New $$$ Book Out Today + Giveaway: Choose FI!

Hey guys!!

Another book drops from our community today – and it’s a big one!

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

by Chris Mamula, Brad Barrett, and Jonathan Mendonsa

A copy you 100% want to own if you’re a fan of the Choose FI movement ;) Or just FIRE in general! These guys have lived and breathed this stuff for years now, and this book is yet another extension of their message to get out there and TAKE CONTROL of your life. Something we’re all already doing here on $$$ blogs, but you can never have too much motivation! Or cheat codes to get there faster! ;)

So if you love these guys’ podcasts and/or blogs ( // you’ll def. want to pick up a copy of this, or at least try to enter for a *free* copy today…

choose fi book

Here’s more from Amazon:

Distilling the best of the popular ChooseFI podcast, this book pulls from the collective knowledge of those who have decided to build a lifestyle around their passions instead of allowing their finances to dictate their future. These stories demonstrate universal principles, giving you the opportunity to pick the elements that are the most applicable to your financial situation and “choose your own adventure.”

The book covers a wide range of topics that will help you build a strong financial foundation:

  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Defining your values and aligning them with your spending
  • Cutting years from your estimated retirement date
  • Questioning the status quo on “required expenses”
  • Cutting travel expenses and putting family vacations within your reach
  • Learning how to earn more and live with abundance
  • Updating the common accepted wisdom on college education and the debt associated with it
  • Cutting through the noise on investing to discover strategies that work
  • Showing how to implement investment strategies that enable the lifestyle you desire while controlling downside risk

Whether you have mountains of debt now or are recently debt-free and wondering what to do next, Choose FI : Your Blueprint to Financial Independence will give you the information to guide your next move.

For more info and book tours:

Want a free copy??

Tell us what financial independence means to you in the comments or email, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ve got two copies to give away today (physical for those in the U.S., digital if you’re overseas), and we’ll run the giveaway until the end of the weekend and then randomly draw the winners shortly after.

FI to me means being able to wake up and work on whatever *excites* me that morning – whether that’s a blog or passion project or simply growing out my beard! I’ve had glimpses of this splendor during my many sabbaticals, and the day it becomes a reality *forever* will be a rather glorious one.

And I hope you’ll be there right along with me :)


j. money signature

UPDATE: Giveaway now over! Congrats to Amy V. and Margaret for winning!!

PS: I once met Brad years before the creation of Choose FI and he’s as real – and NICE – as he sounds, both in the show and at all the meetups he does around the country… A super sincere guy who genuinely just wants to help people get out of this damn rat race!

PPS: For those who aren’t as familiar with Chris Mamula, you might recall the blog  – Eat The Financial Elephant – which he used to run anonymously and we constantly shared on Rockstar Finance… Another really nice – and smart! – guy who continues to spread the good message in all his free hours of early retirement ;) Here was my favorite article of his that’s still up online: “Dirtbag Millionaires”

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  1. ark October 1, 2019 at 5:53 AM

    To me, FI means *serenity*. Serenity that I don’t have commitments to other people, I don’t have to deliver work to anyone and I can choose how I fill up my days.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 6:09 AM

      Excellent word for it :)

    2. Kate October 1, 2019 at 10:52 AM


  2. Sara October 1, 2019 at 6:19 AM

    FI to me means getting out of corporate world because I rely on the paycheck and being able to do side jobs or passion projects that make me content. Never having to rely on a corporate salary again!

  3. LeeAnne October 1, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    Simple answer- peace of mind! As you put it J, enjoying life because you’ve got enough money to do it and enough money you don’t have to constantly worry/watch your money. For me, that includes traveling and spending time with friends, and doing this whenever I want because I’m. Not tied to the corporate world.

  4. Wes G. October 1, 2019 at 6:59 AM

    F.I. to me means waking up on Friday morning and forgetting it’s payday. It means getting queso and guac at the Mexican restaurant on a Tuesday night. It’s seeing my friend dedicate a facebook birthday to a charity and spending $50 in their honor. But most importantly, it’s not having to tell my wife “no” on a date night because we can’t afford it.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:30 AM

      I wouldn’t dare risk that last on ;)

  5. Shannon H October 1, 2019 at 7:04 AM

    FI means that there is no more dreading the upcoming work week as I get to work on what I enjoy and not worrying over money.

