045: Holiday Special | EFIC x FI Garage Mashup

Happy holidays everyone! We have a special episode for you today—a holiday mashup with our good friends over at the FI Garage!

Chrissy joins The Accountant, The Economist and Money Mechanic as they enjoy a round of beer and engage in their usual “joyful banter”. We discuss limiting money beliefs, how we survived the year of COVID, and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.

This will be our last episode for 2020—we wish you and your family all the best this holiday season and a happy, healthy new year. We’ll see you here again (bi-weekly on Fridays) starting January 8th!

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Money Mechanic
Hello, listeners. Welcome to Explore FI Canada, where we sit at the roundtable with Canadians, and share their thoughts, ideas and personal journeys to financial independence.

Chrissy
Thanks to Matt McKeever for sponsoring Explore FI Canada. Matt is a Canadian investor, CPA, entrepreneur, and real estate expert who achieved FIRE at age 31. Do us a favour and check out his YouTube channel by searching Matt McKeever or using the link in our show notes.

Hi, listeners, this is Chrissy and…

Money Mechanic
Money Mechanic of course.

Chrissy
We are here with a special episode for you a holiday edition. And what did we do for this holiday edition?

Money Mechanic
Well, that was the fun part. You know, we try really hard all year long to bring great guests to the show and had good conversations and chat amongst ourselves. And I do that over on the FI Garage as well. So I figured why not have them on the show to join us? Because it’s like the first time we interviewed you. So that’s kind of a little interview special. And then we’ll continue on with regular programming in the new year. When do we start that again?

Chrissy
Yes, so we are going to take a little break after this episode drops, and we will be away just relaxing for the holidays. But we will be back with our regular episodes on January the eighth Friday, January the 8th. And we just want to let our listeners know I don’t think we’ve made it very clear, because it seems like there’s some confusion about our release dates. We release every other Friday. So it’s bi-weekly on Fridays. So if you’re looking for new episodes of Explore FI Canada, you can see them every two weeks on Fridays.

Money Mechanic
One day when we’re FIRE will go weekly. Right, Chrissy?

Chrissy
I don’t know. If we make enough to pay someone to do behind the scenes, maybe?

Money Mechanic
I think we both love to but we recognize how much work there is.

Chrissy
Yeah, yeah. I would love to interview people all day. Just talk about it by but yeah, it’s the background work. That’s that’s a bit much.

Money Mechanic
Yeah. So we wish you all the best for the end of 2020. And a Happy New Year to everybody. And hope you’ve enjoyed following along the show this year. We’ve certainly enjoyed presenting it and talking to all the fantastic people that we have. So have yourself safe holidays and enjoy this episode.

Chrissy
Yep. And we’ll see you soon.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, so I’m gonna kind of bounce between the two shows, because that’s kind of what we have to do on this episode, right?

Accountant
Yeah, I’m just gonna follow your lead.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, well, that’s all that ever happens. It sounds like you guys do any preparation.

Economist
Pretty much.

Accountant
What do you mean? I’m prepared sometimes.

Money Mechanic
Welcome to the Financial Independence Garage, where we share the tools to improve your finances and unfold the roadmap to financial independence. Guess what, boys?

Accountant
I thought you were gonna do both just back to back.

Money Mechanic
Well see okay, I’m smart enough. Chrissy and I are smart enough on Explore FI Canada that we prerecord that so we won’t have to do it every time.

Accountant
Don’t get any of our joyful banter.

Economist
Exactly how .

Accountant
The two of us making fun of you the whole time.

Chrissy
That’s the best part.

Money Mechanic
Chrissy and I run a serious show over at Explore FI Canada. It’s all about educating Canadians about their personal finance and their journey to financial independence. Right Chrissy?

Chrissy
Yes, and we’re sober too.

Accountant
See The Economist and I have never promised to be sober or serious, though this works perfectly.

Chrissy
Well, that’s what makes it fun.

Money Mechanic
There’s definitely days when I’m just not quite in the mood for the Garage and it should be an Explore FI recording and and then vice versa, too. I’ve been on a few. Which Which one were we recording, Chrissy where one of our guests. Oh, I think it was Gean. They were drinking wine. And we weren’t drinking on the show .

Chrissy
That’s right. Well, it was a lot later in Ontario.

Money Mechanic
Fair point. That’s a fair point fair. Well, we are all here together. So welcome. And first of all, before we go any further, I want to thank all of you for being awesome co hosts on both shows. We all know that I love what we’re talking about. And Chrissy, I know you’re super dedicated too, you do a great blog over there. And you guys are great teammates, you do the show notes. I throw in some editing and it all works so well. So it’s just a huge thanks. And here we are at the end of the year. So that’s my little thank you to everyone.

Accountant
Cheers.

Chrissy
Yes. Thank you too, Money Mechanic,

Money Mechanic
Economist.

Economist
Yes.

Money Mechanic
You are in charge of the beer rollout today.

Economist
Oh, well. It’s a bought round from one of our listeners in the Garage. And Jim from New York via Washington State bought us a round. He says he’s he’s from Washington State but been living in New York for 25 years and decided he decided he liked our banter and That was worth buying us around. So cheers, Jim. Thanks a lot, Jim. We sent we sent the Mechanic out to get a beer from New York, but he failed miserably.

Money Mechanic
I risked my life go out on the streets and and try and recover this beer. And I just actually quite surprising I went to the most notable beer store in Victoria for its selection of microbrews. And there really isn’t much selection from the US and I think the main reason for that is, is because there’s so much good beer everywhere now. Like, you know, it’s they can’t possibly bring it in. Because a) nobody would know what it is, but it would probably be good anyway, type thing. So we ended up I did find American beer. And.

Accountant
It’s not American beer.

Money Mechanic
What do you mean it’s not American beer? Yes it is. Sure it is.

Economist
It’s not?

Accountant
Read the label.

