Ask the Readers takes a break today. Last week, I asked you about conquering fear. I wanted to know how to get over an old fear of public speaking because the Mrs. and I are giving a talk this week. Since the presentation doesn’t take place until Wednesday, I’ll wait until next week to tell you if I was able to conquer my fear.
Last week, I hit Day 1500. Today, I tell you about the future of the blog.
TMI alert: I may have composed some of this post from the throne. Yes, that throne. More on that later in the post.
This blog started out as a passion project. I didn’t have many expectations, but I did remember having the following thoughts when I started:
- I’ll be accountable: I’ll show the world my goals and finances. This will help keep me on the right path.
- I’ll be transparent: Money-talk is taboo in America. I want to react against that, so I’ll share my finances. I ended up sharing much more including embarrassing pictures.
- I’ll include dinosaurs!: OK, I’m totally lying. I had no thought of including dinosaurs when I started the blog. Frugalsaurus (the green one) is a leftover from my childhood that somehow survived one of my mother’s toy purges. He’s at least 35 years old. On a whim (and I readily confess that alcohol may have been involved), I took a picture of him and he appeared on the blog.
The blog took a long time to gain momentum because I did everything wrong, but it’s successful today (at least by my loose definition) and gets about 100,000 pageviews per month. We’ve been on major sites like CNN Money, Farnoosh Torabi and the front page of Yahoo!:
The biggest honor has always been earning a spot on Rockstar Finance. I can tell when I’ve written a really good post and those usually make it on to Rockstar. It’s incredibly validating.
Our Lives: Redefined
Our lives are completely different from when we started 1500 Days way back in January of 2013. And the blog has nudged us along.
Bye-bye Big House!
We moved: When we started the blog, we lived in this fancy-ass house (note the custom fancy-ass Van Gogh-esque painting):
Then we moved to this crapper:
That ugly house was supposed to be a rental, but we liked the neighborhood, so we stayed. Since we would make it our home, our remodeling plans expanded:
It was too much work and we probably wouldn’t have done the remodel the same way if we had a time machine. The one year project turned into almost four. It’s over now though.
We’re far wealthier: When we started, our investment portfolio was $586,043 and net worth (houses, cars, bikes and dinosaurs) was $736,043. Today, these numbers sit at $1,337,448 and $1,707,448 respectively. I’m thankful that we had market tailwinds at our back. If my 1500 Days would have occurred during a bear market, I’d have haters heckling me. Wait, I already have that. I’d just have more of them!
New Jobs and Gigs!
Mrs. 1500 got her dream job as a direct result of this blog. This never ceases to amuse me because she thought the blog was a horrible idea when I first suggested it. I remind her about it daily.
I’ve only revealed InvestmentZen, but I’ve been able to get other side-gigs from the blog. While I’ve decided to scale back and only focus on a couple, I love the work. When I write, I feel like I’m doing the work that I’m meant to do. It’s wonderful.
We’ve met some wonderful folks as a result of the blog including (in chronological order [sort of]):
- Penny Planters
- Brandon the Mad Fientist
- Jim Collins
- Laura and Randy from Laundromats101
- J$ of Budgets are Sexy and Rockstar Finance
- Brad (Richmond Savers)
- David and John (Debt Free Guys)
- Michelle (Shop My Closet Project)
- Kraig (Create my Independence)
- Sam (Financial Samurai)
- Even Steven Money
- Traveling Wallet
- Income Surfer
- Liz and Nate (Frugalwoods)
- Gwen (Fiery Millennials)
- Joel Larsgaard (Save Outside the Box and the Clark Howard Show)
- J. D. Roth, the Money Boss
- Physician on Fire
- Joe Udo (Retire By 40)
- Michael (Financially Alert)
- Our Next Lifers
I’m really sorry to all those who I’ve left out. There are so many of you. And this list doesn’t include any of the non-blogger folks who continue to elevate our lives. It’s overwhelming, and overwhelmingly good.
We’ve learned loads as a result of the blog. I barely knew what an index fund was at the start. Now, most new stock market money goes right into Vanguard.
We’re also much happier. I wondered how we’d feel after we moved out of that big home into one about 1/3 the size. After almost 4 years, we’re much happier. The house itself has nothing to do with it. We’re surrounded by great people and a community that we enjoy. Our town is bike and beer friendly. Life is good. Really good.
Why the blog won’t die
And I just can’t bring myself to kill the blog yet…
I hate it when things go on too long. Everything should have an end date, preferably before it gets stale and crappy. Day 1500 was supposed to be the last day of the blog, but I’ve decided to go on a bit longer. Here are my reasons.
My story isn’t quite over. Hitting my 1500 Days was anti-climactic; I’m still working. Even though it’s only part-time, my goal is no-time. I’ll have an update on this one soon, but can’t say anything more about it now.
I still owe you posts: I’ve written about my home remodeling while it was happening, but never wrapped up those posts. I also haven’t discussed my portfolio in over a year.
The post-work story may be worth telling: I readily admit that I have no idea about this one. Perhaps my FI routine will be the most boring thing to write about ever and I’ll run out of steam after week 3. However, most blogs are about the build-up to FI, not about what happens after. I’m curious to see if I can write an interesting story post-job.
More goals: While I’ve accomplished my financial goals, I have many other things I want to work on in the near future including:
- More fitness: I’m sorry, but there will be more pictures.
- More real estate: The Mrs. and I love real estate investing, but own only one property, our primary home. We’re on the hunt for the next flip or multi-unit rental.
- More useful information: While some of my posts may be entertaining, I don’t think they provide a lot of actionable information. I have loads of ideas.
- More Dinosaurs:
I’m organizing a Colorado Camp Mustache: Perhaps you’ve heard of the party out in Washington. Why should they have all the fun, especially since Colorado is the home of MMM? I’ll use the blog to shamelessly promote the gathering. By the way, this will be a completely non-profit event. No one will make any money, but I’ll never turn down new friends.
Life is about so much more than money. My original goal was to acquire $1,000,000 and no debt. I’ve since realized that was a silly goal. Money is just a stepping stone. While you should strive to appreciate every day, now that I’m FI and no longer have to work at a conventional job, my best days are ahead of me.
And more than anything else, I love to write: The blog has always been my passion project. I love to write. And I love it even more today than when I started. I still find myself sneaking away to type words into the computer:
- Mrs. 1500 (shouting from the kitchen): What are you doing in there? You’ve been in the bathroom for 30 minutes?! Did you fall in? Are you still alive?
- Me: Ummmmmmm…
- Mrs. 1500: You have your Macbook in the bathroom again, don’t you? Are you blogging from the toilet?
- Me: Ummmmmmm…
And so it goes.
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