Episode #11: How to Become Financially Independent and…Fulfilled?

Jerry and Maria Smith are a fantastic couple pursuing financial independence in Canada. Jerry is an engineer while Maria is a full-time teacher. They are accompanied by their one-year old daughter on this journey to financial independence. Their pursuit of financial independence started 5 to 10 years ago. They prioritized their money to buy their freedom. They have managed to pay off all their mortgages and at the same time, travel and enjoy their lives. Maria has her blog, “Handful of Thoughts”, a place where she shares her journey on being a financially independent mamma.

Highlights of the show:

  • Why having a child and the “pause” of COVID-19 has altered their view of financial independence for Jerry and Maria?
  • How their perspective of time and money is changing
  • How they paid down their personal mortgage in 5 years and still traveled!
  • How the concept of financial independence has change how they spend their money
  • How the pursuit of financial independence is not just about eating rice and beans
  • Steps you can take to join the financial independence journey
  • Having a strong WHY keeps you focused on your journey
  • How Maria convinced Jerry to pay off their mortgage in 5 years!
  • How this couple has been able to create a healthy money relationship together
  • What benefits they experience from “consciously” spending their money on things that align with their values
  • How they travel “hack” to dramatically cut their travel cost
  • We explore their past money stories and the impact they play on their lives today
  • How they deal with “money control” to maintain a health balance in their relationship

Take Aways:

  • Financial Independence “From a number to what will fulfill us ” Jerry
  • “We don’t want to live like everyone else” Maria
  • “How the pursuit of financial independence is not just about eating rice and beans” Maria


Money Motto:

  • “Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you can do what others can’t” – Maria & Jerry


Details Notes:

Jerry and Maria explain what financial independence means to them [02:20] Maria gives the official definition of what financial independence is [04:00] Jerry gives his opinion on how to live a happy life, and how to balance working hours and money [06:14] Jerry explains how “mindset shift” works, and how to change the ” I can’t save millions of dollars ” attitude [12:51] Jerry and Maria share their “financial why”, the reason why they make money [17:15] Jerry explains how he and Maria took the decision to save up and pay off their mortgages [18:38] Jerry and Maria share the measures and tactics that helped them make mindful decisions about money [23:00] Jerry and Maria share their individual money stories [26:48] Maria and Jerry discuss their communication strategies, and how Jerry’s mother being the breadwinner of the family influenced his character [36:03] Maria explains how they developed their individual roles inside family, and how they manage to communicate effectively [39:27] Maria explains what financial planning is for her, and how they have managed to propel themselves to financial independence [43:41] Maria explains what is more important,  simply saving money or understanding the technical nuances involved in that process [47:45] Jerry and Maria explain how their “monthly checkups” helps them to improve the control over their money [52:07] Maria explains the reason why people become stressed about money [54:42] Maria and Jerry explain the 3 things that they are bound to look back in life, which will make them feel happy about what they did [56:44]

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  • Reply
    Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
    August 23, 2020 at 5:09 am

    It was so nice to finally ‘meet’ Maria’s other half! Jerry, you sound very much like my husband—you were already pretty good with your money, but then you met hyper-optimizing women who turned the dial to the max!

    Like the two of you, my husband and I balance each other out. He nudges me to spend more on things we love, and I encourage him to save for things that we truly value. In the end, we’re both happier having had the other’s influence.

    Thanks for sharing your story so candidly! It was a fun listen.

    • Reply
      August 24, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      Chrissy, I am glad you had an opportunity to “meet” Jerry! Great to hear you and your husband balance each other out as well. I certainly have found so much benefit is “hearing” and “accepting” my wife’s money story!

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