Author: The Unstuck Network

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How would your life change if you reached Financial Independence and got to the point where working is optional? What actions can you take today to make that not just possible but probable. Jonathan & Brad explore the tactics that the FI community uses to reclaim decades of their lives. They discuss reducing expenses, crushing debt, tax optimization, building passive income streams through online businesses and real estate and how to travel the world for free. Every episode is packed with actionable tips and no topic is too big or small as long as it speeds up the process of reaching financial independence.
403 Episodes
WHAT YOU'LL GET OUT OF TODAY'S SHOW For those on the path to financial independence, finance, fitness, and life optimization all intersect. During her career in the banking industry, Shannon McLay found it didn't work for the people she wanted to help. She set out to use her skill set and training to change the coaching industry and founded Financial Gym. Even for those who not physically fit, they know what it looks like and there are many resources available for achieving it. The path the financial independence is similar in that it is a long journey. You have to work up to it, will experience setbacks, and take breaks. Much like diets, budgets don't work long-term. Making lifestyle changes is the key to success. At the Financial Gym, clients hit 90% of the goals set for themselves by examining their money behaviors and constantly working to figure out what's will work for them. The two largest emotions people have regarding money are fear and shame. Once people drop these highly charged emotions and understand the financial numbers don't define them, they can break through and embrace moving forward. After turning 30, Shannon realized she didn't want the life she was leading. Her life's trajectory changed when she came to understand that to have long-term sustainable happiness is to help other people and not expect anything in return. During her work as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, she discovered she enjoyed helping out her pro bono clients far more than the wealthy ones. It allowed her to see there was a need for a service where it didn't matter what you looked like financially, you just needed to get financially healthy. Much like going to the gym to get healthy, her concept of a financial gym was a place to meet with financial trainers for a monthly membership fee. Following the model of H&R Block, Shannon believed people wanted to meet with a financial advisor face-to-face. She was advised to prove the model would work before looking to raise money. Experimenting with different plans and prices, she had great success with her first clients increasing their net worth. Clients wanted to keep working with her, but she was running out of money to continue investing in her business. When a former boss invested $100,000 in her concept, she rebranded using the gym concept. The physical environment of the Financial Gym created a community where clients had a shared goal and a safe space to talk about money. Shannon was able to scale her business by developing a training program and teaching compassionate and empathetic people what she knew. Those contemplating becoming an entrepreneur should ask themselves, “Am I a good problem solver?” because running a business is like solving a lot of word problems. No one's financial situation is so bad that it can't be fixed. The trainers at the Financial Gym have seen and fixed it all. On average, clients pay $70-80 a month for membership, but they offer a six-month money-back guarantee which they've never needed to pay out on. The average client increases their net worth by $2,500, increases their credit score by 60 points, and negotiates a $5,000 a year salary increase within the first 3 months of membership. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S CONVERSATION Compare quotes from top insurers with Policy Genius Earn $1000 or more with ChooseFI's 3 card cash back strategy! Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts by Annie Duke IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT CHOOSEFI: Share FI by sending a friend ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.  
WHAT YOU'LL GET OUT OF TODAY'S SHOW The Troy and Lindsay are new on their journey, finding FI several months ago after making a budget and realizing they had no money left over at the end of the month. Compared to other systematic approaches to becoming debt-free, they felt FI was creative and adaptable to a variety of lifestyles. The first step Troy and Lindsay took was to determine where all their money was going using a budget tracker, which enabled them to cut monthly expenses and continue to do the things they enjoyed doing, like going to happy hours. Except for their mortgage, the Troy and Lindsay have paid off all of their debt, contribute to a 401k, and have an $80,000 net worth, including a $15,000 emergency fund. Though they both enjoy their jobs now, Lindsay is a teacher, so Brad suggests considering her pension's “worth vs worth it” as Grumpus Maximus has discussed on the podcast and in his book, The Golden Albatross. Use the 4% rule of thumb to determine what your net worth should be to reach FI. Using the 4% rule, you can withdraw 4% of the balance each year to live off of and reasonably expect it to last for the rest of your life. To calculate your FI number, multiply your annual expenses by 25. For every $100 cut from your monthly expenses, is $30,000 less you need to save to reach FI. Troy and Lindsay recently refinanced their mortgage from 4.75% to 3.25% and are investing the $500 a monthly savings into 401ks and Roth IRAs. When wondering about paying off their mortgage, Brad acknowledges that there is a real psychological satisfaction the goes along with it, but he looks at it in this way. The interest portion the payment is the true expense, while the principal payment is a reallocation of net worth going from your checking account into home equity. Brad suggests taking the time to document a year's worth of expenses and look at different scenarios for what life may be like in retirement to come up with a range of possible annual expenses. When calculating their FI number, Troy realized the number was double if he included a mortgage payment. Brad suggests looking at the mortgage amortization schedule for prepayment options. Food expenses have been cut with a goal of $500 a month. Lindsay checks to see what's in the pantry before shopping and meal preps one day a week to avoid eating out, but she isn't penny-pinching when it comes to quality. Removing mortgage and childcare from their expenses, Troy and Lindsay's monthly expenses are about $3,500 per month, which puts their FI number at just around 1 million dollars. They are currently saving roughly $50,000 per year to add to the $80,000 net worth but are wondering where they go from here. Brad acknowledges there can be a lot of initial excitement upon finding FI and making changes, but then there can be a lull. He challenges Troy and Lindsay to figure out what they want their lives to look like rather than compare their FI journey to anyone else's. It's important to understand that life is fluid and wants may change over time. Test small before making big decisions or changes. Flexibility and communication with your partner are critically important pieces of the process. The next steps Troy and Lindsay will be taking are to build a spreadsheet with different retirement expenses scenarios and talk about what they really want their lives to look like. Anyone interested in FI should understand that you don't need to be perfect, but you do need to get started. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S CONVERSATION ChooseFI Episode 227 The Golden Albatross with Grumpus Maximus The Golden Albatross by Grumpus Maximus Protect your online activities with an Express VPN Earn $1000 or more with ChooseFI's 3 card cash back strategy! NewRetirement Retirement Calculator ChooseFI Episode 013 The Unfair(FI) Advantage of Teachers with The Millionaire Educator ChooseFI Episode 238 How to Test Out of College While You're Still in High School with The Millionaire Educator Get started on your journey at Get a group of friends to join you on the journey with ChooseFI's free FI101 course! IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT CHOOSEFI:   Share FI by sending a friend ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.  
240 | The Budgetnista

