Ask Me Anything!

by J. Money -

ask me anything

Hey guys!!

Tomorrow’s my last day here!!

If there was anything you ever wanted to ask me, now’s your shot! :) Can be about money, biz, love, life, kids, mohawks – whatev!

If I can legally (and consciously) answer you, I will ;)

Drop your questions down below in the comments or via email, and I’ll answer each and every one of them and then update this post here so everyone can see the Q&As… Or if you’d rather ask something in *private*, that’s cool too – just give me the heads up and I’ll keep it on the low 👍

1-2-3 Go!

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How would you recommend the best ways to learn the stock market thoroughly?

Reading! Lots of it! :)

But starting with these two resources will help speed it up a bit for you (though fyi they’re definitely biased towards indexing, lol..)

How much do you think you’re going to miss writing these blog posts? Just so you know, I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Thank you so much for everything!

Hey thanks!! They’ve been fun to write for a majority of the years, but I’ll be honest and say I don’t think they’re nearly as good as they used to be :) I think I’ve finally said everything I wanted to say so I don’t predict missing them. I WILL miss all the PEOPLE here though!! That’s going to be the hardest to walk away from until my next project!

Are you enjoying home ownership, or do you really prefer renting? (Sorry if you already answered this question since I don’t always read every single email you write 😊)?

I would rent every day of my life if I could :) Home ownership is just not for me, but it is best for my *family* so I suck it up and roll with it and it’s def. not as bad as it was 10 years ago when we first owned. Probably because I have money now to fix everything when it breaks! We just paid $3,000 to cut down a couple of dead trees in our yard a few weeks ago – it never ends.

Are you still writing, and will I still be able to follow you? I know you mentioned your future plans in one of your posts, but I can’t remember the details.

YUP! I’ll still be in the community working on projects relating to $$$! The next one will be a curation-focused site similar to Rockstar Finance back in the day that’ll be launching on Soapbox.com in about a month (July 6th).

Here’s everywhere else you can find me in the meantime (make sure you’re subscribed to my personal newsletter so you get all my updates):

Any chance you’ll host another podcast? Miss hearing from you back in the day on the MONEY show with Paula P. 

NOPE. Haha… I’ll gladly continue going ON other peoples’ podcasts though! :) A lot more fun and a lot less work! Though I will be getting into *video* more so we’ll see how that goes… You’ll get my face AND my voice ;)

[Here’s the backstory on that podcast btw for anyone new: Good Reasons to Quit Something vs Bad Reasons to Quit Something (And Why I’m Retiring from Podcasting)]

What is the value of love?

$38 and a bag of Cheetos 😂

My question is where will you be in 5 years? In otherwise what is the next big target you are going for in life?

Oh man, I couldn’t tell you! I’ve never been one to really set long-term goals as crazy as that sounds, but I DO know whatever I’m working on it’ll fit within my ideal *lifestyle*. Which is waking up and working on whatever I’m passionate about (work-wise) for the first half of the day, and then logging off and doing whatever non-work stuff I want to do the second half of the day :) I’m finding that’s the ideal schedule so far for me where I’m the most productive – and happy! – in both areas of the work/life balance, while still doing *just enough* to earn a decent living, lol…

What I want to know is – are you still keeping up with your early morning schedule (was it a phase thing – or is it for life?)

I AM!! I woke up at 5:02 this morning and still one of the best habits I’ve ever formed! Here’s a post on why I love it so much which sums it up nicely – 3 Years Waking Up Early Like Benjamin Franklin! – but if you want the TL;DR here you go:

  • It’s so still and peaceful in the morning!
  • It’s nice to wake up and set your *own tone* for the day vs letting others do it for you (like crying babies!)
  • It helps *slow down* time more and allows for good reflection
  • It’s 100% YOU time!
  • It feels great jumping right into life so fast – and without distractions
  • It’s much easier working in the mornings for me than the afternoons
  • It also helps me *go to bed earlier* and not stay up goofing around!
  • I’ve also become much less anxious over the days – knowing I have that time to myself every morning to work out things or get a plan going…
  • And lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly?, waking up early has stopped me from snacking and drinking beers throughout the entire night :)

So yes – all good things! And I should mention this is *only for Mon-Friday btw… I allow myself to sleep in and recharge during the weekend, made even more impactful by not opening up my laptop anymore as well after Fridays. Another great habit I’ve recently formed!

What’s your next project? Will you still maintain your own Twitter account? Or did you sell that as well?

I still own and have my Twitter –> @BudgetsAreSexy. It’s my favorite place to hang out in the $$$ community :)

And the next project I’m working on will be a curation-like site launching over at Soapbox.com in approximately a month… So if you liked my monthly roundup here, you’ll like this one!

I’m buying my first car in the next month or so. If you have any tips on banks to go with, getting loan approval, what interest rate I should shoot for with 760+ credit, purchasing a car from another state… Anything really, I would appreciate it. I’m just trying to save an much as I can for as long as I can to pay off this new car and my student debt.

Rock on! Your credit score is lit! I personally use – and love – USAA for both financing and insurance (been a member for over 20 years now!), but unfortunately they’re only open to those connected with the military :(

I will say though that I hope you’re considering a *used* car for your first one vs a new one! Pros and cons to both, but even just getting one a year or two off the lot would save you immensely over the years. Or better yet getting a beater and then “upgrading” later when you’re more secure! :) Fun adventure though!

If you were lucky enough to spend a month this summer in any Canadian province, which one would it be and why? :)

Victoria in British Columbia!! Because HOUSE BOATS! And water! And scenery! And all things cute and romantic!! :) Plus you could take a fun ferry ride right into Seattle and enjoy a little U.S. action too, lol…

What do you think are the best ways to get through the boredom of the mundane to become an expert in your own personal finance? Many people (myself included) struggle after we become semi-competent in a new task.

I guess maybe I’d just ask myself if you really *need* to be an expert in all the areas? Especially if you’re already doing okay? It’s awesome if you can learn the ins and outs of everything, but sometimes it’s also awesome knowing you’re 80% fine and don’t need to be 100% perfect :) Orrrrr – doing what I do and just moving to other fun areas in life to explore, like hobbies or friends/etc, and *then* moving back to a deep dive in a financial topic once it becomes more relevant or exciting… It’s def. hard to force yourself to do something if you’re not ready/motivated.

