Ask the Readers: Read anything good lately?

Hoooooo, weeeeeee!!! I type this from Omaha where I’m at the end of a little road trip. First, I drove from Colorado to Chicago with a pit stop in Wisconsin. I spent the week in the Windy City doing actual work (shudder). On Thursday, I jumped back in the Honda Element and headed west. I stopped here in Omaha where I met Mrs. 1500 to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.  Other friends attending included Income Surfer, Even Steven and the Penny Planters.


Berkshire Hathaway is Warren Buffett’s little holding company and the shareholder weekend is always a blast. On Saturday, we attended the actual meeting followed by a Mr. Money Mustache meetup.

Frugalsaurus and Spendosaurus ham it up for the camera

Frugalsaurus and Spendosaurus ham it up for the camera

I made a horrible mistake when I formally committed to the Berkshire 5K by paying the $50 entry fee. No backing out after I parted with the money.

On Sunday, the day of the 5K,  I woke up to horrible weather. It was cold and raining. I am a poor athlete to begin with, so I dreaded the 5k and now it would be even worse. It was all downhill from there (except the actual 5K, which was mostly uphill). A couple minutes before we departed, I realized that I didn’t pack my knee brace that holds the IT band syndrome at bay. Shit! Continue reading

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10 Questions with the Finance Zombie

Today is the 46th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

Today, for the first time, we feature a zombie! Not just any zombie though, the Finance Zombie! Everyone knows that the undead have an appetite for brains. Not many know that zombies are also financial wizards. Today’s zombie comes all the way across the pond from the UK!

The Finance Zombie

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
First of all, thanks so for much for having me.  Hello Mr and Mrs. 1500days and 1500days readers, all the way from the west coast of England.  It’s like London, but with much, much, more drizzle.

I started the finance zombie around September 2014, following some pretty intensive reading sessions in the summer.  One lunchtime at work was spent researching saving strategies for retirement, in truth I was looking for a little pat on the back,.  I was saving 20% towards retirement and knew this was more than plenty of my peers, so assumed I was some kind of savings god.

“You are a Mega Savings God” – is what I wanted confirmed by the Internet.

Talk about a smack upside the head.

Meh, you are ok” – the Internet told me.I stumbled across loads of blogs about saving for financial freedom or financial independence.  Queue reading for about 3 hours straight then working late to make up for it, haha.  It blew my mind clean off it’s hinges, there were people out there saving more than 50% of their income and there were others who were already ‘retired’, younger than me (I was 32 then) and living the good life.  I was hooked.  So I decided to get super serial about saving and trying to get the option of retiring early. Continue reading

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On bended knee is no way to be free

IMG_20160421_190856420_HDRI’m on the road for a work trip. Flying is boring, so I drove instead. On Friday, I jumped in the old Honda Element and made my way to Iowa. I met up with the Gwen (Fiery Millennials) and Reader Ginnie* for dinner. On Saturday, my first stop was at the the National Motorcycle Museum followed by a quick visit to the takeout counter at Toppling Goliath, a world renowned brewery in rural farm country. On Saturday evening, I met up with Kyle from Kythesis. Kyle treated me to some of his home brewed beer and then we hit the town for some adventure**.

This week will keep me plenty busy, so I’m signing off for now. Don’t worry though; my incessant bleating will return before you know it.

One more thing before I go though. I was listening to random music on the drive. One album which I greatly enjoy is Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild soundtrack. It occurred to me that the last track, Guaranteed, captures the spirit of FI perfectly. My version of it anyway. What do you think? Continue reading

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10 Questions with Mr. Tako Escapes

Today is the 45th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

Today we feature Mr. Tako from Mr. Tako Escapes. As Mr. Tako explains on the blog, “tako” is the Japanese word for octopus. Octopi are amazing creatures, known for their escape abilities. Just ask Inky. Oh wait, you can’t ask him because he escaped from the aquarium and went back to the ocean. Well played Inky.

Just like Inky, Mr. Tako escaped. Not from a glass tank, but from his job. He managed to accumulate $2,000,000 in 14 years without making big money. Impressive.