240 | The Budgetnista


WHAT YOU'LL GET OUT OF TODAY'S SHOW For video highlights from the episode, check out Tiffany Alice was raised by a financially savvy father who taught her how to save and handle her money, but a few poor choices in her 20s destroyed her finances. Since overcoming her mistakes, she's made it her mission to help others fix their finances. After falling victim to a con man, Tiffany found herself more than $35,000 in credit card debt. Though her pre-school teacher salary wasn't a high income, she was saving aggressively by living simply and transferring her credit card debt to 0% interest cards. During the 2008/2009 recession, she was $300,000 in the hole between credit card, student loan, and mortgage debt when she was laid off from her job. Seeing that she was struggling less with financial hardship because of the lesson's Tiffany had learned from her father, friends began to ask for help with their finances. She liked teaching and turned teaching financial education into a business. Through her business, she can make good money, help people, and still have happiness and time. She feels that she is living her life in complete alignment. Even with a high net worth, she and her husband continue to live frugally and without debt. One of the lessons her mistakes taught her was to get straight to a solution sooner rather than allow shame or ego to delay it. It's important to acknowledge your role in mistakes, take full responsibility, and then get over it. Teaching financial education was the easy part. Tiffany found that her own financial struggles allowed her to relate to people. She doesn't consider herself to be a guru but an educator helping her girlfriends along. Tiffany built her business from one-on-one financial coaching to a following of over half of a million people in her Dreamcatcher community. Volunteering in her community and utilizing her network, in addition to social media helped get her business off the ground. When followers from outside her local area began to request her course, Tiffany scaled the business to reach anyone, no matter where they lived, with her Live Richer Challenge. When it launched, 10,000 people had signed up. To date more, than 900,000 have taken one or more of her Live Richer challenges. Along the way, Tiffany learned about blogging, video editing, affiliates, monetization, and self-publishing. A good teacher has to be constantly learning, listening, and reading, but what made Tiffany a really good teacher comes from being a pre-school teacher, she honestly cares about her students. She's taken her skills in leading and caring about students as a teacher and applied them to her business, making it an amazing place to work where her employees feel looked after and cared for. Tiffany has authored a pre-financial education book, Happy Birthday Mali More, aimed at teaching pre-school age children a lesson about the things that matter most. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S CONVERSATION Free 4 week trial with! Click on the microphone and enter code “ChooseFI”. Earn $1000 or more with ChooseFI's 3-card cashback strategy Live Richer Challenge Live Richer Academy Happy Birthday Mali More by Tiffany Aliche IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT CHOOSEFI: Share FI by sending a friend “ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence".
What You'll Get Out Of Today's Show Don't believe that you need anyone's permission for access anymore. The gatekeepers are gone and the ability to access knowledge on-demand and create a business model around it has never been easier. The realization that you have autonomy gives you control over your life is transformational. You can control your expenses and reach FI. You can choose to pursue interest-led learning and follow a passion. There is no more "they" you need to seek permission from. MK didn't need the permission of traditional publishing's gatekeepers, instead, she learned how to self-publish. Employers are beginning to value skills over degrees. Google recently announced they are offering 3 new online certificate programs in skill areas critically important to the tech industry. Google is even offering 100,000 need-based scholarships for individuals enrolled in the certificate programs. Start building a talent stack around what interests you. Bradley Rice from episode 117 is building BradForce Academy, a course designed for people in a Salesforce career looking for more freedom and flexibility. Working just 20 hours a week as a Salesforce Freelance Administrator in 2019, Bradley Rice made $225,000 using skills he had picked up during his lunch hour. From the community, Chris shared a big win on the ChooseFI Facebook page. He and his wife maxed out her Employee Stock Purchasing Plan and used to it help pay off her student loans once it reached its maturity to qualify as long-term capital gains. For the first