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February 19, 2018

10 Pillars of Financial Independence – with Jonathan Mendonsa


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Popularized by extreme frugality rock stars like Mr. Money Mustache, the Mad Fientist and Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme, the Financial Independence or FIRE community has grown in popularity over the past 5-10 years.

This is a subset of the personal finance world that encourages earning a solid income early in your life, saving a boat load of cash and retiring earlier than most of your peers.

For a frugal guy like me, this concept makes a ton of sense. Work hard, save and invest early so you can enjoy the majority of your life doing what you love.

But what happens when you’ve retired early? You still need something. You need a purpose or a goal to work toward.

An online business is evidently great place to start.

ChooseFI Radio Podcast host Jonathan Mendonsa joins me today to discuss how he’s been able to achieve financial independence by inspiring others to achieve financial independence. Genius!

His bi-weekly show dives deep into the tenants of early retirement and why this FIRE community is growing so rapidly.

What are we covering today?

Jonathan and I chat about:

  • His $168,000 student debt pay down journey
  • How he built his FIRE-inspiring small business
  • His 10 Pillars of Financial Independence

Jonathan's enthusiasm and easy-to-follow steps make the journey toward financial independence fun and exciting. Join us today and get inspired to make financial independence a goal for your family.


10 Pillars of Financial Independence with Jonathan Mendonsa

About Our Guest:  Jonathan Mendonsa

ChooseFI Host Jonathan Mendonsa
ChooseFI Host Jonathan Mendonsa

My name is Jonathan and I live and work out of Richmond, Virginia. My wife and I enjoy travel rewards, coffee, board games, Chipotle, and spending time with our two dogs; Zoey and Kiki. We have a love-hate relationship with frugal living and like to find ways to maximize the quality of life while minimizing expenses.

I feel I am qualified to talk about the normal path because I have lived it for the last 30 years.  At the age of 28, I graduated from college as a pharmacist with  $168,000 in student loans. Now, 4 years later I have clawed my way out and I am pursuing Financial Independence.

My hobby and passion over the last 5 years has become learning new skills and looking for ways to develop passive income streams. I also love to talk about what I have learned. I ran out of people in my immediate social circle to share all this awesome information with. Enter ChooseFI.

I'm so excited to get to collect and talk about all the financial life hacks as my side hustle. I know this information has the power to change lives. Turn off the TV and start working for freedom.

Money Master of the Week

Congratulations to Susanne from Arizona for paying off her second credit card on her journey toward consumer debt freedom! She and her family have paid off almost $15,000 of debt in the last year.

All in all, Susanne’s goal is to pay off all $76,000 in consumer debt within 5 years. She’s on the right path to make it happen well before that time.

Susanne from Arizona is our Money Master of the Week!

You can learn more about Susanne and her debt crushing skills at The 76K Project.

If you have a financial victory you want to share on this show, please leave me a voicemail (or email) and include the following: name, location, your big win, how you did it and your plans for the future.

Your story will inspire others to save more, make more and plan for their family’s future.

Show Resources

SHOW SPONSOR:  Student loan hero

Student Loan Hero

FEATURED ARTICLE6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2018


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Jonathan Mendonsa’S RESOURCES


Resource MentionedPillars of FI

Resource MentionedHow to Access Retirement Funds Early – Mad Fientist

Resource MentionedTravel Miles 101

Recommended BookThe Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Recommended BookRich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Recommended BookThe Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley


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Support this Show

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, here are some excellent ways to support the show:

I truly appreciate the support everyone!


I’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like your question featured on the show, reach out and let me know. It would be my honor to support you in your journey toward financial freedom.

Leave me a voicemail or connect with me on TwitterFacebook or shoot me an email.

Carpe Diem Quote

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”

Robert Kiyosaki

What do you think about early retirement?

Please let me know in the comments section below!

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • Awesome episode Andy! I really appreciated the ten pillars of Financial Independence. I have some homework to do on pretax investing strategies!

    Also, loved the intro for the episode ?

    • Thanks Kevin! Zoey is a huge reason for me doing the show so I had to give her some podcast love :)


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Marriage Kids and Money Podcast

About Marriage Kids & Money

The Marriage Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and happiness.

With over 400 episodes and counting, we share interviews with wealthy families, award-winning authors, and personal finance experts to help you find your version of family financial independence.

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