Thursday Rant: 1500 Household Junk Mail Edition

On rare days, it’s difficult for me to write – the ideas show up in my head faster than I can write them down. However, the inspiration for today’s post showed up in my mailbox; no brainpower required! Sometimes, this job is just too easy.

Somehow, I got put on the wrong mailing list. I received some interesting mail this week. I’ll also reveal a goal I’ve never talked about before. Brace yourself.

Lately, I’ve also realized that my FI journey isn’t about FI at all. Read on…

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.11.15 PMHere is a list of some things that I couldn’t care less about:

  • fashion
  • cat pictures
  • celebrity gossip
  • TV shows
  • flying first class

See the top of that list? Fashion. In the summer, I like to wear white t-shirts and shorts to stay cool. In the winter I switch to black shirts and jeans.

I also hate hate hate dressing up.

When I was in my 20s and had just started my first real job out of college, I had this conversation with an older co-worker: Continue reading

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Performance Update 33/50: Seussian Stock Market Edition

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Let’s have a look at September.



In July, my portfolio peaked at $1,070,000. And it’s been tanking ever since. I closed August out at $992,150 and September at $979,614. I couldn’t care less. To learn why, we must consult the brilliant Charlie Munger.

Munger had this to say about risk:

Risk to us is 1) the risk of permanent loss of capital, or 2) the risk of inadequate return.

Munger on volatility:

Volatility is an overworked concept. You shouldn’t be imprisoned by volatility.

And I completely agree. Munger’s two thoughts have one thing in common; they both speak to a long term mindset.

I care about exactly one thing and here it is. Ready?

Over the long term, I want my pile to be as big as possible.

Pretty simple, right?

I don’t care about where my investments will be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or even 5 years. I won’t access the majority of my investments for decades, so I care about the size of the money pile in 20 or 30 years from now. Drops of 1,000 points won’t mean much at all in a couple decades. I doubt I’ll even remember them.

One problem I see with investors is behaving too conservatively. If you’re young and concentrate on investments that preserve capital or favor income over growth, you may be sacrificing long term returns.

Doc - Oct 5, 2015, 12-11 PM - p1

Pile Size versus Time

Seussian Stock Market

Just for you today, I wrote a Dr. Seuss-like poem to better express my thoughts:

I don’t care about market farts,
I don’t care about charts.

I ignore market blips,
I ignore hot stock tips.

I don’t have a fit,
When the markets flip.

In your head, please do file,
That I’m a simple guy, not into style,
Fancy cars and $100 jeans don’t make me smile.

With a smirk on my face and a helping of guile,
I’ll tell you what I care about most, by a country mile,
It’s that in the end, I have a very large pile.

I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Please stick around, I promise I won’t write anything like that again for at least another week.

Performance Update

Continue reading

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Ask the Readers (Contest Edition): What have you been reading?

IMG_20151004_135548651Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today.

Well, I will join you after Mr. 1500 recaps last week…

So last week, I thought my boss had discovered my plans to retire early, so I straight up asked in the post:

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 7.50.45 PMWell, my boss didn’t mention it. She is outspoken, so I think she would have if she had seen the post. I am relieved:

  • Retiring in your 40s is a very odd concept to most and I’ve found that either people get confused or angry (jealousy?) when you mention it. I have no desire to discuss future plans that don’t include my job with my boss.
  • Did you see those crazy pictures I included of myself modeling the new bra I invented? Had my co-workers seen those, there would have been no end to the ridicule.

Here is what some of the Commentors had to say about my post: Continue reading

Posted in Ask the readers, Mrs1500 | Tagged , , | 66 Comments

10 Questions with Even Steven Money

Today is the 19th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

What is the best part of blogging you ask? Is it the millions cents that I make every month from Google ads? Is it the incredible non-existent fame and adoration confused looks that go along with being a personal finance blogger? Is it the chance to make a difference in the lives of millions tens of people? No, it’s none of those things!

The best part of blogging is the connections I’ve made with like minded people. Let me back up a second.