I really like the last line on this page. Mr. Tako knows how to live:

Financial independence is only just the beginning…

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
We prominently feature octopi. Personal finance with tentacles, that’s financial tentacle­porn people! We’ve got to compete with Mr. 1500 and his duct­-tape bra after all!

I’m too humble to say “my blog is great”, but I do offer a different perspective. Many personal finance blogs trumpet the exact same advice: Pay off debt, invest in your 401k/IRA, and save lots. That’s actually good advice. I did all those things myself, but those are the BASICs. The ABC’s and 123’s. Nothing wrong with the basics, (a lot of folks need to learn those too) but if someone really wants to retire­ early, you might want to take a slightly more advanced course.

At Mr. Tako Escapes, we’re going to cover things like stock investments, REITs, discounted cash-flow, early retirement with kids, investing in preferred shares, creating float, and focusing on business returns (not market returns). That, and tentacles. Continue reading

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10 Questions with The Hidden Green

Hey everyone, it’s Earth Day! Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all political, but I have some stuff to say before I turn the post over.

When I was in Boy Scouts, one of our mottos was to leave an area a better place than it was when we arrived there. After we had broken down camp, we’d scour the campsite, leaving it as pristine as possible.

I wish to apply the same principal to my life. Through donating my money, volunteering, instilling good values in my children and living right, I hope to die knowing that my existence positively impacted the world.

No matter what you believe about global warming, eating animals, politics or <insert a hot-button issue>, isn’t it better to take and consume as little as possible? Isn’t it better to treat the people and creatures around you with respect and dignity? I think it is and I hope you do too.

Today is the 44th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

Today’s 10 Questions on Green Day comes from Ryland at The Hidden Green. Ryland’s blog has a green twist to it, so he asked if I could publish hist 10 Questions on Earth Day.

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
The Hidden Green is about growing your stash by wasting less and living better.

My articles dig deep into social norms. Why do we follow them? I give readers a new view that uncovers how to live a more creative, efficient, and fun life that boosts their stash while they’re at it – the hidden green. Oh, and each article comes with one of my favorite songs. :) Continue reading

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$1,120,000! FI!! (and a bad case of Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia)

All the rusted signs we ignore throughout our lives,
Choosing the shiny ones instead.

Thumbing my Way, Pearl Jam



Whoah, last week was interesting. If you’ve been paying close attention, you know that I made my goal*,**:

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And here is the proof:

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Personal Capital! <— WARNING!: Affiliate link! Do NOT click!


What did I do to celebrate? I took the family out to Dairy Queen for a treat. And let me tell you, I went off the deep end. No little cone or mini-sundae for me. As soon as I laid eyes on the Triple Chocolate Brownie, my lizard brain took over and all willpower flew out the window. I scarfed it down with reckless abandon. This resulted in a painful case of sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia***.

540 wonderful calories

540 wonderful calories****

Now that we got that big money goal out of the way, you’re probably expecting me to say something profound, important and moving. I too expected that I’d have something profound, important and moving to say. My brain had other plans: Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: What do you Fear?

Do you read Warren Buffett’s annual letter? I love Warren’s letters because they are filled with optimism. However. page 25 of this year’s letter is scary. More on that in a moment.

Ugly Business from two Weeks Ago

First, we have to get to the business from two weeks ago. And the business was not good. It was actually quite shitty (desperate times call for desperate words). I wrote about how my relentless pursuit of FI was coming in between Mrs. 1500 and I. We’ve been extremely busy with our jobs and our home remodeling project. We’ve let a whole lot go by the wayside, including our marriage. Some weeks, we almost live at Home Depot. Recently, I had this conversation with my youngest daughter:

  • Me: Do you know who this is? (I showed her a Pink Panther toy)
  • Daughter: Yes, he is on the boxes at Home Depot.


My kids probably know their way around Home Depot better than most adults.

Anyway, Mrs. 1500 and I both admitted that we felt disconnected from each other. Here is what you had to say on the matter: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Mortimer’s Money Machines

Today is the 43rd edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

Today we feature Mortimer from Mortimer’s Money Machines. Mortimer graduated from law school with almost $200,000 in debt. My college debt was $60,000 and I though that was bad. However, Mortimer has the right idea, so he isn’t going to struggle for long.

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1. Why Will Financial Superheroes Read and Recommend Your Blog?

Because they enjoy a good comedy show as much as the next person! Seriously though, Mortimer’s Money Machines arose out of twin concerns: first, there appear to be relatively few frugality blogs based on the parents’ perspective pre-financial independence, or debt freedom, and I wanted to contribute my experience and voice to the community about being a frugalparent.

Second, a ton of great advice exists in the blogosphere about eliminating debt and reaching financial independence, but I wanted to provide some concrete tools that users of the blog could use to help improve their own situation.  To that end, I created my own Debt Freedom Calculator which allows readers to take their debts and see strategies for paying them off more quickly using the “roll over” or “snowball” method.

Another of the Money Machines is a True Wage Calculator that allows readers to account for all the expenses that go along with working their current employment including travel, indulgent “I’ve earned it” luxuries, decompression time, extravagant vacations, wardrobe, etc. It will then show the reader’s hourly wage on paper and their true wage after accounting for all these hidden expenses. The tool allows readers to modify behavior to essentially give themselves a pay raise, or ditch their current job in favor of one that won’t require so many hidden expenses to maintain.

2. Short and Long Term Goals for the Blog Continue reading

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Buffett’s Beautiful Berky Blurbs

I love Warren Buffett. All of the following are true:

  • He is worth $66 billion.
  • In 2018, he’ll be appearing in a movie; “Superman versus Buffett.” Rumor has it that Charlie Munger is in negotiations to play Robin.
  • Buffett is giving almost his entire fortune to charity upon his death.
  • He has X-ray vision.
  • Buffett has outperformed the markets for over 50 years.
  • He can take the form of a rubber duck.

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The Letter

One of the most awesome things about Buffett is that he freely shares his knowledge in the Berkshire annual letter. The morning it hits the Internet, I wake up early (before the children start beating on each other) and give it a read. It’s almost as good as Christmas morning.

While Buffett doesn’t really have any superpowers, the man knows how to print money. Even better, he knows how to live.

Anyway, I shared my favorite parts of this year’s letter on a post over at InvestmentZen. You’ll never have as much money as Buffett, but you can live pretty great if you follow his advice.

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Life is consuming me from all fronts. I had last week off of work. Unfortunately, my big plans to get loads of stuff done went up in flames when our youngest came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. This sounds a lot more serious than it actually is and she is all better now. However, for a while, she was unable to walk which meant that I was carrying her around everywhere.

Part of daughter's sickness involved a trip to urgent care. We had to take a urine sample. Let's just say that the collection part was a debacle. Sorry janitorial staff at urgent care...

Part of daughter’s sickness involved a trip to urgent care. At the of the appointment, we had to take a urine sample. Let’s just say that the collection part was a debacle. Sorry janitorial staff at urgent care…

The good news is that I invented a new workout program. It’s called PChildx. The premise is simple; carry your kid around everywhere. You say that you don’t have a child? It just so happens that I have one you can borrow who is relatively virus free. I’ll have the DVDs for sale right here on 1500 Days before the end of the month.


Greatest Hits

While I attempt to right the ship that is my chaotic life, please enjoy some of my favorite posts:

Swingers!: My neighbors have an interesting side hustle; sex parties! I can’t make this stuff up.

Millionaires next Door: Aside from the sex parties, I live on a street that appears modest. But it turns out that at least 10% of my neighbors are millionairesThe Millionaire Next Door is for real.

DeathDeath by Retirement was my most popular post. My parents’ retirement was killing them. They’re doing better now, but there is still a lesson here that is critically important.

Bad Sister: While we’re on the topic of wayward family members, younger sister hasn’t always been on the right path. I had more fun writing SpongeSister, the Three Laws of Lazymotion and how to Avoid being eaten by Dinosaurs than any other post.

Another NeighborEnough was inspired by a wayward neighbor who has since moved on. She thinks she moved up, but what she really did was sacrifice years of retirement to the God of Lifestyle Inflation.


Back Next Week

I hope to be back on Monday. I have loads of ideas, just not much time. Never forget that time is your most precious asset.

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