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The 6 Month Anniversary of My Termination!

by J. Money on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

pool at dusk
I’ve been a full-time blogger for exactly 6 months now!! Wooo!!!  What a ride, man :)  Ups and downs and all kinds of experiences slowing down time for once in my life – I love it!  I’ve felt more alive in these past six months than I have in the past 6 years.  Or even 10!  Since college! Haha… (Though that was a different *kind* of fun, if you know what I’m saying…)

Yup, half a year blogging and traveling, and starting all kinds of new side projects to try and stimulate my mind and my income.  Doesn’t get much better than that. Love Drop has given away over $40,000 since launching in January (including a car!!!), and Giveaways Are Sexy is finally out of my brain with plans of launching many other projects in the future too :) Not too shabby for my first go of things…

The only thing missing now is my damn last paycheck!!! Those asshats STILL refuse to pay me my rightfully owed $2,000 despite us filing a suit against them. Arghhh…. but $hit, at least we’re not going down without a good fight! Our complaints have been filed, and our lawyer now says to get ready for a court appearance if they continue dicking us around like that ;)  Turns out they just pissed off three MORE ex-employees when they let them go last week w/out pay, so it’s shaping up to be a pretty messy battle.  I’ve come to terms with realizing I’ll probably never ever see that money in this lifetime, but I still reserve the right to bitch about it ;)

Now back to more happier thoughts! Here’s an update from the last time we chatted about how self-employment was going (at month #3):

The Money

Pretty much the same a it’s always been this year – Some months are GREAT (like last month), and others (like this one) not so much.  But over all it evens out to a cool $60k which is enough for me to continue living my dreams and feeding my current lifestyle :)  And maybe Sexy Giveaways will explode and I’ll become a millionaire before the ripe age of 33! Haha… ya never know until you start trying things out, right?

The Freedom

Oh yeah – taking advantage of that still like crazy!  I’ve been averaging two states a month so far, and there’s no slowing down in sight ;)  Since posting the 3-month anniversary update, I’ve taken trips out to California, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and coming up – Michigan. It is getting harder to post-date blog posts and line up guest posters here and there when I’m gone, but for now it’s keeping me excited :) And hopefully you all are enjoying the different types of voices we’re bringing on sporadically too.  (Oh!  And now I can finally scratch off “going to the pool” in the middle of the work days!  My dream from 2 years ago when I said I’d consider myself a success if I can blog full-time and go lay out by the pool whenever my heart desires!  I can’t believe it! :))

The New Schedule

This I’m actually getting better about!  I still stay up late, and sleep in every once and a while, but I’m formulating a much better game plan with my work routines and social life.  Only thing I gotta really fix now is working LESS and relaxing MORE, haha… but something tells me that comes later once I’m bringing in more of an income stream and can call myself a veteran self-employer ;)

The New Office

Yeah, that’s pretty much divided between my home and the hotels now.  I miss my old downtown office and the people there immensely!!, but I realized over the course of the months that it just didn’t make sense anymore since I’m constantly on the road and I’ve learned to work from home better now (which also saves a lot of money). I’ve become an expert in my pajamas, switching between my computer in the kitchen (a laptop), and my computer upstairs in my “office” where my desktop is currently located.  Both provide different ambiances, and is perfect for my A.D.D.!

The Confidence

I’m getting much much better about this too :)  All the conferences and networking I’ve been doing really helps me put things in perspective, and reminds me that we’re all striving to be BETTER at whatever it is we’re currently working on.  And that we usually know MUCH more than we actually think, which helps in building back up that confidence when it starts to get low.  Now whenever I get haters coming around,  I just ask myself if THEY could figure out a way to blog full-time and live out there dreams, and I usually come to the conclusion that no – they can’t. And then a big smile forms inside ;)  (Though, of course, it’s always hard to wipe out ALL the negative comments/emails/etc from the brain. But that’s the beauty of the beast. Overtime it gets easier, and just fuels my motivation to continue doing my thing and staying as true to myself as possible! And after 6 months of it so far, I’m feeling pretty damn good about it ;))

It’s been a long and adventurous ride, baby! I have nooo idea what the next 6 months will bring, but if they’re anything like these last few guys it’s gonna be one helluva great time :) I just gotta make sure to turn up the income levels a notch or two so I can continue expanding my empire! *Evil laugh*


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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin June 15, 2011 at 7:50 am

When/Where in Michigan are you guys coming? I’m near Ann Arbor/Detroit if you want a LD check :)

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2 No Debt MBA June 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

I’m a little jealous of all your freedom. Congrats on making it work and good luck getting money out of your former employer!