Money Mechanic
I’ve no No, no, no, no. It’s brewed in Bend Oregon.

Accountant
Yes, it’s a product of Bend Oregon, but it’s actually from a company in Australia. And it’s imported through Thailand.

Chrissy
Oh, no.

Money Mechanic
No, no, no, no, no. You’re reading the label wrong.

Economist
I don’t know what that is.

Money Mechanic
Okay, it’ll be in the show notes. That’s how I shed responsibility. Okay, tell us what it is anyway.

Economist
I was gonna I was gonna tell you that earlier, but I wanted to throw you under the bus on air.

Money Mechanic
I thought we agreed to throw The Economist under the bus this episode.

Accountant
Well, sometimes you just give me too many openings.

Money Mechanic
Okay, so I’m just gonna, so we can actually have a show instead of Chrissy just listening to our stupid banter. She listens to us in two times. So this is really slow for her.

Chrissy
Ha ha, I do!

Economist
I can imagine.

Money Mechanic
So it’s Deschutes. I don’t know how I’m able to pronounce that and not the other French words we have on the show. But anyway, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, and I do like a good Porter around the holidays, as this is the end of your holiday episode. So cheers, Jim. Cheers, boys. Chrissy No. eggnog? No virgin eggnog over there? No rum and eggnog?

Chrissy
No, just my Birthday Cake tea.

Money Mechanic
Oh, there you go. Well, cheers. And for a wrap up show Chrissy? What do you think? How is the How is our year on Explore FI Canada?

Chrissy
It was an amazing year. I had such a great time. I learned a lot. And we talked to a lot of people all across Canada. And it was a ton of fun.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, and I feel like our backlog of guests is starting to stack up on us. It’s gonna be a pretty cool 2021.

Chrissy
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And I’ve I’ve had fun listening to FI Garage too. I catch every episode as soon as it drops.

Money Mechanic
I knew we had two listeners out there, my mom and you.

Economist
Yeah, and Jim.

Money Mechanic
You know, I think one of the hardest parts for me about doing the two shows is that I quite often don’t listen to them. Once they’re released. You know, you spend time with the edit part of it and things like that, getting it all prepped, and then it drops and I go through my scroll through my podcast list. I’m like, oh, man, there’s not really anything to listen to my, I guess I could listen to Explore FI Canada, FI Garage. I do sometimes. And I listen to some of the old ones. And I actually get a good laugh out of it too from the FI Garage, so.

Chrissy
How about you guys, Accounting and Economist, do you listen to yourselves? And do you still cringe when you listen to your own voice?

Accountant
I can handle listening through it for the show notes. And then I generally don’t listen to it again. Unless we do something really stupid. So I listen to it again every time I guess is what I’m saying.

Economist
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
Well, you get feedback from your wife because she listens to it. My wife doesn’t even listen to our shows.

Accountant
Oh, that’s rude.

Money Mechanic
Isn’t it?

Economist
She has so much content to catch up.

Accountant
I mean, my wife listens to both of the shows.

There you go. Yeah.

Chrissy
That’s impressive.

Accountant
But she still refuses to be on it.

Chrissy
My husband won’t listen, won’t come on.

Money Mechanic
Any of the guests that show that they’re a little unwilling to come on the show. I tell them they’re coming on the FI Garage because they can have a couple drinks and relax.

Economist
Good strategy.

Money Mechanic
I mean, do you guys think we cover pretty similar content? Do you think our listeners listen to both shows? Because you know I think some people not to pick sides here at all. But you know some people like listen to you Chrissy I think you say a lot of really good things on the show. Some people really resonate with that. Whereas with us we’re three guys and I think that has…

Economist
We don’t say very many good things.

Money Mechanic
We do say good things.

Chrissy
You do!

Money Mechanic
You guys you guys are really good. I think The Economist and The Accountant, you guys add a lot to our show because of your backgrounds and your knowledge right when we’re talking about you know, different financial things.

Accountant
And where else are people gonna find out about tontines?

Money Mechanic
Oh my God every show.

Economist
Got it in there.

Money Mechanic
Chrissy you need to ask the question because I don’t know what this is all about.

Chrissy
Ha ha, I don’t know either! What is it about?

Accountant
It came up naturally and then you made a big deal about it. So now I just enjoy making sure I say it every show.

Economist
Plus it’s a fun word.

Accountant
It’s a great word.

Chrissy
It sounds like something from Star Wars.

Money Mechanic
Does a bit, doesn’t it? Yeah,

Accountant
Yeah.

Economist
There there is a great article on tontines that The Accountant found that will repost to this episode. Yeah, it’s a really fun read.

Accountant
Yeah. Well, and there’s also a great Simpsons episode about it with Abe Simpson and flying shellfish.

Money Mechanic
Wow. Okay,

Economist
I’ll have to look for that.

Money Mechanic
Oh, you have to go. We’re all gonna be sort of locked at home this holiday season. So that sounds like some good research projects just for entertainment. Now, we were gonna have a bit of a topic tonight. Were we not?

Chrissy
Yeah.

Economist
It’s kinda on you.

Chrissy
Well we did ask our Twitter followers…

Money Mechanic
We did.

Chrissy
… for suggestions and so we thought we should at least try to use at least one of them.

Money Mechanic
There are some good show suggestions here. And I think eventually we’ll cover all of them. Yeah. What did we end up picking Chrissy?

Chrissy
You ended up picking…

Accountant
He likes to do that, doesn’t he?

Chrissy
He does. He’s a little bossy.

Accountant
Yeah.

Chrissy
Maria, from Handful of Thoughts, she suggested limiting beliefs about money. And how have yours evolved over time?

Money Mechanic
Hmm.

Accountant
It’s a good question.

Money Mechanic
It’s a tough one though, too.

Economist
Yeah, I was gonna say, put us right on the spot.

