My main goal was to build an investment and cash portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal last year and my 1500 Days are over, but in the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.
When I quit my formal job in April, my net worth was about $1,750,000. Not even six months later, it’s now over $1,900,000. Most of this is due to market appreciation, but not all of it. I owe you an explanation…
Planned Passions, Unplanned Money
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but didn’t pursue it at university. Science and computers offered better career options. I eventually became a computer programmer and banged away at a keyboard for almost 20 years. However, I never forgot about my love for writing.
After I discovered JD Roth and Mr. Money Mustache (the blog that launched 10,000 blogs), I launched my own blog on January 1st of 2013. You’re reading it. It was nothing more than a passion project to document my journey to financial independence and hold myself publicly accountable. Then, interesting things started happening.
Mrs. 1500 Nails the Landing
Mrs. 1500 had been a stay-at-home mom until a serendipitous turn of events landed her a dream job:
- At the end of 2013, I dragged Mrs. 1500 to FinCon, a financial media conference.
- She went to a breakout session and sat in the front row.
- When the session started, she realized that she was at the wrong place. However, she felt bad about leaving, so stayed.
- The topic of the session was coping with the technical side of site growth. This didn’t interest her, but the company did. When it was over, she talked to the presenters, one of whom was the founder.
- Mrs. 1500 wrote some blog posts for the company. She didn’t get paid anything, but was passionate about the subject matter.
- At the next FinCon in 2014, Mrs. 1500 chatted with the founder again.
- In 2015, the company announced that they were hiring for a certain position. It was Mrs. 1500’s ideal job. While our youngest was not yet in school, she’d be starting in 3 months, so the timing was good. Mrs. 1500 applied for and got the job.
And something else was going on too. I put ads on the blog to help pay for hosting, equipment (Apples grow on trees, but Apple Macbooks do not) and the FinCon conference. The results were unspectacular. In the first 3 years of blogging, I earned less than $1,000. Queue the sad trombone. And the sad daughter:
But in year 4, the blog started gaining traction and spitting out more substantial income. It has continued to increase ever since. It doesn’t make a lot, but when you live a frugal life, even small amounts have a fun way of moving the needle.
Fast forward to today. Mrs. 1500 works at her job and I work on the blog. And it is work, but never in the typical sense. Our work reflects our passions. We’re both thankful that we get paid for what we used to do for free.
I don’t make the same money as I used to. The blog, freelancing and Mrs. 1500’s income combined is still less than what I made as a computer programmer. However, it’s enough for us to get by on and still max out two 401(k)s.
So, we don’t have to dip into our savings and our net worth continues to increase. I’m a big fan of the 4% Rule, but it’s nice not to live it yet.
So, am I really retired? Probably not. But why would I stop doing what I love just because it happens to earn some money? Continue reading