Resources for a FI Journey

The journey to financial independence (FI) looks different for everyone. Recognizing that your path will be unique is step number one when you decide FI is something you are interested in pursuing.

Below are the three phases of FI that I have gone through with resources I personally use to this day. I’m hoping these can serve as reference points to help you identify tools and steps you can use to navigate your journey. I would encourage you to look up alternative resources like the ones below to see what works best for you. 

-Jeff

P.S. More resources coming soon!

Phase 1: Education

FI first begins with awareness and then quickly moves into learning the steps involved. 

Unfortunately, this is where many get sidetracked because the amount of information is vast. My advice when you start your FI journey is to simply educate yourself on many of the methods and resources others have used to reach FI.

However, it is not important that you become an expert on any of these yet, you simply need to get started. Experience is the best way to learn, which is exactly what will happen soon after you begin.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes early in this phase. These can be some of the best learning experiences and even result in better results further down the road.

The key to successfully moving past this phase is simply taking action.

My FI Education Resources

  • Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins – This is the first book to read about investing. 
  • Psychology of Money – The best follow up book to The Simple Path to Wealth I have ever read. 
  • ChooseFI – Both a podcast and a book that provides information and motivation.
  • The Fioneers – A wealth of information about the mental aspects of FI and how to enjoy the process.

Phase 2: Patience

I'm not going to sugar coat it. This phase can last a couple of years or possibly a couple of decades depending on your personal situation, but make no mistake, it requires patience.

Whereas the first phase is filled with excitement as you implement your personal FI strategy, eventually the financial aspects of FI become routine and automated.

Some refer to this as the "boring middle," but Jessica from The Fioneers disputes this mindset. She has a wealth of content to help create clarity and comfort as your journey to balance purpose with fiscal responsibility continues.

My Financial Management Resources

  • Monarch Money – I use this to track all my expenses so I know exactly how much my life costs. Previously used Mint.com. Switched to Monarch when Mint was shut down. 
  • OnTrajectory – Online financial planning software for do-it-yourself (DIY) investors.
  • Charles Schwab – All of our investment accounts are here. (Although I do not have any accounts with Fidelity or Vanguard, I fully endorse both of these as alternatives to Schwab).
  • Trust & Will – An estate planning resource for those relatively comfortable navigating this area without professional guidance.
  • Emergencybinders.com – The document none of us want to talk about, but is vital for our loved ones.
  • EquifaxExperianTransunion – Credit agencies to freeze your credit and lower the risk of fraudulent financial transactions.
  • Norton Password Manager – A secure way to keep track of your passwords. Lots of other options available. We use this one because it comes with our Norton subscription.

Phase 3: Confidence

The final phase of FI does not come when you reach some arbitrary number. It occurs when you have mentally convinced yourself that you have a plan for any financial situation life throws at you.

Personally, I used podcasts to help me transition from phase 2 to phase 3 on my FI journey. I’ve been listening to the ones below for years. The resources you use will undoubtedly look very different than mine.

My hope is this list will give you some ideas of things to look for to help you create the lifestyle you want to embrace.

My Lifestyle Resources

  • All The Hacks – An award-winning podcast about upgrading your life, money, and travel, hosted by Chris Hutchins. 
  • Zero to Travel – The original “wanderlust” podcast, hosted by "Travel Ambassador" Jason Moore. 
  • Location Indie – A community of people who love travel, building online businesses, and connecting with others who also seek a nontraditional lifestyle with location freedom, time freedom, and financial freedom.
  • Frequent Miler on the Air – This podcast is a great starting place to get into the points and miles game and learn about how to maximize travel awards.
  • Helen & Tim Travel – Combining location independence (LI) and financial independence (FI) with a lust for travel. Fantastic travel videos on their YouTube Channel.
  • Wander Your Way – Travel podcast about everything Europe and then some.
  • Locked on Orioles – If you're a sports fan, the Locked On Podcast Network has a dedicated show to follow your favorite team.

And of course, don't forget about our podcast!