Money Mechanic
I’ll volunteer to start off because generally, you’re just gonna sit there in silence and stare at me if I don’t.

Economist
Is that directed at everybody?

Money Mechanic
Yes, yes it is! Believe me, we have the same awkward pauses on with Chrissy and I too, we’re both like a start at the same time, because we’re both excited to get to say, yeah, we’re not we’re experienced podcasters, we’re just not that good at it.

Chrissy
Thank goodness for editing.

Money Mechanic
Oh, no kidding. Yeah. So limiting beliefs. I think one of the things and I’m not sure if this is a limiting belief, but I mean, well, there’s been a lot of discussion, and I’ve heard a few different shows, talking about sort of scarcity, mindset and abundance mindset. I think that’s a limiting belief that has changed for me. from a psychological point of view, I think I see things from much more of an abundant mindset now. And part of that may be because as you see, your savings and investments grow, it sort of builds that confidence to see that, oh, hey, this is a, this is a system, this is a progress, and it takes time. But once you start seeing it, you know, like every says it’s that first, you know, 100K is the hardest to make. But if you automate and stick with it, then you know, your beliefs can change, your mindset does change, and I don’t have that limiting scarcity that I that I grew up with. Right. So that’s I’m kicking off the episode discussion with that for myself. Economist?

Economist
Yeah, um, I guess mine is sort of similar. But before really getting into FI and the community. You know, really my early 20s, I guess my belief was, you had to get rich to retire, or you had to get rich to become financially independent. But really, once you know what you’re working towards, you don’t have to get rich, you just have to make your way towards your number.

Chrissy
Whendid you figure that out, was it when you discovered FIRE? Or when you started to learn more about how to manage your money?

Economist
I mean, I guess it’s a slow process. But once you start reading some of the FI content, it becomes pretty obvious if you know if you’re starting to figure it out in your brain. It’s all spelled out for you.

Accountant
Yeah, that makes sense. I would definitely say I used to think you had to earn your way to being rich, you needed that high six figure salary to get there. And once you start reading, and once you start learning, you figure out that you definitely don’t. I mean, it helps. But.

Money Mechanic
Chrissy? You were so still, I thought you were frozen!

Chrissy
So for me, I, my limiting belief was that I could not invest. I thought it’s too boring. It’s overwhelming. And I’ll never learn how to do it. And you have to be an economist or a stockbroker to know what to do. So for me, it was a huge lightbulb moment when I discovered that there’s a thing called DIY investing and that you can invest in these things called ETFs. And it’s not hard and there are simple steps that you follow and you can do it yourself. So that was huge for me. Once I realized that, it just started the ball rolling. As I’ve said many times, I was pretty good with my money already. But investing was one area that I was too scared to touch and I’m so glad that I stumbled across that I found the Canadian Couch Potato and Mr. Money Mustache and it just took off from there.

Money Mechanic
I think one of the things that keeps coming up and over, over and over again as you can Like you can’t earn your way to FI and you can’t finagle your way to FI. It’s got to be sort of a big package of all these things, right?

Economist
I say you can do either.

Money Mechanic
Well, you got to you got to do a little bit of everything.

Economist
Yeah, but you could do either and get there. It’s just…

Accountant
Well, you can go on the extreme end of either one of the scales to get there.

Economist
It doesn’t sound like much fun, though.

Accountant
No, no, it doesn’t.

Economist
60 hour weeks or not spending any money.

Accountant
Yeah.

Economist
Neither those sound appetizing.

Accountant
No.

Money Mechanic
I think we are all in the same camp here where it’s not about deprivation. Chrissy you and I’ve talked about that. Guys, we’re having a beer on the show. Obviously, you know, we like our craft beer. So it’s not about that’s, we value that. So that’s not deprivation in our life, and not to do with our limiting beliefs. But some people think the FI journey requires extreme minimalism or frugalism. And if that’s your thing, that’s your thing. That’s cool. But…

Accountant
Yeah.

Chrissy
Well all of us have been to FI meet ups, have you met anyone at these meetups that is in that deprivation zone where they’re miserable and unhappy with how frugal they are?

Money Mechanic
No, I think if they’re, if they’re going with that sort of, you know, who is it? Jacob? Lund Fisker, right, yeah. Who wrote the book, which was the name of the book again?

Accountant
Early Retirement Extreme.

Money Mechanic
Thank you. That’s right. And the people that are following that path, which is like extreme frugal, as are like being super minimal, frugal, they seem to be loving it. So it’s like, I’m like, okay, there’s no deprivation going on there.

Chrissy
Yeah, yeah. My dad is an example of that. He’s crazy. I, I say he was Mustachian before Mustachianism existed. He’s crazy. Like in the winter, he doesn’t turn on the heat. It’s insane. And he just leaves his water running a little bit of a trickle in all his taps so that the pipes don’t freeze. I’m like, you have the money! Like he, he has so much money. And he just, he’s frugal because he enjoys it. He’s like, Mr. Money Mustache. He likes being that sort of stoic kind of man, where he just does it for the challenge. And it’s to him it’s pleasurable. So it’s not a deprivation.

Accountant
Yeah, I think that’s important is making sure that I mean, go as frugal as you want. But the minute it becomes you’re not enjoying it, it’s time to dial it in the other direction.

Chrissy
Yeah, totally.

Money Mechanic
So Chrissy, your funds are all invested now. Overcoming that hurdle of learning all about it. turn the corner for you. Did you change other things? Once you learned about the investing side of things? Did you start shoveling more money at it or anything like that? Or was it just like that kind of aha and get going with it.

