Your Lifebrary: The Blog

Choose FI Book Review

I am someone who is relatively new to the FI community, and this book was excellent at helping me build a foundation for building my own pillars of FI. The Choose FI book begins by outlining the stages of FI and then by walking you through identifying your own reasons to pursue financial independence. For me and my why, I want to someday have more free time with those I care most about; I want to travel regularly; I want to be able to say “no” to tasks I don’t want to do. I’ve loved almost every job and side gig I’ve held, but I want work to someday be an option, not a necessity. Know that identifying your “why” will make the information in this book all the more important. I got my first job when I was 14, and I’ve consistently been working at least two jobs since I was 19, and I recognize the place of privilege I’m in now to be able to even think about this concept.

This book is outlined into five main sections with 15 chapters. I already tackled the “introduction” section for getting started and identifying your “why.” The remaining sections focus on spending less (and increasing the value in your life), increasing your earnings (hello networking, career-building, and hacking college), and investing better. Finally, you end by imaging your life the way you want it, bringing you back to the intentions you set at the beginning of the book.

This post provides a brief summary of the content contained within this book, and if you’re remotely interested in the concepts surrounding Financial Independence, this review is a must read.


Having a dog costs how much?! The estimated cost of providing a home to a doggo.

I would say that the love and affection my dogs give me is priceless, but I would also be foolish not to tell you that you should think about the actual cost of pet ownership. If you’re considering bringing a dog (or cat, I guess) into your life, the actual cost of the pet goes well beyond that adoption fee.

If you know me, you’ll know that I love my dogs more than I love most people. You’ll also hear me talk about how my dogs are my children. I would cash out my retirement plan and give them the world if I needed to (please don’t actually cash out your retirement accounts; Basically, I will do whatever I can to make sure they are cared for and comfortable).

I don’t always love how much my dogs costs, though. This is never something I’d taken the time to think about, both those recurring and one-time expenses. Not until my 17-year-old dog Penelope (you met her in my first blog about creating a budget) developed Cushing’s syndrome and needed to have several blood tests and a special medicine created for her over the last six-ish months (goodbye side-hustle money).

Here’s a breakdown of the average first year costs associated with pet ownership for a medium-sized dog.

No Gym Membership Required: How I Keep Fit For $0.09 Per Day.

Around the time I stopped running, a good friend introduced me to something I hadn’t done since I was a little kid… hula hooping. I borrowed her hoop to give it a spin (lol pun) and didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with it. It was also a really low-impact exercise and didn’t put a strain on my left foot or knee, and turned out to be a much needed substitute for my running.

Why I Started Decluttering My Belongings and My Life

My closets were stuffed to the max, and my dresser drawers a stack of semi-neat items with items I’ve recently worn shoved in a disarray on top. My bookcase was littered with books I intended to read, books I should have already read (hello grad school texts), and books that really made me happy. You see, those items that I genuinely treasured kept getting lost in the chaos of items that didn’t really do anything for me.

Baby Steps 4-7 Explained: The Dave Ramsey Method

If you didn’t see my previous post that explained Dave Ramsey’s first three baby steps, you’ll want to click over to read that post first. The first three steps are all about saving for emergencies, digging out of debt, and gaining a security net of a fully funded emergency fund. The last four steps are all about looking at the long-term financial future, and steps 4, 5, and 6 are completed concurrently.

Baby Steps 1-3 Explained: The Dave Ramsey Method

If you’re into personal finance, you’ve probably heard the name Dave Ramsey a time or two along your financial journey. I was introduced to Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps when I was 19, and those steps definitely saved me from making a lot of mistakes during my undergrad and grad school years. Although a bit extreme at times, what I learned from these steps are the reason I maintain a mostly debt free lifestyle today. This post briefly explains my own experience with each of these steps and what it takes to accomplish them. This is part one of a two part post, so be sure to click the “see next post” button for the remaining baby steps!