About Budgets are Sexy!

by Joel -

j. money mohawk

Welcome to Budgets Are Sexy!

This blog was started in Feb of 2008 by J. Money, a personal finance nerd (and a good friend of mine) to track his journey of hitting $1 million in net worth. After 11 years of budgeting, saving, learning how to invest, and making a bunch of mistakes along the way, he reached the $1M goal! And millions of readers followed along. Now, J. has moved on to other projects and asked me to take over the reins and keep spreading the good word about financial Independence!!

My name is 5am Joel and I started blogging here in June 2020. I’d never done anything quite like this before. But, life has taught me that tackling big and scary things will lead to some pretty amazing places!

Why “5am Joel”? About 4 years ago I started getting up every morning at 5am. It started as one of those 30 day challenges, but after the challenge was over I just never stopped. I got addicted. I started noticing major improvements in my work, health, relationships and happiness in life.

I run a small personal website/blog where I send out a *short* daily message at 5am each morning. I write about happiness, positivity and learning to be a better human. You can check out all the archives here if interested: 5AM Joel Daily Emails

What else can I say? I’m 35 years old and live in California. I’m married to my best friend and we have a hyperactive German shepherd dog named Cooper. No kids (yet?), we are like one of those annoying happy couples that don’t know how to grow up. Quick story of how I met my wife here.

I was born and raised in Australia, and moved to the US when I was 22. This means I have a hybrid Aussie/US accent that’s sometimes hard for people to understand. If you want to hear what I sound like, I was recently on the How To Money Podcast, Episode 154!

My work career has mostly been in sales. While very lucrative and interesting, I’m not sure if it’s the line of work I want to be in forever. So, in early 2018 I left my last sales job to take a sabbatical and explore other options. I’m now freelancing, traveling, volunteering, and blogging! As for personal hobbies, I love surfing, brewing beer, and riding my motorbike.

My current financial situation is best described as “Coast FIRE.” Basically, my wife and I have accumulated enough assets that, if left alone, will continue to grow and get us to financial independence within probably 5-7 years. As long as we don’t withdraw from our portfolio, reaching FI is inevitable.

For me, Budgets Are Sexy has always been about the community. Sharing cool ideas, sharing lessons learned, and making money a FUN topic to talk about! I believe everyone’s path to financial independence is slightly different, and I’m excited to share more about mine. And learn about yours!

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous March 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

did you ever check out T Harv Eker? I have done a lot of stuff with his company (Peak Potentials) – amazing. Changed my financial life forever!


2 J. Money March 4, 2010 at 12:24 am

i read up a little on him but nothing too in depth as yet…possibly one day :)


3 sandy cooley June 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I am saving so I can quit my job of 31 years and take on a new one, at the airlines. I have decided only there I can work, and travel free for the rest of my life. The way I look at it I am going up and not down!!


4 J. Money June 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Yeah! Go for it! As someone who’s worked for the airlines before, I can tell you that the travel benefits are KILLER. The whole world opens up with possibilities, you will love it :)


5 Quisha January 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Love your blog J.Money. Saving is definitely something that I need to do more of. With that said I guess I have a great topic for tonight’s blog post. I’ll mention ya. Definitely in order!

Going into 2011 saving is one of the things El Manzo and I have been talking about. Saving up enough to buy a house next year. That’s huge considering the economy and cutting back, but I know it can be done.

I’ll be using your tips ;) Thanks for all the tips and such. I’ll be here on the regular!

– Q


6 J. Money January 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Cool! So glad you like the blog :) Will poke over to yours too after this comment. Here’s to a successful year!


7 Lauryn February 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Love this blog. I’m setting up my own PF blog (for my own reasons) as we speak. I will teach you to be rich is a book I’ve seen a few times, but wondered about. Now I think I’ll have to get it.


8 J. Money February 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Awesome! Will go check it out as soon as I drop this :) Thanks for the kind words.


9 Ash @ The Middle Finger Project April 1, 2011 at 7:03 am

Love the fact that you’re J. Money. The end!


10 J. Money April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Love the fact that you’re cursing without actually cursing ;) Friends keep telling me to go check out your stuff – looking forward to getting to know more!


11 Jason September 15, 2012 at 5:43 am

Can I just say? Which I will I’m pissed off man at you ( not really) and also laughing with envy at the same time. I too plan on starting to blog and such about my journey from debt to life etc. blah haha and being a financial coach. The problem I can think of a good name for my site. Why I’m ranting you ask. The Point! My name is Jason and I’m Loving your J Money setup. Id love to steal the idea which I won’t unless I add a hyphen then it’s okay right (ask Apple) since they steal shit all the time. Anyway. Find me on twitter let’s chat I too read the millionaire next store it was the First one I actually picked up when I started loving this shit.
Later bro!


12 J. Money September 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

Haha, nice to see my “J. Money” still holds up in the awesome department after all these years :) You should totally start that blog!! It’s done more for me than just being a fun hobby, and hopefully it will for you too. Maybe you can go as J. Dollar? Haha… when I first started this site I used to go as J. Savings but eventually realized it was pretty lame ;) You’ll find your voice and niche, everyone does once they get started for a while. Good luck!