time in 20 years, they feel like they are winning the game. Josh challenged Brad to share what his Todoist organized life looks like. In it, Brad has everything scheduled, from chasing his home air filters every 2 months to passport renewal reminders to subscription cancelation dates. Brad's taking his Red X month off from work, but ChooseFI episodes will continue with amazing pre-recorded shows, including an episode with The Budgetnista, Tiffany Aliche, and deep dives with the Households of FI. Jonathan issues a challenge to start on the path to FI. Gather a small group of friends and go through a 6-8 week transformation together starting September 1. Resources Mentioned In Today's Conversation Google Announces 100,000 Scholarships for Online Certificates Earn $1000 or more with ChooseFI's 3 Card Cashback Strategy M1 Finance ChooseFI Episode 117 Making the Case for Part Time with Bradley Rice Salesforce Freelance Consulting Course Preview BradForce Academy BradForce YouTube Channel ChooseFI Episode 024R The Friday Roundup | How to Hack Your ESPP Todoist ChooseFI Episode 221 Introducing Our Households of FI!! Part 1 ChooseFI Episode 224 Introducing Our Households of FI!! Part 2 ChooseFI's FREE FI101 Course
Gerry Born, the Millionaire Educator, joins the show to talk about strategizing college via online classes, dual enrollment, and CLEP Testing.  For more information, visit the show notes at
Today we talk about asset allocation versus information allocation. What are you doing with all the information you are taking in? Are you making intentional steps to build your talent stack? Tune in to today's Friday Roundup! For more information, visit the show notes at
The guys talk about their journey toward financial independence and fitness and how closely the two correlated to one another. For more information, visit the show notes at
Jacques Hopkins shares how he built an online course and some of the skills he had to learn along the way. If you have been sitting on an business idea you definitely want to listen to this episode! For more information, visit the show notes at
Brad's children learn a valuable lesson on running a business and some of the associated difficulties. As Tesla becomes a potential candidate for the S&P500, the guys take the opportunity to touch a bit on questions you might have about this aforementioned index. And the pronunciation of our Brand: ChooseF.I. or ChooseFI? Or is there even a potential dark horse in this race as a third alternative? Find out on today's Friday Roundup! For more information, visit the show notes at  
Jordan Harbinger shares his tips and techiques for managing and expanding your network For more information, visit the show notes at
Doug Nordman and Carol Pittner Join the show to talk about how to raise your children to think about the potential of money in a positive way   For more information on the show and for shownotes visit
Jonathan makes a bet, the secret to wealth lies in the Casserole, and the guys share their thoughts on college planning For more information, visit the show notes at
Jonathan, Brad, and MK have collected tips, comments, hacks, and feedback from the community for crushing college debt free. For more information, visit the show notes at
Corey and Jess from The Fioneers join the show to tell share their story of getting on the same page financially. They talk about incremental freedom, habitual spending triggers, and stress management. For more information, visit the show notes at
The guys talk about their strategies for public speaking, and Brad shares how podcasting has played a key role in learning to play into his strengths in order to overcome his fear of public speaking. For more information, visit the show notes at
Grumpus Maximus has partnered with ChooseFI Publishing to release his book The Golden Albatross. While pensions can seem like a dry topic, Grumpus has created an in-depth guide to the subject while simultaneously making it enjoyable to read. Today Grumpus is on the show to talk with us a bit about his story. For more information, visit the show notes at
Lauren and Steven Keys from Trip of a Lifestyle join the show to share their story of frugalality to live a life doing the things they love. For more information, visit the show notes at
Today we're talking about staycations, traveling the world ~$1,200/month, and community wins! For more information, visit the show notes at
Today we are introducing the second 4 households in our on-going case study project where we follow 8 households on their journey towards FI. Each household is just starting their journey to FI, and each of which ultimately have the same goal: achieving FI. For more information, visit the show notes at
The Nomads join the show to talk about their system for perpetual travel, and all the nuances that go into a nomadic lifestlye. For more information, visit the show notes at
Comments (49)