Hi J, I’ve recently been reading a book on Multiple Streams of income where the author discusses how to protect your assets, by using LLC’s, living trusts, etc. What steps do you think are important to put in place for the average ordinary Joe with a Glass Jaw to protect his (or hers) assets? I mean I can’t keep fighting like this, at some point I’ll get brain damage :D

Haha… Well it all depends on how comfortable you are and what exactly you’re trying to protect, but as someone who just recently finished their will and trust, I can tell you it def. makes a world of difference in the peace department :) But then again I also have 3 kids counting on me and a business and house to worry about, etc… I don’t know if I’d mess with LLCs or a trust if it were just me right now and I was in the early stages of my journey, but there are certainly benefits to it.

Who would win in a fight to the death between all the humans and all the insects in the world, and why are you wrong in your answer?

We’ve got Chuck Norris, so… :)

If the point of FIRE is to pack it in when you have a self sustaining investment portfolio, do you indeed pack it in, or do you shoot for an 8 digit net worth? Or 9? Or the triple comma club? Or some other goal? What will you, J Money, do?

I think if you have to ask yourself that question you haven’t yet found a way to be content ;) There’s financial freedom, and then there’s trying to amass money just to see how much you can have in the end! Would I love to have more? Of course! But I think if you can learn to be happy with what you’ve got then the rest is all “extra” and not so much a *need*.

Does your wife work outside your home, well at least before covid tines? If so, what is her job/occupation? Also, how did you two meet?

My wife works for the government and normally telecommutes half the week and works from home the other half, but with the Covid stuff she’s thankfully able to work at home fully right now. And she loves her job so it’s great! (She’s an editor)

We met at a bar when she asked me where the bathroom was and I asked her to dance instead ;) She said no, and then an hour later she found me on the dance floor! I guess it was my sweet moves!! #NOT

1. The thing you are most proud of with money?
2. The most rewarding way you ever spent money? (can be a gadget, trip, experience, philanthropy)
3. Your craziest hidden talent 😜

I’m most proud of finding a way to do what I want with my career while still managing to keep a household afloat :) Especially throughout all the ups and downs and crazy ideas I’ve had over the years!

The most rewarding way of spending my money will always be when it’s directed towards other people… I don’t know why that is as it’s literally THE OPPOSITE of what we work so hard towards, haha, but as Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”

Craziest hidden talent?! Does yard saling count?? :) I’m really good at finding them and bargaining people down, haha… Also I tend to work *more creatively* the less sleep I have! At least until I crash!

My question is about the mechanics of setting up a blog for affiliate marketing (write helpful content and link it to resources at Amazon or other vendors). I have a registered domain, hosting account with Bluehost, and purchased Elegant Themes. I also have a list of ideas to write about in a narrow niche. I can’t figure out the mechanics of getting a blog going. I have read a ton of blogs on the subject, but the information is usually vague (start a blog and write about something). What resource would you recommend that teaches about the number of pages one should have, fonts, where to get pictures from, and anything else related to setting up a blog?

Well, I’m probably the wrong person to ask for that as I prefer blogs that *aren’t* set up chiefly to make money as it tends to skew everything (language, intent, “feel”), however in either case it really does come down to writing your heart out and getting those ideas down on paper :)

Sure there are tips on word length (at least 600 for example for SEO) and cool fonts (I like these guys: https://www.1001fonts.com/) as well as places you can grab pics safely and free from (check out https://pixabay.com/ and https://unsplash.com/), but at the end of the day you need those articles pumped out for people – and Google – to start being able to find you. And perhaps even more important than that, you need to see if you actually ENJOY blogging and are good at it! Or the rest of the stuff doesn’t even matter!

So my recommendation is the same as those vague articles you’ve come across and to JUST START while you’re interested and ready to learn… Sure you’ll get things wrong, but the writing is 80% of the game!

What is one thing in your life that you wish you’d done differently and/or one regret you have that you wish you could change?

I don’t have too many regrets in life thankfully, but one I would have 100% done over would be to live a more MINIMAL life SOONER. I know we all get our epiphanies at different times so not sure how I would have *known* to do things differently, but man how much freedom – and joy! – I would have had if I had caught on sooner! All my dreams of tiny house living and getting rid of all my “stuff” would have been much easier to do before starting a family and having a million kids! Haha… Which I know technically you can still do, but we’re talking a way different story there ;) But oh well… there are worse problems to have of course!

If you had a million dollars and also had a 150,000 dollar student loan…what would you do with all that money?

Is it $1,000,000 *extra* dollars? If so I’d wipe away that debt once and for all and then invest the rest into index funds :) If my *net worth* is a flat million dollars, then I’d probably still wipe away the debt just to be rid of it and then make sure the rest is applied towards index funds and cash and perhaps some real estate if that’s your thing. A challenge for me has been *diversifying* more outside of just straight up retirement accounts (which account for the major chunk of our $$!), so the one nice thing about owning a home if I have to say a nice thing, lol, is that it does help spread across our $$$ better. And I’m also trying to focus more on our non-retirement brokerage account too now that the rest is so pumped up. But all fun questions to think about! I hope you just hit the lottery! :)

What is your favorite coin, and why? What are you doing next?

My favorite coin that I *own* is this old Indian head nickel that someone carved into a different face that I inherited from my grandma, and known as a “hobo nickel“:

hobo nickel

But my most *favorite* coin that I’ll never be able to afford is the 1915-S Panama Pacific Gold Commemorative coin made up of 2 and 1/2 ozs of gold and shaped in an octagon :) Just look at that owl!!

panama pacific gold commemorative coin

What I’m doing next? Helping curate the best financial articles in the community for a new project that’ll be launching on Soapbox.com come July 6th. Make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter to get notified of it!

What kind of saving pots do you have? For e.g. do you have sinking funds/savings for travel, house repairs, general?

At the moment I only have a “house fund” for anything that breaks in the place or we want to upgrade (like the floors or bathrooms, kitchen, etc). We now have a new savings account in general under the trust we just set up, but right now that’s just some longer term money sitting there and not really earmarked for anything. I tend to only have one or two specific funds set up at any time due to my minimalism ;)

Best advice for building a successful blog that provides a full time income (let’s say 100K per year). Also, any advice on selling a blog?

