Financial Freedom 1 (February 2018)


Financial Freedom 1 (February 2018)


Become the CFO of Your Life

Live the life that you want by taking control of your financial life. In this online course, we'll examine the unconscious influence of your family background and consumer culture on your relationship with money. This course will help you reclaim ownership of how you live your life through understanding money, reclaiming ownership of your finances, and making concrete plans to reach financial independence. Take this course! Graduates say it is life-altering.

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WINTER ONLINE COHORT: February 1 - March 31
|| At PUGS, we believe that learning is a human right. Discounted tuition is available based on income.

This is a self-paced online course, wherever you are (even if you don't live in Portland), i.e. it is not live and in-person. However, you will be in an online community where you post your work and comment on others' work on a online discussion board. We will have community video meetups and if you live in Portland, occasional live meetups. You have 2 months to complete 30 lessons, about 30 minutes apiece.

There is only one person responsible for your financial health: you. Yet most people, no matter their income, have little to no financial education. They don't know how to manage their money, and as a result, they live in financial fragility. This course doesn't just show you the figures you should know. It guides you in taking control of your financial future. 

We'll talk about the seven levels of financial maturity, from financial dependence, or living paycheck to paycheck, to saving conventionally, and, lastly, having financial freedom. We'll explore the influence of your family background and the hidden assumptions of consumption and debt in our capitalist system. The goal of this course is to help you reclaim ownership of how you spend your time and your energy and free yourself from working for money for the majority of your life.

Ultimately, financial freedom is about living a life that you desire and believe in. It's about being able to take care of the people you love while making creative contributions to the world without waiting until you're 65. Read about Douglas's own experience of achieving financial freedom by age 42.

    By the end of this course, you and your cohort will:

    • Understand the basics of money.
    • Write your financial manifesto about how money fits into living according to your dreams and values, and you'll make a plan to execute it.
    • Learn the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of people who have reached financial independence.
    • Learn how to distinguish between the essentials and the excess in your life and learn how enough is better than too much.
    • Make a budget, lower your expenses, eliminate debt, increase savings, and live with more financial security. 
    • Increase your amount of free time by reducing expenses and the amount of time you spend working.
    • Heal the split between money and your values, making life one integrated whole. 

    You have 2 months to complete 30 short lessons (about 30 minutes apiece). You'll have support and accountability from other students in an online discussion board, as well as bi-weekly online "office hours" with Douglas, the instructor. Unlike other PUGS courses, you can take this course at your own schedule, anywhere in the world. Community is important so be prepared to share and contribute. Those who finish the course and have contributed generously to others will get 20% back of what they paid.  Click here to learn more about the online course and for more details on how it works. 

    Module 1: Understanding money. Talking about money is taboo in our society, which means we aren’t often aware of our relationships with it. We'll start with our internal assumptions about money, where they came from, and how they dramatically influence our lives. Then we’ll talk about the personal savings rate and how it affects how many years you have to work.

    Module 2: Reducing consumption. The personal savings rate only has two components: spending and production. We'll talk about the profound personal and global implications of taking control of the first: consumption. How do consumption and debt increase stress in your life? How do they affect the world environmentally? We'll also look at your monthly consumption and find the easy and necessary places to cut back.

    Module 3: Writing your manifesto and making a budget. We live in a financial system that requires people to be in debt. We’ll talk about breaking consent to the high-consumption, debt-driven system. No matter where you are on the path, working towards financial independence means taking back control of your life. You’ll draft your financial manifesto and learn about the behaviors and attitudes that ensure financial security. Then you'll make one-year, five-year, and long-term budgets that match your values, aspirations, and priorities.

    "This class was great! It really helped me re-examine and re-create my relationship to money. I'm totally inspired now to think and learn about money, and am starting to save and invest in the future that means the most to me. Douglas was an excellent instructor. He is a living example of financial freedom, and was an skilled facilitator, guide, and advisor during the process. Take this class! It's the best investment (in your dreams) that you'll ever make." - Dan Daly

    "The Financial Freedom course changed my perspective on money and removed a lot of mental and emotional barriers I was having to taking control of my financial life, as well as providing me with a lot of practical information. Highly recommend!" - Kronda Adair


    Douglas Tsoi, JD, is the founder of PUGS. For twenty years, he worked as a lawyer, schoolteacher, and climate change activist, saving half of his salary and investing the rest. That earned him financial freedom at age 42 to do what he wants with his time, which includes (after soccer, napping, and traveling) helping people take control of their finances, make a plan, and live the life they truly want.