444 | Spending for Happiness | Carl Jensen & Doug Cunnington
The episode discusses the evolution of the financial independence movement, shifting focus from accumulating money to using it for happiness, spending money on experiences and prioritizing meaningful activities, embracing unique experiences and updating mindsets on spending, adjusting mindsets on spending as net worth grows, investing in convenience and location for a better life, addressing pain points and prioritizing unique experiences, making the most of time and creating lasting memories, planning for the future and giving while still alive, updating thinking on financial support for children, and concludes with an invitation to future conversations.
The Financial Independence Movement Has Evolved
The financial independence movement has shifted from hardcore frugality to using money for happiness and intentional spending. Different approaches like slow-fi and cost-fi have emerged.
Spending Money on Experiences Can Bring Joy
Spending money on experiences that align with your values can bring joy and fulfillment. Building a framework of a life that doesn't cost much allows for significant savings while still enjoying certain luxuries.
Updating Mindsets on Spending is Important
As net worth grows, it's important to update thinking about expenses. Loosening the purse strings and prioritizing convenience and location can enhance quality of life.
Making the Most of Time and Creating Lasting Memories
Realizing that time is finite, it's important to be mindful of potentially experiencing things for the last time. Taking action on creating special memories and prioritizing shared experiences can have a lasting impact.
Planning for the Future and Giving While Still Alive
Being strategic about future plans and considering physical abilities can help maximize enjoyment in older age. Giving money to children or charities earlier in life can have a greater impact than waiting until death.
- The Evolution of the Financial Independence Movement
- Shifting Focus from Accumulating Money to Using it for Happiness
- Spending Money on Experiences and Prioritizing Meaningful Activities
- Embracing Unique Experiences and Updating Mindsets on Spending
- Adjusting Mindsets on Spending as Net Worth Grows
- Investing in Convenience and Location for a Better Life
- Addressing Pain Points and Prioritizing Unique Experiences
- Making the Most of Time and Creating Lasting Memories
- Planning for the Future and Giving While Still Alive
- Updating Thinking on Financial Support for Children
- Conclusion and Invitation to Future Conversations
The Evolution of the Financial Independence Movement
00:00 - 06:58
- The podcast episode is about the extension of the skill of spending conversation in the financial independence community.
- The hosts discuss spending for happiness instead of optimizing every dollar for savings rate or keeping up with others in the FI community.
- The guests, Carl Jensen and Doug Cunningham, share their backgrounds and how they got into the FI movement.
- They talk about how Longmont, Colorado became a center for the FI community.
- The arc of the FI movement has changed over time from hardcore frugality to using money for happiness and intentional spending.
- There are now different approaches like slow-fi and cost-fi.
Shifting Focus from Accumulating Money to Using it for Happiness
06:28 - 12:56
- The focus of financial independence has shifted from simply accumulating money to using it for happiness.
- The caricature of people in the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community as white male engineers in their 30s is changing.
- The podcast has played a role in making financial independence more accessible and less intimidating.
- It's important to learn frugality and cutting unnecessary expenses in the early stages of pursuing financial independence.
- Saving money and being frugal can become addictive, making it difficult to start spending money.
- Spending money on things that align with your values can bring joy and fulfillment.
- Building a framework of a life that doesn't cost much allows for significant savings while still enjoying certain luxuries.
Spending Money on Experiences and Prioritizing Meaningful Activities
12:29 - 19:09
- Building a framework of a life that doesn't cost much
- Living in an affordable house and driving old cars to save money for other things
- Spending money on experiences that bring joy and bring people together
- Owning a car didn't bring as much happiness as engaging with the community of car enthusiasts
- Spending money on unique experiences with friends and family is important
- Loosening up the purse strings after major expenses are taken care of
- Spending on things that matter, like children's activities or travel
- Having non-negotiable spending rules for things worth spending extra money on
- Example of a non-negotiable spending rule: not taking early morning flights due to sleeping issues
- Opening up to new perspectives on spending through books like 'Dive into Zero'
- Time is finite, so it's important to prioritize meaningful experiences.
Embracing Unique Experiences and Updating Mindsets on Spending
18:51 - 25:02
- The book 'Dive a Zero' has opened the speaker's mind to the finite amount of time available.
- The speaker realizes that there are certain experiences he won't be able to do as he gets older.
- He took a spontaneous trip to see Bono perform in an intimate setting, which he wouldn't have done in the past.
- One of his money rules now is to find and do once-in-a-lifetime experiences instead of making excuses.
- Another person enjoys cooking and finds joy in sharing food with friends, which is cheaper than eating out.
- Eating out has become more expensive, so they try to make it special when they do go out.
- They bought people beers at an event and enjoyed doing something nice for others.
- 'Stories of Surrender' by Bono was a remarkable performance that will be available for streaming soon.
- The speaker plans on going to Las Vegas for a future concert by U2.
- The speaker used to limit themselves when looking at menus and would avoid expensive items, but now realizes it doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things.
Adjusting Mindsets on Spending as Net Worth Grows
24:40 - 30:46
- Eating at home is generally less expensive than going out, so it's possible to loosen the purse strings a bit.
- The speaker and their spouse prioritize health and fitness, opting for grass-fed beef from Costco despite the higher price.
- Convenience is another area where people tend to spend more money.
- The speaker reflects on how they still have difficulty adjusting their mindset when it comes to spending money.
- They mention an example of not buying concert tickets because of the price, only to regret it later.
- The speaker suggests that people need to update their thinking about expenses as their net worth grows.