Chrissy
I totally started shoveling more money towards it. Because before that I used to just be saving in a TFSA. Literally treating it as a savings account with a high interest savings account inside the TFSA. Like, what a waste. For years and years. That’s what I did. So I didn’t know any better. And I was too scared to do anything with the money. And then we sat on all these stock options my husband got. And we just left them there. Because we didn’t know how to sell them how to deal with them how to report the capital gains any of that. So they just sat there. And it worked out to our benefit, because they ended up going way up from when we bought them to when we sold them. But in the middle, we actually freaked out and stopped buying the stock options, which was dumb because it was essentially free money, you get a discount when you buy it, you sell it right away, you get that discount right off the top. So yeah, there were I have a lot of regrets about that time about missing out. But yeah, once I discovered that you could invest on on your own. I found every penny, I could to dump it in there and get us to FIRE quicker.

Money Mechanic
I found that as my savings and investments grow. It’s seeing that, like you Can I have the conception of what compounding was, but until you actually kind of see it working, like physically go to my account’s growing and I’m not doing anything. Like that money coming in, it’s just making it bigger. You’re like, Oh, this compounding thing really is a thing, right? And I felt like once you get into it, that money’s going in there, it almost motivates you to do more, because it’s like, oh, you see the progression, right?

Accountant
Oh, for sure.

Money Mechanic
Yeah.

Accountant
Once you have that one big month, where out of nowhere your account is $15,000 higher than it was 30 days ago. And you didn’t put any money in. That’s a beautiful day.

Money Mechanic
Yeah,

Accountant
We’re not going to talk about when it’s down $30,000 from the month but you know, either way.

Money Mechanic
Well, my TFSA has recovered to its all time high from from this year. 2020. It has been it’s been a big U shape for my TFSA.

Accountant
Hey, me too! I just got back.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, but nothing got sold. So Accountant tell us more about not having to get that huge earning job has it changed the decisions that you’ve made with your career? Now that you’re on your FI journey?

Accountant
Um, I mean also Say No, because I’m still compensated pretty well. But, I mean, I was never somebody that would let a job run my life.

Economist
You probably figured that out before you were 22.

Accountant
Yes, yeah. Well, I’m the guy who like before I even realize that FU money was a thing. Like, I would ask for chunks of time off to go traveling, and I wouldn’t get them and I would just quit.

Chrissy
Wow.

Accountant
And like, it never dawned on me that that was like weird or unusual to do. I was just like, oh, you won’t let me take six months off to go traveling. Okay, well, I quit. I didn’t really like it wasn’t a concern for me. For some reason. I don’t know why. But that was never really a big one for me.

Chrissy
Did you have the money? Did you actually have FU money that you could quit those jobs without worry?

Accountant
I did one time.

Chrissy
Money Mechanic’s shaking his head.

Accountant
And another couple times? I did not.

Economist
You thought you did.

Accountant
I thought I did.

Chrissy
So you made it and you’re doing well now.

Accountant
It always worked. You know what the beautiful thing is, is, especially when you’re younger, I think the first time I quit a job I was it wasn’t even for that long of a time period. But I ended up having a new job. Before I had left my old job with built in the time off that I had requested like I had just moved my start date at the new job. And that kind of opened my eyes to like, you know, if you have a usable skill set, you’re gonna find a job. So what am I really so scared of and leaving and I mean, funny enough to especially in my field, every time I leave a job, I end up getting a job that pays more money whenever I come back to work. So it ends up being a good career choice either way.

Chrissy
That’s amazing. Now are you still part time? I know you did that part time experiment.

Accountant
I am not part time anymore. I got sucked into a full time job. Yeah, I failed really hard at that.

Economist
How many weeks were you part ime?

Accountant
I was part time for about two? One and a half?

Chrissy
Really? I thought it was longer.

Accountant
No, no I because I went part time at my old job. And then my brother needed help at his company.

Chrissy
Yeah, I remember that.

Accountant
And so then I started helping him and I now somehow work there full time. So I’m not sure how I got tricked into that one. I blame my brother. But what are you gonna do?

Money Mechanic
Okay, you’re trained up on Coast FI next year.

Chrissy
Or Spouse FI, you call it?

Money Mechanic
I don’t want to say that too loudly. But yeah, there’s Yeah, The Accountant and I are maybe a little bit guilty of Spouse FI. Well, yours.. okay, stay-at-home mom is synonymous with Spouse FI. Come on.

Chrissy
Guilty as charged.

Money Mechanic
You know, I almost called somebody out on the old Twitter box the other day, because there was some comment about, oh, I retired a year and a half ago, bla bla bla bla bla. And I’m going, your husband still works. You’re just Spouse FI don’t call yourself FIRE. Call yourself Spouse FI.

Chrissy
That’s an awkward thing. There are some bloggers out there who they say retired, but they became stay-at-home parents while their partners still work. So I don’t want to call anyone out. But it’s like, I would not say I’m retired when my husband’s still working. It’s weird.

Money Mechanic
Yeah. And I think we’ve all kind of come to that conclusion on both shows here is that we talk a lot more about the financial independence side of it. Because look, Accountant’s proven to himself that he can’t not go to work.

Accountant
I keep I keep trying to not and I keep finding things to do.

Money Mechanic
But the truth is, and you know, I know you well enough that even if you were had no technical job, and then a cool project came across your lap, right? You’d be like, yeah, I want to get involved in that. I want to do that.

Accountant
Oh, I have huge squirrel syndrome. I see a squirrel I chase it. I can’t help it. It’s me and the dog. We just follow the same path.

Chrissy
So how are your investments not all over the place like Money Mechanic’s, or are they? Are you the same?

Accountant
Oh, no, they are.

Money Mechanic
We feed off each other.

Accountant
Oh, yeah, it’s not good.

Money Mechanic
And then The Economist is like coming out of left field with some of his stuff to him like Oh, that looks really cool. Yeah.

Chrissy
You’re bad influences on each other.

Accountant
Yeah, you would not enjoy our text thread. It’s we go down some very long rabbit holes.

Chrissy
I can tell just from what Money Mechanic tells me like, you’re into that now?

Money Mechanic
Yeah, that’s how the FI Garage got started. We used to sit around drink beers and talk about all this stuff. So we just got the mics.

