Day 1500

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lau Tzu


Day 1500 is here:

Well that flew by

The Journey: Days 1 – 1500

Day 1 (January 2013)

When I started this blog, I was running away from a stressful situation (work). Not only did I not know where I was going, I didn’t even realize how important it was to have a destination. I only knew that I was running to a pile of money that would allow me to be free from the shackles and worries of work. I had never considered what came after that. How foolish I was.

I also had no expectations for the blog. I wanted to keep myself publicly accountable, but at the core, I started 1500 Days because I always enjoyed writing.

Somewhere around Day 1000

And then it hit me:

You can’t quit your job just for the sake of quitting. You’ll be bored if you have nothing to retire to.

“Oh shit!”, I thought. What was I going to do now? I can’t quit my job. What do I do with this blog? The internet police will tear me a new one when I tell them I’m going to continue working because I fear boredom. I was lost and felt ridiculous.

Day 1000 to the Present

After much deliberate thought, the answers started to materialize.

I noticed that on rare days off when the children were in school and I didn’t have to work:

  • I’d spend 2 hours at the gym instead of 40 minutes.
  • I’d spend hours at the library, reading magazines, newspapers and random books.
  • I’d write for hours, often working on five posts at once.
  • I’d spend more time with the children. After school, I’d take my time helping them with their homework and then we’d going for a walk or play games.

On these days off, I’d reflect before bed. I noticed that I was a happier person. I even fell asleep easier (one of my constant struggles).

More than anything, I noticed that I never had enough time. Even when my work schedule went to three days per week, my Mondays and Fridays flew by.


Day 1500+

Not my circus, not my monkeys. -Polish proverb

And, I’ve realized that the life that many of us accept as normal isn’t for me. Working until 62 sounds like torture. The world is wide and I want to experience it. There won’t be enough time in the years that I have left, but I’ll do what I can with what I have.

And I don’t think I’m so different from you. Most of us don’t take the time to consider a life of freedom because the concept is so foreign. I never once thought about financial independence before discovering Mr. Money Mustache. However, I think that deep down, most of us have passions that we’d start following tomorrow if a mysterious uncle left us $10,000,000.

To follow my own passions, I have to leave parts of my life behind.

I can’t be who I want to be;
I can’t do what I want to do;
I can’t live how I want to live;
without letting go.

It’s slightly scary, but mostly amazing.

I’m so thankful for it all.


Epilogue: I owe you so much more. My journey isn’t yet complete. One of the underlying themes of this blog is quitting work and I still have a job. At a minimum, I owe you an explanation of where 1500 Days is going. More on Monday.

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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127 Responses to Day 1500

  1. Jason says:

    Congratulations on hitting Day 1500. It is like commencement or graduation. However, commencement is only a beginning, not the end. And this is just certainly the beginning for you all. Look forward to reading more. Congratulations once again.

  2. I love the realization that you need to retire TO something rather than FROM something. I think early retirement offers you the freedom to pursue those interests you normally wouldn’t be able to with a 9-5 job. I’m very excited to see where the blog will go from here, thanks for sharing and congratulations 🙂

  3. Kyle says:

    The years flew by. Congratulations, 1500 days and you hit all your goals.

  4. “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” might be the most succinct and apt description of leaving the working world that I’ve heard.

    Congratulations on hitting day 1500. Looking forward to 1500 more.

  5. Congratulations on hitting the make and continuing to grow! I’m excited to see where your life takes you 🙂

  6. Wow congrats! I’ve been following your story for about 1000 of those days and it’s incredible how quickly they’ve gone by!
    Ellie @ The Chedda recently posted…My Most Profitable Side GigMy Profile

  7. Congratulations on hitting day 1500. One of the most interesting things about the journey is that time does continue to march forward, whether we want it or not, whether we’re ready for it or not or whether we have a plan or not. Since we know that is the reality of the situation, we might as well march forward with a plan.

    It’s been so much fun following along. Thanks for writing.

  8. Congrats on hitting your milestone! It has been fun following your journey the last couple years and I look forward to hearing more on Monday!
    The Green Swan recently posted…A FIRE-Side Chat with ERNMy Profile

  9. Matthew in Michigan says:

    Congratulations! Following your journey has kept me inspired to keep saving and stop spending. Excited to see where your blog goes from here.

