“I’m gonna live the life I want to live and nobody’s gonna stop me.”

by J. Money - Published April 27, 2016[Edit]

hump day funny camel

I heard you could use some mid-week motivation? :)

Check out these notes from three different people who’ve stopped by this blog recently to share their progress and stories. Just further proof we all have it in us to rock this stuff if we really care enough to make it happen! And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting out either, so long as you actually *start*.

First up, this message from Twoee left on our article about the power of doing just one thing:

OK, so I am making a commitment to max out my IRA. My mother-in-law challenged me to try her way of saving. I didn’t even think I had funds to do this. I work part time and my husband had just been laid off.

Well, I am proud to say I have been saving $200 a month since Jan of this year! I have paid off more than 50% of my credit card debt and all of my bills are current and on time. This is major motivation for someone who had nothing 7 yrs ago.

Now I have found this blog to help me stay focused! I am going to get to 50% of my income then go full time and do 75% of my income. If it takes me until I am 50 (currently 32) at least I know it’s possible and I did it so I can teach my kids to do the same. I will end the poverty cycle in my family!

YES! It is possible! Lots of people have managed to save 50% or more of their incomes – keep going! I smiled like crazy reading this the first time around too about breaking that poverty cycle, man… Amazing what can happen when you really commit to something important, right? Love to hear this stuff… Way to go, Twoeee!

Here’s another one by naughtygrog on last week’s article on having your money epiphany… I have no idea what a “naughty grog” is, haha, but it sounds like a helluva great band name ;)

My financial epiphany is ongoing and only kicked off 3 months ago. But in that 3 months I’ve managed to get things moving in a much better direction.

We paid off a nearly $600.00 payday loan and have tracked every dime spent in the last 3 months. We are in the process of building a budget. This has been a process because we had no earthly idea what we were spending but we should have it locked down this upcoming month.

I’m super excited to say that in that 3 months we’ve managed to SAVE just south of $400 bucks. This would have been completely unheard of 6 months ago.

BOOM! Tracking your money – especially for the first time – does amazing things, no doubt… If you don’t know where the hell all your money is going, how can you figure out what to improve?

This was one of the first things I did when having my own epiphany 8 years ago too… And I learned quick that I was leaking $200 every month when in my head I thought I was SAVING $200/mo. How you miss a difference of $400 is beyond me, but the only way I caught on was because I was tracking it all! And 3 months usually gives you enough time to start seeing the patterns.

(As an aside, the beautiful part about getting your money down is that once you get good at it and learn how you work, you can let up on the details a bit and coast more. You won’t hear many financial bloggers or “experts” tell you this, but there’s something to be said about being good with your money 80-90% of the time than driving yourself crazy at the full 100%. Not that there’s anything wrong with tracking every penny forever either – just that most people tend to burn out over time.)

And then here’s a note I just received yesterday from a kid who’s figured out more than some adults ever will:

My brother!

How’s it going J?

My name’s Carl. I’m an 18 year old, motivated teenager in this big scary world! I’ve recently moved to the U.S. to chase my dreams, and I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago while doing my usual nightly financial research. It is one of my favourite things to read now!!

I have dreams of being financially secure, raising a family and doing some cool things with my life. And your blog has made me believe that it really is possible. I need to work hard and track my spendings. I have a dream of being a successful day trader and be able to make other investments such as real estate etc. People have told me that I have unrealistic dreams and need a reality check but I ain’t listening to a word. I’m gonna live the life I want to live and nobody’s gonna stop me.

I’m working as a sales associate really right now, earning poor money and not getting the hours that I desire to be able to actually save up some money and begin my journey. I’m not getting myself down though, I know it’s all part of the process and I’ll get where I want to be in good time.

Keep up what you’re doing!

P.S. Maybe one day if you’re lucky, I’ll lend you my Lamborghini for a weekend as a “thank you” for the motivation and financial advice you put out ;)

Yessir, I’d gladly grab that lambo for a day and live like a king :)

But seriously, how many lessons did you see hiding in there that most people take a lifetime to understand? I counted seven:

  • Having a positive outlook!
  • Educating yourself in your free time
  • Understanding things don’t happen over night
  • Realizing the importance of tracking your spending (sensing a pattern yet? :))
  • Not giving up and feeling sorry for yourself
  • Ignoring the haters
  • And most importantly, BELIEVING in yourself and your vision!

I don’t know about that day trading idea, but I’m confident he’ll stumble across the right route for him once he gets going and experiments more… I advised him to really look into the online world as well (and pointed him to SmartPassiveIncome.com) as it can be an immense jumping point to a number of opportunities – whether income related or just in growing a community/network. You never know what having an online platform will open up (I never dreamed I’d become a blogger for a career?), and since there’s no barrier to entry anymore and it’s super flexible, you hold a lot of the control.

Mix that with an insane drive and some positivity and you’ve got a recipe for success! Internet-related or not!

At the end of the day we care about our lives more than anyone else, so it’s up to us to want it bad enough to go out and make it happen… As composer Meredith Willson once said, “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.”

