everywhere: Don’t Be One of Them,” Jason Kelly opens your eyes to the debt driven world we live in and what you’re up against in society.  He posits the only way to truly safeguard your own well being is to look after yourself. Provide security and ensure your freedom by following the 4 financial rules that will keep you from being financially stupid.

The Four Tendencies and Personal Finance: How to Motivate Yourself to Take Action Towards Financial Independence

“It’s been freeing to focus on what works for me rather than what’s wrong with me.” 

I just recently finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. In the Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin, outlines four different personality types based on how each one deals with inner and outer expectations: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel. By understanding our Tendency, we can harness that to find our own internal and external motivations.

When A House is More Than An Investment

“After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.”

Next week, my parents will complete the sale of their home and journey back to the Philippines. Whether they end up staying in the Philippines for the remainder of their retirement or come back is yet to be decided. For the past few months, our entire family has gone through the exercise of cleaning out the house that we’ve called home for the past 23 years.

4 Books to Help You Talk to Your Kids About Money

Talking to kids about money does not make money hungry kids.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately about where I first started to learn about money and how best to talk to others about money. I’ve also been doing a fair amount of research and found a few books I thought were worth mentioning if you are a parent or an adult that is looking for ways to talk about money to your kids or your students. The reality is that the money conversation should start at home. It think it is the responsibility of the parent to expose kids about money concepts, otherwise, media and peers will create money influences that may lead to a distorted money mindset later on.

An Environmentally and Socially Conscious Path to FI with Laura Oldanie of Triple Bottom Line FI

I don't want to protect the environment. I want to create a world where the environment doesn't need protecting.

Back in June I launched a financial independence blog, not because I wanted to, but because I needed a way to crowdsource the information I haven't been able to find anywhere else on the internet. What is it that I couldn't find on the vast internet, where all the answers to so many of our questions are just a Google search away? Well, no search engine was able to lead me to any websites discussing how people can achieve FI while pursuing a triple bottom line, which equally values people, planet, and profit (3p). I think it can be done, but it's not as straight forward as setting up monthly automatic deposits into low-cost broad based index funds or investing in rental properties and later living off the 4% withdrawal rule, which seems to be the mainstream approach to FI currently.

Socially Conscious Investing and the Women in the Movement

“Right now, your prosperity is provided by a plentiful supply of clean air, water, food, and energy. Although some of you like to take all the credit for this, it’s really my ecosystem that does all the hard work: the plants, animals, oceans, air currents, and especially the atmosphere. Without these services, you would lose your ability to create the food and products that form your current prosperity.” - Earth, Mr. Money Mustache

My two passions of sustainable living and sustainable investing are merging as I dive deeper into making my money work for me in a way that aligns with my personal values.

5 Things A Triathlon Can Teach Us About the Journey to Financial Independence

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”

This past weekend, my husband competed in his first ever half triathlon, let alone his first ever Half Ironman. To say that I am awed and inspired my him and all of the other athletes is an understatement. As I was watching the entire race play out before me, I couldn’t helping think about some of the similarities to the Journey to Financial Independence. So here are my thoughts.

Book Notes: The Energy of Money

Life is hard when you don’t do what you truly value because you are putting all your energy into trying to get rid of your fears rather than into materializing your dreams.

You can dream about money, you can tell the universe you want money, but if you don't take any action towards it, it will never materialize. All of the people in our lives have instilled upon us THEIR beliefs about money. Our past circumstances may have dictated where we are now in life, but at this moment in time, we have the power to change that. All it takes is purposeful action. 

We will look at what times in the context of The Energy of Money by Dr. Nemeth.

Sisters for FI Wealth Building Strategies

We recently created these postcards as a friendly reminder of the many things we can do today to set ourselves up for financial independence. The 3 Guidelines of Personal Finance is Spend Less, Earn More and Invest the Rest. These are what I also call the 3 Wealth Building Strategies. Do all 3 and you are sure to have a sizeable nest egg to help you fulfill your dreams, but I am going to change the order a bit and actually make it Invest First, Spend Less, Earn More.

Have You Told Your Boss How Great You Are

I always dreaded completing my annual self-review because I had to condense everything I had done in 1 year into a paragraph. Then when I became a manager, I had to remember all of the other things my team and direct reports did. It became a chore. I was lucky though because as program manager, I was organized. I tracked milestones and I communicated successes and failures. Still compiling those at the end of the year was time consuming. The one thing I learned during my years as a program manager was to make sure my boss knew the good things I was doing. So this post, is all about reminding you to tell your boss how great you are.

How to Have a Financial Checkup With Your Aging Parents

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.”

I never thought I would write this or be adult enough to have a discussion with my parents about finances, but it happened and it's been happening folks. I feel like the more I talk about money, the more comfortable I am getting and the more people around me are also getting comfortable talking about it.

Is the Point of FI Social Enterprise?

The point of FI is social enterprise. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Perhaps, I am being idealistic with thinking that the point of financial independence is social enterprise, but what is the point of putting yourself in a position of financial security, of having time to do what you want? Is the freedom that we all crave all for the sake of building our own islands, separate from everyone else? I would think such a life to be boring and unfulfilled.