  6. Hailey October 1, 2019 at 7:23 AM

    FI (to me) means being able to quit a job that I currently hate that sucks away all my time and energy… 10+ hours a day and a two hour commute is killing me! I’m working my booty off now to afford quitting in about ten years FI also means setting a good example for my younger sisters so that they can hopefully also be financially independent some day!

  7. Barrie Roesler October 1, 2019 at 7:38 AM

    FI means long term travels when and where I want.

  8. SHannon October 1, 2019 at 7:38 AM

    FI means freedom and peace to do what I want, whether it’s dialing back my hours at work or quiting all together!

  9. Jodi October 1, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    FI (to me) means I would be filthy stinking rich and all money worries would be in the rearview of my brand new convertible :-)
    PS – love this blog!

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:55 AM

      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying!

  10. Jessy October 1, 2019 at 7:43 AM

    Financial independence means security to me. It means that I don’t need to panic if I have an unexpected expense. It means I don’t need to be dependent on a person or a job to make ends meet. It means I can choose what I want to focus on, that I can draw the blueprint for my own life.

  11. Paul October 1, 2019 at 7:45 AM

    FI means never having to put up with anyone’s $**t ever again… except for my wife’s that is.

    FRT, It means options to do what you want without the typical constraints of consumerism weighing you down and telling you no…

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:36 AM

      Had to look up FRT – you millennial you ;)

      1. Paul October 3, 2019 at 7:44 AM

        No need for insults… lol… the term is Xennial.

  12. Leila October 1, 2019 at 7:52 AM

    To me FI means being completely debt free and having enough money to do what I want (passion projects, blogging, YouTube, travel, etc.) when I want. Finances wouldn’t be a concern whatsoever and I would be in charge of the things I do in my life.

    Thanks for the opportunity! :)

  13. Sara October 1, 2019 at 7:54 AM

    Financial independence means time, security and health. I dream of the day my husband no longer has to get up at 5 am for work and will have time to devote to exercise. That he can devote himself to his hobbies. We are half way there.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:36 AM

      Half is a good place to be!!

  14. Chris October 1, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    FI to me means options. 3 month RV trip? No problem. Hike the AT for a few weeks, ok! Lounge around in your PJ’s for a couple of days, if that’s your bag.

    And that’s just the big stuff. I miss having time to workout 4-5 days a week. My kids are more important and win that battle. More time would be a blessing.

  15. Josh October 1, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    To me, FI means not worrying about where my money’s coming from and not worrying about what it’s going to – I could grab a beer at the brewery, or I could donate to charity. FI means not relying on an employer and having enough “FU money” – a phrase so wonderfully coined by JL Collins. :D

  16. Chris Mamula October 1, 2019 at 8:28 AM


    I know I told you this privately, but would like to share here publicly that I would have given up writing within a few months of starting my blog if it wasn’t for you featuring me on RS Finance and then continuing to encourage me in so many ways over the years.

    Thank you for supporting us in getting the word out on the book. And thanks again for all you’ve done to encourage and support me over the years.

    It’s crazy to think about the impact you can have on a stranger, but this book would have never happened with out you my brother.


    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:39 AM

      Nothing but love right back at you, man…

      All I did was recognize talent – you did all the rest :)

      Soak it all in, baby!

  17. Jeannette October 1, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Financial independence means peace of mind and security to me. Having the options to spend my time as I please without worry about money. As the chooseFI podcast always says I want to get off the hamster wheel. FI means my husband and I can buy an RV and travel the country.

  18. Becky October 1, 2019 at 8:51 AM

    FI to me means that I could live a more authentic life, meaning I wouldn’t have to pretend I’m something that I’m not. Working like we have to do in order to live (and I think most people fit in this category) means you have to get up everyday when you don’t want to, usually commute like you would rather not have to, and do your desk job (or whatever kind of job) for 8+ precious hours of your life. All the while being around other people you may or may not like, away from the ones you love. Then for most Americans, you do this paycheck to paycheck, mindlessly spending and consuming. I for one would love to ditch this cycle for good, and FI is how you do it!

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:42 AM

      That’s an interesting way to look at it – pretending you’re “something that you’re not” at work – haven’t thought about it in that way before? You def. put on another face at times while 9-5’ing…

  19. Kevin October 1, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    For me & my family, FI would mean that we are able to serve the needs of those around us without hesitation. I grew up in poverty (think outhouse, dirt floors, eating from a dumpster) and by the grace of God, we are making 6 figures. But in that growth & prosperity, we foolishly built a foundation of debt. Our long-term goal to be FI is to open our home up to fostering kids and giving back to communities (be it mentors, teachers, kind strangers, churches, etc) that invested in our future.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:57 AM

      holy $hit!

      do you share your journey like that on your blog??