The time is now, my friends! Keep on going!

Then you could be a bit more like Biggie instead ;)

biggie quote net worth[Well done, Candice Marie, well done]

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thinking Thrifty April 27, 2016 at 5:26 am

Great article J

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2 The Green Swan April 27, 2016 at 5:27 am

Very motivational! Having an optimistic, can-do attitude is half the battle. Keep that up and keep chipping away… Slowly but surely you’ll “break the rock”!

The Green Swan

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3 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 6:23 am

Is that where “chipping away” comes from? I never knew that… :)

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4 Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless April 27, 2016 at 6:09 am

Yay, thanks for being so encouraging and publishing positive messages, J! You rock. :)

And the Meredith Willson quote is very profound; thanks for sharing that.

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5 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 6:25 am

Yes, it is! I just stumbled across it the other week and freakin’ in love with it…

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6 Roy Largo @ Band of Savers April 27, 2016 at 7:24 am

I love the pattern of people seeing the need to track their spending. I’ve done this for years now and I love that spreadsheet and find that that one act of tracking every penny has probably saved us thousands of dollars.

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7 Ramona @ Personal Finance Today April 28, 2016 at 6:28 am

I think it was the most IMPORTANT thing I did in the past years that really helped me get back on track. From debt and almost no income, I was able to pay off the loan, build a small business and not have to worry too much about tomorrow. Tracking expenses is still my main ‘secret’ in handling money.

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8 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:05 am

Work it!

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9 Thias @It Pays Dividends April 27, 2016 at 7:51 am

I can’t believe Biggie talked about net worth in such a profound way!

I’m glad to see that spreading the idea of tracking your spending and perseverance are hitting home for some people. Personal finance in theory isn’t hard – you spend less than you earn and save the rest – but when you have lived a life going against that idea, it is hard to switch off that mindset. Doing great work as always J$!

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10 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Thank you kindly, sir! Glad you liked this one.

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11 Money Beagle April 27, 2016 at 8:15 am

Believing in yourself is critical to success. You have to be able to picture what you want and picture yourself there. It really helps push things along!

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12 Paul April 27, 2016 at 8:30 am

You should have quoted B.I.G. is your previous post….You know, because his phone bill was about 2 Gs flat but there was no need to worry since his accountant handled that.

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13 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:24 pm

OMG, haha… how right you are.

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14 Mike B. April 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

No… No… Notorious!

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15 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

(We are… we are…)

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16 Joe April 27, 2016 at 9:16 am

I don’t know about day-trading either. I heard that you can make money, but it is a lot of work. Most people probably lose money at it. Thinking positive is the first step for sure. You have to break out of the rut somehow.

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17 Amanda April 27, 2016 at 10:05 am

It’s so great to see these positive personal stories. Thanks for sharing!

Ultimately, I hope to inspire people to make such positive changes in their lives and finances as well. Great work, J$!

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18 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

You are already! Every blog out there spreading the good $$$ word is helping people – whether they tell you so or not. Only one out of like every 1,000 people ever take the time to leave a comment or reach out. You’re adding so much value into the world!

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19 Tim April 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

No progress towards success can ever be achieved without a healthy dose of positive attitude, optimism and action.

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20 FinanceSuperhero April 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

Well, this article sure put an additional bounce in my step. I have no doubt that Carl will be lending you that Lambo at some point, J. He seems to have grasped that effort and motivation are the great equalizers. He isn’t going to let his circumstances dictate his life; he seems determined to dictate his circumstances!

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21 Josh @MoneyBuffalo April 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

That’s awesome to hear that you are truly helping people. I found your site by googling “personal finance blogs” or something to that affect, your article about getting laid off & writing from a rented office space was the first article I read. It was timely & one of the reasons I decided I could start a blog of my own.

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22 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Oh, nice! That day changed my life so immensely – can’t believe it was over 5 years ago now. Good for you for taking the step and joining our community here. Never know where it could lead to! And at the very least you have fun and hopefully grow your $$$ in the process :) Nothing like blogging about money all the time to keep you accountable!

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23 Apathy Ends April 27, 2016 at 11:49 am

Awesome read – starting is the hardest part! thanks for sharing!

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24 Shaun @YouBestInvest April 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

I absolutely love reading these posts where you realize the direct impact you’re having on peoples lives. That was one of the main reasons I decided to start a blog as well. I was always discussing financial matters around my office, talking to my friends and wife about it, but I finally realized that I wanted to help people on a larger scale. What you’re accomplishing on this blog is truly commendable.

With respect to the article, day trading is definitely a risky proposition. My go to for extra monthly income on top of stock dividends is covered calls and cash secured puts. Don’t get me wrong, playing with stock options can be extremely risky. However, if you already own stock, why not make a little extra cash each month on it? On the other hand, if their is a stock you want but you think it’s currently over priced (based on an intrinsic value analysis you should have done), you can get paid to purchase it at the price you want. Just my 2 cents.