HAH! Just going for the kill are we?? :)

You’ll have to see my note up above for my thoughts on starting a blog for money, but obviously it can be done and there are happy mediums of doing it like what we did here on this blog (ie did enough to survive but never made it the #1 priority). I would say your best chance of being successful with blogging is to first ENJOY IT! and then secondly be in it for the *long* haul as it’s not a fast ride ;)

Or better yet, use the blog as a *resume* and make money off the opportunities it brings! Like speaking or freelance writing or even coming up with your own products or books! Lots of ways to make money, but again it comes down to passion and hustle.

As for selling blogs once it’s time, I have a private email list of people interested in buying them and happy to pass along the details to gauge interest (if you wanna get on the list, sign up here – https://jmoney.biz/brokering/), but there are also larger brokers out there that will really market it and get a top offer but of course charge a nice commission as well :) Can’t think of their names off my head, but if you email me I can find them and email you back after this AMA is over.

Also FWIW  – most places look at the trailing 12 or 15 months of profit and stats, so always best to ramp it up good before you’re ready to sell for the best shot of maximizing a sales price!

Regarding generating passive income, it seems like the #1 suggestion is always invest in real estate and become a property manager (landlord). I know a lot of people doing this and always heard the horror stories so I’ve been very leery of this. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are that it makes me want to vomit to even think about it :)

But then again I’m not a real estate lover and it HAS worked for people for hundreds, if not thousands of years! So there’s definitely validity to it, but thankfully there are plenty of other ways to bring passive income in too… Such as investing in the market long term – which is the route I choose to go (but has it’s own set of issues, of course). Really comes down to how comfortable you are with risk and what your personality is like.

Mr. Money, after following you for sometime now I am still asking myself, “why haven’t you started; what’s holding you back from financial freedom,” and being self taught and evolving monthly with stocks I continously find my brain racing to avoid the growth. So let me ask you, how did you go from lack to sack? What really drove you to become higher within yourself?

Hah! I’m not sure I exactly follow the question, but I can tell you I’ve been more motivated by *lifestyle design* than I have money over the past few years.  Since the whole point of money anyways is to craft the life we live! So perhaps focusing on the  *daily* changes you want to see in your life might be more motivating than the larger – harder – “growth” parts of it all? How do you see yourself living in a perfect world?? What would you be doing every day? Can you start doing some of it NOW and then incrementally do more over time? Those are the bigger questions that drive me, anyways :)

What advice do you have for someone who is extremely disorganized and hates tracking things and budgeting, but still wants to achieve FI? (I already pay myself first and max out my and my wife’s 401k and ira, so something beyond that). Thanks again for all the insight and motivation over the years!!!

How about tracking your net worth? A much easier – and quicker! – exercise to do every month? Maybe that’ll keep you motivated seeing how things overall change over time? Also if you’re like me, it’s usually more fun going “all in” on a certain goal too than trying to hit 13 different smaller ones :) Maybe there’s an area of your life/finances you can really turbocharge for a solid month or two and see what comes of it? Or maybe a hobby you can turn into a money maker, even if it’s just a little to add some fuel to the FIRE?

What I need/or am searching for the most is a great budget tracker/or Excel sheet example you might have, as I’m looking for a new, consistent way (and to help me do a better job quite frankly;) to budget out monthly, yearly, etc…..and find that extra $$ to put back into our family operations, savings, etc.

Have you come across this list of budget templates from the site yet? –> https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/free-budget-templates-sites/

Or these FIRE spreadsheets? –> https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/early-retirement-fi-spreadsheet/

If someone is about to give up on their FI journey, what would you say to them?

Ooooh good one! I don’t think I ever thought of that before? I suppose I’d want to know the *why* behind it so I could understand more and see if I could offer another perspective, but if I had a gun to my head and had to blurt something out, I guess I would say “Go do you thing and the door is always open for you to come back…”

I’ve never had success trying to convince someone to do something they really don’t want to do deep down (which is why I never jump into politics online! No one is there to be convinced otherwise no matter how many facts you throw their way!), so the best hope is to just let them know you’re always there if they wanna chat about stuff, and then hopefully they have another epiphany and are ready to jump back in :) Def. gonna have to think more on this one though… good one!

I’m curious when you selected a lawyer for your will, how did you go about that process? What did you look for? What questions did you ask?

Great questions! It took us over a YEAR to finally find someone we liked, but then again we weren’t ever really hardcore about it either ;) It basically came down to *asking around* for recommendations from people, and then chatting with each of them to get a better sense of how easy they were to work with as well as the costs of course…

I knew I’d have approximately 837 questions so I needed someone who could hold my hand and not get annoyed with me, haha, but at the same time help guide me to the *right* answers and in a perfect world do it in *person*. Half the people we called never called us back, and a majority of the others had their *assistants* call us back so that was a no go, so when we came across this smaller mom and pop shop who offered to meet over coffee to talk about stuff I was already 80% sold :) A few more chats later and we were all signed up and rolling!

So it’s def. good to know how YOU work, personally, and then try your best to find someone that’ll match up nicely. But getting recommendations def. helps speed up the process and already gives you one more level of trust since a friend or loved one already used them!

What did you learn most about yourself and what is your biggest takeaway that will keep you going for your next chapter?

I learned that I’m a VERY emotional person, and if something doesn’t excite me whether it makes a ton of money or not, the odds I actually do something about it are slim to none :)

I also learned that there really isn’t that many “rules” in life so you can basically do things on your own accord and get away with it just fine! You just have to ASK for what you want or just go for it! So long as you’re not hurting anyone in the process! (At least that’s one of my only rules I have for myself…)

Where do you invest your money, and do you still invest the same way in down turns such as this pandemic and the 2008 recession?

I invest all my money into Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund – ticker VTSAX. And it’s all still there, as I continue to add to it even in these Covid times!

I used to have my $$ scattered all over the place – and in all kinds of cockamaimy schemes – and then I finally woke up and started paying attention to what all my FIRE friends and bloggers were doing :) A few months of poking around later and I was quickly sold on the indexing strategy!

Here are my two main posts on it if you want to see the backstory and links to the resources that really helped me:

https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/say-hello-to-vanguards-newest-member/

https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/lazy-one-fund-investing-strategy/

What advice would you offer to someone who has pretty good income and savings rate, net worth approx $400k, but a very short time horizon (and interest rates are in the basement of course) to build wealth as quickly as possible?

