Why I Write from the Throne

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!:

There we are at the bottom. I’m too embarrassed to show our full faces.

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.

 

Money!

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!

From Personal Capital! This is the tool I use to keep track of my portfolio. It’s also saved me a load on fees.

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.

Great People

We’ve met some wonderful folks as a result of the blog including (in chronological order [sort of]):

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.

 

And Us

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:

Yes, I’m a plastic dinosaur with a scarf.

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.

Receive Email Updates!

I'll never ever spam you. And if you sign up, you'll be my favorite person. Really.

Powered by ConvertKit
This entry was posted in Something Completely Different and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Why I Write from the Throne

  1. Brian says:

    Maybe you have one more remodeling project….a writers bathroom.

    Glad you’re sticking around. Febreze included.
    Brian recently posted…Interview Series: From Cents to RetirementMy Profile

  2. Glad to hear your going to keep going. Post early retirement is just as interesting as pre. Besides what would we do without a semi regular dose of airplane? I jest though and second the idea of the writers bathroom. The TV show Home Improvement had an episode on the “mans bathroom”. If I had time I’d start there.
    Fulltimefinance recently posted…Use Credit Cards to Manage Cash FlowMy Profile

  3. Great to hear you’re keeping things going. It’ll be great to hear about all your new adventures as you move into “mini-retirement”
    Freedom 40 Plan recently posted…How to Invest in Gold and Silver CoinsMy Profile

  4. I just came across your site. Looking forward to catching up on your blog and future posts as well. Glad you made the decision to keep going!
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Is Your Emergency Fund Bloated?My Profile

  5. That’s awesome to hear that the blog will continue. I love reading the journey that you’re on and where you plan to go.

    Also it’s got to be an awesome feeling recognized by your peers on Rockstar for producing top notch articles. One of these days I’m going to make it 🙂
    MUSTARD SEED MONEY recently posted…Guest Post: My Family On A BudgetMy Profile

  6. Awe…you guys can’t stop the blog! You’ve become a staple in the community and who doesn’t love pictures of plastic dinosaurs. Innovative. Wicked innovative. 🙂 If everyone stopped when they reached their goal we wouldn’t have Mr. Money Mustache (at all), or the Frugalwoods, or countless others who have hit it and keep movin’. I do hope you guys stick around for quite some time to come!

    Congrats on all the successes and good luck with the upcoming speaking engagement!

  7. Man, your posts have been amazing lately!

    It’s great to hear about how much happier you’ve become and all your upcoming goals. I’m so jealous of the Colorado Camp Mustache and I wish someone would start one in the Northeast!
    Ellie @ The Chedda recently posted…Our Expenses – January 2017My Profile

  8. That would be a crying shame if you build your blog just because you go past 1500 days! Soldier on soldier!

    Your blog has way more upside than you think!

    Sam

    Btw I thought I’d be done with my remodeling and just leave the backyard alone. But I found some great guys who were willing to work during the weekends for much less than the contractor (85% less) they were working for to build three different levels / tiers over three weekends!

    • Sam, nice work on getting a reasonable rate for the contractors! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

      “Your blog has way more upside than you think!”

      Yeah, I completely realize that I could have been doing so much more all of this time. We had big-time exposure (60,000 hits in a day and no obvious email collection). Oh well…

  9. Yay! Relieved to hear this isn’t the end of the wonder that is Frugalsaurus. Oh and your writing too ;)!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…This Month On The Homestead: Sunrises, Community, and IceMy Profile

  10. It’s good to hear you won’t be relinquishing The Throne anytime soon. This world needs more inspirational stories like yours, and as you alluded, the fun part of the story is still yet to come.

    And hey – I’ll keep coming back for the dinosaur pictures even if for nothing else. 🙂

  11. Oh man I’m so stoked to hear you are organizing an event in Colorado! Not only do I keep missing these events because I get informed too late, but I love visiting colorado!! Do you have an idea when it might be? I feel like this is the 90s when I kept trying to get into Pearl Jam concerts but they always sold out in minutes! 🙂 Hope not!

  12. Mrs PoP says:

    Whoa! First in the list! Sadly, not in order of coolness, but chronology. =P

    Whatever you’re doing, blogging included, as long as you’re having fun, it gets my complete approval.
    Mrs PoP recently posted…PoP Balance Sheet – January 2017My Profile

  13. Eric B says:

    Very excited to hear some post-FIRE (assuming the ER does happen) tales! Most PF blogs go dormant after reaching their goal, which is always a little disappointing… Although I understand why it happens, what with real life getting in the way 🙂

  14. Joe says:

    Thanks for the mention!
    I’d cut back on the frequency if you’re getting a bit worn out. I bet it won’t make a big difference. But keep blogging, though. You’ve got a great genuine voice.