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25 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm

I’ll have to take your word for it – I suck at stock stuff and is exactly why I go w/ the indexing route :) But yes to blogging and helping people! And the nice thing is that people here actually WANT to talk about money, haha… friends and family – and especially significant others – get tired of hearing about it fast. Those poor souls…

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26 Harmony April 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for the motivational post. My biggest issue today is having to deal with this demanding “real” job, instead of being able to do everything that makes me happy. But my time will come, just gotta keep chugging along for now.

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27 J. Money April 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Yeah, working can suck sometimes for sure…. If it makes you feel better though, we’re all working right along with you? :) Can’t escape that part of the process to freedom unfortunately… Even with dream jobs.

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28 Revanche April 27, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Motivation for a Wednesday! I’m all good on the motivation front for our actual money but I do ask myself from time to time why I blog since my audience is nothing like yours. But then once in a while, someone I didn’t know was reading, an online friend, even, will tell me they started saving because of me, or they wiped out their debt because I made it sound possible and DANG if that doesn’t feel good.

Here’s to a positive NW for all!

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29 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:09 am

YES!! You never know who you’re affecting at any time unless they tell you (which they rarely do) – so keep on going as long as you’re enjoying it! :) You’re like a veteran around here anyways – you know it wouldn’t be the same without you.

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30 Liz April 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Oooh, good one! Just in time, had a stumble today and was feeling a little stuck. Picking myself up, building a bridge, and getting over it :)

” A sobering thought: What if , at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential” (Jane Wagner, American playwright…and humourist). Good lord, I better hustle to make that not the case!

Also, love the artistic license with Biggie’s words.

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31 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:10 am

Freaky! But what a thought to ponder on!

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32 Sarah April 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm

I first found your blog about a year ago and immediately saved it to my bookmarks. Then forgot about it for the next 12 months. I don’t know why I stumbled on it again…but I am so thankful I did! EVERY day since then I have taken some step to better my money situation and I have learned that just “paying attention” is half the battle. That’s how we find those leaks!! Like losing weight…some times ya gotta go after this money thing several times and several ways before you get it. Anyway…thanks for still being here 12 months later.

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33 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:11 am

Welcome back :) (And thanks for making my morning)

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34 The Jolly Ledger April 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm

I wish I would have trusted myself when I was young. I had a vision for my life, but it was thwarted by my parents. They felt I would struggle too much, but never really considered happiness. Now I am working toward the financial independence to do what I want!

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35 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

Woah – not sure what you mean by feeling like they thwarted you, but sounds like an intriguing topic to cover on your blog :)

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36 Nick April 27, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Killer article J. It’s exciting to see how much you’re helping people. You’re totally spot on about the drive and positivity. That’s what keeps us going.

Keep up the great work man.

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37 [email protected] April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

J., I had an idea. Now, you know that you are one of my best friends and I’ve been stalking you (your blog) for over five years now. I was thinking, would it be possible to give me a call before you have a ride in this Lamborghini so I can join you? (And make sure you give me time to get myself over from the UK, right :).) Good writing, J.

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38 J. Money April 28, 2016 at 8:16 am

Only if you bring the snacks!

(He won’t mind a few crumbs, right?)

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39 Kevin @ The Debt Journey April 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Great read!

Keeping a positive outlook is the hardest thing for me because I am so impatient!!!!!
I don’t mind all the extra work but I want the end results now!!!
But filling in the free time has been interesting. Gained a lot more knowledge. Been reading tons more. Selling things like crazy. Stole a giraffe.

You know all the normal things to fill time and gain more insight towards the future of being debt free!!!!

-KB

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40 J. Money April 29, 2016 at 6:11 am

Haha, rock on man… You’ll make it to the finish line a lot quicker with a fun attitude like that :)

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41 Christine @ThePursuitofGreen April 29, 2016 at 12:54 am

Yay!!! You’ve inspired so many to keep going to financial independence!!! Pretty amazing to see it put into words. From three different types of people too! Shows how similar we all are rather than how different. Thanks J$! Keep it up!

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42 superbien April 29, 2016 at 7:34 am

This is cool. You mentioned in another post that financial bloggers get a lot of truly hit wrenching emails, like suicide threats, so I’m very glad you get awesome notes like these too!

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43 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Yup – we get all kinds of stuff hitting us left and right. So it’s def. good these more positive ones come in to help keep us sane and motivated! Especially on those days we get hate mail too :)

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44 Amy @ DebtGal April 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Great motivation – thanks! And congrats to the people you quoted!!

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45 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank April 30, 2016 at 6:30 pm

J, that’s a good motivation! Determination is really a key in financial freedom.

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46 mr hawkes May 4, 2016 at 11:13 am

J just wanted to stop by and let you know how much I love the blog, been on this journey a few months myself now and feel like Neo waking up from the Matrix!

Knowledge is there but the discipline has been lacking and been living like Cypher telling Morpheus to shove his red-pill up his proverbial.

No more – Thank you for your input!

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47 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Haha rock on man, welcome to the party :)

Loving your only three categories on your site so far – Hustle / Life / Money

Gonna go far with that mentality! And I hope you do!

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