      I hope so!! crazy inspiring, man!

        1. J. Money October 4, 2019 at 5:09 PM

          Thank you!!

          Adding to my reading list! :)

  20. Ashley October 1, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    FI means security, financial control, and freedom to travel more often and see the world with my family!

  21. Kari October 1, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    In the future, my idea of FI will mean spending more time with my young kids and hopefully volunteering my time with organizations that are near and dear to me. There is never enough time while working 40+ hours a week!

  22. Elora October 1, 2019 at 9:16 AM

    FI to me means that I can make decisions based on how I want to live my life instead of making decisions based on working for someone else. For example:
    Find a good deal on airline tickets to a destination I want to visit? I can go without asking for permission to use my vacation days. Want to drive up to my rock climbing gym in the middle of the day on a Tuesday? I can do it without organizing my schedule to leave work early or making up the time by staying late on another day. Want to go to the beach/grocery shop/ doctors appointment/etc.? I can go without filling out a form or requesting a day off or losing pay. I can decide where to live because I want to live there, not because of it’s proximity to where I work.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:43 AM


      Pretty name, btw.

  23. Tawnya October 1, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    To me, FI means I can take my life in any direction I want without fear of finances holding me back. I plan on continuing to teach a full career, but FI would give me flexibility should something change along the way.

  24. J.D. October 1, 2019 at 9:36 AM

    FI in my opinion is being able to live the way I want to live. Waking up ion the morning and doing work that I not only love but want to do. Being able to help family and others with time and resources that I now give to my day job.

  25. Michelle October 1, 2019 at 9:37 AM

    To me FI means choice and freedom. FI lets one chose what they want to do with their time vs giving 8 hours or more to a job one may want to be be or not. It means the freedom to give as generously as one wishes.

  26. Kimberly Lovelady October 1, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    To me, total financial independence means time. More time to spend with the people I love. More time for pursuing what I love. It would also allow me to live a less stress-filled life and would give me the time and hopefully the knowledge to help my parents reach a state of FI as well. I would work my life over if I could give my parents the blissful peace of mind and the TIME that comes with FI.

  27. Mark October 1, 2019 at 9:45 AM

    FI means not having to worry about money when I have to quit work and take care of my elderly parents.

  28. Caroline October 1, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    FI means being able to do what we want when we want to- donate freely, explore! Ensuring that my daughter will not have to deal with our finances as I’ve had to with my Mother after my “living rich, but not” Dad passed away- 75 with a mortgage?? What was he thinking??

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 9:59 AM

      Ouch :(

  29. Bjorn October 1, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Sounds like a good book!

    FI means to me being able to dictate my day on how to best give of myself and resources to the current and future generations without being a ‘slave’ to any other person or organization.

    According to Proverbs 22:7b, “….the borrower is slave to the lender.”

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 2:59 PM

      Amen on that…

      (see what I did there??? ;))

  30. Rachel October 1, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    What does FI mean to me? It means that I would have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, without ever having to worry about making money. The ability to explore whatever passions I want, go back to school to learn a new skill or trade, etc. Open a new business venture or travel the world. But just knowing that I never have to trade my time for money again, that’s what FI means to me.

  31. Liberty @ Love Liberty Shelter October 1, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Wow – financial independence means so much to me.

    Sleeping peacefully, giving generously, traveling freely, investing diversely, working passionately in a self-directed way . . . and most tangibly, having my husband able to be home with me and the kids.

  32. Matt October 1, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    FI is simple. 3 words: work becomes optional. And it feels awesome.

  33. Maggie October 1, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    I was in my CrossFit class last week, and the coach did an icebreaker question (as we had new people in class.) He asked, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” I said, “I want to travel the world without worrying about time or money.” The person next to me said, “Hey! That’s 3 wishes.” And I thought to myself…. “No, that’s FI.”

    I felt pretty selfish though when someone elses’ wish was to end world hunger! :P

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:01 PM

      Haha yeah… I feel like most people get better about that stuff though when more freedom and $$ open up, so you’ll be fine :)

  34. Mike S October 1, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    FI means that I can do things that are important to me and my family and friends. I don’t have to work at a job that I don’t like but pays the bills. It also means that I can talk with others and explain to them how good their lives can be when they change how they think about and act with money.

