I Met You Today

i met you today

Morning, friends!

Happy New(ish) Year! Finally getting used to writing “2024” on checks and coming to terms with being a year older now…

OK just kidding – I haven’t written a check since 2014! 🤣

I did finally remember to tell you about a new project I created though! It’s called “I Met You Today“, and I just blogged about it over at BudgetsAreSexy:

A New Project To Say “Thank You.”

It’s the first time my friend (Nate) and I built something for a single person instead of the whole *world*… But it’s been great so far! Check it out and let me know what you think!

I was also recently on a podcast as well if you miss hearing my voice*:

From $60k to MillionaireMoney O2

In other news, I’m still flowing/veggie drinking/yoga’ing and all that other good stuff! I think after a handful of months they can all now officially be called “habits” – woo! The power of compounding actions!! Gotta get them going and then it’s just *one day at a time* from there!

And hopefully your string of days are treating you great as well :) If I can ever help with anything, just let me know! I got plenty of room for coaching or brainstorming or just talking with an online friend this month. You know where to reach me 👊

Your friend in money (and life),

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*Remember when I had that podcast for approximately 2.3 months?? Crazy to think that was almost 10 years ago now, but awesome to see Paula still doing her thing and killing it! You can hear any of these old shows here if you’re ever feeling nostalgic or missed them the first go around: budgetsaresexy.com/podcasts (midway down the page)

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Favorite Reads Around The Web Lately:

Activity Spinner @ Ghotib — “I am a creature of habit. Work, sleep (sometimes), eat, waste time staring at screens, etc. So once in a while, I like to motivate myself with a dose of randomness. And putting anything into the context of a game makes it more palatable for me too. :) If you too want to shake things up, whether as part of a New Year’s resolution, or just to keep life from getting mundane, you may enjoy this game.”

My Biggest Investing Takeaway For 2023 @ 1500 Days — “VTSAX goes up and to the right mostly because of productivity increases. AI will be the biggest generator of productivity the world has seen… AI is a really great reason to pursue financial independence! That computer or robot can’t take your job if you don’t have one!”

The Surprise Rise of Excel Esports (and How It’s Wowing Fans) @ INTHEBLACK — “Did you know sports TV network ESPN broadcasts Excel Esports? It’s a fast-paced, battle-based competition that pushes participants’ spreadsheet skills to the limit.”

The Best Gift-Giving Advice I’ve Ever Received @ Small Potatoes — “Buy a special version of an everyday thing.” (h/t Apex Money)

100 Ways to Slightly Improve Your Life Without Really Trying @ The Guardian — “Whether it’s taking fruit to work (and to the bedroom!), being polite to rude strangers or taking up skinny-dipping, here’s a century of ways to make life better, with little effort involved …”

The Stock Market is Our Mona Lisa @ A Wealth of Common Sense — “I don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep this up but the stock market is one of the more impressive structures ever built.”

Migrating from Mint to Credit Karma: It Was Not Good @ My Money Blog — “It’s still early (Mint doesn’t shut down until March 2024) but don’t migrate to Credit Karma if you think it’s going to give you the Mint experience. It’s not. It’s very very far from Mint and so if you migrate now, you will be in for a shock. I think it will take a few months for various features to get pulled into Mint (if Intuit is serious about Credit Karma being a Mint successor) but if this is its final form, you need to look elsewhere.”

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Hope you found some gems! 💎

 

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12 Financial Challenges to Try in 2024

santa painting

Good morning friends!!

Happy December 16th! Exactly 10 days away from my birthday, and 9 from someone else’s ;)

Fun Fact: I was actually *supposed* to be born on the 25th, but being the nice guy I was I let the Big Guy have it all to himself and forced my poor mother to continue laboring for an additional 7 hours on top of the already 20 just to be in the clear. So now we have one world-renown day on the 25th (Happy early bday, JC!) and another one back to back on the 26th (Happy early bday, J$!)

So yeah, it’s always one very festive season around here! And I do hope you have a merry one with you and your loved ones this year! 🎄

Whenever you need some good down time, pull up one of these hand-picked articles below and get refreshed all over again… Just doing ONE of any of the tips listed here has the power to change your 2024!! Life is still so full of opportunities for us! We just gotta keep on being *open* to them!

Will see ya around here again shortly… Until then, be safe, be merry, be sexy!

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PS: That Santa painting up top was my very first piece of “art” I ever bought, back in the Love Drop days if any of you are still around from back then? Spent $300 on it and get to bring it out every year to enjoy!! Much to the dismay of my wife who thinks it looks awfully depressing, haha… I think he’s just pondering a well lived life! ;)

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New on Budgets Are Sexy:

half court shot

The Bingo Sheet 💰 — A savings game that nets you an extra $1,000 in the new year! Plus: a fun basketball challenge I dare you to play with me ;)

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Favorite Reads From Around The Community:

12 Financial Challenges You Could Try in 2024 @ Becoming Minimalist — “#2. The Single Dollar Saver Game. Every time you receive a $1 bill in 2024, no matter where it comes from, set it aside… you might be surprised how quickly those random singles add up over the course of a year.”

How a Simple Idea Turned Into a $50k a Month Side Hustle @ Side Hustle Nation — “Lou Rice was breastfeeding her son Archie one night when disaster struck—she dropped her Kindle on his head!… It sparked an idea for Lou and her husband Ben to create a solution. Ben fashioned a silicone strap with staples to attach Lou’s Kindle to her hand and prevent any future dropping incidents… With that, strapsicle.com was born—a side hustle now generating over $50k a month selling innovative Kindle straps.”

How Much Income is Enough? $20,000 A Year More Than You Have Now @ My Money Blog — “Don’t just wish for more money, examine the money that you already have from the perspective of someone who is wishing to be you.”

If More People Did Money Like They Play Monopoly, They’d Be a Lot Better Off @ The Escape Artist — “Imagine playing Monopoly and never buying any assets or investments that generate income. Imagine you just went around collecting $200, giving your money to the rich, and trying to stay out of jail. That is how most people live their life.”

You Can Retire Early, But Never Stop Being Useful @ Abandoned Cubicle — “Leaving a paycheck, managers-by-carousel, silly meetings, and other corporate nonsense behind won’t kill you. But if you leave a job where you sit on your duff all day only to wind up sitting on your duff all day and subsequently doing nothing to improve yourself or serve others, then it’s game over.”

Five Timeless Life Lessons from Seneca @ DariusForoux.com — “Value your time more than your possessions. Unlike material possessions, time is something we can’t get back once it’s gone. It’s essential to use it wisely, prioritizing meaningful activities and relationships over trivial matters.”

The Secret to Being Rich Is to Not Buy Anything @ The White Coat Investor – “Morgan Housel is famous for pointing out that everyone says they want to be a millionaire, but what they really mean is that they want to spend $1 million, which is precisely the opposite thing. You become a millionaire by NOT spending the $1 million that you could have spent.”

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Thanks for another great year! 💙

 

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What if money expired?

ai unicorn painting

Good morning friends!

Hope your money, life, and overall vibes are on the up and up! You made it to Friday – woo!

Here’s another piece of good news for you: I’m giving away (2) copies of JL Collins’ new book over on Budgets Are Sexy 💪

Pathfinders:
Extraordinary Stories of People Like You on the Quest for Financial Independence―And How to Join Them

pathfinders book

Here’s a clip about it from The Man himself:

Pathfinders has been two years in the making and it is a book I have wanted to bring to you since 2016 after The Simple Path to Wealth was published.

Within months of that book’s release I began to receive incredible stories from people all over the world telling me how they had taken the approach laid out and applied it to their own unique lives, location and circumstances.

Since contracting with Harriman House to publish Pathfinders, we’ve collected more of these stories and in these pages present ~100 of the very best.

If you’re interested in it, pop on over to Budgets Are Sexy and enter! I might also be throwing in another of his classics as well ;)

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In other news – I’ve now made it to TWO MONTHS of doing yoga consistently! Over 50 classes (!!!). And have even upgraded to “intermediate” yoga now to really have my ass kicked, lol… I’ve also somehow managed to go 4 weeks without a single (alcoholic) drink too, but that’s more to keep my wife motivated who’s on month #3 (!!) so I don’t tempt her ;) Sooner or later though I’m gonna have to sneak in a whisky while she’s not looking, haha…

Still – for the first time in my life I feel like I’m actually *in charge* of my health for once and God willing I’ll keep going… Not sure why it’s taken me 43 years, but hey – you gotta start somewhere! And hopefully you’ve jump started whatever goals are important to you too :) If not, be sure to read the first article featured below and hopefully that will do the trick 🖤

Yours always,

j money signature

PS: I got a new tattoo:

heart tattoo

[A gentle reminder to always love no matter what. Or whom.
(And especially myself)]

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Favorite Reads Around The Web Lately:

Personal Goals Have to Happen Now @ Raptitude — “The reason it’s hard to get going on personal goals is that you’re already using all of your time. No matter who you are, you’re already using all 24 hours, every day, for something. Because this will always be true, goals that happen at all must happen now, while you still don’t yet have time. Belief in the mythical state of “when I have time” is a common pitfall.”