13 Sam Royer August 31, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Want to make
Money doing blogs and websites. Have the ability to do both, but need direction. My site has not been set up, and was meant for something else. Just need some expert direction.


14 J. Money May 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I think the key thing here is about finding what you’re passionate about first vs the money. I’ve never seen anyone start a blog strictly for that and then succeed – not to say it’s not possible. Just a billion other ways to make money (and faster!) than blogging :) So my advice would be to find something you genuinely love to think about, and then start a blog around that. If it takes off, great! You can make money while having fun and building a community around it. And if it doesn’t, well, at least it was still fun and nothing wrong with sharing thoughts as a hobby anyways. That’s all I did here for the first 6 months – just had fun talking about money and didn’t even realize you could get paid for it – hah!


15 Crystal June 11, 2015 at 5:16 am

I wish I didn’t need money to make my kids happy. Society has made it impossible to have a great Xmas when times are hard. People hate money CiA they don’t know how to budget


16 J. Money June 12, 2015 at 11:51 am

Sounds like a good time to start changing their perspective of money/gifts/society :) Plenty of awesome stuff you can do/give that’s not the norm…. I don’t even bother to try and convince people against their will anymore of the merits to financial management. You have to really WANT to change in order to get your $$$ growing, just like other things in life (weight-loss, stop smoking/drinking/etc). It’s not easy, but if you care enough it’s do-able.


17 Michael @ NTPNW September 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Hey Money, I just read your last comment and wanted to say you are truly right! I am a perfect example. I lived in debt for many years and it wasn’t til I decided to change my life that things changed for me. No one could get me to do it, I had to do it myself. Once I learned to use positive thought and believed in myself I completely changed my life financially in a short 3.5 years.
Great site J. Money- love it!


18 J. Money September 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Rock on man – way to go! And now you’ll be set FOREVER too. You’ve figured it out! :)


19 Doria December 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm

I saw you at FinCon and thought you were off your rocker. This is a great blog. I really appreciate your transparency. You are so right — without having your finances under control it’s impossible to manage any other area of our life, including our passions! Thanks for creating such a great resource.


20 J. Money December 31, 2015 at 11:18 am

Hah! I do what I can to keep things interesting around here ;) Next time come on over and say hi @ FinCon!


21 Pat January 11, 2016 at 7:59 am

You are so right about budgets. How we do money is how we do everything! I appreciate your blog and often share it with my teenagers.


22 J. Money January 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

Awww, that is so cool! Hopefully the “sexy” in the title excites them enough to actually read it, haha… Thx for the kind note!


23 Mike June 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Love the blog and seeing all your updates!

Not sure if I have seen it anywhere, but have you disclosed how old you are as a reference point? Would love to be in your position someday!


24 J. Money June 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

Happy to hear man!

I’m 36 now. Started the blog when I was 28 :)


25 Nathan July 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Bad ass blog J. Have had mine for almost 5 years and am still trying to figure out what is going on with my traffic. I have some authority on my blog but need to iron out the leaks. Appreciate what you do and thanks for answering your comments.


26 J. Money July 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm

It’s always a process, my man! Everyone’s trying to do their best and grow their blogs – I don’t think anyone’s “figured it out” :) I tend to focus on the community and just doing my best to put out decent content though than worrying about the rest… I find you get luckier the more you do that.


27 Bryan Bouchard June 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Great blog! Easy reads while keeping it interesting! I see how long you’ve been tracking your detailed net worth as well as writing this blog; your persistence is very impressive!
I have recently launched my own blog teaching young folk how to become millionaires! Upon hitting the big milestone, I knew it was time to help others do the same :)



28 J. Money June 6, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Nice!! Congrats man! I’m getting closer by the month but still a ways away :) All about the journey though, eh?


29 John March 24, 2019 at 7:26 pm

What’s up J Money! I love what you do my man and thanks for serving. I regularly bump into your blog and being a veteran myself, we definitely speak the same language. I did a post on the top money saving blogs and I just had to add you to the list. you can checkout the post below if you’d like and keep up the awesome work. Cheers!



30 J. Money March 25, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Nice to meet you, my man! Thank YOU for your service! I inherited mine from my father who was a Marine so I just lived the lifestyle without putting in the work ;) I admire all y’all who gave your time to our country – thank you!!


31 Shake The Money Tree May 10, 2019 at 10:56 am

J. Money…great to see you are doing so well…You and I were in touch a long time ago when you got started and I was trying to do something similar with FinancePuzzle….obviously you have had much more success than I have at the blogging thing as I have hit some personal challenging times that took me away from maintaining that site…I am back at it again with Shakethemoneytree.com and really look to you and your blog as a form of motivational on what can be accomplished…great work and keep at it, not just for yourself but also for smaller players like me that you influence in a positive way


32 J. Money May 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Heyyy – welcome back!!

So much has changed since then, and yet so little has changed :)

The community still needs as many people as it can get spreading the good word though, so we need you! Thx for stopping by!


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