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3 Julie June 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

Congrats on your successful blog. It’s been great reading stories. Just one curiosity question on your quote below your blog title stating “A personal finance blog that won’t put you to sleep.” – Benjamin Franklin. Can you explain where this is a quote by Benjamin Franklin? I must have missed something. Again, congrats.

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4 Edward Antrobus June 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

A buddy of mine had a similar situation with his last pay check, only he was working under the table so he didn’t have the legal recourse that you do. It took him 2 months of hounding every day and in front of this former employer’s customers to shame into getting almost a month’s pay.

Congrats on making it so far with full time blogging. I’m always excited to see what will come out of your brain next. So when is the Budgets Are Sexy book going to come out?

If you ever find yourself in Northern Colorado (particularly Fort Collins), I’ve got a spare room, and, more importantly, some of the best beer in the country is brewed here.

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5 Rachel June 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

I’m not jealous I’m happy for you. Look at you, in 6 months you accomplished something that people have taken years to do. AND you can do it from the comfort of your home or the comfort of a beach somewhere.

Seeing others achieve this life style gives me the hope to keep trying as hard as I can. Thank you for the inspiration.

Also, I never received my last paycheck a the last place I worked…but it wasnt that much so I let it go. I hope that’s not a trend amongst employers.

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6 Brandi June 15, 2011 at 9:36 am

Freakin awesome! I enjoy reading about your crazy fabulous self-employed lifestyle! It reminds me that the saying ‘nobody loves their job’ is totally false, and that you really can just love what you do and get paid for it!

Keep up the good work J. And maybe, someday, when you’re a millionaire…you can donate me a car that is indestructible and write it off on your taxes ;)

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7 bleu June 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

Congratulations, I love when people live out their dreams. And regarding the haters, that hate is stemming from their own fears and angers, it’s their personal problem and they are just projecting. Just steer clear from the negative, toxic people and keep on doing what you are doing!

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8 Brian June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

Congrats on living your dream! While I have only been here a couple of weeks now (still catching up on the archive) you have been very inspiring to me, and I think I’m ready to take the leap and finally work on my one blog. While I don’t have the dream of doing it full time, you passion and love for your craft has light a fire under my butt to get me to start righting.

Here’s to continued success for you.

Cheers!

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9 Kathryn C June 15, 2011 at 10:47 am

nice work I love post, you’re makin it happen!!! PS your ex employer sounds like a total D bag

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10 J. Money June 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

@Erin – Woo! We’re taking the Ferry from Milwaukee over to MI and heading to Detroit, baby!! Saturday, June 25th :) And actually leaving that Sunday too – so maybe we’ll link up? Email me :) j @ budgetsaresexy . com
@No Debt MBA – Thanks! I need all the luck I can at this point – those F’ers are just… well… F’ers! Haha…
@Julie – Haha, I just made that up ;) But I’d like to think that if he WERE around these days, he would have totally agreed with it.
@Edward Antrobus – Oooooh we may be going to Colorado Springs soon! Is that near you? I would love more than anything to come drink your brew :) Glad your friend got his money too – I think I may need to hire him to come get mine… and ya never know about that book! When seeds get planted in my brain, I can’t stop until I get it out into motion :)
@Rachel – Aww thanks Rachel, that means a lot. I get inspired by reading other people’s stories and dreams too – we’re all in this thing together!
@Brandi – Haha, you know I would if I could ;) Though the first thing I’m gonna do when I hit a million is throw a nice big party for all my blog friends! Just not too big where it knocks me OFF that 1st million! haha…
@bleu – Amen! Toxic people suck. All they do is try to bring others down and refuse to add anything to society. One of the downfalls of anonymous online commenting/blogging/etc. People have much bigger balls when they can hide behind a computer screen ;)
@Brian – Yes! Go for it, dude! You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities and different paths it could take you :) It’s completely changed my life in both friendships, career, and even more so learning and growing. If you’re passionate about a topic, no matter what it is, get out there and let it shine!
@Kathryn C – Agreed! :)

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11 Katie June 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

J Money – you are inspiring! That what keeps bringing us back again and again! (Well, that and your sense of humor, new cowboy boots, and the fact that Ben Franklin gave you a quote from the “other side”!!!)

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12 Ginger June 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

Congrats, J. Money. I bet you end up a millionaire before you expect it.

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13 retirebyforty June 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

Awesome & Congratulation man! You are doing great!

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14 Stacey June 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

Go J! I love reading your blog. Your sense of humor and positive vibe are what we need more of in the world these days. Thanks for putting yourself out there to inspire the rest of us to pursue our dreams. Continued good luck to you!

P.S. Love the cowboy boots. :)

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15 MD June 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Congrats J! I’ve been following this blog ever since the beginning and you deserve the success. You’ve worked very hard over the years.

Do you ever miss the structure of a full time job though?

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16 Elise Adams June 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Super exciting. GREAT to hear that you are making your self-employment dream a reality. Inspiring. :-) Plus I learn from you every day by just watching how you post. Love the balance between giving, living and learning!

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17 Kathy June 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

CONGRATS!!
Amazing! Six months already. What an acomplishment.
Thanks for being a great blogger. (btw…you’re my fave blog…..but, sshhhh, don’t tell the others that I subscribe to…..it’ll make them jealous)
I read daily and have gleaned so much great info from you & also fellow readers. Keep it up on your end & I’ll keep spreading the word on mine!

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18 Christine June 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Congratulations! Can’t believe 6 months have passed so quickly. Glad you’re enjoying it!

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19 slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

You mentioned income. How’s the other side – the expenses going? Is this impacting the long-term slope of your net worth equation? If so, is that a positive or negative?

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20 Rafiki June 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Congrats and keep sailing that ship. You are an inspiration.

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21 Melissa June 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Congrats, J. Money!! I totally don’t have the courage to make it as a freelancer (and OK, I like my job), but so many of my friends are trying to make it as freelance writers and it just makes me giddy to hear of other people making it work.

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22 J. Money June 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

@Katie – Hahaha, thanks!!
@Ginger – That would be nice ;)
@retirebyforty – Thank you, sir! I will see you on the beach soon :)
@Stacey – Thank you so much! That is so sweet of you!! You guys are the ones that keep me coming back to blog, so it’s a nice big happy family! :)
@MD – Thanks dude :) And you know, sometimes I do. I wouldn’t mind being forced to wake up at 6 or 7 am again like back in the 9-5 days. I never slept as much, but I was always super productive. Just seems more “normal” ya know? The only thing I REALLY miss though is shutting down work at 5:30 and then not touching it again until the next morning. But I haven’t had that since I started the blog 3 years ago so I’m now very much used to the “new” life ;) If I shut down at 5 now I’d be wayyyy too backed up and would worry all the time, but maybe that will change later?
@Elise Adams – Awww, thanks! Love your posts too – you sure know how to rile people up ;)
@Kathy – YAY!!! Thanks so much – that makes me feel so happy :) You totally made my day, rock on!!
@Christine – I know right? Feels like just the other day I was writing up my “I got fired” post… feels so long and so short ago at the same time :)
@slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com – That’s a great question. And the answer to that is that my expenses have actually gone done since working full-time – mainly due to not commuting and eating out all the time. Blogging full-time costs the same as blogging part-time, so the good part about now working for myself is that there was no extra costs involved :) If I can continue lowering my expenses going forward though (particularly the housing $$$ – bleh) we’d be in even better shape. Although, health insurance now costs a pretty penny.
@Rafiki – Thanks!
@Melissa – Haha, yeah – I can tell you that it def. *sounds* better thinking about it than it actually is in real life, no matter how cool it is ;) I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my entire life! haha… but I’d take this over the other anytime. A lot of my friends wouldn’t though – so it all depends on what makes you happy really. Thanks for stopping by!

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23 Crystal June 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Yay for another amazing update! Since your last one, my own quitting date has moved up too, woot! Instead of March-June of 2012, it will be somewhere between September 2011-January 2012 (I could quit in September but I am aiming for staying until January and cashing in that 3 weeks of vacation time). I seem to be hitting my own goal of $2500 a month pretty easily now and will have a damn party when I am making a cool $60k a year!!! CONGRATS!!!

I was thinking, when I work from home, I wonder if I should give myself a set number of vacation days a year or something so I don’t fall off track? Obviously you have Love Drop to travel for, but I personally can do my Meals on Wheels volunteering at lunch…

Anyway, LOVE the updates since they give me something to look forward to!!! Thanks! You are inspiring!

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24 Adam June 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I’m beaming so much right now, so pleased its all working out. You’re awesome and I love being able to follow along for the ride. Immense success my friend.

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25 Sarah June 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Keep it up, J. Money! I need the inspiration!

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26 Chris June 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Good job J! I look forward to seeing what the future brings for you. I’m currently on the same path as you. (But I earn about $5000 less a month, HA HA) What tips could you provide those that are following in similar foot steps?

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27 Paula @ AffordAnything.org June 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Won’t it cost you more than $2,000 to pay the lawyer? Usually high legal fees prevent Party #1 from suing Party #2 ….

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28 Edward Antrobus June 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

The Springs are almost a 2 1/2 hour drive away.

But you should definately write a book.Self-publishing is really easy and you already have a great base and marketing know-ho to get the word out once it’s published.