Yikes! I don’t even WANT to answer that question because “making money” and “quick as possible” usually never ends well in the same sentence, haha… That being said, I’ve been pretty pleased with my returns by investing in index funds over the past half a decade or so, but without knowing your risk levels – and how short “very short” actually is? – it’s hard to really advise I’m afraid. If you find the answer though I hope you’ll tell all of us!! :)

So when are you all going to get an RV to travel this wonderful country and show the kiddos all the neat sites? Home – check. Minivan- check. RV??

I’ll check off that one when those first two checks are long gone, haha… I like going “all in” or nothing and don’t want another “thing” to worry about! :) If only I became a minimalist before starting a family!!

How much do you put away each month for each child? Where did you set up their account?

We were setting aside $50/mo/child, but just recently upped it to $100/mo/child so we can grow it faster (and also while things are lower right now!). We have all their money invested in Virginia’s 529 plan (virginia529.com) to milk the tax rewards along with it :) See if your state offers any too as you’re searching around!

This is random, but several years ago I used to have an app for Budgets are Sexy but when I changed to a new phone and I tried to download the app it wasn’t there anymore – did you take out the app?

Hah – we never had an app! But if you type in “budgets are sexy” in your phone’s browser you should be easily able to just add a “bookmark” to it on your home screen once it pops up. That’s how I view it every day!

I’m always curious how people meet their spouses – how did you meet yours? Your wife seems like a lovely wife and you have a beautiful family! And to be fair, since I asked how you met your wife I’ll tell you how I met my husband! We met in college and we started dating after we threw each other into a lake and I have pictures to prove it :P My 6 year old daughter loves it when I pull out the pictures to tell the story.

That is so cute!!! What a story!! My sons recently acted out *our* meeting in a play of theirs, haha, but it was much less fun :) She asked me where the bathroom was late one Friday night at the bar, and after I told her I asked her to dance. To which she politely declined, and then an hour later randomly showed up on the dance floor and we’ve been dancing together ever since! ;)

What are your thoughts on spending money on WEDDINGS? Is it worth it to spend on the (hopefully) one wedding you’ll ever have? Is it not worth the fuss and you should just save your money?

I’ll give you the same answer I give out whether it’s relating to weddings or houses or even Starbucks coffees :) If it’s something you VALUE and is important to you, by all means spend the money! It’s your life and you should be able to do what you want with it provided it’s within reason! Now if you’re also splurging on your home and cars and everything else you don’t care as much for, then you’re def. not doing it right, but on a few selected areas of life by all means convert that money into happiness!

What are your fondest memories from budgetsaresexy? What is your favorite legacy from it (or what do you hope your legacy will be from it)? And have you ever looked at a budget and thought, maybe I should change the name to “onlySOMEbudgetsaresexy”? :)

Haha…

No to the changing of the name, but if i had to start a blog all over again it would be called FinancialFreedomIsSexy or NetWorthTrackingIsSexy.com, lol…. I haven’t budgeted in years ;)

As for the legacy and memories, it really has been all about you *readers* for me and just engaging day in and day out and feeling like one happy financial family :) I never set out to make a new career of it or for the blog – and the other projects that spawned from it – to take off as they did, as for me it was just about sharing some thoughts and having fun! And of course improving my *own* finances in the meantime.

So personally the site far exceeded any expectations that I had from month #1, lol, but it’s been a blast seeing where it’s all gone from there and I guess my only real hope for it is that the articles *stay online* for many years so they hopefully continue getting people to pay attention.

Will you leave us with the promise that when you have your first grandchild you will resurrect the “Baby Tracker” idea and convert it to how much a grandparent spends? Or am I the only one of your fans that found that idea both brilliant and extremely funny?

Haha… DEAL.

And it’s only funny because you KNEW there was no way I’d keep it up, right??? ;) Once that 2nd one came along??

I know you’re getting *out of the blog* business. But do you think there’s still room for opportunity and growth *in the blog* business? If you had net worth $0, would you start a blog today?

Totally!!

When I started everyone was saying it was overcrowded then too! Lol…

But guess what?? There are BILLIONS of people on this planet and literally only a few thousand bloggers. So there is *plenty* of room for more to come in – and especially those with interesting stories/ideas to tell :)

Now is it a good *way to make money*? Well, I’ve never been a fan of starting it for that reason since there are wayyy more ways to make it faster than blogging!, but if you’re *passionate* about it and want a better way to hold yourself accountable, starting a blog is 100% a great way to go about it. Plus, as you’ve seen here you never know where it could lead! I never thought I’d be doing it 12 years later and having my entire life and friends and career change from it! It’s been amazing!

Coffee or tea? And favorite flavor? :)

COFFEE. 100%.

Flavor? Hazelnut :) Although recently my sister turned me onto a “dirty chai” (you ever hear of that?) and it was pretty damn glorious, haha.. And gives you a mix of both coffee AND tea! If it weren’t so expensive I’d make it my daily drink :)

What does the “J” of J. Money stand for? And is that even your real first name? :p

It’s totally made up! Lol…

Though once a week someone will call me by a J name because in their head they just assumed it was whatever they thought :) Yesterday I was called Jacob, and the week before I was Jason!

I have 2 questions for you: 1) Would you recommend keeping some of your 3-6 months emergency in stock market (maybe a high dividend low volatile stocks)? And 2) I’ve been trying to increase our saving rates to be able to max out our 401K but it has been hard. Do you have any tips on keeping your household monthly budget down? We probably only eat out once a month.

RE: Emergency fund – nope, I’d never put it into the market or anywhere else with similar volatility as to me the E Fund is meant to be stable and super accessible. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t maybe just cut your fund in half and throw some into the markets and keep the other into savings or a money market or something like that, but I’ve never been a fan of putting it *all* somewhere other than a cash-related vehicle.

RE: Monthly budget – if you’re having a hard time cutting it further, it may very well be that you’ve done the best you can – at least to keep the lifestyle you’re currently enjoying. So in times like that it’s better in my opinion to just let it be and shift your focus towards *earning more* where you have much more flexibility and growth potential. Whether it’s at your current job or taking on hustles on the side… You can try and slash expenses even more if you’re willing to not enjoy life so much, but there’s only so much you can do and you certainly don’t want to hate waking up every morning :)

A question I have is what strategies did you use to grow your blog?