Accountant
Yeah, that is how it started.

Money Mechanic
So I was trying to remember Chrissy you were our first interview on FI Garage because I think that’s just when you started your blog. Wasn’t that?

Chrissy
Yeah, I was shocked you contacted me almost right away. I’m like, Who is this guy? Why does he want to interview me already?

Money Mechanic
How come this internet creep’s trolling me already?

Chrissy
I heard you guys, you sounded nice. I’m like Okay, fine. Give it a try. It was fun.

Money Mechanic
Yeah. Well, that’s it seems like so long ago now.

Accountant
Is that like two years ago?

Money Mechanic
Yeah.

Chrissy
I think yeah, it’s almost two years because I started my blog almost two years ago. Yeah.

Money Mechanic
It’s been a fun ride for sure. Yeah, definitely. Economist? More limiting beliefs?

Economist
More?

Accountant
Follow up on yours?

Economist
You want more?

Money Mechanic
Well, we don’t necessarily have to have lots.

Accountant
I’ve got another one for you. So I feel like and this one is, I feel like it’s common is when you first discover FI, the only lever you attack is the reducing spending lever.

Chrissy
Hmm.

Accountant
And I’ve found, the more assets I’m accumulated. And the more I’ve learned, the more I attack the earning more leveler, as opposed to the spending less lever.

Money Mechanic
But you just said you don’t need anymore.

Accountant
No. But then we go down these insane rabbit holes with high yielding investments, and all of a sudden, there you go. I don’t necessarily always mean to do it. It just happens.

Money Mechanic
You’re referring to earning more from your investments rather than earning your job? Okay, sorry.

Accountant
Yes.

Money Mechanic
Yeah. Okay.

Chrissy
Oh, so you’re trying to squeeze more out of the money that you’ve got invested already?

Accountant
Yeah, I find you learn more ways to squeeze more juice out of the out of the fruit than at the start?

Chrissy
So are you FI? Are you FI? The Accountant?

Accountant
I’m, well, that really depends.

Chrissy
You do have a lot of real estate, right? So that makes it a bit trickier to calculate?

Accountant
I do. I mean, I run off of a cash flow model at the moment. And I don’t want to admit why I am. But at the moment, based on the amount of options I’m selling every month, I would be?

Chrissy
That’s pretty cool. I’ve heard options can be pretty lucrative.

Accountant
They are very lucrative. Takes a lot of learning and like a lot. I mean, again, way higher risk. So that’s that’s where I’m hesitant to say that I am because technically on my past performance, I would be but everything could blow up at any point in time.

Economist
So when are you retiring? When are you quittin’ again? Is that a 2020 goal, or 2021 goal?

Accountant
That’ll depend like, when’s the next time I can travel again? Yeah, normally is what preempts me to leave a job is I’m going somewhere.

Money Mechanic
That’s a pretty interesting point. Because I think there’s been a lot of struggle in 2020 Some people have been really lucky to be able to take their work home with them. Some people haven’t been so lucky. But a lot of those type of when decisions may be based around like, when can I geo-arbitrage? When can I travel again? When can I go other places? Right? Might just if you if you’re lucky enough to still have a job to stick it out. stack the bones and go Okay, it’s it’s FIRE 2022? Because what’s the point of doing it now?

Accountant
Yeah, absolutely. Well, and like right now, the only time I leave the house is to go to the office.

Money Mechanic
Mm hmm.

Accountant
So like, as weird as it may sound, it’s like my little piece of sanity, like seeing the outside world is when I go to work.

Chrissy
So I think one of the other topics that we wanted to talk about was how we all survived 2020 because it’s been a doozy of a year.

Accountant
It’s just been lovely.

Chrissy
I know, we all want it to end as quickly as possible, but maybe our listeners can take some actionable tips from how we managed this year.

Accountant
So I don’t know if this is how any of us particularly managed while it’s probably speaks for me. But there’s a very interesting Victoria Buzz article that I just got sent. And the title is Southern Vancouver Island breaks record for alcohol consumption. And I feel like that sums up 2020 doesn’t it?

Chrissy
Absolutely!

Money Mechanic
I you know, that’s a good question. 2020 we were already pretty frugal. We had things dialed in. But I feel we just went even further and not necessarily out of necessity. But just because it was like, okay, we’re home. So how are we going to optimize because we’re here all the time type things right? So there was more batch cooking and more way more batch shopping. I think that’s one of the things we got really good at this year. Was it like one trip to the grocery store a week now? Right? And it’s like there’s some good planning good thought process goes into it. Definitely doing a lot of you know, if, if chicken’s on sale, I’ll put a bunch in the freezer or whatever it is on sale like we make chili right? So when cans of beans are on sale, the hamper or the pantry is full of beans, right? Like we can we could survive if we can’t go shopping.

Accountant
It’s good you haven’t been able to have anyone over to the house then.

Money Mechanic
That’s the beauty of having two dogs always blame the dog.

Accountant
Problem solved.

Chrissy
Dogs are the worst.

Money Mechanic
I think our meal prep and shopping strategies really got dialed in in 2020. That’s a positive takeaway for me.


Chrissy
If you’re like most of us, getting life insurance is something you know you should do, but you never seem to get around to it.

Money Mechanic
You’re right, Chrissy. Now there’s a better way to buy life insurance. It’s called PolicyMe and I think our listeners will love it. More than 37,000 Canadians have already used PolicyMe for their life insurance quotes.

Chrissy
Yeah, I’ve actually tried it myself. And in less than 10 minutes, I received a selection of quotes from reputable, established insurers. It’s fast, free, easy to use, and no pressure.

Money Mechanic
Sounds great. I heard PolicyMe uses intelligent technology and personalized advice that recommends what you need, but not a penny more. You could save hundreds of dollars per year on your policy as top insurers compete for your business.

