Wake Up. Kick Ass. Be Kind. Repeat.

wake up. kick ass. be kind. repeat.

Happy Friday my little leprechauns! 🍀

Been a while since my last note – y’all good? Getting into anything juicy lately?!

I took over a pretty big task this month (at least for me, lol) and so far I’m still here to tell about it ;)


And weirdly enough, I’m actually kinda enjoying it? No so much in the shopping part of it per se (takes so much time!!), but more in the “learning something new and trying to make it as efficient as possible” part. Turns out no matter what endeavor I get into that becomes my favorite part!

You can see my full report on how it’s been so far, and what I’ve learned, here:

The New Queen of Grocery Shopping 👑

I also cover some of life’s other adventures as well, such as:

  • Cashing out the rest of my crypto (at all the wrong times, of course!)
  • My new jaunt back into metal detecting (the best!)
  • Updates on my volunteer experiment and dear friend, Lizzy (sad)
  • Weekly bowling with my dad for some good bonding time!
  • And how I’m getting old and trying to be an adult about it all 😂

I also wrote a new blog post over at Coin Thrill on fake $100 bills that keep showing up in my town (and meant for Motion Picture use – not passing off as being real!), and then I jumped on a business podcast recently to talk about $$$, transparency, and risk.

So it’s been a busy month! And also a slow one… Probably because I still don’t have a real job :P

Hope things are going well for you!! For a list of my favorite reads from around the web this month, see below, otherwise – keep on keeping on! The fight for FIRE is a valiant one!!

Your friend in money and continual self-improvement,

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PS: Recently got word that ALL three 401k Champion winners from last fall were all BudgetAreSexy readers!! Congrats everyone! Proof again it (literally) pays to read my blog! ;)


Favorite articles from around the community:

Pack Your Bags for A 3-Year-Cruise @ Retire By 40 — “The cruise is scheduled for 1,095 days, 3 full years. They plan to visit 375 ports across 135 countries. The ship will stop on all seven continents. This is a very economical way to visit all these destinations. It’d cost so much more money to visit each destination individually.”

21 Life-Changing Minimalist Experiments to Try in Your Home @ Becoming Minimalist — “Society is constantly calling us to expand and upgrade every area of life: our home, our car, our kitchen, our wardrobe, our technology….  A Living with Less experiment provides us the opportunity to see if there is a more intentional, more focused, better way to live.”

Things Important, and Unimportant @ JL Collins — “Important: becoming financially independent. In doing so you have bought your freedom. Freedom to spend your life and time as you wish without the need to trade your labor for money. Unimportant: whether you choose to retire from your job or keep working once you are FI. Being FI doesn’t require you to quit a job you enjoy. It just means you get to choose.”

The Life-Changing Joy of Tidying My Prison Cell @ Prison Journalism Project — “Every Saturday, like clockwork, I clean and organize my cell. I go through my property box, legal box and shelves and throw away anything that I no longer use. My cellie loves to make fun of me. He tells others: “It’s his favorite thing to do!” He’s right.”

Trust Where You Are @ Millennial Money — “Remember, this is not a race. This is about building a life you love on your own terms and in your own way. There is no set path. Only your path. All progress is progress.”

The McDonald’s Test @ The Best Interest — “The McDonald’s Test is a simple way to ask yourself: am I really enjoying the fruits of my labor?”

The Levers That Money Can’t Pull @ More to That — “If we can zoom out of any individual lever and take a holistic view of what makes us who we are, then we’ll see that money is just one character in the theater of life. That it can influence the direction of many things we care about, but not the things we care about most. That it’s a significant character in this story, but just a character nonetheless. Because in the end, seeing that distinction makes all the difference.”

Cheat on Your Bank—It’s Not Your Girlfriend @ Bitches Get Riches — “When it comes to banks, I am a proud philanderer. Practically a libertine! A player! I keep money here, I keep money there… it all depends on what’s most useful and effective for both my long- and short-term money goals. Here’s where I keep my money and why.”

A Free “Credit Score Boot Camp.” @ Surviving and Thriving — “Every week for six weeks, you’ll get true, actionable advice from Harzog on how to increase your score. Already have a decent FICO? Her tips can help you keep it that way.”

7 Micro-Habits that Changed My Life @ No Sidebar“Focus on your daily systems, not the goal”

Most Phone Use is a Tragic Loss of Life @ Raptitude — “If the main reason not to smoke is to protect, in aggregate, thousands of our God-given ten-minuteses — which amounts to years — of being alive, we should just as strenuously avoid other vices that incur comparable costs, and should consider the resulting loss of life to be just as tragic.”

The Dose is The Poison @ Money and Meaning — “There are 2.64 million second homes in America for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. All my middle class friends dream of getting one. Meanwhile, there are over 500,000 people who are homeless. Do the math. There are five times more second homes than people who are homeless.”


Favorite book this month:

how to be a gentleman

How to Be a Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy” by John Bridges* — Picked this up purely out of curiosity and haven’t been able to put it down yet 😂 Some things feel terribly outdated here (or perhaps I don’t run in the right circles? Lol…) but most is pretty spot on and a good reminder to just be a kind human being. I put up some of my favorite passages so far here on IG if you want to scroll through…

*Amazon affiliate link


Lastly: I finally got my tattoos!

swallow tattoos

[Click here to see the phases from start to finish.
Unless blood makes you squeamish, in which case AVERT YOUR EYES!]



// Kick ass photo up top by @cchriscurry

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A new experiment!

Hi! 👋👋

Started a new – random! – experiment last week and just blogged about it!

If you’re into charity or giving back or just like watching someone make a fool of himself, then you’ll want to check it out ;)

It’s been so freakin’ fun – and nerve-racking – but I haven’t felt this *alive* in a while. If you’ve been thinking of an idea yourself over there for a while, I challenge you to take ONE step today and put it into motion. You automatically win just by DOING SOMETHING about it instead of *thinking* 24/7!

And if you don’t know what to work on next, try this out that I learned from Netflix’ new documentary, Stutz (brilliant btw, and I used to not be a fan of Jonah Hill!):

“When you’re stuck, just sit down with a notepad and start writing… your brain has things it wants to say even if you don’t know what they are.” (paraphrased)

Hope you’re well :)

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PS: I’m also in the middle of two other experiments: not wearing any underwear (three weeks in and it’s great!) and running 10 miles a week (1 week in and it’s NOT so great, bleh…)


Some articles I’ve enjoyed lately:

I Want to Lose Every Debate @ Sivers — “I never want to debate, but if I had to, I would hope to lose. I don’t want to convince anyone of my existing perspective. I would rather be convinced of theirs. It’s more interesting to assume that they are right.”

My Experience with Check Fraud – And What You Can Learn From It @ Oblivious Investor — “Below is the check I wrote. And below [that] is what the check looked like, when it was cashed/deposited. Apparently somebody intercepted the check, chemically “washed” it to remove the ink on specific portions of the check, and wrote in a new payee, amount, and (partial) memo.”

Could You Live on $25k a Year… And Be Happy? @ Money and Meaning — “My last 30 years were based on three philosophical, environmental, and financial beliefs:  spending more money wouldn’t make me happier, spending more money would degrade the environment, and spending more money meant I would have to work more years.”

Masterfully Crafted: How ChatGPT Wrote a Compelling Article on the Power of Saving and Investing @ Route to Retire — “I thought it would be fun to put ChatGPT on the task of creating a personal finance post for Route to Retire… What you’re about to read is a simple article that’s 100% generated from ChatGPT… in seconds.”

Prepare for the Unexpected Mini-Retirement @ Jillian Johnsrud — “Life can be unpredictably fragile and short. You just never know. You never know if you’ll have a hundred other chances to experience your dream, or perhaps this is the last chance for that dream. Save the money, make a plan, and when the opportunity arises, grab your go bag. And go.”

What is The Net Worth of Josh Dorkin @ JoshuaDorkin.com — “If we take these lists and put them together, it is obvious that Josh has far more assets than liabilities, and as such, has a very high life net worth of over 20 million minutes and almost 400,000 hours of great experiences. He strongly encourages everyone reading to figure out the millions of minutes of net worth that they have themselves.”

It’s Time To Uncomplicate Your Health And Wealth @ A Teachable Moment — “It’s rare to find a situation where simplifying lifestyle or financial choices doesn’t result in a better outcome for end-users… The same goes for investing. Trying harder by creating costly complexities is a poor substitute for bare-boned and easy-to-understand investments.”


forrest gump waving


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Failing at Early Retirement

$100 mat

Happy New Year!!

Did you have a great break away from things? Are you right back into them all again now and wishing you can figure out how to reverse time?! :)

I haven’t figured out exactly how to do that yet, but I did come to realize that if you just *don’t work at all* it def. slows down time, lol… So step 1) keep hustling until you’ve hit Financial Freedom! Then step 2) blow up all your schedules and start going with the flow :)

At least that’s my mantra for the new year after thoroughly enjoying my break and not wanting to come back to work right away, haha… I’ll still show up in your inbox every now and then and be somewhat productive, but I’m nixing all my self-imposed schedules for now and just going with whatever *moves me* in the mornings to see if it improves my overall quality of life. After all – if you can’t enjoy your hard work and money over the years, what’s the point right?!

So I’ll see you whenever I see you! Lots of great articles down below from the community as always…


j money signature


Posts Written By Me (or About Me) This Week:

washington dc puzzle

The Year of The Flow 🤙 — I talk more about my New Year’s “theme” of going with the flow, as well as an update on life and my new obsession lately: PUZZLES!!! THE BEST!!

After Selling His Money Blog, This Founder Reacquired it 3 Years Later — For a Fraction of The Price @ TheyGotAcquired.com — An interview I did recently around selling, and then repurchasing, my main blog. Such a whirlwind of activity last year – I sometimes can’t even believe it!


Favorite Articles Around The Community Lately:

price changes

It’s Time to Work @ Of Dollars And Data – “Most people don’t get rich through their investment decisions, they get rich through their income. They get rich through their work. Even those who do get rich from their investments, typically, had to work to get the money they used to invest in the first place.”

Failing at Early Retirement @ Go Curry Cracker – “The idea that earning some income is equivalent to failure for an early retiree is common, but I think it is misplaced. There is no right/wrong or moral weight to the decision to add or subtract dollars from a retirement portfolio, so if something doesn’t feel right and you think work would help… then work.”

How to Stop Shopping Impulsively in 2023: 23 Frugal Tips! @ No Sidebar – “Does it feel like no matter how much you work, you can’t seem to stay on top of your finances? The problem may not be how much money you’re making, it may be the rate at which you spend it.”

Ten Words for 2023 @ The Humble Dollar – “Most of us are forever striving to be better versions of ourselves—usually with mixed success. Still, the changing of the calendar often prompts renewed efforts. But what should we focus on? Let me offer 10 words that I try to live by.”

In the Waiting @ Jillian Johnsrud – “I have a theory that people mostly buy lottery tickets for the waiting. That’s where the magic really is. From the time to buy your ticket until the numbers are drawn, you wait. You dream about what you might do or change if you are suddenly a billionaire. The buying isn’t so much fun. The numbers being drawn is quickly anticlimactic. But those few days waiting in between, your mind can run wild.”

The California Effect @ Mr. Money Mustache – “Start noticing your own bubble, and study the California Effect in your own lifestyle. Where do you see ridiculousness masquerading as normalcy? How can you extract the best of life in your area, while shedding the unnecessary downsides? How can you create an entirely new bubble of normal?”

3 Mindset Shifts That Will Change the Way You Think About Personal Finance @ Julie B. Rose – “Keeping the following in mind has made all the difference for me: 1) radical change isn’t permanent (and can have radical results!), 2) incremental goals are more attainable, and 3) lifestyle creep comes with an opportunity cost to something better.”

The Crypto Story @ Bloomberg – Where it came from, what it all means, and why it still matters” (This is a VERY long read, but wow is it helpful in understanding it all… And entertaining too!)

What Happens When You Get What You Want? @ White Coat Investor – “As Oscar Wilde said, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” We all assume that the process of getting what we want will be hard but that having it will be easy. It turns out that’s a big lie. And nobody is talking about it.”

Price Changes Over Time, Some Things Have Become Ridiculously Cheap @ Accidental FIRE – “It’s crazy how cheap most electronics have become, and this chart only shows the trend since 2000.  If you went back further it’d be even more stark.  This past black Friday Walmart had a 64″ big screen TV for $260.  That’s absurd.”


News From Around The Community

winter sunrise

A bunch of interesting news that caught my attention recently:


Clips From Around The Community

A bunch of interesting clips that caught my attention recently:

  • “Leave the house five minutes earlier than usual. Give yourself permission to stop for a moment when something interesting catches your eye. Meander a little bit. Take a notebook and do what my husband did and write down some everyday observations. See how it makes you feel. You might like it.” – Simple and Straightforward
  • “The dead outnumber the living 14 to 1, and we ignore the accumulated experience of such a huge majority of mankind at our peril.” – Niall Ferguson (via Collab Fund)
  • “Every dollar you earn brings you that much closer to more choices.  Having more choices is what makes us free.” – Steve Adcock
  • “Stop and recognize happy moments when you’re in the middle of them. Literally stop and say out loud, “This is a happy time.” It’s a way to ground yourself in the joyful parts of your life. We do this with moments of trauma and crisis all the time. Maybe we should flip that script.” – 5AM Joel
  • “If you have no idea how much is enough, you’ll never be satisfied with what you have.” –  A Wealth of Common Sense


Stay cool.

george washington roll up car window



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It’s Not About Retirement Anymore

christmas trees

Good morning!


(And not just because JC and J$ were born in it – it’s about the SPIRIT of everything!! And how nice everyone finally becomes!! lol…)

And as such, I’m going to take a break from these newsletters for the month (as well as my blog) to soak it all in and slow down life a bit… You can see the short list of things I plan to tackle here (hint: include museums, coins and tattoos!), but more or less I’ll just be on the low recalibrating and taking advantage of WifeFI :)

I hope you’re able to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your fiscal management too! If you can’t use money to improve your life, what’s the point of it all?!

Back in January with more financial goodies… Thanks for being here with me this year! It means more than you know 🙏

j money signature

PS: The new challenge for the month is SQUATS (100x day)! We knocked out those push-ups last month doing over 72,000 of them combined (!) and now we keep the momentum going with squats… Spreadsheet here if you want to join and track your progress!


Posts on Budgets this week:

swallows tattoo

10 Crazy Ways We’ve Saved Money Over The Years — A bunch of tips on how to save money! From cutting down cell phone bills, to simple menu making, to my new favorite day – NAKED SUNDAYS!!

Taking off The Month of December to Chill 🎄 — Taking a blog sabbatical to refresh and spend time catching up on other of life’s adventures… Full list of what I plan on tackling included here. Thanks for all your support this year!

*To get these posts automatically emailed to you on the day they come out, sign up to my blog newsletter here.


Favorite Articles Around The Community:

stock tracker

It’s Just a Tool @ Humble Dollar – “There are also plenty of problems that money can’t solve: lack of purpose, chronic unhappiness, lost loved ones. I believe we should save our worrying and mental focus for these problems, and let money take care of the problems it can solve.”

Make a Stock Tracker with Google Sheets  @ Freddy Smidlap – “The key to the whole thing is that it goes out to the web and retrieves stock data via the Googlefinance function.”

Lessons Learned From 4 Years Outside The Maze @ Life Outside The Maze – “As I look back over the last 4 years away from traditional work, it is not spending big dollars, but rather the reduction of noise in my life, more time availability, and more commitment to other things that have allowed me to do most of the things, pursue most of the personal growth, and pursue most of the adventures that I have.”

10 Secret Library Resources That Can Save You a Ton of Dough! @ Route to Retire – “Here are some of those things offered in the Wall of Things at my local library: 3D pens, auxiliary audio cables, bike locks, boogie boards, citizenship kits (to study for the nationalization test), crochet kits, hotspots (access free Wi-Fi while traveling or at events), and much much more.”

What 3,000 Push-Ups Taught Me About Motivation, Habit Building & Overcoming Obstacles @ Accidentally Retired – “I’m not a fitness freak. I don’t do ANY strength training. Yet, I completed 3,000 push-ups in November!! Here are the many lessons of the last 30 days…”

It’s Not About Retirement Anymore @ Retire Before Dad – “It’s about: being more available to my family, focusing on meaningful work that I enjoy, building on the nine years of effort I’ve put into my online writing business, and leveraging the saving and investing I’ve prioritized over the past two decades.”

Savers Get Paid Again @ The Belle Curve —  “Cash is back! In this new era, we will think twice before withdrawing our 3%+ cash from savings to put it at risk. And that puts my mind at ease when I consider investing for the next 10, 20, 30 years, and beyond.”


Clips & News From The Community

fork in the road

A bunch of interesting clips and news I caught this week:

  • Retire Before Dad officially retires
  • The Best Interest quits social media!
  • “It’s better to be roughly right, than precisely wrong.” – John Maynard Keynes (via Investment Soup)
  • “Your index funds are never going to call you in the middle of the night to complain that the AC is broken in your rental unit.” – A Wealth of Common Sense
  • “The older I become the more I realize that our relationship with money — and whether it’s a healthy or unhealthy one — isn’t just down to how much we have. It’s whether we are master of it, or it is master of us. Who controls who?” – Simple and Straightforward
  • “Alongside my “easy come, easy go” attitude is my “let them wear whatever they want” attitude. Both of my girls have been known to wear ballgowns to school and I’m not concerned if they come home stained or ripped. I want them to enjoy their clothes and play freely with abandon… My hope is that my kids won’t have deep-seated attachments to material possessions.” – Frugalwoods


Event of The Week!

dc meetup
Calling all DC peeps!! If you’re around next Wednesday, Dec 7th from 6pm-8pm, come join a bunch of us creators to talk money and entrepreneurship! Whether you’re a creator yourself or just a huge fan!

We’ll be meeting at the Southeast Neighborhood Library (mtg. room 1), and it’s being hosted by Plutus Voices – an arm of the Plutus Foundation. Hope to see some of you there!!

More info here: plutusvoices.com/dc

Plutus has also created a new Mastadon community for money lovers as well. So if you’re tired of Twitter and/or just want a new social channel to get addicted to, lol, you can sign up here and join the fun :) Still debating whether to join myself…


Manifesto of The Week:

investor manifesto

The Investor’s Manifesto (2022) @ Safal Niveshak — “This is for you. This is from someone like you. It is an Investor’s Manifesto. It is something you can reflect back on if you ever felt stuck in your investing life. If you believe in it, follow it, and stand for it, your investing life will be good.” [Hat tip: Apex Money]



elf gif


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The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Flamingo FI

flamingo fire

Good morning, Turkeys!!

Hope you had a good one :) And hope you’re keeping your wallets safe with today’s Black Friday madness?!

I know I don’t have to worry about you as much as I do others out there, but just in case you’re needing a little reminder this holiday season, here is an approved list of the *only* things you’re allowed to buy this year… You can thank me later ;)

Official List of Allowed Purchases This Black Friday

In other news, I finally got my bill for those life-saving infusions over the summer!! Do you want to guess how much they came out to?? (For context, I had two of them and they were a little over $20,000 each, pre-insurance 😱😱)

The total came out to….. drum roll please…




$1,700!! Whew!!

Thank GOSH for amazing health insurance, man… Can you imagine?? Paying $40,000 every time you need some meds which for me* will be every 1-4 years FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE??! I know you hear stories of people getting bankrupted over medical bills left and right, but it sure does hit home for me these days, wow…

Yet another thing to be thankful for over this holiday season – boring insurance!! The only thing we pay for that we hope to never use! Lol…

I’ll leave you with one last bit of good news, only because it’s brand new to me so I’m experiencing it for the first time – I’m on day #44 of getting the Wordle every day and it’s been hella fun :) I refused to get in the craze whichever year it came out because I’m stubborn like that, but after my 8 y/o started playing it in class with his teacher, my 10 y/o and I decided to give it a shot and now we’re both addicted. We’ve got all of them in a row so far, with only 2 times we needed 6 tries and about a 4th of the time getting it in 3 tries (with 4 tries being our most needed). Still no first or second wins, but hopefully as time goes on!

At any rate, if you’re looking for a fun educational way to spend time with your kids and are still a Wordle virgin yourself, this could perhaps be a new habit for you too :)

Have a blessed weekend everyone, see ya again real soon 🙏

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*I have Pemphigus Vulgaris, a rare autoimmune disease where your body basically starts blistering all over and will eventually cover you inside and outside if you don’t manage it… do NOT google it – it’s nasty!


Posts on Budgets this week:

smiley faces

75+ Things I Do That Improves My Life 🔥 — A list of all the habits and tricks I do every day/week/month that drastically improves my life! Covering money, health, mind, minimalism, productivity, kids and more.

Don’t Be Patty The Milkmaid — A great reminder from Mr. Aesop :)

*To get these posts automatically emailed to you on the day they come out, sign up to my blog newsletter here.


Favorite Articles Around The Community:


A Man of No Ambition @ Get Rich Slowly – ‘’I want to spend my life telling stories and helping other people. And I believe that means doing things differently than my colleagues do them. That means casting aside the way things are “supposed to be done” in the world of blogging and YouTubing and Twittering, and it means forging my own path.”

Five Big Reasons to Retire Often @ Jillian Johnsrud  – “The biggest reason to retire often: it will make your life better. It gives you a fighting chance to improve every area of life that matters to you, spanning across every decade. Your whole life, in its width and its depth, can improve. Plus, it’s just more fun this way.”

The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Flamingo FI @ Money Flamingo — “The math behind Flamingo FI is super simple. However, the benefits of slowing down, working less and having more time for the things you love are hard to quantify. This is something we should all spend a little more time thinking about and planning for, no matter which “type” of FI we are pursuing.”

The Different Levels of Wealth Explained in Simple Terms @ Passive Income, MD — “Instead of a distinct monetary amount, it’s nice to think of it in terms of real life situations we can relate to. This takes into account the cost of living and really what your lifestyle is like. Using these ideas as a framework, I’ll explain my version of the different levels of wealth adapted from Butterfield.” [h/t Physician on FIRE for digging this one up!]

Why We’re Giving $100 Tips During the Holidays (And You Should Too) @ Marriage Kids and Money — “As a small gesture of thanks and paying it forward, my wife and I are planning on giving random $100 tips to people in the service industry this year. We’re hoping you will join us too. We’re calling it #BigTipTuesday!” [I’m going to do this!! It’s been on my bucket list for years!]

4 Examples of “End Game” Portfolios @ My Money Wizard — “Ray Dalio is a billionaire investor who [asked] his investment team, “What kind of investment portfolio would you hold that would perform well across all environments, be it a devaluation or something completely different?” They created this portfolio…”

A Lottery of Sorts @ Happily Disengaged — “There are not many places in the world where a construction worker with no college education, whose skin color is different that those who run the country in business and government, can be as successful as I am. I don’t take anything I have for granted, though it’s quite easy to do. This walk keeps me humble.”

Is Your Workplace a Super Chickens Experiment? @ Retire By 40 — “If the corporate model is right, the cage of super chickens should have the highest productivity. However, the result was very surprising. The super chickens were hyper-aggressive and pecked each other to death!”


News Around The Community

willow tree fall down

A bunch of interesting news I caught this week:


Clips Around The Community

A bunch of interesting clips I caught this week:

  • “Instead of focusing on how you want to get rich, focus on avoiding financial ruin. When you avoid ruin, you set yourself up for success.” – Darius Foroux
  • “Everything good in life is just the gap between expectations and reality.” – Collab Fund
  • “It doesn’t matter how high or low your investment returns are if you don’t save enough in the first place… The financial markets can’t save you if you don’t save.” – A Wealth of Common Sense



dancing books



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