I networked a lot! I did some guest posting. I responded to every last comment and email and tweet. I tried to share the love as often as I could (re-share other peoples great content, cheer others on, etc). And then most importantly, I did my best to put out stuff I hoped people would like :) (And I did it *consistently* too – also important!) I never messed with SEO or any real “building” strategies much – but then again that’s also why I never got to millions of views a month either ;)

Do you and your wife share the same financial mine set?

Yup! And mainly just a coincidence too as it was nothing we really talked about until once we got married :( So SUPER lucky it turned out this way or who knows how this blog would have gone! Lol… (Although she doesn’t care much for the RE part of FIRE – she very much enjoys going to work and will be doing so for many years/decades? to come… all the while I’m retired ;))

What did you do before you became a finance rockstar and what was your monthly income?

I was a project manager, graphic designer, customer service manager, realtor, airline agent, Old Navy associate and approximately 30 other titles before landing here ;) Ranging from $10/hr to $78,000 + bonuses.

Here’s a breakdown of all the gigs whenever you’re bored: https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/all-30-jobs-ive-ever-done/

Is calculating net worth any different when you rent?

Nope! Net worth basically remains the same no matter how you live:

assets – liabilities.

You won’t have a “mortgage” in the liabilities section of the breakdown, but of course your rent will still affect cash flow which ultimately changes the #’s in the net worth, but you wouldn’t put “rent” in that section or anything…

What’s your 1RM bench press? And more importantly favorite local beer?

Nooo idea what a 1RM bench press is (I even Googled it and still don’t know!), but currently I’ve been really enjoying Boddingtons straight from the can… That little ball that floats around in it is a miracle worker! Haha… Love all the cream it creates up top as you crack it open!

For people starting out in blogging, how would you recommend they keep track of their previous posts so they know, as they’re creating new posts, what topics they can hyperlink to? I’m just beginning down this blogging journey but am realizing that I will need to create a system to track every post I’ve done but honestly I’m not good at being organized.

Oh man, I’ve just kept it all in my noggin and did my best to recall them when needed! But you’re right it’s not the most failproof system! Lol… Luckily wodpress has that little search section when you go to link to words in the article, but I don’t know of any other real ways outside of just manually throwing them in a spreadsheet or something w/ notes…

But really, it’s probably fine even when you do forget things because a) you don’t want to be linking to the same stuff ALL the time, and b) if you don’t remember it probably wasn’t anything too spectacular anyways? Plus most of this stuff just keeps being repeated in different ways only, so it allows you to recreate the thought or idea in fresher words to keep the party going…

There’s been multiple times I’ve written the exact same post over the years without even knowing it :) And that’s fine! People rarely remember it anyways, and every new day there are new people coming to your blog for the very first time. So don’t let it keep you up at night too much. Just keep pumping out those articles!

It seems as though the whole concept of FIRE is about getting your priorities straight. How would you describe your life philosophy/priorities in life?

Basically, yup!

It’s an ongoing process, but every year it seems I get more and more obsessed with improving my work/life balance, with most of the focusing going towards the “life” part :) As evidence of me retiring from this blog, haha..

I don’t know if others think about it as much as I do, but I’m constantly thinking about *death* and what all this life means and what our purpose is here, etc etc, and anytime I go down that rabbit hole “work” is rarely a part of the picture.

Now fortunately for many of us “work” really means “passion” so it’s not exactly a straight up job, but the more I contemplate death – and really NOT knowing when it’ll come! – the more I remind myself to live TODAY as best I can in case there isn’t a tomorrow. Something you can’t do too well if you’re finances aren’t in order and drowning in debt. So yet again more reason to work towards FIRE to be able to craft a more natural lifestyle for yourself! I’m only able to do this so fully because we put in the time and energy to get financially sound!

Can you share your best parenting tip for new parents? (expecting our first in a few months :) )

JUST LOVE THEM AS HARD AS YOU CAN!!!

It’s what the nurse told me when we left the hospital for the first time and I was freaking out :)

Said that no matter what you do you can never love them too much.
Best tip I ever got.

******

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Links to books above are Amazon affiliate links

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave May 28, 2020 at 6:25 am

If you were lucky enough to spend a month this summer in any Canadian province, which one would it be and why? : )

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2 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 9:05 am

Victoria in British Columbia!! Because HOUSE BOATS! And water! And scenery! And all things cute and romantic!! :) Plus you could take a fun ferry ride right into Seattle and enjoy a little U.S. action too, lol…

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3 Nikki May 28, 2020 at 7:23 am

What do you think are the best ways to get through the boredom of the mundane to become an expert in your own personal finance? Many people (myself included) struggle after we become semi-competent in a new task.

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4 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 9:17 am

I guess maybe I’d just ask myself if you really *need* to be an expert in all the areas? Especially if you’re already doing okay? It’s awesome if you can learn the ins and outs of everything, but sometimes it’s also awesome knowing you’re 80% fine and don’t need to be 100% perfect :) Orrrrr – doing what I do and just moving to other fun areas in life to explore, like hobbies or friends/etc, and *then* moving back to a deep dive in a financial topic once it becomes more relevant or exciting… It’s def. hard to force yourself to do something if you’re not ready/motivated.

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5 Glass Joe May 28, 2020 at 7:52 am

Hi J,

I’ve recently been reading a book on Multiple Streams of income where the author discusses how to protect your assets, by using LLC’s, living trusts, ect. What steps do you think are important to put inplace for the average ordinary Joe with a Glass Jaw to protect his (or hers) assets?

I mean I can’t keep fighting like this, at some point I’ll get brain damage :D

Will miss you’re candid style. Best wishes on your next challenges.

Glass Joe

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6 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 9:25 am

Haha…

Well it all depends on how comfortable you are and what exactly you’re trying to protect, but as someone who just recently finished their will and trust, I can tell you it def. makes a world of difference in the peace department :) But then again I also have 3 kids counting on me and a business and house to worry about, etc…

I don’t know if I’d mess with LLCs or a trust if it were just me right now and I was in the early stages of my journey, but there are certainly benefits to it.

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7 Nathan St. Pierre May 28, 2020 at 8:48 am

Who would win in a fight to the death between all the humans and all the insects in the world, and why are you wrong in your answer?

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8 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 9:28 am

We’ve got Chuck Norris, so… :)

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9 martinus May 28, 2020 at 9:13 am

If the point of FIRE is to pack it in when you have a self sustaining investment portfolio, do indeed pack it in, or do you shoot for an 8 digit net worth? Or 9? Or the triple comma club? Or some other goal?

What will you, J Money, do?

I used to think gathering more dough was important. I am closing in on the 8 digits, and that milestone seems inevitable, but I no longer feel it is important. I should have packed it in long ago (I’m already past 60).

I also promised you a “how I did it”. I guess we won’t get that done (unless for a future project). Best of luck to you and your family. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog, even though FIRE didn’t happen to me.

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10 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:24 am

I think if you have to ask yourself that question you haven’t yet found a way to be content ;)

There’s financial freedom, and then there’s trying to amass money just to see how much you can have in the end! Would I love to have more? Of course! But I think if you can learn to be happy with what you’ve got then the rest is all “extra” and not so much a *need*.

All things you already know at this point it sounds like though :) And still VERY MUCH want to hear your full story! We can still have Joel feature it here as the blog isn’t going anywhere, or if you want to save it for my next project that’s fine too. Just so long as you tell me it!! :)

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11 Lisa May 28, 2020 at 9:34 am

Does your wife work outside your home, well at least before covid tines? If so, what is her job/occupation? Also, how
did you two meet? Sorry if this is covered elsewhere!

Will miss your fresh, positive & honest voice, but signing up for your newsletter now!

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12 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 9:41 am

Yayyy thank you!!

My wife works for the government and normally telecommutes half the week and works from home the other half, but with the Covid stuff she’s thankfully able to work at home fully right now. And she loves her job so it’s great! (She’s an editor)

We met at a bar when she asked me where the bathroom was and I asked her to dance instead ;) She said no, and then an hour later she found me on the dance floor! I guess it was my sweet moves!! #NOT

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13 One Frugal Girl May 28, 2020 at 9:58 am

First, I’m sad that you are leaving. Your blog was one of the first ones I read way back in the day and I spent so many years silently cheering you. I know you found a great blogger to take over your space, but it really won’t be the same without you here. Also, I’m glad I got to give you that giant hug at FinCon :)

So here are my questions: What is one thing in your life that you wish you’d done differently and/or one regret you have that you wish you could change?

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14 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:54 am

Hi friend!! Been so cool getting to know you too over the years! We can still be friends, right??? :)

One thing I wish I would have done differently? I don’t have too many regrets in life thankfully, but one I would have 100% done over would be to live a more MINIMAL life SOONER. I know we all get our epiphanies at different times so not sure how I would have *known* to do things differently, but man how much freedom – and joy! – I would have had if I had caught on sooner! All my dreams of tiny house living and getting rid of all my “stuff” would have been much easier to do before starting a family and having a million kids! Haha… Which I know technically you can still do, but we’re talking a way different story there ;) But oh well… there are worst problems to have of course!

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15 Kristen May 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

If you had a million dollars and also had a 150,000 dollar student loan…what would you do with all that money?

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16 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:29 am

Is it $1,000,000 *extra* dollars? If so I’d wipe away that debt once and for all and then invest the rest into index funds :) If my *net worth* is a flat million dollars, then I’d probably still wipe away the debt just to be rid of it and then make sure the rest is applied towards index funds and cash and perhaps some real estate if that’s your thing. A challenge for me has been *diversifying* more outside of just straight up retirement accounts (which account for the major chunk of our $$!), so the one nice thing about owning a home if I have to say a nice thing, lol, is that it does help spread across our $$$ better. And I’m also trying to focus more on our non-retirement brokerage account too now that the rest is so pumped up. But all fun questions to think about! I hope you just hit the lottery! :)

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17 Paul Curley May 28, 2020 at 10:23 am

What is your favorite coin, and why?

What are you doing next?

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18 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:43 am

My favorite coin that I *own* is this old Indian head nickel that someone carved into a different face that I inherited from my grandma, and known as a “hobo nickel“, but my most *favorite* coin that I’ll never be able to afford is the 1915-S Panama Pacific Gold Commemorative coin made up of 2 and 1/2 ozs of gold and shaped in an octagon :) Just look at that cool owl on it!!

What I’m doing next? Helping curate the best financial articles in the community for a new project that’ll be launching on Soapbox.com come July 6th. Make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter to get notified of it!

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19 Jessie May 28, 2020 at 10:27 am

Thanks for doing this and for your blog! What kind of saving pots do you have? For e.g. do you have sinking funds/savings for travel, house repairs, general?

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20 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:48 am

At the moment I only have a “house fund” for anything that breaks in the place or we want to upgrade (like the floors or bathrooms, kitchen, etc). We now have a new savings account in general under the trust we just set up, but right now that’s just some longer term money sitting there and not really earmarked for anything. I tend to only have one or two specific funds set up at any time due to my minimalism ;)

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21 LeeAnne May 28, 2020 at 10:42 am

Wishing you all the best J. in your next adventure! Thanks for all that you have given to this blog/community.

I sent my curiosity question regarding wills (how do you go about finding a reputable lawyer) to you in an email but wanted to also pass along my thanks and well wishes here too.

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22 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 10:49 am

hey thanks!

will check it out and answer as soon as I’m able to :)

Wasn’t sure if I’d get a little or a lot of questions, but boy was it a lot!! haha…

Super fun answering them all though!

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23 caren magill May 28, 2020 at 10:49 am

Best advice for building a successful blog that provides a full time income (let’s say 100K per year).

Also, any advice on selling a blog?

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24 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 11:08 am

HAH! Just going for the kill are we?? :)

You’ll have to see my note up above for my thoughts on starting a blog for money, but obviously it can be done and there are happy mediums of doing it like what we did here on this blog (ie did enough to survive but never made it the #1 priority). I would say your best chance of being successful with blogging is to first ENJOY IT! and then secondly be in it for the *long* haul as it’s not a fast ride ;)

Or better yet, use the blog as a *resume* and make money off the opportunities it brings! Like speaking or freelance writing or even coming up with your own products or books! Lots of ways to make money, but again it comes down to passion and hustle.

As for selling blogs once it’s time, I have a private email list of people interested in buying them and happy to pass along the details to gauge interest (if you wanna get on the list, sign up here – https://jmoney.biz/brokering/), but there are also larger brokers out there that will really market it and get a top offer but of course charge a nice commission as well :) Can’t think of their names off my head, but if you email me I can find them and email you back after this AMA is over.

Also FWIW  – most places look at the trailing 12 or 15 months of profit and stats, so always best to ramp it up good before you’re ready to sell for the best shot of maximizing a sales price!