  15. I, too, come up with my best ideas while on the throne. I salute you for your honesty. 🙂 Good luck with those side hustles! It’s always funny where writing a bunch of words online will lead, right?
    Yyyyyissssss! I’m so happy to see that 1500 Days will live on! I was pretty sad about the prospect of it dying.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

  16. Steven says:

    I don’t know if I have been following for 1500 days but I feel like I’m at least in the 1200> so congratulations on reaching your goals in more ways than one.

    You sir have been a motivation for myself (The Awakening) and a great opportunity to laugh at and with, share great stories and pictures of your life, and digest all of what 1500 days has to offer!

    Separate note, I think I need to know more about the MMM Colorado if I can’t make it I still want to do a long weekend and hang out at La Casa de 1500 dias.
    Steven recently posted…Should I invest in my 401 (k) company match or Pay off Debt?My Profile

  17. I’m glad you’re going to be with us at least a little bit longer Mr. 1500.

    You’ve got a powerful, positive voice in the blogging community, and it’d be a really sad day if you quit!

    Also – you’re not the only one who blogs from the toilet!
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…Always Be Making MistakesMy Profile

  18. Ms. Montana says:

    Hum… I love camps. I like Colorado. I love other pf geeks!!! I might have to road trip it. =)
    Ms. Montana recently posted…January 2017 ExpensesMy Profile

  19. Divnomics says:

    It’s too bad I can’t type in the shower. This is where my deep thought often pop up.

    Glad to see you continue, looking forward to you writings and post-work experiences.

  20. Jason says:

    I too look forward to many more days of the 1500 blog. Keep it coming. I have even been inspired to try P90x. I start after we get back from Vegas. God help me. My old and fat body may not make it past the first workout. We shall see. Until then keep it coming.

    • Oh my, take it easy with the P90x! Use the first couple sessions to just learn the movements. Build up slowly, just doing half the hour before throwing in the towel. It is meant for people who are already in shape and it sure as hell isn’t easy.

  21. Haha, it’s awesome that you blog from the restroom, I’d have to try that out someday.

    Glad to see the blog isn’t ending and will be continuing on! It’s time for 1500 more spectacular day.
    Smart Provisions recently posted…Why You May Not Need An Emergency FundMy Profile

  22. I love it all! And I can’t wait to be a part of the list of awesome people that have met the elusive 1500s! (Yay Dallas October 2017!). I’m still in the “Doing everything wrong” phase of my blog, but I’m still having fun, so I’m still here. 🙂

  23. Amber tree says:

    Where you write from, is your business.

    Thx for writing all these days. I am happy to hear you will continue!

    I look forward to be inspired on how to tune life into a better life, better designed towhat we really care about.
    Amber tree recently posted…Interview #9 – Lyn AldenMy Profile

  24. Hope you do keep this blog going, writing style and pictures make it enjoyable to read from the norm

  25. LadyFIRE says:

    I’m glad you’re going to keep writing! As you said, FI is a stepping stone, and shouldn’t be considered the be all and end all of our lives.

    I look forward to many more dinosaurs!

  26. Thanks for the shout out. I’m so glad we’ve gotten to hang out multiple times. You and Mrs. 1500 are a huge inspiration to me, and obviously I love the dinos.

    CMCo will be epic! I might see if I can convince someone to road trip with me across the cow and corn strewn lands to it…. so boring, but I’m sure I could find a podcast or two to fill the trip. See you soon!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…My InvestmentsMy Profile

  27. Team CF says:

    Thank you for a good news Monday! Glad to read that you will continue at least a little while longer. Will happily be following along to catch up on all the things going through you head pre- and post FIRE.
    Team CF recently posted…Car ScareMy Profile

  28. Great to hear the blog will be continuing.

    I have to say I’ve not written a blog post on the bog but have definitely replied to a few comments while I’m there.

    Haha just thought there’s a great name for it there… Blogging while bogging 🙂

  29. Ning says:

    I’m so excited you’re continuing the blog!! I look forward to your stories after FI!! I love living through y’all FI bloggers vicariously!

  30. Marc says:

    Was this post written on one of those blue thrones? 🙂
    Marc recently posted…5 Top Stud Finders for 2017My Profile

  31. Your house looks freaking beautiful man – awesome job. And more congrats on your kick-ass financial success. And lastly – and perhaps most importantly – thank you for having the balls to actually admit you blog from the throne.