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29 J. Money June 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm

@Crystal – Woooo!!! You are getting there, my friend!! Love hearing all about your stuff too – keep updating us, okay? We’re gonna have that party together and celebrate! :) As for vacation days and what not, that’s a new one for me as I haven’t taken one for a loooong looong time… I do get to travel and see the country with Love Drop which is GREAT – wouldn’t change it for the world – but we’re still working the entire time and thinking and creating. But to take an entire day of not working a bit or checking email or anything, that would be incredible. Haha… of course it’s always do-able when you’re self-employed, but you better be okay w/ triple the work the next day ;)
@Adam – Thanks dude! I love knowing that I *know* you now too :) It was a great great pleasure meeting you in person at SXSW. Hope to hang out again during FINCON 11!
@Sarah – Me too! Tell me something good about what’s been going on in your life lately? :)
@Chris – Best tip I could ever give? Be as passionate, and as “YOU” as possible. No matter what you apply that to, you can’t fail in being successful at all :) It sounds cliche, but the money will definately follow.
@Paula @ AffordAnything.org – Nope, but maybe because we’re doing it as a group? So far it’s cost $100 for random expenses, and from what I’ve been told so far we will *only* pay more if/when we actually get our final paychecks. I can’t remember the exact % off my head right now (been drinking a few beers! haha…) but I wanna say I have to give up 30-40% of my money? Obviously that’s not the *best* case possible, but to be honest at this point I just really want to stick it to them! Even if I come out breaking even, I want them to know that they are complete idiots for the way they handled everything, and I want it to track them going forward for however long as possible. I don’t care how business-oriented you are, you just really can’t treat people that way.
@Edward Antrobus – Oh cool, well you’ll have to come out and participate in the Drop if it ends up working that way :) And as for the book – yeah, it’s been on my mind more recently, but it’ll have to take some freeing up of my time in order for it to become a reality anytime soon… it’ll never be off the table though, that’s for sure.

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30 Will @ HackingTheBank.com June 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

It’s pretty darn exciting seeing you take advantage of the opportunity you were given (your termination). It would have been easy to go searching for another job, but instead, you did what you wanted to do and you have been successful. Definitely jealous, haha.

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31 J. Money June 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Thanks! I promised myself I’d go an entire year without searching for a job to see if I can do it, and so far it’s working! :) It def. makes you feel alive, that’s for sure.

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32 Donna Freedman June 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I can’t believe they can get away without paying you for this long. Want me to beat them up? Tell them if they don’t fork over your delayed paycheck, plus a bonus of six months’ worth of pens and Post-Its from the supply closet, you’ll send your cranky menopausal writer friend over — and she doesn’t believe in time-outs.

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33 J. Money June 19, 2011 at 1:37 am

Haha… I would kill for 6 months worth of pens and post-its! That’s worth way more than my measly paycheck ;)

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34 Catherine June 22, 2011 at 9:54 am

Congratulations on all your success in these past 6 months. I would love to do what you do! It is my goal to start a PF blog one of these days that I actually get my act together. I live in Grand Rapids MI and I am sure you will enjoy the ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon. That is the way to travel! I would love to meet up if you will be around or through Grand Rapids and have any time. What are you doing in Detroit? I am originally from Canton. Make sure you get a Detroit coney before you leave!

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35 J. Money June 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hey Catherine! Very cool – I’ll be passing your front door step sometime this weekend :) I think we’re staying in Grand Rapids Saturday night :) We’re there to do our 6th Love Drop (a side project where we use micro-giving to help one family a month and we film it kinda like a reality show/home extreme makeover, haha…) and this month’s family lives a bit north somewhere of Detroit :) I’m not sure how much time we’ll have while there, but if you shoot me an email I can keep in touch with you and see what we can work out? j (at) budgets are sexy (dot) com. Would be cool to meet up :)

And I hope you get that PF blog up too soon! Not only will you learn a lot and be more cognizant of your money (because everyone else will know what you do when they read about it! haha….) but you’ll meet a wonderful group of people while you’re at it too. It’s really pretty amazing :) Just start!

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36 Kay Lynn July 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I’m really happy you got laid off so you could pursue your dream. Since your travels take you away so much, I’ll write up a guest post for you this week and hope you like it. :)

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37 J. Money July 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Haha, okay sounds good – you know I could use it at some point ;) And you’re totally right on those travels – no way I could do that w/ a normal 9-5! Can’t wait to see you at BlogHer!

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38 Nicole Couloute July 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm

You are doing a great job! Love the website!

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39 J. Money August 2, 2011 at 2:46 am

Thanks Nicole! Really appreciate that :)

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