Rute Silva Brito

Really interesting episode that will literally save me a ton of money! Thank you.

Jul 18th

Astrid Poole

You lost me at "we both had high salaries"... not relatable.

Jul 9th

Chad Crispell

Excellent episode.. Inspiring.. its just math! taketh what the alley giveth !

Jun 26th

Guillaume de Lamaziere

good for you

Jun 7th

Mr Charles

I have enjoyed this podcast from the beginning but no more. They're more focused on politics and censoring people at their Facebook page

Jun 4th


Great podcast but they have massively uped the number of adverts.

May 16th


It's not over, your podcast is just irrelevant right now. FIRE folks hunker down and thank themselves for their prudent saving. Non Fire people will have no reason to even think about FI.....its survival mode for them.

Apr 2nd


This podcast has truly disrupted my status quo in all of the best ways possible. I was never a good saver or investor. After finding this pod in 2017 my wife and I have made incredible financial strides and it's all owed to Brad and Jonathan and their super informative, easily digestible, game changing teachings. These guys come off just like regular dudes that are extremely interested in getting this super power out to as many people as they can. Thank you Jonathan & Brad please keep up the great work...the fire is spreading!

Mar 5th

Steve Diahy

would of been nice to hear more of the how to and info on their portfolio

Jan 27th

Kim Litinas

Great podcast! Connected with me.

Dec 8th

Karen Meyer

guys, i love your podcast! after listening to this episode i purchased The Simple Path To Wealth and Choose FI. thank you so much for all you do...for educating me and giving me the tools i need to do this!!

Nov 19th

Gaurav Tewary

The maths is way off! If you’re paying 35% tax and need to spend $1000 post tax, you need to earn almost 1600, not 1300$ pre tax. 1600*.65=1040

Nov 18th

Ephraim Muchemi

This is such an amazing episode! It was relevant and due.

Oct 8th

Aaron Webb

this is super helpful!

Sep 30th

Christopher Wills

Super podcast, I have been listening for just under 2 years and the content is still relevant. great job covering a variety of topics associated with reaching FI, lifestyle and just being a good human.

Sep 16th

Clare Tyler

a lot of preamble! 15 mins in and haven't addressed the podcast title. I'm sure theres great info here but it makes for hard listening. I would appreciate a to the point style.

Sep 6th

Jenn l

how do you find the baseline point cost in order to determine the sweet spot?

Sep 4th
Reply (1)

Aoriseth Nirmno

What options are there for people living in Europe? Credit card rewards here seem to be underwhelming or non existent. Is it possible to open an American credit card while living in Europe and use the bonuses that way?

Aug 17th

Timera Boateng

one property per year for 5 years then attack the debt for 10 years(if you are planning to buy 5 properties)

Aug 5th

Michelle Valente

just want to clarify... after you earn the rewards on a particular card are you calling and closing the card?

Jul 18th
Reply (1)
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