Reader Guest Post: Todd, a Man of Many Hats

I usually don’t do much in the way of guest posts, but reader Todd wrote a fun little diddy that I can’t help but publish. Todd may be the master of delayed gratification (what are you on Todd and can I buy it?), so he fits the FIRE mode very well.

Todd loves hats.  I love hats too, so I’ll warm you up by showing you some of mine:

From left to right: Fake military boonie hat that I bought on the beach in San Diego, a baseball cap that a reader gave me and... crap, you weren't supposed to see that one. Move along now.

From left to right: Fake military boonie hat that I bought on the beach in San Diego, a baseball cap that a reader gave me and… crap, you weren’t supposed to see that one. Move along now.

Take it away Todd!

I am a loyal reader of 1500 Days (I’ve spent the last six months going back and reading EVERY post Mr. and Mrs. 1500 have ever wrote) and recently felt inspired to write a post of my own about a recent purchase.

Our four hats

When I was younger, I had this weird habit of getting a present and seeing how long I could go without opening it. Sometimes I’d last a few weeks, sometimes a few months, and as I got older, I remember letting one sit, still wrapped, in my closet for nearly 10 years (it was an 8th grade graduation gift from the school that I ended up opening when cleaning out my bedroom after I completed college). I guess this is one of those early signs of an individual who would eventually seek out FIRE. Delayed gratification at its finest. Continue reading

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Performance Update 44/50: The Incredible Power of Uncertainty

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal a couple months ago, but believe that it’s a worthwhile exercise to continue with my financial updates until the end of 1500 Days, so I continue.

It’s time to take a look back at August. But first, I’ll discuss something I’ve been thinking about for a while: uncertainty.

The Interview Question that I Hate Most

This is how I dressed for job interviews. Just kidding. Maybe...

This is how I dressed for job interviews. Just kidding. Maybe…

I always despised this question in job interviews:

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

Because I’m pathetic, I’d make up something that I thought the interviewer wanted to hear:

I see myself in positions of increasing responsibility. Maybe I’ll be a team lead or system architect.

If I were honest, I would have answered:

I’d like to be doing exactly what I do now; writing code. I have no aspirations to do anything else including designing systems or management of any kind. And I really mean that last part. I never want to manage anyone. Ever.

If I had found the path to Financial Independence, I would have answered:

If I’m still spending 8-9 hours a day in a 36 square foot cube, going out for “happy” lunches when a co-worker has a birthday, sitting through annual performance appraisals, hoping that I don’t get fired when the CEO does something stupid and sales crater, I’ll have considered myself a failure.

If my life works out how I planned, I have no idea what I’ll be doing. Whatever it is, I won’t be doing it here.

The Joy of Uncertainty

I love uncertainty. Before I explain, there is one important and crucial exception: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Gwen from Fiery Millennials

Today is the 62nd edition of our guest post series called 10 Questions. It also will be one of the last. Everything must come to an end and 10 Questions will say ‘”Good bye!” at the end of 2016. If you’ve already sent me your answers or told me that you’re going to be doing so, don’t worry; I’m still going to publish you.

I love the Financial Independence (FI) community. By far, the best part of blogging is connecting with like minded people. In some cases, I’ve been able to meet some of you in my real life. Gwen, from Fiery Millennials, is one such person.

Gwen is a great example of someone who has studied life, figured out how to optimize it and is pursuing the good goal full throttle. The best part is that she’s only in her 20s!

In my opinion, the most inspirational folks are the ones who have somehow acquired wisdom far beyond their years at a young age. Gwen is going to kick some serious ass in life. Pay attention folks!

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Tell us about your blog

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

I started Fiery Millennials to help other Millennials realize not only can we still retire, but we can retire way earlier than normal. At 25, I’m one of the youngest people in the FIRE world, so I have trouble relating to other blogs that are written by older married couples with kids and I thought others might have a similar problem so I started my own. I demonstrate saving for retirement, living below your means, and having fun while doing so!

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!). Continue reading

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10 Questions with Finance Superhero

Today is the 61st edition of our guest post series called 10 Questions. It also will be one of the last. Everything must come to an end and 10 Questions will say ‘”Good bye!” at the end of 2016. If you’ve already sent me your answers or told me that you’re going to be doing so, don’t worry; I’m still going to publish you.

After making money mistakes, and conquering a mountain of student loan debt, Mr. Hero took his fascination with personal finance and love of writing and combined them into a site “dedicated to the protection of finances by defeating common ‘money myths,’ combating threats to financial well-being (such as the consumer lifestyle, debt, mismanaged assets, and lack of a game plan), and ‘Restoring Order to the World of Finance,’ one post at a time.”

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Before I begin my shameless self-promotion, I wish to think Mr. and Mrs. 1500 for the opportunity to share about FinanceSuperhero.com. Since joining the personal finance blogging community, I have been very encouraged by the kind support of countless bloggers, including Mr. and Mrs. 1500.

After reading several posts in the 10 Questions series, I felt inspired to share my story. I’m going to play by the rules and stick to 10 questions.

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
FinanceSuperhero.com is a blog dedicated to Restoring Order to the World of Finance. I chose the FinanceSuperhero moniker because I am just an average, normal guy by day and a personal finance fanatic by night. I am not a financial professional. I do not have any fancy letters to place behind my name or in my e-mail signature. As a result, my stories and opinions are honest, relatable, and easy to understand.

I write primarily about the personal side of personal finance, and I specifically enjoy exploring the impact of relationships on personal finance. I learned a majority of my financial lessons from my grandfather, whom I refer to in my blog as Superhero Grandpa. Continue reading

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Thursday Rant: Burritos, Bankruptcy and Living in Boxes

Recently we were on Yahoo!. Not once, but twice. That’s Mrs. 1500 and I down there:

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This was by far, the biggest exposure this little blog has ever had:

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!!!

This led to:

  • Me freaking out: Seeing your own face on the front page of a major website looking back at you is humbling and uncomfortable.
  • The server freaking out: Bluehost was humbled as well. The blog went down in very short order. (This problem was fixed by sending Bluehost some more money.)
  • Friends, family and co-workers freaking out: “DUDE, you’re on Yahoo! And it says you have $1,000,000??!!!” (Unlike Bluehost, no one has asked me to send them money.)
  • Me freaking out some more: Mrs 1500 was like, “Calm down you nut!”

And:

  • Lots of emails: Almost all were nice and polite. People just want to know how I’ve done this or that. And I love the skepticism. You should totally be skeptical of some anonymous dude on the internet.
meanpants

An actual photo of Mr. MeanPants, who ironically doesn’t wear pants

Anyway, I have a long post coming up where I answer the questions, but I’d like to get one out of the way because I get it frequently. Also, it annoys me. Readers have phrased it many different ways. Here is a small sample:

What will you do if the stock market tanks after you retire?

What if you run out of money?

And Mr. MeanPants had this to say:

Dude, you don’t have enough. Your [sic] going to go broke before you know it. Bye bye house, hello cardboard box!

Mr. MeanPants’ vision of my future: Continue reading

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Book Report: The Recovering Spender by Lauren Greutman

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today.

I’ve been meaning to write more frequent book reports, but then I got that new job and life sort of takes over. Recently, I received a review copy of a book that was written by an acquaintance of mine, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to get out of it.

3d-book-recovering-spenderIt’s called The Recovering Spender: How to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, Debt-Free Life, written by Lauren Greutman.

I already live a happy, fulfilled, debt-free life. But I have read a lot from her, and she’s a smart woman. We have similar views on many things, and we’re both moms. So I signed up to be part of her book launch, which included receiving a copy of her book.

It arrived, and I put it aside. “I’ll get to it when I have a chance.” But then I woke up early a couple of days after it came, and I picked it up.

She makes a pretty powerful statement in her Introduction.

“I have tried it all – the cheats, the quick fixes – but they all failed me. Why? Because I wasn’t willing to do the hard work that it takes to get it done the right way, which is often the harder way.”

Read that again. “…because I wasn’t willing to do the hard work…”

If you aren’t willing to do the hard work, you aren’t going to see the same results that Lauren had.

If you aren’t willing to do the hard work, you shouldn’t buy the book. Wait until you’re ready to do the work.

Spending IS an Addiction

She starts off the first chapter talking about her “Spending Addiction.” She describes spending in much the same way an alcoholic would describe vodka or a heroin addict would describe smack.

I was actually really surprised to read about some of the big financial mistakes she made. Lauren Greutman and I are in several of the same groups on Facebook, mainly for Financial Media. And while there are many other writers in our groups who have debt, Lauren has always seemed to have her stuff together. Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: The Trouble with Ambition

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Deep thoughts: 55% more on 1500 Days than the next leading blog!

I did some deep thinking about my life, goals and plans over the weekend. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be able to reconcile my workaholic personality with a life of freedom. More on that in a moment.

First, we must get to the answers from a couple weeks ago when I asked if you ad your partner/spouse/organism your share your life with are on the same page. Here are some

Reader TinaP may have had the best comment. She is very different from her husband, yet they have found compromise. Also, note how she wove farts into her answer:

My hubby and I are on two different hemispheres. He loves to buy things – he brings things in and I pack it out 🙂 We were married later in life with kids and individual debts, so rather than combining everything we opened a joint “household” account and kept the rest of our finances separate which was one of the smartest decisions we have made. He 100% supports me, without any shaming, in my decision not to spend to desire to become FI and plans when I reach that point. I, on the other hand, am not near as supportive as I should be and am working hard on reminding myself that the FI life is not for everyone and that is ok. We do laugh about farts – and even let them go in public and outwardly blame our kids as we walk away, so we are definitely in the comfort area based on the above mentioned criteria. I just need to let go of the control and appreciate his love for things a little more. Work in progress.

Like so many other Mrs. and Mr. Picky Pincher fell under the spell of a certain mustache:

I think it’s so, so important to be on the same page with your spouse. Mr. Picky Pincher and I also started out reading the illustrious MMM, which really set a fire under our feet to retire early. We’re shooting to retire in our late thirties/early forties, and we never could have done it without being on the same page.

Reader Mary is married to a Wattage Waster as well:

Regarding lights, thermostat, reducing waste in general (order WATER for goodness sakes!), I harp on things a bit too much, I fear. I am the one who scours for a cheaper electric plan, better insurance, cheaper travel options, etc. So I’ve created a monster in some ways. All seems to rest on my shoulders, but I’m also reluctant to give up control. Not ideal in the partnership arena, but at least we don’t fight over competing viewpoints that much.

And Michelle from Making Sense of Cents has survived the ultimate relationship test (you are very brave):

Me and my husband RV full-time, so we are literally next to each other ALL THE TIME. We always get asked if we hate each other. If we did, we wouldn’t RV!

The Trouble with Ambition 

The biggest problem with ambition is that nothing you achieve ever feels like enough. –Leap by

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. –George Bernard Shaw

I want to buy a house near me that’s in poor condition. It needs a new roof, the weeds have conquered the yard and I suspect that the inside has devolved into an apocalyptic nightmare. Just my type of house! If I manage to get my hands on it, I’ll fix it up and then either Airbnb it, rent it or sell it.

I was talking to a friend recently about my plans for the house:

First, I’ll tear the roof off and put a metal one on. Then, I’ll do battle with the weeds. I’ll put a coat of paint on the outside and then I’ll start tearing up the inside.

Then, I had this thought: Continue reading

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10 Questions with New American Dream

Today is the 60th edition of our guest post series called 10 Questions. It also will be one of the last. Everything must come to an end and 10 Questions will bid adieu at the end of 2016. If you’ve already sent me your answers or told me that you’re going to be doing so, don’t worry; I’m still going to publish you.

Today, we feature Johnny who redefines the American Dream. Check out his manifesto to see what the New American Dream is all about.

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What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?

The long term goal for my site is to create a living journal that I can leave behind after I am gone.  Right now I do not have kids however, I plan on having them sooner or later, and I would like them to have a record of me as I am now, still learning, still trying to make myself better.

For the short term is to start generating some cash from the site, easier said than done of course with this competitive niche but I have a few things in the pipeline to hopefully start generating some cash sooner than later.

Do you enjoy writing?

It’s funny, growing up reading and writing where by far my weakest things. Sometime after graduation I found a old program my dad bought called photoreading. It changed the way I viewed reading. I started reading two or three books week. With all that new knowledge I took to writing because I thought I could help people as well.  Fast forward about eight years later and while I still think writing is my weakest talent I enjoy it a great deal and hope to write a few fiction and nonfiction books here in the near future.

1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire? Continue reading

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Sappy Happy Lazy Picture Edition

I’m taking the week off from the blog (Translation: I’m on vacation and too lazy to write posts). Instead, I’ll update you on my life with some some nice pictures.

The girl’s playhouse is almost done!

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Next year, I’ll do the zipline and Komodo dragon/piranha pit: Continue reading

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10 Questions with 60 Minute Finance

Today is the 50th 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 meet John from 60 Minute Finance. John is a CPA in Virginia, who writes about educating and empowering individuals and couples to make well-reasoned decisions regarding their personal finances, by spending 60 minutes per month on personal financial management.

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
My blog, 60minutefinance.com, was born from the idea that most of us over complicate personal finance and investing.  We convince ourselves that surely there is a magic formula that would lead to instant wealth if only we knew it.  Truthfully, there is no formula, of course.  It’s been my experience that wealth building (for most of us anyway) is really a series of a many little decisions made over many years.

My premise is that all we need to spend on our finances is about an hour – just 60 minutes – a month to win with money.  Initially it will probably take longer than an hour, but I believe most people can get there.  If they accept that premise, I hope it will be an encouragement to stick with the process while they’re getting more efficient.

The posts on the site focus on helping others get to that sixty minute goal.

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
In all honesty, I’m not trying to change the world, just help families control their money instead of spinning their wheels.  I do believe that controlling our cash, paying off our debts and gaining flexibility in our lives can lead to some incredible things.  Think what you could do if you weren’t tied to working 40, 50, 60 hours a week!  More people with that kind of flexibility are how you change the world! Continue reading

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