Christmas Thoughts, 2018 Reflection, 2019 Goals

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We have an extra special gift for you today that requires no wrapping paper. This Holiday special Justin and Cody go at it alone with no guest to discuss their perspectives on materialistic Christmas, a brief recap of 2018 and their goals for 2019.

We think you’ll really enjoy getting to hear a little more from your hosts this week and see a little more behind the curtain on their personal lives. At the end of the episode, we asked that you start writing out your goals and sharing them with us so we can keep you accountable. You can drop those goals in a voicemail at or look out for a thread on the facebook page at

Episode Summary

  • Materialistic Christmas Discussion

  • Justin and Cody discuss how their families viewed Christmas and gift giving growing up
  • They also discuss how the Financial Independence community has changed their own views on it
  • Justin makes a case for a materialistic Christmas being a positive thing in households where some family members never buy themselves anything that’s not absolutely necessary and thus giving them the one chance per year to have something simply for enjoyment.
  • They both discuss their most memorable Christmas gift which actually both turned out to be the thin playstation 2.
  • It’s also very clear though that they both value experiences over these items today
  • Review of 2018

  • 2018 was a packed year for both of the guys
  • Cody started the year off with 5 months in Australia…wow this whole FI lifestyle sure is restrictive
  • Justin kicked the year off with a trip to Iceland and kept the traveling going with 2 trips to Mexico with some scuba diving, three trips to Denver, the Grand Canyon, countless concerts, trip to the Hamptons, Vermont ski trips, and attended a UFC title fight
  • This year is also the year Cody got deep into the FI movement and began and this podcast
  • Justin spent 5 months in a hotel due to a house fire but came out of it with 2.4 million Hilton points as a concession
  • Cody got a chance to practice his speaking chops down at CampFI south
  • Speaking of CampFI south, that’s where Justin and Cody actually first met back in September.
  • Justin then joined Cody as the new co-host of this podcast when T.J. had to step away.
  • So far they’ve seen 20k downloads but feel like they’re just now gaining traction and getting their systems set up to be more efficient with their time
  • Just has also continued his work on his own blog where he gives extreme transparency into his expenses and investing
  • The hopes behind this are to try and show people you can still live a really exciting and rewarding life while on this journey
  • He is also proud to still maintain his $60/month grocery bill for the 4th straight year
  • Justin’s savings rate is over 75% while paying rent and living in Boston which works out to be about $24k in annual expenses
  • His net worth grew $68k this year even with the rough markets
  • Cody is able to save 85% of his income while living at home. This gap between his income and expenses gives him amazing flexibility!


  • Goals for 2019

  • Cody is starting the year off with a bang by stepping away from his job and going on a nationwide book tour with Grant from Millennial Money
  • Justin looks to continue his savings rate success and build more upon his blog
  • They are both very passionate about growing the podcast and increasing their reach
  • You can tell they go big on goals when they set the mission for 1 million downloads before the end of 2019
  • They think they can do so with a mix of fantastic headliners like Paula Pant and stories that had previously never been told like Jimmy the mailman from Arkansas who is already FI at 28 through real estate
  • The guys also want everyone to share their 2019 goals with them and keep everyone accountable

Key Takeaways

  1. Materialism can have a place.  When your in an environment where the whole family is so un-materialistic either out of principle or necessity, it can be useful to have one day a year where everyone gets to be spoiled with some items that they really want but would never buy themselves. It also allows each person to get the reward of giving something special which is pretty rewarding on its own.
  2. You never know what a year will hold. Cody got thrust into the financial independence space and hit the ground running and now in 2019, he’ll be walking away from corporate America because of it. In this space, we love to plan, which is never a bad thing, but we also need to understand that life is stranger than fiction and there can always be a life-changing surprise around the corner.
  3. Make big goals. What’s the worst that happens if you make a big goal? You either make it or you try as hard as you can but you don’t settle. The FI Show is going with a bold goal of 1M downloads before 2020 starts. What will your big goal be?

Call to Action

Go make some big bold goals for 2019 and share them with us so we can keep you accountable!

Join the Community

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  1. Sign up for our exclusive newsletter
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  3. Leave us a voicemail
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Links from the Episode

Justin’s house fire recap

How money can buy happiness

Example of Justin’s transparent posts and how he spends $60 a month on groceries

Cody’s 5-Month Adventure in Australia

Travel Hacking for Beginners

The Un-Budget

Financial Freedom Book Tour


Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)

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