How to Change Your Life One Week at a Time @ A Lawyer and Her Money — “Over a decade ago, I vowed to do at least one new experience every week (“one new thing a week” or ONTAW). I had some ideas for what kinds of “new” things I would do but for the majority of the times, anything new counted, whether planned or not. It could be visiting a new restaurant, trying a new recipe, visiting a new city, trying a new hobby.”

Living More Intentionally by Thinking Less @ No Sidebar — “You may think that being distracted means you’ll think less, but when you engage in things like social media you’re actually making choices every second: Do I watch this video, do I comment on this post, what do I say, what do I think about this message, and a thousand other decisions throughout the day. By the end of the day, you don’t have the mental energy to plan for tomorrow.”

What If Money Expired? @ Noema — “A long-forgotten German economist argued that society and the economy would be better off if money was a perishable good. Was he an anarchist crank or the prophet of a better world?” (Hat tip: Apex Money)

Optimism @ 1500 Days — “Mindy and I are in NYC and woke up early one morning with one goal in mind: take a great photo of the Charging Bull. I’ve been fascinated with this sculpture since I learned that the creator plopped it down illegally in the middle of the night with help from 50 (!) of his friends. I wonder what his co-conspirators thought?”

charging bull

Frugal vs. Independent @ Collab Fund — “Most people are wired to seek status and success, not necessarily happiness. It’s remarkable to watch someone fight back against that trend. From the outside they appear frugal. But in fact they’ve rejected what the world tells them they should want and looked deeper, finding their happiness elsewhere.”

Do You Live in an Ingredient Household? @ The Frugal Girl — “It’s a home that stocks mostly, well, ingredients, instead of ready-to-eat foods. Like, instead of oatmeal packets, you might have jars of oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and there’s milk in your fridge. You can eat oatmeal for breakfast, but you do have to make it… Basically, if you open the fridge and pantry, there’s not much that you can just grab and eat.”

Investing Is A Double-Edged Sword @ A Teachable Moment — “We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicines but less healthiness.”

The Lifestyle Change That Simulates “Falling in Love” @ Inside Hook — “A person with a one-hour commute to work has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied as someone who walks. At the same time, shifting from a long commute to a short walk would make a single person as happy as if he or she had found a new love.” [Hat tip: Apex Money // This is a dream of mine!! To live in a walkable community/mini-town like Mr. Money Mustache is experimenting with!]

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Other news around the community:

RIP Charlie Munger @ My Money Blog — “Many investors around the world were saddened to hear that Charles T. Munger passed away on November 28th, 2023, only about a month before he would have turned 100 years old. Most people discovered him through his long friendship and business partnership with Warren Buffett, and many of us enjoyed the fact that he was more bluntly honest, more revealing at times, and overall a great compliment to Buffett.”

This is The End @ The Reformed Broker — “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the final post I will be publishing at The Reformed Broker. After today the site will be inactive, forever. I began this blog in November 2008 without any idea where it would take me. I had a negative net worth, was working at a dead-end brokerage firm job and absolutely no career prospects whatsoever – a washed up stock broker at 31 years old in the middle of a global financial crisis. So I began to write. Honestly, humorously, fearlessly. And you began to read…”

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Video of The Week:

andre 3000 interview

André 3000 Talks His New Album and Life After Outkast @ GQ (via YouTube) — “It’s been years since rap legend André 3000 released new music. Now, on his own creative terms, he’s unveiling his first solo project—and talking candidly about where he’s been, how he’s changed, and why he made a record (New Blue Sun) that nobody could have expected.”

I love this so much because he’s just DOING HIS THING!! Releasing a record with *wind instruments* only and no lyrics whatsoever despite being one of the best rappers of all time… So much wisdom and PEACE in his vibes too – he knows what he’s about!

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Have a blessed week 🙏

 

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The only thing that matters is how much you love.

skittles heart

Good morning, friends!

Hope y’all have some fun Thanksgiving plans coming up! We’re doing our usual double Turkey celebration (first half of the day going to my family’s gathering, the second half my wife’s), which is great on one hand (double dinners!) but bad on the other (double dinners!! lol…).

And then of course there is Black Friday… which I will decidedly NOT be attending as I’d rather make love to a one-eyed porcupine! (They’re much sweeter, those one-eyed varieties ;))

At any rate, lots of great reads and ideas collected for you down below, and while you’re out feasting with your loved ones this week, marinate on this question we just posed at Budgets Are Sexy!

Would you rather…

Have unlimited money to buy things online but you can never buy anything in person (can’t go to restaurants, shops, movies, games)

– OR –

Have unlimited money to buy things in person but you can never buy anything online (can’t get anything delivered, but could walk onto a car lot and buy a car with cash)

My thoughts, and the right answer to this ;), here –> Would You Rather… Buy Everything Online or Everything Offline Only?

Gobble gobble,

j money signature

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Favorite Reads This Week:

Biker Liz @ The Frugal Girl –“Today, we’re meeting a reader who has managed to live for 2.5 years with no car (and two small kids!). I am so impressed by the amount of biking and walking she and her family do, especially since it’s the functional sort, to get yourself from point A to point B.”

The Arizona Experiment! @ Mr. Money Mustache — “A big part of the fun is that this will force me to invent a whole new life for myself, away from the easy comforts of the big community and plentiful construction sites that keep me so busy here. It will be both a big change and a significant challenge, which is exactly what all of us need on a regular basis to keep life full of meaning and joy.”

Chapters @ Happily Disengaged — “Going to jail really woke me up. It was both the worst and best thing that ever happened to me. If can split up my life into two parts, there’s before jail and after jail.”

Get Rich Slowly, Get Started Quickly @ The Escape Artist — “Spending is like anything, the more you do of it, the less special it become… maybe you would be happier if you had more freedom and more control over your life?”

The 20 Greatest Decluttering Tips of All Time @ No Sidebar — “Decluttering is less about the quantity of items you remove and more about the quality of life you’re creating. Each discarded item is not just making room in your home, but also making space in your mind for clarity, peace, and joy.”

How Crazy is Dave Ramsey’s 8% Withdrawal Rate Recommendation? @ Early Retirement Now — “Most of us in the FIRE community have graduated from Dave Ramsey. Or even better, many of us, myself included, never even required his services. We should all safely ignore his 8% withdrawal rate advice now. But I feel sorry for the Ramsey listeners. I hope they are smart enough to get a second opinion elsewhere before implementing his crazy, unhinged advice. But, for the love of God, please stay away from Suze Orman!”

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Passage of The Week:

“The only thing that matters is how much you love.

Your purpose on this earth is to love.

We are all connected.

See the light in each person.”

Surprisingly (unsurprisingly?) this comes from “Yoga Girl“, a book I’m reading by Rachel Brathen that’s turning out to be about a lot more than just yoga! It’s a fantastic read so far (especially if you’ve had a lot of pain in life – mentally or physically) and it’s shaping up to be one of my favorite reads this year.

You can find it on Amazon for only a few bucks right now… A great mantra to keep in mind this holiday season!

yoga girl book

(Yoga Girl got famous from starting an Instagram account years ago amassing more than a million followers!! But it’s her “story” that’s really interesting here, and then of course all the pretty yoga poses ;))

 

Have a blessed weekend 🙏

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Cascading Actions (And Watching For Hints)

soccer ball

Good morning!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my health journey lately and all the events that have led up to it, and I’ve found it’s all come together rather interestingly.

It started with a friend convincing me to start playing soccer again after a 10 year hiatus, so I joined his weekly casual league (which plays at 10pm btw!! TEN AT NIGHT!!), which then led to me paying more attention to my body and all things health just so I could keep up 😆

A number of days later I then get a recommendation from a reader to look into veggie juicing for all its nutritional benefits (thanks Madiha!), and one thing led to another and now I’m a daily drinker of the Good Stuff! Fast forward a couple more weeks and a random encounter at the coffee shop led me to finally trying out yoga and now I’m an addict to that as well, lol…

Then, most recently, I joined a gym for the first time, well, EVER!, and now I consistently show up at 5:30 in the morning for an early Boot Camp class. Which, as the recurring theme here continues, started out because a different friend of mine goes to the gym and it was motivation enough for me to give it a try too. Even though, ironically, we never hang out together because he likes to lift weights solo while I need group exercises to keep me straight.

It’s been a wild two months to say the least, and some days I don’t even recognize myself as I am *not* a health/gym/yoga/veggie guy whatsoever! But it’s been a process I’ve very much enjoyed so far and can only hope continues 💪

If you didn’t catch the themes throughout all this, here they are:

1) Taking one small action increases the odds that *more* (similar) actions will follow! Whether it has to do with health, career, or more pertinent to our group here – our finances. But you have to take that first action to get the habits cascading!

2) The world provides hints when your mind (and ears) are open. And especially from those you love. If you noticed, almost every single nudge up there came from someone I know who recommended something at *just* the right time when I was open enough to receive it. I don’t know why other times were so closed off, but I do know that the opportunities are all around us if we’re paying enough attention.

So, take from this what you will, but if I could suggest just one thing it would be to take that *first* action towards whatever’s been sitting on your mind lately and see where it takes you. Worst case you can finally stop thinking about it, but best case it starts your own chain reaction of events!

And then be sure to let me know what you tried out :)

j money signature

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Favorite Reads Around The Web

Kristy’s Early Retirement Spreadsheet @ Budgets Are Sexy – Sharing this one first as it too illustrates our “first action” theme here! In this case it was a BIG first move as Kristy and family decided to relocate to the beach, but one thing led to another and now she’s well on her journey to a financially free life and shares her juicy spreadsheet in the process :)

5 Common Failures in Personal Finance @ The Best Interest — And this post talks about how the cascading can apply to *failures* as well! “People tend to think of tragedies and failures as single moments of failure. But that’s wrong. Instead, we must realize that every failure is a chain of events. There are multiple inputs into a failure. Thus, a “failure chain” can be interrupted or diverted at many different points.”

One Size Fits One Regarding Retirement Spending @ A Teachable Moment – “Going to Starbucks daily is much cheaper than owning a highly-priced, actively managed fund that is almost assured to underperform a cheap market index fund over long periods.”

Living on a Floating Island in Canada @ Insider – “Catherine King and Wayne Adams hand-built a floating home together in Canada 31 years ago. The home is known as Freedom Cove and is made up of several buildings floating on Styrofoam. As idyllic as it looks, the upkeep is tough work, which King is now doing solo after Adams’ death.”

PhysicianOnFIRE.com gets Acquired @ LinkedIn – “PhysicianonFire.com has relaunched with 2 new physicians at the helm — Jorge Sanchez, MD, and Nirav H. Shah — alongside serial entrepreneur Vinci Palad! We all have found financial freedom through different journeys. Financial stress is a huge mental health burden doctors face given how much work we defer. We plan to build products, services, and content for you to give you what you need.”

Random Acts @ Humble Dollar — “First and most important: budget for kindness. I’ve found that if you allocate the sum ahead of time, it’s much easier to part with the money.”

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Video/Thought of The Week:

alcohol and your health video

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to give up alcohol yet, but in the spirit of “being open” and seeing where things lead I’ve found this recommendation by Jim @ Route to Retire to be pretty impactful.

It’s SUPER long and kinda boring, not gonna kid you, BUT I guarantee you’ll think differently about alcohol after, even if you only watch the first 30-40 mins. It led to Jim giving up alcohol for OVER A YEAR now!! Congrats buddy!

And if you have a subscription to the NY Times, there’s an article that covers it more briefly below too if you don’t want to stare at the screen for hours :) In a nut shell though, alcohol is poison and no amount of it is “good for you.”

What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health | Huberman Lab Podcast @ YouTube — “In this episode, I discuss the physiological effects that drinking alcohol has on the brain and body at different levels of consumption and over time… Indeed, even low-to-moderate alcohol consumption negatively impacts the brain and body in direct ways.”

Even a Little Alcohol Can Harm Your Health @ NY Times — “Recent research makes it clear that any amount of drinking can be detrimental. Here’s why you may want to cut down on your consumption beyond Dry January.”

Thanks for reading

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