Chrissy
Protect your family. Get your personalized quote today at explorereficanada.ca/PolicyMe.


Chrissy
If you’re like most of us, getting life insurance is something you know you should do, but you never seem to get around to it.

Money Mechanic
You’re right, Chrissy. Now there’s a better way to buy life insurance. It’s called PolicyMe and I think our listeners will love it. More than 37,000 Canadians have already used PolicyMe for their life insurance quotes.

Chrissy
Yeah, I’ve actually tried it myself. And in less than 10 minutes, I received a selection of quotes from reputable, established insurers. It’s fast, free, easy to use, and no pressure.

Money Mechanic
Sounds great. I heard PolicyMe uses intelligent technology and personalized advice that recommends what you need, but not a penny more. You could save hundreds of dollars per year on your policy as top insurers compete for your business.

Chrissy
Protect your family. Get your personalized quote today at explorereficanada.ca/PolicyMe.


Accountant
How about you, Chrissy? How did what were your guys’s survival techniques?

Chrissy
It sounds like, you know, across the FI community, everyone fared quite well. We’re just a fortunate bunch. I guess I can’t say everybody, but it sounds like for the most part we, we did quite well, we’re relatively unscathed. And in my situation, that’s been the case, my husband is in the video game industry, and I thought it would tank for sure. When the pandemic started, I thought, uh oh, everyone’s gonna be out of a job, no one’s gonna gonna have extra money to spend and video games are just gonna go way down. And the opposite happened, like people are playing more video games, the people who can work from home actually have more money and more time to spend on video games. And so they’ve done well. And because of that, he’s got a stable job, he’s happy. And he was already working from home a little bit. So he already had their equipment and the routine down pat. And then as soon as they had the go ahead, he actually ran back to the office and grabbed some more equipment to make his office a little more comfortable. But yeah, we’ve been pretty happy. I feel guilty to say that because I know a lot of people have had a hard time. But it’s been relatively easy for us to transition into this new lifestyle. And so we’ve actually tried to take some of our extra savings to give back in different ways. Like we give tips to people who deliver things to us, you know, we go shopping and pick up our groceries, I know we’re not really supposed to tip those people, but we do anyway. If there’s donations that people need, we give donations, and we especially like to give really hyper local, you know what where this, it’s not even a charity, it’s just some individual, we find out needs some help, and we send some cash there. So yeah, I feel guilty. But at the same time, this pandemic has given us some extra resources that we’re able to share with other people.

Accountant
Yeah, and I think that’s Yeah, that’s awesome is the supporting the local people in your community, I mean, we were doing the same, we’re trying to do takeout once a week from a different local restaurant just to try and support people leave a healthy tip, you know, try to help people around who are you know, support your local businesses, because they are the backbone of your local economy.

Chrissy
Yeah. And we also try to shop from a local produce delivery place, they originally were serving restaurants. That was what they did, they bought produce and brought it to restaurants locally, and that business just died overnight. And so the owner had to pivot, literally overnight to something else. And he figured out that he could get this going. And a lot of the promotion was done just by word of mouth. And now they’ve completely turned into this produce delivery company, and they just deliver locally, and they’re doing well. They’re thriving, and it’s a great service for people who don’t want to go shopping and their prices are reasonable, they’re a little bit higher, but I don’t mind for the convenience and to help give some people jobs. It’s been great for us, and it’s great for them.

Accountant
I think that is one of the only the only but one of the good things to come out as you have seen the ingenuity of some small business owners who like the amount of businesses like that, that I’ve heard of where they just pivot overnight, and they figured it out, and they just found a way to survive. Like, it really shows just how creative people can get and what they are capable of doing when they put their mind to it.

Money Mechanic
Did you know you can rent an Irish pub?

Chrissy
No way.

Money Mechanic
Yes.

Accountant
Actually, I looked it up before we got shut down. I was gonna say we need to rent it and record out of it one night.

Money Mechanic
Yes. Well, so and this is just thinking of what you’re saying about entrepreneurs, you know, innovating in 2020. And figuring things out. Part of this is they’ve made it’s like a tiny home size on a trailer. But it’s like an authentic little Irish pub that you can rent and they’ll bring it to your house. It’s all cleaned and sanitized parked in your driveway. And there you go. You get to with your bubble, you get to have a little Irish pub night.

Economist
Where is this?

Money Mechanic
It’s, it’s on the Island. It’s on the lower island, well it’s on the island. I thought the name will be in the show notes because I’m slipping right now. I can look up real quick is. Do you remember what it was?

Accountant
No, I don’t remember what it was. But…

Money Mechanic
I’ll look I’ll look it up while The Economist is telling us his 2020 story, but I just thought about it. I thought it was a cool little pivot for an entrepreneur.

Economist
Yeah. I mean, I got lucky to not only could I work from home, but work got incredibly busy for some reason. So I have put my head down, worked and tried to ignore all the pandemic stuff. And there’s nothing to do anyhow. So putting in extra hours and making hay while the sun shines. So very lucky. I didn’t survive based on anything. I did just circumstances. But I didn’t need to do anything at the same time.

Accountant
Oh, I’ve got another question. So Chrissy are your kids? You have kids, right? I remember that. Yeah,

Chrissy
Two kids.

Accountant
So have they been homeschooling? Like, what’s that been like?

Chrissy
Yeah, so I decided to keep them home. I’ve always wanted to homeschool my kids, but I was just like, I can’t be the teacher and the mom and do the curriculum and everything. So I never did. But this opportunity came up. Well, I like to see it as an opportunity now instead of we’re forced into it, because I really chose this path. I discovered that there’s these things called remote or virtual schools. They’re just like bricks and mortar schools, but everything is online. And they the teachers do the curriculum, it’s all there and ready. And the teachers are there to mark and give feedback and help the kids. So I am just there to keep the kids on track and make sure they’re doing the work. It’s, for me, it’s the perfect combination. So my kids have been doing that since September, and they have loved it. There were some tears. Because they get the whole curriculum, right? My older one, he’s in high school. So it’s a semester system. So it’s four courses at a time for half a year each. And then my younger one, he’s in grade seven, and he got the whole year of everything all at once. And they’re both like, uhhh, what are we gonna do?