  35. Rachel October 1, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    FI to me, means not letting money hold us back. We wouldn’t be dependent on specific jobs or putting off home repairs, or have the ability to travel a bit because money isn’t stressing us out! Hope to get there someday!!!

  36. Dani October 1, 2019 at 11:04 AM

    FI means not having to get up and do the daily grind, but finding that passion and being able to give that the time it deserves. For me, that’s going to include a whole lotta volunteering. I’ve recently come to the point where I’m needing to take care of my father more due to a stroke, and the folks that have volunteered to give him rides, change lightbulbs, and take him to social gatherings while he’s unable to drive have been absolute lifesavers for me. I want to be able to give that gift to others–and can’t right now because I’m still ‘workin’ for the man.’
    Looking forward to reading the book, and going to go check out the podcast now!

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      Amazing how many little things people need help with when they’re incapacitated!! Thank goodness your father’s able to get the help he needs like that :)

  37. Maritza Ravelo October 1, 2019 at 11:19 AM

    financial independence means I no longer have to worry about losing my house and wondering if and how I could live in my car if I had to. It means having all my needs my met and the ability to do things I like as well, like visiting my grandchildren. It means not having to hide the car in the garage anymore for fear of repossession. it means getting out of debt and being able to provide for myself after retirement and not burdening my children. its something I knew nothing about but an eager to learn and achieve. it means living life and no longer struggling.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:04 PM

      I’m so glad you’re on these blogs and looking for ways to improve!! Keep going!! We’re rooting for you! :)

  38. Kelli October 1, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    To me, financial independence means freedom. Freedom from worry and constraints, freedom to live your life however you want.

  39. Lynda October 1, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    financial independence is being able to do what i like without worrying about how much money i am making (or not making) AND being able to afford both what i/family need and want without worrying about how it will affect our budget

  40. Melissa October 1, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Financial independence means i can *breathe*. I’m a single mom and every day I’m searching for the cheat codes in life, as you eloquently put it. I want to spend more time with my kid and less time at work and figuring out how to pay our bills, save for braces/college, and, oh, retirement. Everyday I’m devouring books and blogs looking for those bits of advice that can allow me room to breathe – and eventually win at the game of life.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:06 PM

      You got this Super Mom!! Keep going!!! :)

  41. Gary R Van Cott October 1, 2019 at 12:05 PM

    To me, FI means, and is, freedom to spend my precious time and assets giving back, for all those years that I received help along the way.

  42. Alexis October 1, 2019 at 12:52 PM

    To me, FI means the freedom to choose between myriad options. There are so many things I’d love to do with my life, work, and time, but I often feel constrained by worries of paying the bills. FI would give me and my spouse the chance to pursue some of the other options!

  43. Donna October 1, 2019 at 1:07 PM

    FI means OPTIONS! And those options bring peace.

  44. Adrienne October 1, 2019 at 1:17 PM

    FI means that in a reasonably short period of time I will no longer have to go into work **on my day off** to make calls that apparently no one else can deal with.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:06 PM


  45. Ladam8518 October 1, 2019 at 1:18 PM

    For me, FI is simply being able to make choices based upon how I feel at the time rather than the monetary impacts. I would move my current 8 to 4 job from full time to contract so I could focus less on it and more on my family and hobbies.

  46. Margaret October 1, 2019 at 2:53 PM

    FI means flexibility. It means I will be able to choose the work I want to do or take time off if needed. It means I can pivot to a different career or location and not panic about my finances.

  47. Kellie October 1, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    FI is all about Choice. To have choices to work or not work for someone else. To spend extra time on a project that’s going well. To travel and spend time with people you find interesting. To be able to do all that and not be eaten up by worry that you can’t make your bills.

    My needs are small, my wants are few. With FI, I have the world.

    1. J. Money October 1, 2019 at 3:15 PM

      have you already reached it?

      you talk like a pro! ;)

  48. GJ October 1, 2019 at 4:06 PM

    A sense of being in charge of my own life and not beholden to employers, markets, government, etc.

  49. Don October 1, 2019 at 4:26 PM

    For me, FI means having the power to make the choices I want to make and not be forced to make choices. Deciding between sending my daughter to a trip to New York is my choice, and not my money’s choice. Where we spend the holidays, is my choice and not my money’s choice. Having the power to choose is the meaning of being Financially Independent.

