1500 Days To Freedom // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 13

drafting triangle on desk with test and pencil

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Please welcome Mr. 1500 from 1500 Days To Freedom as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles.  This is Day 13 of 30 in the Financial Literacy Month interview series here on Enwealthen.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.

My blog, 1500 Days, is about my journey to financial independence.

My journey started in January of 2013 from a starting point of $586,000. My goal was to accumulate $1,000,000 and pay off all debt which would allow me to retire.

My portfolio now sits at $1,350,000 and I’ve since decided to not pay off my mortgage ($110,00). I’m also still working part-time, but not for much longer.

Save your money!

In real life, I’m a 43 year old guy with a (mostly) sane wife and two children. I could tell you more about me, but it’s so normal and boring, you’d fall asleep.

Can you share your most impactful money memory from your childhood?

My parents made me work for everything. There were never any handouts. If I wanted a new toy, I had to work to earn money. There were never any exceptions.

There were also a couple lessons that I clearly remember:

  • When I was about 10, we went on a family vacation and I’d saved up something like $10 to buy a souvenir. On the first day of the vacation, I lost my wallet. My mother then said something like, “I guess you won’t be buying anything now.”
  • For my 5th or 6th birthday, my parents bought me a Radio Flyer wagon. I left it outside that night and it was stolen. I immediately asked my parents for a new one and their response was a firm ‘No’ along with a lecture of how I shouldn’t have been so careless.

These were tough lessons.

However, looking back, I realize that my parents’ firm stance on money made me appreciate it. It made me very mindful of my spending, taking lots of time to consider every purchase and taking care of the things that I did buy.

To this day, I still own many of the childhood toys that I saved up so hard to earn.

child toy transformers

We all receive financial advice from people in our lives.  What’s the most interesting or useful financial advice you’ve received from your community?

Before I started blogging, I didn’t know what an index fund was. Now, I believe they should be the core of a sound, long term financial strategy. I now own mostly index funds in my portfolio.

Thanks Jim Collins!

I have several personal finance books I regularly give to friends and family.  What are your 3 favorite fundamental personal finance books you often gift to others?

I can only name two.

They are, The Millionaire Next Door and Your Money or Your Life.

I’m a huge fan of Poor Charlie’s Almanack, but I’m a weirdo and I don’t think this book would appeal to most. Also, it’s like $50, so I’m not giving this one away!

What financial literacy education did you receive in school?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve that?

None! Well, hardly any.

In high school, we had to take a consumer education class where we learned very basic things like comparing prices at the grocery store. It wasn’t useless, but it wasn’t earth shattering information either.

I would love for kids to learn about compound interest, the dangers of debt and the basics of investing.

There are so many blogs on the internet, what are 3 of your favorite blogs that instill financial literacy, either by word or action?

Mr. Money Mustache: MMM is wired differently from a normal person. I love the creative life hacks that he writes about.

Frugalwoods: Mrs. Frugalwoods is the best writer in the personal finance community. Her story about the transition to life in rural Vermont is beautiful and inspiring. She is living a real-life fairy tale.

Rockstar Finance: This is a site that aggregates the work of others. There is so much great stuff on Rockstar, if you spend more than a couple minutes there, you risk overdosing on money information. This is a good thing.

If I wanted a new toy, I had to work to earn money. There were never any exceptions.

I like to keep inspirational quotes around the house to remind me of what’s important.  Do you have a favorite money quote you use to inspire your financial life?

My favorite comes from my maternal grandmother.

Every time I’d visit her, she’d sneer at my sisters and I and say, “Save your money!” She’d say it with anger and then scowl at our faces to see if the message was sinking it.

I was mostly terrified.

Thinking back on it, she was a child of the Great Depression and couldn’t stand to see money wasted. I get it.

What’s your philosophy on money?

The goal isn’t really money. Money is just a tool. The real goal is a good life.

Thanks for contributing to Financial Literacy Month here on Enwealthen, Mr. 1500!

Mr. 1500 lives with his family near the mountains in Colorado. When not blogging or writing computer code, he can be found enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

mr 1500 family

Readers, please share your thoughts on Mr. 1500’s experiences, any additional questions you have, and suggestions for who else you’d like to see interviewed in the comments below.  And please do share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!



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