Accountant
Super overwhelming.

Chrissy
Yeah, and my older one was like, what are the chances I’ll catch COVID if I go back to school? He was ready to throw in the towel, right away.

Money Mechanic
Well you can’t slack off when mom’s watching me all the time.

Chrissy
So there was some uncertainty at first. But after the first couple of weeks, we sorted things out. And they’re in a routine now. And my younger one, he’s almost finished all of his science for the year. Oh, and he’s more than halfway in everything else. So he’s moving super fast. And my older one, he’s in grade 10. So it’s a lot more coursework for him. But he’s working probably half the number of hours he would have worked if he was going to in-person schooling because he would have spent what, six, seven hours at school and then he come home for three to four more hours of homework. But now he does five to six hours all together. And he’s done for the day. And he’s on track just sticking to that schedule. So for us, it’s just been a nice slower pace of life. Like there’s, there’s no parent teacher conferences, there’s no assemblies and all those extra things, which they were good, but it’s it’s kind of nice to not have that.

Accountant
Yeah, no, that does sound a lot more enjoyable. I mean, Coast FI and then is it like Coast School? You know, a little more part time.

Chrissy
Yeah, I would love for them to keep doing this. So we can eventually travel and have them do their schooling on the road, but they really miss their friends. That’s something you can’t replace with homeschooling. So most likely they’ll go back to school once it’s safe to do so again.

Economist
And if you’re a kid, can you just show up at lunchtime and play in the school?

Chrissy
Yeah, some of their friends do that just cuz they can. They’re at home, but they want to go to school to see their friends.

Money Mechanic
I’m just here for recess.

Accountant
That sounds like a perfect school day to me.

Economist
Absolutely.

Money Mechanic
What about 2021? Here we are end of the year moving forward. What’s everyone’s thinking? Does anybody have any particular goals? Something they’re looking forward to changes in strategies, whether it’s employment, saving, investing home? What do you think, Accountant, you’re shaking head. You get to go first.

Accountant
I just think it’s way too hard to call at this moment. What’s going to happen and I think I’m just setting myself up for disappointment if I make any plans. So I think 2021 is just like a see what happens year. I’m not putting any any additional pressure on myself other than survive until the world hopefully it goes back to some semblance of normal.

Economist
I’m looking forward to heading south as soon as possible. Or, you know, Southeast Southwest. So do South wherever the sun.

Accountant
More equator-adjacent? Is that it?

Economist
Yeah, exactly. Anywhere. Anywhere.

Accountant
That’s fair.

Economist
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
You’re looking forward to travel. You’re hoping for travel back and…

Economist
I am, yeah.

Chrissy
I think we all are.

Money Mechanic
You know what, I don’t miss the travel.

Chrissy
Well, you’ve done a lot.

Money Mechanic
That’s true. I do get to leave. I do travel for work, even though it’s just been sort of on the island or on the coast here. Which is, you’re right. And I’m again, totally lucky that I’ve been able to continue to do that. Because there are lots of people that are just at home. But I mean, as far as international travel goes, I don’t really miss it. I worked and lived abroad, so I’m kind of like that’s okay, I’m alright, without that for future. But I know that’s a huge part of people’s lives. And it will be exciting to get some of that back.

Chrissy
Yeah, that’s what I’m looking forward to the most next year.

Money Mechanic
I can’t believe that I saw you on Twitter saying that you’d want to live in Tokyo.

Chrissy
Why? Why can’t

Money Mechanic
I just looks so busy like this stimulus lights and…

Chrissy
Have you been there?

Money Mechanic
No No, no, of course. No, I haven’t been there. I think it’d be fantastic cool place to visit but I was just surprised I thought you have more of like you wanted something a little more laid back but no,

Chrissy
I like both. But I love living in cities like I like I love getting away to where it’s quiet and I like my house to be quiet but I really like cities. They’re just so interesting. There’s so much good food and interesting people and just lots to do so Tokyo is just amazing. It’s It’s a crazy huge city and every little neighborhood is slightly different. You could live there your whole life and never see it all.

Accountant
I’ve heard really good things about Tokyo. Everybody who’s ever been there has told me that exact thing that it’s amazing and they love it.

Chrissy
Yeah, yeah,

Money Mechanic
We should probably not be talking about travel okay. This is supposed to be the Happy Holiday episode not that I’m so depressed but I am really glad that we all got together and had this little collaboration episode because it’s been a long time coming we’ve talked about it for a while and I found it kind of challenging because you know Chrissy you and I usually have our discussion our banter the way we do the show and then you know, The Accountant, The Economist and I we we do our show a slightly different way. So I’m a little bit in between here and I just wanted you know all our listeners to sort of enjoy hearing from all of us at the same time.

Accountant
Well we appreciate that you’re always there to keep us all in check.

Money Mechanic
It’s not always easy and I’m getting I’m getting a little better at it but I totally just make it up as I go along. I’m just making it up

Chrissy
You do a good job at that. I am terrible at that.

Money Mechanic
We get rid of all the awkward pauses in the editing so it’s all good you guys are great. You’re all fantastic.

Economist
It seems when you do that for the Explorer FI but not for the FI Garage just leave them in there a lot of the time. Ah, it’s close enough.

Accountant
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
Who is it did we? Accountant, you probably remember did we get a comment about The Economist this year? About being the guy from…

Accountant
Oh, Slater from Dazed and Confused.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, that’s right! Slater from Dazed and Confused. Now everyone’s got this picture of of looking like Kelso, which is not that far from like That 70s Show. So it’s like…

Accountant
He has peak Jared Kelso hair from That 70s Show.