  10. Congrats on hitting 1500 days. I look forward to the reading about the next phase of your journey, I’m sure it will be memorable, with plenty of Airplane, which ever direction you go.
    Fulltimefinance recently posted…Persistence and Financial SuccessMy Profile

  11. Congrats on hitting day 1500!!! I love reading the journey that you’ve been on and can’t wait to hear your next adventure.

    I think fear is a great motivator for future success. I think you’re gonna crush 1500+ days!!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Budgeting for a VacationMy Profile

  12. Congratulations on this epic milestone.

    I have been a regular reader for years, well before I began commenting. Your story has directly inspired me, and the insights you’ve shared have helped too. Thank you for that.

    So curious to see what is in store now…
    Freedom 40 Plan recently posted…How to Invest in Gold and Silver CoinsMy Profile

  13. Brian says:

    Congrats on hitting the milestone! Looking forward to what’s next. Enough with the cliff hanger! 🙂
    Brian recently posted…Interview Series: From Cents to RetirementMy Profile

  14. JC says:

    Hard to believe it’s been 1500 days. It really doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago. Of course that’s one of the big perks of going after FI: so that you can own your time. Looking forward to following your journey from 1501 and on.

  15. Miss Mazuma says:

    I can only imagine what the past 4+ years has felt like leading up to this very day. That horizon On the distance is finally here – Congrats!! Though you haven’t quit work, that is just a small part of the overall goal. Ultimately you’ve learned what is most important in life, how your days flow, you’ve had more time with your family. That’s the end goal for most and you’ve managed to get there regardless of a job. Id say that’s a great reason to celebrate!!

  16. RocDoc says:

    Congratulations and well done! I’ve sure enjoyed reading about your journey. You are a gifted writer. I wonder if you knew you had this writing talent before you started the blog?

  17. We wait with baited breath for Monday!!!! Congrats on hitting this long-awaited day. And, I couldn’t agree more on the “retiring to” element of the plan. I think it’s just as crucial, but so much more elusive than the financial side of things.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…A Car Battery And Other January 2017 ExpendituresMy Profile

    • “I think it’s just as crucial, but so much more elusive than the financial side of things.”

      Yes, very elusive indeed! I’m so thankful to have found the work I really want to do. And, I’m thankful you found it too. Can’t hardly wait to visit!

  18. Tim says:

    Boooo enough with the anticlimactic melodrama

  19. Chris says:

    Congrats! I’m both excited and nervous to see what you do with the blog. JLCollins gave me the road map, Mr. Money Mustache gave me a swift kick in the pants. But your blog has been the one that has always given me hope and drive. I really hope the story continues!!

  20. Whoah. I can’t believe day 1500 is here. I’m quite interested in the update on Monday. And the reason you’re still working. And how that maximizes your happiness.

  21. Mr. 1500,
    Congratulations on hitting your milestone. Now you can set another goal for 1500 days from today, so you don’t need a new domain name.

  22. That has been quite a journey and I have had the pleasure of following you along the past few months/years. I understand your trepidation of the unknown and glad to hear you found that you were enjoying your free time more and was helping you sleep. No doubt, it’s the reduced stress as you reached closer to your FI goals.

    You remain an inspiration 😊

  23. Danny says:

    As a casual reader who has been following your journey since almost the beginning, it has been amazing how much you and your family’s outlook on live has changed for the better. I remember the posts about annoying neighbors, butt crack builders, Thursday Rants (which I miss greatly), and lots of dinosaurs haha! I think you are correct as around the 1,000 day mark the attitude of this blog changed…for the better. A lot of your posts became much more positive, and it was very noticeable in your writing (at least in my opinion). I’ve learned a great deal of how to handle making the transition into FIRE just by reading about your experiences, and I can’t thank you enough for it. Looking forward to what you have to say on Monday.

    • Danny, thanks for the cool insight. Yeah, I kind of ran out of juice with the rants, but like you said, perhaps I just have a better outlook? (the neighbors still annoy the shit out me though)

      Thanks so much for the kind comments!

  24. What a journey. Very glad to have followed along for the lions share of it!

    Looking forward to Monday’s post, what a cliff hanger! 🙂

  25. Wow, 1500 days already? 🙂 I had a similar realization once I had two weeks off for the holidays. I was so, so happy and productive. I was rarely bored; in fact, I was busier than I was when I was working. It was a small taste of what freedom is actually like, and it’s a beautiful thing.

    I’m excited to see where the blog goes from here on. Keep us updated with all of your work-quitting shenanigans. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What I Did With My Rockstar #GivingCardMy Profile

  26. Dee says:

    Congratulations 🙂

  27. Mrs PoP says:

    Time flies! I, for one, can hardly believe that 1500 days have passed already. Enjoy a mini celebration! =)
    Mrs PoP recently posted…PoP Balance Sheet – January 2017My Profile

  28. Awesome job! That’s hopefully me in 365*7 days.

  29. Mrs BITA says:

    Wheeee! 1500 days!
    Feel jubilant? Or was this anti-climactic (like every New Years Eve celebration since the dawn of time)?

    Your blog is amongst my favourite and I hope it outlived its originally defined timeline by a lot.

  30. Congratulations on getting to Day 1500, now on to Day 3000 🙂
    Dividends 4 Future recently posted…January 2017 UpdateMy Profile

  31. Tawcan says:

    Congrats on getting to day 1500 and substantially increased your net worth. Can’t wait to see what you have planned next.

  32. Team CF says:

    Fantastic milestone with an even greater feeling for you. Glad you made it, glad to have been part of the journey (well, reading about it anyways ;-).
    Looking foward to see where you will be going next.

  33. Congratulations on hitting that magic number! Now to see where this adventure takes you next!

  34. Huge congratulations on your big milestone! The FIRE fund is just the beginning. I’m looking forward to following along with whatever’s next.
    Matt @ The Resume Gap recently posted…Working Our Way from Wyoming to WisconsinMy Profile

  35. Congrats on the first 1500 days, I’m looking forward to the next 1500. I’m curious if working in the future is not necessarily a bad thing for you and your family. I mean yes you have freedom, but I feel like you still enjoy it to some extent. I don’t have kids or a spouse yet, but amassing a bit more can change your family tree going forward as well. I mean what would happen if you taught your kids responsibility and were able to eliminate any costs associated with college and they started life without debt? It really changes someone’s social status and their ability to get ahead as well

  36. Amanda S says:

    Congrats on the journey! What a milestone! Will be looking forward to hear what is coming next from you!

  37. Wade says:

    Add a zero. New blow “15,000 days”. That should cover your for a bit. 🙂

    13,500 days (~36 years) of working less to none and living more.

    Congrats on the first 1,500…

  38. Olivia says:

    Congratulations on your milestone and exceeding your target! What a great achievement. I’ve been reading your blog, smiling at your successes, and laughing at some of the funny tales. The tale of the new neightbors, their yappy dogs and crapcycles from Craiglist was really funny but also infuriating to think about. I look forward to your next post on Monday.

    • Thanks for the kind comments Olivia! And the neighbors with the crapcycles, sigh. They still live there, but the crapcycles (along with the accompanying clouds of blue smoke) are now gone.

  39. Congrats! I think you crushed your goals, and have the freedom to make what you want of life. Looking forward to hearing about your new plans 🙂


  40. Congratulations! You are seriously an inspiration, especially to those of us who are coming up behind you. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  41. Congratulations on reaching Day 1500, Mr. 1500! I look forward to reading about your future plans for the blog!

  42. Mr. SSC says:

    Haha, just yesterday I was having a “comment conversation” with Mrs. ONL and I told her my favorite phrase to use at work is “not my circus, not my monkeys”. 🙂

    Congrats on Day 1500!!! Looking forward to Monday’s eulogy, I mean update on what’s going to happen to the blog. Thanks for sharing your progress along the way!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…January 2017 Spending: Our Money Went Where?My Profile

  43. Congratulations on reach Day 1500, Mr. 1500!

    I look forward to what new surprises you will bring us on Monday!

  44. Woot! Day 1500 is finally here and it looks like you crushed your goals!

    Looking forward to hearing your goals about *the next* 1500 days!
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…January 2017 Dividend Income And ExpensesMy Profile

  45. CONGRATS! Can’t wait to follow the journey… wherever it takes you!

  46. I don’t think I’ve told you this yet, but you inspired us to start our own journey to financial independence. Garrett and I stumbled across your blog and thought, why can’t we do FI in 1,500 days, too?! At $204k in debt on April 9, 2015, it seemed like a daunting task. Right away, we knew we had to set lofty goals and make the massive changes necessary to achieve our goals. We sold stuff. We downsized. We increased our income. We eat better. We read daily. Who knew this journey would have impacted so many areas of our lives?

    And then I read your CNBC profile and realized that you started your 1500 day journey with $500k. Somehow in the year and a half I read your blog, I missed that important detail. Garrett and I laughed and laughed. We had WAY less than $500k at the start of our journey. The funny thing is that if I had read that detail on your blog, I’m fairly certain it would have deterred us from the lofty 1500 day goal we set for ourselves. Instead, we poured ourselves into the goal thinking that if the 1500s can do it, we can, too!

    I’m proud to say that next month, nearly two years after starting this journey, we’ll be 100% debt free. I cannot even begin to describe the weight that’s lifting. We had no idea how much the debt weighed on our minds until we started taking steps to free ourselves of this self-imposed burden.

    Our 1500 date is May 18, 2019, just over two years away. Since we’re nearly debt free, it’s a matter of figuring out how to fund FI, but I think we’ve finally got a plan that will work for us. In the meantime, we just focus on the other journey, the journey to self-actualization.

    Thank you for keeping us inspired and entertained along the way! We look forward to hearing more about your plans. 🙂

    • The Roamer says:

      Wow that’s amazing you guys are rocking!

      And Mr. 1500 I cannot believe it’s been 1500 days. Wow. I am so …. I feel small , like the world turns so fast. It’s amazing the big goals that can be achieved.

      I am sooo curious to see what’s next.

    • Hi Claudia! I’m so happy that you didn’t read that “fine print” before you started your own blog!

      Also, big time congratulations are in order for blowing away $204,000 in debt in two years. That is incredible!

      “Who knew this journey would have impacted so many areas of our lives?”

      I know, right? My own journey, along with the blog, has completely changed my life. For the better.

      I hope our paths cross soon.

  47. Divnomics says:

    I’ve only stumbled on your story not to long ago. But this round-up is very thoughtful, and it sure looks like you made an awesome journey to the point you are now.

    Oh and the ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys’ is something I definitely should apply more at my job 😉

  48. MrWoW says:

    Congrats! This is amazing and inspirational. You’ve motivated us so much. And we’re excited to see where the next 1500 take you.

  49. LadyFIRE says:

    I think I picked up this blog around day 1,000. I’m still in the running to a pile of money stage, so I really look forward to seeing whatever parts of your life you choose to share.

    Congratulations on the milestone! Please don’t go too far 🙂
    LadyFIRE recently posted…I’m buying free timeMy Profile

  50. Alex says:

    It was so strange seeing this post today. Has it really been 1500 days already?

    I rarely comment, but I have been following you for a long time, and after years of reading the ups and downs of your life here, to think “hey, they made it…”, it’s just a beautiful thing.

    I would like to sincerely say thank you. Thank you for all of the ideas, the interviews, the pizza places, the spousal debates, the rants, and of course the dinosaurs. Thank you for the inspiration, the motivation, and determination that I draw from your stories every week. Thank you for documenting your life here, in a way that can be such a positive example for others. Your blog has become a valuable part of my life, something that have used to help me on my own path to FI. After all you have given to us, to me, over the years, the very least I can do is to tell you how much I appreciate it.

    So thank you, and congratulations

    • Alex, I’m almost speechless, almost… First of all, thanks so much for your kind comments. Seriously (and I can’t say this with enough conviction). your words make the whole thing totally worthwhile. I had no idea where I was going when I started this thing, but I’m so glad you’ve been able to get something out of it.

      Also, the blog is a very accurate reflection of my personality, so I’m glad you don’t think I’m a nutter. Or maybe you do. Either way, it’s all good. Normal is boring.

      And there will be more dinosaurs.

  51. Congratulations! Cheers to hitting 1500 days, I’m so glad that I joined you last year and I look forward to seeing more of all of you as we move into the post-1500 era 😉
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Just a little (link) love: Lion Dance Lunar New Year editionMy Profile

  52. wp says:

    since your MAKING money from this blog, why dont you spend $5 and get a new theme and header. i mean, really, the basic default wp theme after all 1500 days. there are 10,000 free ones! yawn…

  53. MichiganMoneyGuy says:

    Well, they said it would be tough, but I did it! I successfully started following along somewhere near day 1250 and made it all the way to day 1500. There were a few times when things seemed touch and go – would I make it to the end? would I not make it to the end? When it was all said and done, I triumphed and read a bunch of internet words.