Being a crazy-ass, frugal person can be weird. Consumption is normal. We’re abnormal:

“Why don’t you treat yourself to a new car?”

“Look at my new phone!”

“Johnny got a promotion, so we’re moving to a gated community!!”

I don’t like any of that stuff. If you’re here reading this, you probably don’t either.

The best part of blogging is the wonderful people I’ve connected with and Even Steven is one of them. I’ve met up with Stevie (he loves it when I call him that) on three separate occasions, most recently at a blogger conference where he was nominated for Best New Personal Finance Blog. GO STEVIE!

I’ve really rambled on, so I turn the show over to Steven.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 8.03.07 PM

Why is your blog so awesome?


He looks just like this in real life

Because everything on my blog is awesome and everything is cool when you are part of a team!  I couldn’t resist quoting the Lego movie.

One of the things that makes my blog awesome and unique is my journey from a debt filled bank account of ruin to slowly progressing to early retirement.  Many of the early retirement blogs out there share their story to reach financial independence, which is great, but most of them do not have a debt in the world.  When I first started out I found this really hard to relate to.  I wanted to follow each step they shared like the 4% rule, show the government my new trick on converting from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and every other financial maneuver that I had never seen.  The problem was I couldn’t relate to something that was so far away for me.  Which is why I started Even Steven Money.

I’m closing in on paying off the last of my personal loan debt by the end of 2015.  As I look ahead my road to Financial Independence and Early Retirement Blueprint plans are heavily invested in Real Estate, something that would be in the minority of passive income strategies in the ER world.  I share on my blog how I am a real estate investor, property manager, and landlord.  Many of these things set me apart on this little thing called the internet and just might intrigue you to stop by.

Here are a few of the most popular articles at Even Steven Money:

A page that shares the financial independence day of many fellow bloggers and gives the opportunity to learn from others while holding one another accountable:  Financial Independence Day

The business lessons I learned caddying for Michael Jordan: What I learned working for Michael Jordan

I share my early retirement plan of attack and my current progress: Early Retirement Blueprint

A brief summary on how I paid off my student loans: How I paid off my student loans forever

What is the worst financial mistake you made?
This is the type of question where I start to make bullet points because I have so many, here goes: Continue reading

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The Life and Lies of SpongeSister (Stupid Meme Edition!)

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.20.42 PMI’ve written about SpongeSister before. She is lazyidolizes Escalades and refuses to take financial responsibility for anything in her life. However, she knows that she’s wrong because she frequently promises to be better.

I’m sure she does it to placate me. She knows I’m not dumb with money, so she likes to say things to impress big brother. SpongeSister never follows through, even a little bit. There is no shortage of big talk of work and debt repayment, but that only gives way to sleeping in and fancy vacations: 


Any time SS promises to make things right, I roll my eyes and put my fighting gloves on. Here is how it usually plays out: Continue reading

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We’re on the Mad Fientist and Shop My Closet Podcasts!


Hello Mad Fientist!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 6.32.58 AMPlease join me for a short journey in the Wayback MachineThe year was 2013. 1500 Days was less than a year old and since I was enjoying writing for the blog, I figured that it would be a good idea to go to FinCon, a conference for finance media creators.

The first night of the conference, I attended an opening night party. I was a bit terrified, standing there (beer in hand) surrounded by strange faces. Out of the blue, the guy next to me said something like:

Hey, I enjoy your blog.

Continue reading

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Ask the Boss: Do you know who I am?

Today, Mr. 1500 writes an Ask the Reader with a twist. Today’s question is directed to one person, his boss.

First, I must address last week’s pressing question, What makes you feel financially guilty? Even before that, Mr. 1500 has a special announcement.

Ladies, I was absolutely devastated to learn how much bras cost. I thought Mrs. 1500 was off the hook paying $33 for one. Then, I learned that many of you pay much, much more. The boobie tyranny ends now.

I’ve been working all week on a bra that won’t break the bank and today, I’m proud to show you the first fruits of my labor. Today, I introduce the Double Duty Budget Boobie:

Sport one of these and you'll be the envy of your friend's and family


The Double Duty Budget Boobie is made of only the highest quality materials, including the finest duct tape money can buy. The innovation doesn’t stop there though. This bra features a unique, bungee cord fastening system. That’s right ladies, no more fidgeting with those pesky hooks. You can get this baby on and off in seconds.

The most innovative bra in decades

The most innovative bra in decades

How much would you pay for style and innovation like this? And really ladies, this bra is art as much as it is support. I’ll bet you’re all thinking $100! Maybe even $150. Nope. I’m proud to bring you the Double Duty Budget Boobie for the low, low price of $9.95. (Mrs. 1500 note: I have contributed 0% to this “invention” of his. In no way do I endorse this product.”)

I know what you’re all thinking:

“How can I get my hands on this!?!?!? I need it now!”

The wait is almost over. Mrs. 1500 is doing some final testing on the prototype. More news soon. (Mrs. 1500 note: I’m not doing any testing of any type for this product.)

Wow, lots of you had comments about this topic. Many of you feel financially guilty when you go out to restaurants. Yeah, me too. TMM from The Mini Millionaire recently went to a craft fair and took all craft items for sale, but left lunch at home and had to run out and buy it from a restaurant. I’ve done similar…

Fervent Finance buys lunch all too often. He says he prefers deli sandwiches to leftovers. I get that, too. I used to be so anti-leftovers. A compromise there could be to make your own deli sandwiches…

Ali from Anything You Want enjoys the dining experience, but then wonders how that money could have been better spent.

Bryan from Just One More Year also enjoys the experience but felt guilty. He said once he doubled his meal budget he no longer feels that way. Maybe I need to double my clothing budget…

Done by Forty also spends too much on food, and that budget negative carries forward every month. Maybe he doesn’t allot enough for food in the first place? He says it could be eliminated, so maybe that is the source of the guilt.

David from The Debt Free Guys says they also spend too much on food. They try to lower the expense by using Groupons but not always. I hear you… I end up buying the Groupon and then it expires. Sigh. We have had to stop buying them altogether, or when a spectacular deal pops up, we make plans to go before we buy.

Many of you were surprised that I could find a well-fitting bra for such a low price. Reader Tara has friends who regularly pay $150 for a bra. Reader Amy didn’t say how much she spent, but she also recently won the supportive-undergarment lottery and found two that fit.(Reader Matt W. “…almost spit out my morning coffee while reading “I went back to the rack” in the context of bra shopping. Maybe a man thing. …” Yeah, I definitely didn’t see that when I wrote it.)

Hannah from Unplanned Finance is fine with spending money for undergarments as they do double duty – important for both her and her sex life. Sigh, mine aren’t even pretty. Just functional…

Leigh from Leigh’s Financial Journey spends $75 on a bra. Frankie’s Girl also spends about that much per bra. Maybe I should reword this post – “look how much I saved on bras?”

I started writing this yesterday. We went outside to work in the yard before it got too hot (outside temps are still hitting 90 every day here in Colorado despite being almost October…) and while we were outside, a neighbor came over to talk with us. Mr. 1500 got to talking with him about the neighbor’s motorcycle. Mr. 1500 wants one for himself, but cannot justify the purchase, as he works from home and therefore has no place to drive it.

So having a motorcycle makes him feel financially guilty. I wanted to share that with all of you, so you know, even if he didn’t comment on last week’s post.

Mr. 1500 note: I love motorcycles. There is nothing like leaning into a fun turn at healthy (unhealthy?) speed. I just don’t have any good justification for one. Perhaps in retirement when my time is free, I’ll get one to cruise around the mountains in the summer. It would be fun to take on hiking adventures.

Mrs. 1500 note: Get the bike!

And with that, I turn it over to him, so he can ask this week’s question…

Have I been discovered?