- Gas prices are a pet peeve for the speaker, who believes obsessing over them is a waste of time and energy.
- Convenience is discussed again, with the question of whether or not the speakers are willing to outsource tasks they used to do themselves.
- One speaker has recently started outsourcing but struggled with finding reliable workers.
Investing in Convenience and Location for a Better Life
30:28 - 36:26
- Conveniences that people are willing to pay for include toll roads with less traffic, Uber for convenience and cleanliness, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for faster airport security clearance.
- TSA PreCheck and Global Entry can save significant time at the airport, with customs clearance taking under a minute in some cases.
- Paying a little extra for parking in a closer lot can provide a sense of luxury and convenience.
- Taking an expensive Uber instead of public transportation can save time and allow for more enjoyable experiences during travel.
Addressing Pain Points and Prioritizing Unique Experiences
36:10 - 42:22
- Identify pain points in your life and consider spending money to address them
- Example: Needing a new car due to leaks and malfunctioning air conditioning
- Consider investing in convenience and location when traveling
- Example: Opting for a more expensive vacation rental right on the beach
- Prioritize precise micro locations when traveling to maximize enjoyment
- Example: Staying in a specific hotel near the beach in a favorite town
- Frugality is still important, but don't over-optimize to your detriment
- Make choices that allow for unique experiences while still being mindful of finances
Making the Most of Time and Creating Lasting Memories
42:06 - 48:03
- The book 'Die With Zero' triggered a change in mindset for the host
- Realizing that time is finite and wanting to make the most of it with his kids
- Being more mindful of potentially experiencing things for the last time
- Taking action on creating special memories with his kids, like going to a Taylor Swift concert
- The concept of memory dividends and the lasting impact of shared experiences
- Time-bucketing life and doing certain activities while still capable and enjoying them
Planning for the Future and Giving While Still Alive
47:42 - 53:43
- Time-bucketing your life is important, as there are certain things that may not be enjoyable or possible in older age.
- Being strategic about five or ten year increments and considering the physical abilities of older people can help plan for the future.
- Dr. Peter Atia's book 'A Live' discusses the concept of centenarian Olympics and how to prepare for physical tasks at an older age.
- Thinking about what you want your life to look like and taking action now is crucial.
- Consider giving money to children or charities earlier in life rather than waiting until death, as it can have a greater impact on their lives.
- Seeing your money in action while still alive can be more fulfilling than knowing it will go to others after death.
Updating Thinking on Financial Support for Children
53:24 - 59:16
- The speaker's initial thought was that their kids should go through the same trials and tribulations of taking out loans for school, but they have updated their thinking.
- They now consider giving their children an equivalent amount of money to what it would cost to go to school, with some guardrails around it.
- The speaker believes that giving their children a large sum of money in their 60s or 70s is not optimal, and suggests providing funds for a down payment on a house when they are younger.
- The importance is placed on the thought process and updating one's thinking based on new information.
- The speaker shares a personal story about considering hosting a concert by one of their favorite bands in their backyard.
Conclusion and Invitation to Future Conversations
58:51 - 1:02:45
- People are saying I should do this what do you think and that was if she would have said no i would have not done it she's like me if you really want to do it go for.
- So i pull the trigger and ten thousand dollar concert in long months and august twenty six that open everyone but especially friends of the band so if you're in town come to long mind in august.
- Just come to long mind and find it is there people get in touch with you.
- through your website.
- Yeah, they can send me an email, Mr.1500-1500ays.com, but yeah, seriously, I would, if there's any fans of the band, and there have been some that have reached out, please come and see this. It's going to be awesome, two sets, and it's going to be great.
- So cool. Gentlemen, this was fantastic. I really appreciate it. I feel like we can and should do a part two. I know we had a long outline and we got to about half of it. So this is the first, I think of many of these conversations because this I think is where a lot of us who have been in the fight community.
- for a while with the phase we're in right now.
- And I think it's important. I think it's important for the evolution because again, we've always talked about Phi is not zero or one. It's not just, hey, I hit that number on the screen and then my life is wonderful. It doesn't work that way.
- There's a lot of work that goes into building a life that you wanna live into.
- And I think this is part of it.
- for happiness.
- And it's an evolution, as we've all talked about here.
- This is not something where you flip a switch and it's easy because we've built up this skill of spending and maybe, maybe, some of that deprivation mindset over many years and it doesn't just flip.
- So I think part of this intentionality that we're applying to it is just, it's really important.
- Thank you both for being here. I know people can reach out to you. Milehighfi.com.
- and obviously the Mile High-Fi podcast, which is fantastic.
- I think that sounds good. What's our email address that I can never remember?
- It's in the show notes for our show. So if people go to the show, they could check it out.
- Any complaints go to Carl@milehigh-fi.com.
- Compliments go to Doug@milehigh-fi.com.
- Nice. Sounds like a plan, guys. I really appreciate it. This is a lot of fun.
- Thank you. Yeah, thank you, Brad. Thank you for listening to today's show and for being part of the Chooseify community.
- If you haven't already, the best ways to get involved are, first, subscribe to the podcast. So you're listening to this on a podcast player and just hit subscribe.
- And then subscribe to my weekly newsletter. I actually sit down every Monday and write this by hand, and I send it out Tuesday morning. So just head over to chooseify.com/subscribe.and it's really, really easy to get on the newsletter list right.there and I would greatly appreciate it.
- It's the best way to get in touch with me. You can actually just hit reply to any of those emails and it comes directly to my inbox.
- So that's the way that I keep a pulse of