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25 caren magill May 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm

Thanks so much for the response. Good luck!!! I’ve always loved reading your content.

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26 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 4:49 pm

XOXO

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27 Jason Brown May 28, 2020 at 10:58 am

Regarding generating passive income, it seems like the #1 suggestion is always invest in real estate and become a property manager (landlord). I know a lot of people doing this and always heard the horror stories so I’ve been very leery of this. What are your thoughts?

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28 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 11:11 am

My thoughts are that it makes me want to vomit to even think about it :)

But then again I’m not a real estate lover and it HAS worked for people for hundreds, if not thousands of years! So there’s definitely validity to it, but thankfully there are plenty of other way to bring passive income in too…. Such as investing in the market long term – which is the route I choose to go (but has it’s own set of issues, of course). Really comes down to how comfortable you are with risk and what your personality is like.

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29 susie b May 28, 2020 at 11:40 am

I don’t have a question, just a comment. I’ve been in denial ever since you 1st mentioned that you’d sold the site & would eventually moving on. I even hoped you’d change your mind but here we are. :(

I’ve only ever commented once before & only found your site 2 years ago, but I’ve been a faithful reader since. And while I’m happy for anyone who both recognizes & can forge a new path, selfishly, I’m upset & depressed. I will MISS your voice! Your energy, enthusiasm, humor & especially your kindness & willingness to respond to your readers. I hope one day you will come back to a personal blog.

The new guy seems nice & I will of course, read him at least for awhile. But finding & “clicking” with a “money blogger” is not always that easy. I had been reading Tanya Hester’s blog till she & her husband retired & she started writing her 1st book & pretty much disappeared from her site. After a few months, I decided to look around for a new site. I found some lists online of “best money blogs” & clicked onto 25 or 30. Only 4 resonated & I still read them today. Budgets Are Sexy was one.

A blog is not just its name or its topic; it is the WRITER(s) that make it what it is. You will be missed.

Good luck to you & all your future endeavors. I’ve been a subscriber to some of the Motley Fools services for the past 12 years & even though I’ve become increasingly frustrated at their direction the past 4 years, I will look for your ‘subsite’.

Thanks again for the info & the laughter.

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30 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:39 pm

You are very sweet to me, thank you for taking the time to write this all out :) Believe me when I say I put a lot of time and thought into this decision (a bit TOO much time if you ask me! haha…) but ultimately it just felt like it was the “right” time, while also allowing me to have the most say in the future direction of the blog. Only time will tell on that one, but I believe we set it up for the best chance of future success as things move on! And Joel really is a smart – and interesting! – dude!

But I do hope you continue to stay connected and sign up to my personal newsletter so you’ll still see the future projects I’m up to: https://jmoney.biz/newsletter/

I may be leaving this site, but I’ll still very much be around the community! Starting back in July again at Soapbox.com! :) And I promise it won’t have any of the aggressive marketing tactics as The Fool likes to do, lol… They really are pretty bad.

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31 Lisa May 28, 2020 at 12:34 pm

What are your fondest memories from budgetsaresexy? what is your favorite legacy from it (or what do you hope your legacy will be from it)? And have you ever looked at a budget and thought, maybe I should change the name to “onlySOMEbudgetsaresexy”? :)

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32 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Haha….

No to the changing of the name, but if i had to start a blog all over again it would be called FinancialFreedomIsSexy or NetWorthTrackingIsSexy.com, lol…. I haven’t budgeted in years ;)

As for the legacy and memories, it really has been all about you *readers* for me and just engaging day in and day out and feeling like one happy financial family :) I never set out to make a new career of it or for the blog – and the other projects that spawned from it – to take off as they did, as for me it was just about sharing some thoughts and having fun! And of course improving my *own* finances in the meantime.

So personally the site far exceeded any expectations that I had from month #1, lol, but it’s been a blast seeing where it’s all gone from there and I guess my only real hope for it is that the articles *stay online* for many years so they hopefully continue getting people to pay attention.

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33 Scott May 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Will you leave us with the promise that when you have your first grandchild you will resurrect the “Baby Tracker” idea and convert it to how much a grandparent spends? Or am I the only one of your fans that found that idea both brilliant and extremely funny?

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34 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Haha… DEAL.

And it’s only funny because you KNEW there was no way I’d keep it up, right??? ;) Once that 2nd one came along??

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35 Maggie May 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I know you’re getting *out of the blog* business. But do you think there’s still room for opportunity and growth *in the blog* business? If you had net worth $0, would you start a blog today?

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36 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Totally!!

When i started everyone was saying it was overcrowded then too! Lol..

But guess what?? There are BILLIONS of people on this planet and literally only a few thousand bloggers. So there is *plenty* of room for more to come in – and especially those with interesting stories/ideas to tell :)

Now is it a good *way to make money*? Well, I’ve never been a fan of starting it for that reason since there are wayyy more ways to make it faster than blogging!, but if you’re *passionate* about it and want a better way to hold yourself accountable, starting a blog is 100% a great way to go about it. Plus, as you’ve seen here you never know where it could lead! I never thought I’d be doing it 12 years later and having my entire life and friends and career change from it! It’s been amazing!

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37 mobilehomegurl May 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Coffee or tea? And favorite flavor? :)

By the way, I’ve started roasting my own coffee. It makes such a big difference!

I buy the green beans and roast them in my Behmor coffee roaster. It’s so worth it. I read the entire history of coffee and learned roasting coffee is a big part of American culture. Pretty cool stuff!

Will miss reading your posts here. Can’t wait to see what new things you get into, take care!

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38 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Hah! Awesome!

Coffee or tea? COFFEE. 100%.

Flavor? Hazelnut :) Although recently my sister turned me onto a “dirty chai” (you ever hear of that?) and it was pretty damn glorious, haha… And gives you a mix of both coffee AND tea! If it weren’t so expensive I’d make it my daily drink :)

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39 Josh May 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm

What does the “J” of J. Money stand for? And is that even your real first name? :p

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40 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm

It’s totally made up! Lol…

Though once a week someone will call me by a J name because in their head they just assumed it was whatever they thought :) Yesterday I was called Jacob, and the week before I was Jason!

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41 Kate May 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

Out of all the answers, this one surprised me the most!

I first found this site about 7 years ago when a friend asked me for a budgeting template and Google sent me here. I’ve been reading and following ever since.

