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The Origin (For Me) of Fully Funded Lifestyle Change: FFLC
The year was 2017. I was deep in the weeds of consuming as much financial independence (FI) media as I could find. Podcasts were my current format of choice. There it was, episode 27 of the ChooseFI podcast. I had found my first connection to FI: The Fully Funded Lifestyle Change.
Slowly Sipping Coffee (or at the time Mr. SSC) was being interviewed on the podcast. This is how you get on a FI podcast, I remember thinking. You coin a term or new concept to FI that is completely new and exciting. Of course, like with most things, I didn’t know how naive I was at the time. But this new and exciting idea SSC presented was fascinating. The Fully Funded Lifestyle Change: FFLC.
I wanted an FFLC. I wanted things to be different. Also tired of working for low pay and feeling like I couldn’t ever reach FIRE (RE = retire early) and save 75% or more of my income. I just wanted to earn more and be happier with more cushion. I wanted to be able to stop worrying about money, wake up and sip some coffee, and enjoy life at a slower pace. Fuck the fast-paced, high-productive work environment. Instead, I want to drink coffee and enjoy the view of my porch for a few hours. Then do something I enjoy.
Your Funded Lifestyle Change: YFLC
SSC and I were talking on Twitter almost 4 years after his ChooseFI episode. I started talking to him about how much I love FFLC. But I hadn’t realized how much FFLC had changed. We bantered a bit through Twitter and then I received a message. Your Fully Funded Lifestyle Change was something he thought of in our banter.
The idea of YFLC is making your own lifestyle change and funding it how you see fit. Now, low and middle-income earners have a part of FI for themselves. Make your own lifestyle changes and fund it how you see fit. Fund it with your 9 to 5, side hustle, real estate, or build it over time.
FFLC, YFLC, SlowFI, WTF?
The acronyms don’t really matter. The concepts do. So we talked about FFLC and YFLC, let’s talk about SlowFI.
Slow FI: When someone utilizes the incremental financial freedom they gain along the journey to financial independence to live happier and healthier lives, do better work, and build strong relationships. So how can we use Your Funded Lifestyle Change and SlowFI on our FI journey? Well, let’s break it down.
With YFLC it’s, perhaps, a precursor to SlowFI. I’m using YFLC to build my way up to the SlowFI journey. Part of YFLC, for me, is learning to increase my income on my way to SlowFi. Right now my lifestyle changes have been funded by some very generous community members.
Funding My Lifestyle Change
I am working through the emotions of feeling guilty and shame asking for help along my journey. Here’s the kicker though. Those who have helped, help because they’ve been there. They understand my struggle. But best of all, they see something in me and want to elevate me.
There are ways to provide value back to those who have given to me as well. At my first, large-scale FI event, I was able to share my resources (my car) with a few people and provide non-monetary value. This was my way of thanking them for helping fund this part of my lifestyle change.
Money Mindset Shift
After Econome, I started thinking about how my money mindset has shifted after over 8 years of paying off debt and working towards FI. My debt tolerance has increased. Value spending has increased. My emergency savings has increased. I’ve inflated my lifestyle, but with value.
I used to think my goal was debt freedom. Then I decided, no, I want to be a millionaire and reach FI faster. So I started investing more. Millionaire status started sounding less appealing. Now, traveling is what I want to do. After Econome, and meeting new friends, the travel bug has gotten to me even more.
Being with a partner who has severe health issues, my priorities have shifted as well. I thought I needed to invest all my money and reach SlowFI as fast as I can. Yes, feel free to point out the irony of SlowFI and fast as possible. But now it’s not my money mindset. Now, my money mindset is using Your Funded Lifestyle Change to work at SlowFI.
My new goals (as of this writing) are how can I get my partner and me to more FI events? How can I spend more time with these extraordinary people on my FI journey? How can I stop missing out and go have some fucking fun?
As you can see above, my money mindset has changed. That’s because my values and goals changed. I used to identify with FIRE, then FI, then FFLC, then SlowFI, and now YFLC. I boldly claimed that FI is not for everyone. But the tenants are. I’ve incorporated the pillars of FI over the last 8 years on less than a household median income (approx. $60k USD as the median).
But my idea of FI has changed from different acronyms and concepts. But the core always stays the same. The Why of FI. I can word and reword my why but, in the end, it’s the same.
Funding An Extraordinary Life
I want to be extraordinary. Meet awesome and inspiring people from the FI community. Be inspiring to others. I want lower and middle-income people to say, “Thanks Chad. You’re the reason I started pursuing FI. My life has been better because of you.” I want to show my partner that she is about to embark on an extraordinary journey with me. I want to be her Why of FI, her inspiration, her extraordinary partner.
How am I funding an extraordinary life? Focusing on value over price. Not being afraid to ask for help when I need it. Leveraging my network. Getting outside of my comfort zone. Setting the extraordinary as a priority. Looking for opportunities to make it possible. Affirming my values and beliefs. As cliche as it sounds, thinking outside the box.
I know shit is going to happen. It’s life. Especially on a lower or middle income and you analyze almost every monetary decision. But I’m also finding a way to barter, volunteer, and afford the FI events I believe in. Because alongside my partner, we are building something extraordinary. And we invite you along to Our Funded Lifestyle Change.
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