    …Congratulations 1500 Family! There is almost nothing better than setting a big life goal and hitting that goal. The only thing that upsets me about this post is that you seem upset about not having fully quit and like you need to somehow explain or apologize. One thing I do know is that as we live and learn, we need to be open to unforeseen changes in our plans and goals, and that is perfectly fine. Strictly sticking to the wording of a goal simply for the sake of being a completionist can be its own failure. When you set out on a journey, you are naturally going to be ignorant about some parts of that journey. If your understanding doesn’t change as the journey progresses, you are not open to growth.

  54. On time but ahead of budget! Well done! The nice thing about your blog name is that another 1500 days can start now with a new set of life goals, which I am sure you will beat again. Rinse. Repeat.
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…Dividend Investing vs. Indexing – Part 5My Profile

  55. Joe says:

    Oh wow, congrats! 1500 days is a long time, but the transformation was huge. Time flies, doesn’t it. You could have just kept going the same old way and 1500 days would have gone by anyway. Life is what you make of it. It sounds like you’re a lot happier now. Enjoy your journey! 🙂
    Joe recently posted…Why I Prefer DIY Retirement PlanningMy Profile

  56. FIscovery says:

    Congratulations on hitting day 1500 – now the real journey begins 🙂 Another real life story that demonstrates that financial independence is real and attainable but requires fiscal and behavioral discipline. Thanks for the 1500 days of inspiration, looking forward to experiencing the next 1500 with you through your writing.

  57. SusieQ says:

    Can’t wait to read Monday! My how the time has flown! My fav. posts – sister spendypants!!

    BTW – We are heading up to Denver in next month or so from PHX – might your lovely wife be interested in being our real estate agent if we decide to buy/build in the Denver area (prob. north of city)? If not, possibly she could recommend someone to us?

    • Hey SusieQ!

      Thanks for the kind comments!

      Moving to Colorado, woot! We may be able to help you with your real estate needs. Let us know when you’re in town; it would e nice to meet up!

  58. Although I just discovered your blog recently, It’s very apparent to me that you’ve been doing something right all along. The comments people have left is proof enough. Congratulations on sticking both with your goals, and blogging. People greatly underestimate how tough it is to keep this stuff up, and I’m just now gaining a true appreciation for it myself.

    Good luck on your next 1500 days, you can add me to the list of new followers!
    Max Your Freedom recently posted…The Big 40My Profile

  59. Mr. Zero says:

    Congrats Mr. 1500! You have achieved your goal and then some. Now it’s time for another one and because you are financially independent, that goal can be whatever the F&%^ you want it to be! Boo-Yahhh!

    – Zero

  60. J. Money says:

    Well that was fast 🙂 I remember day #10 or whenever I first came across your blog! Still one of my favorites over the years – well done, sir. (and ma’am!)

  61. I agree that a lot of people are running the race without thinking of what’s at the finish line. There’s certainly gotta be something waiting for you than just ‘not going to work anymore’. Work might have it’s negatives but it does provide some value in the end.

  62. Ning says:

    Congratulations! That’s so amazing!

  63. Rock on man! This one’s definitely going in my Friday Feast this week. Awesome journey. 🙂
    Steve @ Think Save Retire recently posted…No, we are not having kids; and yes, I am sureMy Profile

  64. Congrats sir. I’ve only been reading your blog since the MMM guest post, so I’m a little late to the party, but I have thoroughly enjoyed your writing. I feel like there is so much more you want to, and maybe need to say so I’m glad you are continuing the work.

  65. Congratulations on reaching 1500 days!
    I, too, noticed how much better of a person I am when I have more time. During my year off, I noticed that I was nicer in general and had so much more time for friends and family. Now, after less than 3 months of being back to work, I can already notice a change. Moreover, I sort of find it shocking when people still want to work. I find it really surprising when people don’t know what they would do with their free time. I think that it’s problematic when people don’t have something that fulfills them besides their day job. Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m looking forward to reading more about your journey 🙂
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…6 Ways Blogging could give your Career an EdgeMy Profile

  66. TYOA says:

    Congrats on achieving your goals! I look forward to 1500+ I’m curious what your kids think of this and how it would impact their future outlook? Also, what are your plans for healthcare if you do decide to retire? I just turned 40 this year and would like to retire in approx 1500 days @ 45.

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