Continue reading

Posted in Ask the readers | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

10 Questions with FI Big Sky

Today is the 18th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today’s 10 questions features Mr. and Mrs. FI Under the Big Sky. They hail from Montana, and discovered the concept of Financial Independence through Brave New Life. They fell in love with the idea of ditching their 9-5 in pursuit of more travel. You can follow them and their dog Russell over at

FI Big Sky

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Bragging isn’t our strong point, so we’ll do our best here. We think our blog is pretty neat because we are one of the few (that we know of) in the financial independence community located in Montana. Plus we have an adorable dog named Russell, who has pictures in many of our posts. So if you want some personal finance with a side of cute, this is the blog for you!

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
We’re hoping to reach out to and inspire those who maybe don’t have the highest income, but want to live without debt and become financially independent. We’re not perfect, and we’re still figuring out how to improve our savings vs earnings process, but we hope to find success at the end of our journey and have a story that others can use as an example to find their own freedom.

What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
Short term, we hope to build and strengthen relationships within the financial community while growing our little blog. Long term we hope to have written about a successful journey to financial independence, where we pursued our interests, professionally or otherwise, while traveling the globe whenever we want! Continue reading

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Now is the Time

Rut: An uninspired, possibly unhealthy routine or pattern of behavior that one continues because change is difficult.

The best time to start working on your dreams is right now.

dream big

I always encourage you to Dream Big, but the guy on the left went a little nuts

The thing about ruts is that often you don’t realize that you’re in one. The changes that lead you there are gradual and subtle, so they go unnoticed. A slow descent. It took me at least a year to realize that I was in one. It all started last weekend.

Too much beer, not enough sleep

Last week, Mrs. 1500 and I went to the FinCon conference (big meetup for money media types) and I came away disappointed in myself. This was my 3rd year going, but it was the least beneficial. The conference itself had nothing to do with it; it was better than ever. The blame is all on me; I had too much beer and too little sleep.

Hey look, more free beer!!!

When I’m tired, my brain doesn’t work at anywhere near full capacity. Awkward social situations become even more awkward and my brain doesn’t record information like it’s supposed to. I was not at the top of my game because my priorities weren’t in the right place.

Mrs. 1500 tells it like it is

On the drive back from the conference, Mrs. 1500 and I were making plans for the rest of the year. At some point in the conversation, she said to me: Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: What Makes You Feel Financially Guilty? (And Bra Wars)

Bras mean nothing to me, because dinosaurs don't have boobs!

Bras mean nothing to me, because dinosaurs don’t have boobs!

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 this morning, here to talk about financial guilt.

But first, let’s recap last week’s answers where we asked how much do you need?

Reader Beth gave me a HUGE piece of advice. “…for most of the stuff I’ve gotten rid of, I rarely think “wow, I wish I’d kept that.” And for the times I have, I just shrug and make do because it’s usually not a big deal.”

I need to remember this, because of all the things I have donated, I rarely even think about them again, and when I do, it isn’t a big deal.

Mr. Budgets from Mr. and Mrs. Budgets recommended a book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown who recommends asking tough questions. Rather than, “Is there a chance I will wear this someday in the future?” ask “Do I love this?”

Thanks, Mr. Budgets. I can think of lots of things in my wardrobe that I don’t love.

Brian from Debt Discipline channeled Mr. 1500 by saying, “…I find our stuff gets misplaced and we spend to much time looking for it, or it stressed us out because we know we have it and can’t find it.” So true.

Chad from Coach Carson lived in one unit of a 4-plex he owned. Right before the first baby came, they moved up into a 1500 sq ft house. “What did we add stuff-wise that mattered? A rocking chair, maybe? Nothing else I can really think of that changed my life for the better.”

Yeah, having this stuff doesn’t change my life for the better. I still lose the one brush my daughters prefer and then have to hunt for it – usually 3 minutes before we have to leave for school. The littlest 1500 loves to play in those pillowcases, so they’re always dirty and have to be washed before I can use them anyway. Having extras doesn’t make my life easier… I just wish it was easier to get rid of it.

So now we get to this week’s question, What Makes You Feel Financially Guilty? Continue reading

Posted in Ask the readers | Tagged , | 69 Comments