    …something I’m sure all of us have done. I sure as hell have. Perhaps this very comment, in fact. There we go, all done.
    Steve @ Think Save Retire recently posted…No, we are not having kids; and yes, I am sureMy Profile

  32. ChrisCD says:

    Can’t be more excited that the blog will continue on, at least for now. I think many people have inspiration from the throne room. I don’t want to be too gross, but I have even taken my breakfast in there. :O)

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Good luck on the talk. Kids actually like it when adults act a little crazy like them. I bet they would love the dinos, too.

    The easiest way for my to become at ease during public speaking is to tell a coupe of jokes or funny stories and potentially even work in some early audience participation.

    cd :O)

    • Hey Chris, I draw the line at food! Although, who am I to fault anyone else? Also, I used to have an alcoholic roommate who would take a couple beers into the bathroom with him.

      “The easiest way for my to become at ease during public speaking is to tell a coupe of jokes or funny stories and potentially even work in some early audience participation.”

      Yeah, I’m doing both! Thanks for the suggestions.

  33. I have to admit that the title turned me away. It didn’t seem like the “Beyond 1500” article I was waiting for.

    The before and after pictures of your house get me every time. I have to go show my wife.

  34. Outstanding job on 1500 days and the success you’ve had. I’ve just started my own 1500 ish day journey and am looking to see if I can be as successful by the end as you have. I’m 36 so I fully expect to see a market pullback or three that will be different than the bull run we’ve had lately. Congrats on a fantastic journey!

  35. Haha, I now realize why I like your writing. I usually do a lot of reading on the throne.

    Our role model has done some great investment thinking in the bathtub:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-dreamed-of-investing-in-bank-of-america-in-bathtub-day-before-called-moynihan-2011-8
    Dividend Growth Investor recently posted…Seven Dividend Stocks Rewarding Shareholders With a RaiseMy Profile

  36. I love your blog and am thrilled you’re going to be around a little longer!

    Don’t you live in Longmont, CO, or close to it? You must have met Mr. Money Mustache, but he’s not on your list?

  37. A Colorado Camp Mustache?! I’m in. Congrats on an amazing 1500 days! Also, your remodel is beautiful. Great job!
    Julie @ Millennial Boss recently posted…Should You Take Time Off? In Defense Of The Gap YearMy Profile

  38. J. Money says:

    My favorite is reading this post while curating for Rockstar Finance 🙂

    Each time you’re on it is well deserved, my man. You pour your heart into it and IT’S ENTERTAINING TO READ!! And after sorting through literally hundreds of articles a week, I can tell you it’s much appreciated.

  39. 1500 more days! 1500 more days! 1500 more days!

    I was chanting.
    In case you couldn’t tell.

    Cheers!
    -PoF
    PhysicianOnFIRE recently posted…My MOC Debacle: Nevermind That $2,100 Exam You Just TookMy Profile

  40. Ha ha ha this is a great recap and hilarious location!

    I’ve written from a few random locations as well. So far I have in my docket, writing from the floor of an airport, a tire center, cafe (typical) and the desk of my old job (it wasn’t challenging).

    I do enjoy following this and meeting up from that one time we met during a Meet-Up in Boulder. I’m still all about those meet ups. Keep this going!
    Wallet Squirrel recently posted…Naming Force Review: Make Money Naming Start UpsMy Profile

  41. writing2reality says:

    A blast from the past…

    I remember when you first started… I’m not sure how I found you so quickly, but I did. Since then, it’s been a pleasure to follow along and read as you’ve matured as a writer and thinker. Writing has the unique means to slow down ones thoughts in a world where things are going faster and faster.

    Enjoy the opportunity to find new reasons to write as life taps the brakes in the coming years. I know I’ll be following along.

  42. Abby says:

    Very interesting & inspirational to read your story – congrats on achieving your goals ahead of time! I imagine it will be an even more interesting journey going forward & discovering even more about yourselves & how you want to spend all your freedom (time & money) if you decide to fully leave the job 🙂 Have you given thought to how you will handle health care / health insurance?

  43. Brent says:

    Gahhh ive been so busy with the new job I’m just catching up on my blogs, but a Colorado Camp Mustache! Wooh!

    Glad to hear the blog will carry on! I don’t know what I’d do without Mr. 1500.

    Im happy to hear you’re doing so well! Your story is a great reminder for us folks just starting out how awesome an FI life can be!

    Best wishes to you and the family

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge