Straight to the Point
- A progress tracker on your way to FI.
- I scored 225 points out of 1000.
- I am currently at checkpoint 8 out of 14 – ‘Half FI’ (Superintendent Rank).
- Which checkpoint are you at?
What is the FI Checkpoint?
I thought I would figure out a way to track and score my progress towards financial independence. When I first started the blog, I described The 13 Milestones to FI. It is only right that I point out again that the milestones were based on the ideas by Joel at FI 180 and JD Roth at Money Boss which I’ve then expanded.
It didn’t quite work for many people’s personal circumstances because it was so linear with no flexibility. I thought I would give it another shot.
I cannot stress enough. Cashflow Cop’s FI Checkpoint is just for a bit of fun. Please don’t take it too seriously or think too deeply about it.
The diagram below illustrates the main checkpoints/milestones with the equivalent Police rank thrown in for shits and giggles.
So, where are you at the moment?
Below is a spreadsheet with 20 questions. You must answer all the questions. Once you have answered them all, your results will be shown at the bottom.
Note: the interactive spreadsheet now works on mobile devices, but much easier to do on a tablet or desktop.
I am sure there are better and simpler ways to do what I am trying to achieve. Unfortunately, I am not a programmer and after hours playing around with formulas, IFS, VLOOKUPS and whatever else, this is the best I’ve come up with. Don’t be too hard on me. If anyone knows of a better way to do this, please let me know.
There is no scientific methodology behind the scoring. I just decided that the maximum total score was 1000 for no particular reason other than it sounded cool. I then distributed the 1000 points between each of the 14 milestones in a way which kinda made sense to me. As you approach FI and beyond, that is where most of the scores are distributed.
I’ve labelled this as Version 1.3 because there are bound to be bugs. If you spot any or have any suggestions to improve, please let me know.
Remember, answer each and every question, starting from the top and work your way down. Don’t over-think it. The main thing is to be consistent with how you treat each question so that you can track your progress over time.
I would be ever so grateful if you also complete the poll and comment below with your results! It is interesting to see how the rest of the community are doing. Not to beat ourselves up by comparing against each other, but to learn from each other to get to the next checkpoint quicker.
Let’s get started.
I have discussed the findings of the poll in a follow-up post.
Version 2.0 is now available. It is a major update from the test below which provides a personal FI Score Test card just like this one. Give it a go and see how you score by clicking here…
1.1 – released 07/03/19 – corrected spelling mistakes.
1.2 – released 07/03/19 – added Excel version.
1.3 – released 08/09/19 – corrected formulas to prevent incorrect ‘Debt-Free’ result. Thank you to Stephonee for pointing this out.
1.4 – released 08/09/19 – corrected formula for student debt. Thank you to Lindstrom (in comments) for pointing this out.
Our Numbers – from the very beginning…
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10 thoughts on “FI Checkpoint: Where are you on the journey?”
I’m at Inspector level, happy to be in the ‘green’ area! 🙂
Thanks for giving it a try Weenie!
Looks interesting, but the spreadsheet doesn’t work when there are multiple people accessing it at once. It is a shared document, so the updates are real-time between the people accessing it so, everything is changing all the time.
I totally agree. I need to figure out another way to make it work – perhaps someone out there has a better way to do this without coding knowledge. I’ve allowed for the sheet to be downloaded so people can work on it locally and customise the parameters to suit their needs.
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The scoring for the questions doesn’t seem to make sense. It asks if I have, for example 6months of expenses saved which is a good thing but then if I have student debt which is a bad thing. That should be a subtraction not an addition to my total number.
Hi Lindstrom. Thank you for spotting that and taking the time to comment. I’ve fixed it now. I will update the post and credit you later tonight. I am currently working on version 2.0 which will be much more accurate and logical. I released this one just to test the framework out and get some early feedback.
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It’s interesting to see that although I am debt-free, I still do not reach the debt-free Inspector Level. I think that it’s because My emergency fund is not big enough yet.
Hi Anne-Julie. You’re right. You need more savings to reach true debt free level. I could amend the formula but it would no longer be possible for comparisons and throws the poll out of whack. As a result, I’ve decided to leave the Checklist as it is. Version 2.0 will be much more accurate – you can see a teaser of it here. Thanks for letting me know.