Thank you for all the amazing content over the years. You’ve done a wonderful job of engaging with your readers and always being kind to everyone. The impact you’ve had on the community is immeasurable.

I’ll miss your posts but look forward to Joel’s perspective. Can’t wait to check out your new project in July!

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42 J. Money June 1, 2020 at 9:30 am

Thanks Kate!! Been awesome having you in this community here :) Many blessings to the both of us – we’re lucky to have found each other!

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43 Huong May 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm

Hi J.Money,

I’m super sad that you are leaving- because of you, I have created the monthly budget (formatting after yours) for the last 2 year! I have 2 questions for you: 1) Would you recommend keeping some of your 3-6 months emergency in stock market (maybe a high dividend low volatile stocks)? And 2) I’ve been trying to increase our saving rates to be able to max out our 401K but it has been hard. Do you have any tips on keeping your household monthly budget down? We probably only eat out once a month. Thank you!

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44 J. Money May 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Rock on! Way to stick with it for so long!

RE: Emergency fund – nope, I’d never put it into the market or anywhere else with similar volatility as to me the E Fund is meant to be stable and super accessible. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t maybe just cut your fund in half and throw some into the markets and keep the other into savings or a money market or something like that, but I’ve never been a fan of putting it *all* somewhere other than a cash-related vehicle.

RE: monthly budget – if you’re having a hard time cutting it further, it may very well be that you’ve done the best you can – at least to keep the lifestyle you’re currently enjoying. So in times like that it’s better in my opinion to just let it be and shift your focus towards *earning more* where you have much more flexibility and growth potential. Whether it’s at your current job or taking on hustles on the side… You can try and slash expenses even more if you’re willing to not enjoy life so much, but there’s only so much you can do and you certainly don’t want to hate waking up every morning :)

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45 Alicia May 28, 2020 at 6:35 pm

What did you do before you became a finance rockstar and what was your monthly income? I feel like me and my husband make a decent amount of money considering neither of us have a college education but somehow I still feel like either we REALLY suck with money, or maybe we don’t actually make that much? I love writing but my blogging attempt failed… miserably…

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46 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 7:47 am

HAH!

It’s pretty hard maintaining a blog with everything else going on in life, so don’t be too hard on yourself ;) And if you feel like you’re making decent money then you probably are! Def. be proud of that! Maybe your expenses are just a bit out of whack or you’re in that initial phase of getting things worked out? I bet you’ll figure it out if you keep reading $$$ blogs and searching!

As for what I did before being a blogger – I was a project manager, graphic designer, customer service manager, realtor, airline agent, Old Navy associate and approximately 30 other titles before landing here ;) Ranging from $10/hr to $78,000 + bonuses.

Here’s a breakdown of all the gigs whenever you’re bored:

https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/all-30-jobs-ive-ever-done/

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47 Alicia May 28, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Been following your blog for a while but of course just NOW deciding to (once again) attempt at getting my financial shit together. Also, is calculating net worth any different when you rent?

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48 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 7:49 am

hey – it takes a couple of attempts to reach perfection! ;)

And nope – net worth basically remains the same no matter how you live: assets – liabilities.

You won’t have a “mortgage” in the liabilities section of the breakdown, but of course your rent will still affect cash flow which ultimately changes the #’s in the net worth, but you wouldn’t put “rent” in that section or anything…

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49 Paul May 28, 2020 at 7:09 pm

What’s your 1RM bench press? And more importantly favorite local beer?

Glad you’ll still have a presence online, can’t wait to check it out. Sad to see you go but I get it. You’ve been one of the few blogs I consistently read. So long and thanks for all the fish…

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50 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 7:51 am

Thanks brother ;)

Nooo idea what a 1RM bench press is (I even Googled it and still don’t know!), but currently I’ve been really enjoying Boddingtons straight from the can… That little ball that floats around in it is a miracle worker! Haha… Love all the cream it creates up top as you crack it open!

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51 Paul May 29, 2020 at 8:10 am

Stands for 1 rep max. lol… but I think your answer in a round about way answered my Q.

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52 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 8:22 am

In that case, 400 lbs :)

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53 Justin May 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm

For people starting out in blogging, how would you recommend they keep track of their previous posts so they know, as they’re creating new posts, what topics they can hyperlink to? I’m just beginning down this blogging journey but am realizing that I will need to create a system to track every post I’ve done but honestly I’m not good at being organized.

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54 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 7:56 am

Oh man, I’ve just kept it all in my noggin and did my best to recall them when needed! But you’re right it’s not the most failproof system! Lol… Luckily wodpress has that little search section when you go to link to words in the article, but I don’t know of any other real ways outside of just manually throwing them in a spreadsheet or something w/ notes…

But really, it’s probably fine even when you do forget things because a) you don’t want to be linking to the same stuff ALL the time, and b) if you don’t remember it probably wasn’t anything too spectacular anyways? Plus most of this stuff just keeps being repeated in different ways only, so it allows you to recreate the thought or idea in fresher words to keep the party going…

There’s been multiple times I’ve written the exact same post over the years without even knowing it :) And that’s fine! People rarely remember it anyways, and every new day there are new people coming to your blog for the very first time. So don’t let it keep you up at night too much. Just keep pumping out those articles!

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55 Bradley S Nicholls May 28, 2020 at 9:07 pm

It seems as though the whole concept of FIRE is about getting your priorities straight. How would you describe your life philosophy/priorities in life?

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56 J. Money May 29, 2020 at 8:02 am

Basically, yup!

It’s an ongoing process, but every year it seems I get more and obsessed with improving my work/life balance, with most of the focusing going towards the “life” part :) As evidence of me retiring from this blog, haha..

I don’t know if others think about it as much as I do, but I’m constantly thinking about *death* and what all this life means and what our purpose is here, etc etc, and anytime I go down that rabbit hole “work” is rarely a part of the picture.

Now fortunately for many of us “work” really means “passion” so it’s not exactly a straight up job, but the more I contemplate death – and really NOT knowing when it’ll come! – the more I remind myself to live TODAY as best I can in case there isn’t a tomorrow. Something you can’t do too well if you’re finances aren’t in order and drowning in debt. So yet again more reason to work towards FIRE to be able to craft a more natural lifestyle for yourself! I’m only able to do this so fully because we put in the time and energy to get financially sound!

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