Economist
I think it’s Michael.

Accountant
Oh, Michael Kelso! Who’s Jared Kelso?

Chrissy
Probably a kid, you know. Somebody who went to school with.

Money Mechanic
Hey, you guys. You know what we’re gonna I’m gonna put Chrissy on the spot here.

Chrissy
Oh, no.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, I may have to edit this out. You have such a cool little avatar for you know, on your blog and everywhere. I see you on social media. So the FI Garage is willing to contribute to the charity of your choice to get our own little avatars.

Chrissy
You’ll have to go to Kyoto for that.

Money Mechanic
I thought you made it.

Accountant
We’re going to Japan.

Chrissy
I didn’t.

Economist
Got my toothbrush.

Chrissy
Yeah, I went to the Kyoto Manga Museum. My friend went there with her fiancee and got these little caricatures and I was like, those are the cutest things. And I asked her where she got it. That’s what she did. And when we went to Kyoto, I made a point to get there early and lineup, get our caricatures done.

Money Mechanic
That’s awesome. Because you know, I know that you’re you were a graphic artist. You are a graphic artist. You’ve done a awesome job on our website design. And I totally thought you’d made that that’s why I was wanting you to make more for us.

Chrissy
Some people think that too. Jim Wang. Do you know Jim Wang from Wallet Hacks?

Money Mechanic
Yes.

Chrissy
Yes. So he he also asked me the same thing, like hey could could you make one for me?And I’m like, I would…

Accountant
But I didn’t make it.

Money Mechanic
So if you’re a skilled artist or graphic designer listening to the show and you want a little side hustle there’s a lot of bloggers that would go for something like that, especially if they’re anonymous. At least two there’s there’s three present Yeah.

Chrissy
I think I saw someone on Twitter who does that does little caricatures and they’re they’re super cheap. They were like five bucks or something five or 10 bucks.

Economist
That’s out of our price range.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, well that’s because I’m relying on Explore FI Canada keep us in the black boys.

Accountant
We have this thing where we tend to drink any profits that come in the door.

Money Mechanic
I consider FI Garage to be wildly successful because we are almost at like neutral cost on our beer consumption for the show.

Accountant
That’s all I ask.

Chrissy
That’s impressive.

Money Mechanic
All we ever asked for was to drink free beer. And now if you’re

Economist
Thanks, Jim.

Money Mechanic
Yes, yeah. Thanks again, Jim. And if you’re a brewery listen to this because we tweet out the breweries and the beers that we drink. And none of them have tweeted back and said, Oh, we’d love to send you guys another round of beers. So that you can say thanks to such and such brewery, and I’m not gonna name a name brewery because we get way too much free advertising.

Accountant
Also on the brewery front, just before we finish here, I did throw you under the bus earlier. It turns out you’re right. It is Oregon. But these are specifically labeled for import around the globe. And that is where I’m getting all that information from. Uh,

Money Mechanic
I didn’t want to go off on you because I was fairly confident. That’s what I was because I started reading the bottle before we started the show. And I’m like, whose True Craft Beverage is Vancouver, Canada. I’m like, wait a minute here. And then it’s got a whole bunch of what what languages?

Accountant
Well, there’s there’s Thai down there.

Money Mechanic
Thai. Oh, I should recognize that from our Bintang beers. Yeah.

Accountant
All right. Well, and Bintang is not Thai. But either way.

Money Mechanic
I do this is the SIP. Nevermind. Just . Yes.

Economist
It was a nice beer.

Accountant
It was very tasty.

Money Mechanic
I do like a porter at this time of year. So here we are. Chrissy. Thanks for joining us. And it was awesome. Always. This is your second interview on the FI Garage. The first interview for the Account and The Economist on Explore FI Canada.

Accountant
Yeah, there we go. We’ll have to do it again.

Money Mechanic
Clearly, we’re never gonna have a podcast with four people because it’s difficult!

Economist
Happy Festivus

Accountant
Festivus for the rest of us.

Yeah, I guess well, just try and stay. Whatever it is Season’s Greetings. How’s that one?

Chrissy
Yes. And we’re gonna take a little break. I don’t know if FI Garage is going to, but Explore FI Canada is going to take a little break until January the eighth.

Money Mechanic
What, it’slike we got something better to do? You’re just going to be at home.

Chrissy
Not working on show notes!

Money Mechanic
See, you need to take a lesson from The Accountant and The Economist for show notes because it’s like 15 minutes before release. I’m like, Guys, I’m gonna do the show notes. And it’s like, bang done cut and paste.

Chrissy
You keep telling me, I’m like, No, I want the SEO.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough.

Accountant
Oh, yeah. We score very low on the SEO but…

Economist
Yeah, both of them.

Accountant
We’re not real good.

Money Mechanic
Well, we even started off writing blog posts, which we were all kind of getting into because none of us are great writers. But when we have the website explosion of 2020 motivation went down.

Accountant
Yeah, it’s kind of died.

Money Mechanic
Yeah. 2020 was rough on the old web. It was alright, we keep chatting forever. So let’s wrap this up. Thanks for listening to both shows. We do appreciate that. We are on the social media. Chrissy’s very active running the Explore FI Canada comments and Twitter. We on the FI Garage are all independent on Twitter. Not that I think a lot of people like our listeners on Twitter, but whatever. We’re there.

Economist
I think we have listeners on Twitter.

Money Mechanic
Well, I think we do too.

Economist
But they keep saying Hey, your episodes not playing today. What’s going on?

Accountant
Yeah, that was helpful.

Money Mechanic
I may have slept in it was a Coast FI day and on my to do lists. I’m getting out of here before you keep picking on me. We’ll see you all in 2021. Thanks for joining. Happy New Year.

Economist
Happy New Year.

Chrissy
Yeah, Happy New Year.

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