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 6:47 AM

      I like that thinking!! MY choice, not my money’s!

  50. Stuart October 1, 2019 at 4:37 PM

    For me, FI means independence. It will allow the freedom to know that I am creating wealth for myself and anyone I contract out to and be able to organize my time in order to spend it how I want to now how I’m forced to. To spend it in a way where I would be working while the kids are at school but wouldn’t always be commuting while they wake up in the morning or when they get home so I can spend more time with them and their future which is why I’m working so hard in the first place!
    Oh, and to be able to be secure in not having to stress out about returning to debt or retirement.

  51. linda October 1, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    To me financial independence offers more choices for my life. We are all given the same 24 hours a day and I would like to spend it as I choose. More doors to choose from.

  52. C. October 1, 2019 at 5:18 PM

    Today being fi meant sleeping in and then taking a long walk to a yummy taco stand. I’m not sure what it will mean tomorrow…

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 6:49 AM

      Heyyyy very cool!! What an adventurous world to not know what’s coming next! :)

  53. Kyris October 1, 2019 at 7:22 PM

    FI is the ability to enjoy life doing what you want to do – work, relax, hobbies – when you want do it without worrying about where the money is coming from. We are so close and I’m looking forward to our “retirement” years!

  54. Peter October 1, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    To me financial independence is a symptom. Finding work you love that serves and delights a group of people will ultimately leave you wealthy, but more importantly, happy. Financial independence means you’ve served others well!

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 6:50 AM

      Cool way to think of it :)

  55. Thomas Pascarella October 1, 2019 at 8:29 PM

    Financial Independence means responsibility to me. I see it not only as a means to escape the rat race, but ridding myself of crutches and excuses that keep me from reaching my potential and adding value to those around me. Sitting on a beach drinking margaritas is not a way to live your life. You pursue FI so you can do more meaningful work, be a better parent or spouse, and contribute to others in ways that aren’t possible while you are slaving away to buy crap you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t really like.

  56. Britt Pearson October 1, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    FI = safety

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 7:00 AM


  57. David Hunter October 1, 2019 at 10:46 PM

    FI to me means exactly what it stands for… Financial Independence!! Never having to worry about money… even though every other worry in life is still there.

  58. Jodi G October 1, 2019 at 11:23 PM

    To me, financial freedom means living without fear so I can be more fully present in the moment. It also means I can take care of loved ones if they ever need it.

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 7:01 AM

      Yes on being present!!

      And something we can all work on *DAILY* too vs waiting until FI :)

  59. Carolyn Miller October 2, 2019 at 2:18 AM

    FI to me means doing what I want when I please and not having to worry about desk work. It means being able to give back to my community since I’ll have new found time in my day.

  60. Karla October 2, 2019 at 4:52 AM

    To me FI is reaching a million dollars in net worth and being able to work because I want to not because I have to.

  61. Kate October 2, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    FI is probably continuing to work, because I like my job/field, but about making some splurges without worrying about them. Like staying at the really nice hotel when traveling instead of the mid-range one.

  62. Jerms October 2, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    FI to me means spending more of my day with my 3 year old daughter. And skipping the dreaded 2 hour winter commute awaiting me after that 1st MN snow fall. I should look into FI geo arbitrage!

    1. J. Money October 2, 2019 at 1:21 PM

      Agreed :)

  63. Elsa October 3, 2019 at 12:58 PM

    My motivation and the thing I look forward to the most for FI is time. Time to spend with family and friends (whenever it works for them), time to volunteer for causes I care about, and time to explore the things I am curious about. No skipping because I have to work, no constraints because I have to get home early enough to sleep before I have to work, no hurrying through because I only have so much vacation allowed. For me, FI most certainly means time.

  64. Debbie October 3, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    It all comes down to one word for me . . . FREEDOM. Freedom to work or not and where I want. To also stay at the job if I want which is vastly different than having to stay until I find another job. It’s the freedom to say “yeah, I want to do that” without having to run numbers. It’s the freedom of removing so many things from life that create stress. It is the freedom to walk away from a brewing bad situation. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

    1. J. Money October 4, 2019 at 7:07 AM

      Sure is!!

  65. Tabitha October 4, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    Unsurprisingly, financial independence represents freedom to me. Freedom from having to work and freedom to spend my time as I please.

  66. J. Money October 7, 2019 at 7:26 AM


    Congrats to Amy V. and Margaret for winning!!

    Thanks for participating, everyone!