Anything that costs you your peace of mind is too expensive

sean diddy combs hollywood star

Today’s newsletter is brought to you by P. Diddy, who brings mad insight on life such as that subject line featured up top, as well as this little clip from the hit song, “Been Around the World”:

“Now my dividends be the new Benjamins”

Haha… and let’s not forget other gems gleaned from years of empire building:

“If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.” – Diddy


“Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and dream but then open your eyes and see.” – Diddy

Then finally:

“Don’t chase the paper, chase the dream.” – Diddy

Thanks for all the years of rhymes and encouragement, good sir! We salute you!

And now, onto the best articles from around the web as well as my own little “diddys” I wrote this week ;)


New articles on BudgetsAreSexy:

MONDAY: When luxuries become necessities — A list of things I came up with that I once never needed in my life but now can’t live without :)

TUESDAY: Would you ever bank with Amazon, Facebook or Google? — Where we talk about the stat: “58% of Millennials would consider banking with Amazon, Facebook or Google if these tech giants enter the banking space” (NOPE!)

WEDNESDAY: 9 Questions to Ask Before Buying a House — A list of questions to help determine if you’re financially ready to buy a home or not.

THURSDAY: Do you make more than your spouse? How is it going for you?? — In which I realized that for the first time since knowing my wife she’s actually making more money than me! Hubba Hubba!

FRIDAY: Some money jokes you can use to impress people 😂 — Which includes such classics as “If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you” and “Did you hear about the dry cleaner who’s been accused of money laundering? He’s ironing out a deal.”


Things I enjoyed from around the web this week:

This reminder from Austin Kleon –> You’ve got to be kind.

This idea of “stripping down” and starting over –> The Full Reset // “To understand the power of starting clean, you have to know the nuance of why the Nazi military became as strong as it did. It starts at the end of World War I, when the defeated German army was stripped clean.”

This pledging of 1% of your salary to support environmental issues you care the most about –> (Hat tip to Cait Flanders who just committed to this!)

This realization of luxuries –> “One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without it.” – Yuval Noah Harari

This plan from Burger King –> A month of coffee for $5? That’s Burger King’s plan to rule breakfast. // “Burger King rolled out its own coffee subscription service: a cup a day for $5 a month. The chain is betting on the service to get early risers in the door — and away from other big names in the fast-food breakfast game.”

This idea for a side hustle –> “I have a friend who flips cars as a side hustle, and the best time to flip and sell a car is around tax time. Great business model, and clears an extra $20,000 to $30,000 per year doing so.”

This auto response from someone I emailed this morning:


Unless you are very Jewish or live in Israel, you probably have never heard of the minor Jewish Holiday of Purim. It’s a fantastic story of court intrigue, politics, murder and salvation set during the time of the Persian Empire. As always, Wikipedia has you covered here: If you have the time, I highly recommend reading the Book of Esther which is the codified text of the holiday.

The tldr; of the holiday, like many Jewish holidays: They tried to kill us, God had other plans, We won, let’s eat! (The Persian plot line is more relevant today then ever.. cf. modern day Iran etc).

Anyway, I’m out partying with my family, so I’ll get back to you next week.

And lastly, this coupon that was redeemed 36 years later :)

36 year old coupon redeemed

Happy savings!

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The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant…



Caught this quote the other day and I am DYING still!!!

“The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. ~ Mad Magazine

Haha… how true, and sad, that actually is… ;)

Lots of good discussions and finds to share with you this week… Hope you’re still getting something good out of these emails! Let me know your thoughts!


Articles I wrote on the blog:

MONDAY: Are you a member of the Mileage High Club?! ;) — A continuation of my twitter post that went viral and had everyone sharing how much more frugal they are than me, lol… Have you hit 100k on your car yet?!

TUESDAY: “Buy your home like a landlord, live like a renter.” — An excellent way of managing your home’s finances! And something I’m going to set up myself in order to better separate my emotions from it all ;)

WEDNESDAY: The World’s Best Banks According to Forbes — A survey that finally polls *real life customers* on banks they love and use vs typical business analytics… And SPOILER ALERT: USAA came in at #1 in the U.S. – woo!

THURSDAY: What are you doing with your tax refunds? — A list of 10 great ways to use your tax refund if you’re like me and prefer getting a nice chunk in the end instead of throughout the year… Which most people end up spending anyways even though they like to gripe that it’s better than “giving the government an interest-free loan!”

FRIDAY: 80 Years of Financial Hindsight — An article by an “old fart” about his thoughts and concerns on money over his 80 years of living… (Along with an excellent list of financial tips at the end from both him and me)


Places I was featured this week:

Business Insider: These 20 questions can help tell you how close you are to becoming financially independent — A spinoff of our post last week on that Financial Independence checkpoint test by Cashflow Cop.

Four Pillar Freedom: Where Were You At 23? — An old post that started getting passed around again that featured a lot of us $$$ bloggers… Here’s where I was at at 23 y/o if you’re interested ;)

“At 23 I didn’t know anything about anything relating to money, other than I REALLY wanted a lot of it and I was hoping it would magically come some how without much work on my behalf :)

Now – over 10 years later – I’m thankful that not only have I started paying attention to my finances and grown my net worth from around $20,000 to over $500,000, but that I *appreciate* what money can do and no longer chase it just to “be rich,” but more to gain *freedom*. The freedom to, ironically enough, never have to think about money again if I don’t want :)”


Things I enjoyed from around the web:

This free mindfulness course by David Cain –> 3-Minute Mindfulness (3MM) // “It comes in five simple lessons. It will teach you: What mindfulness actually is, three ways you can practice it anytime anywhere, and why you might want to do that. Your homework is literally one minute a day.” (Took this course last week and so far has stuck with me!)

This Twitter “moment” on the WWW turning 30!! –> Remembering dial-up internet as the World Wide Web turns 30

This history on Virginia lotteries –> “Lotteries date back to the earliest days of Virginia… It began in 1612 to help raise funds for the struggling Jamestown Settlement; it raised ₤29,000 for the Virginia Company. Lottery proceeds helped establish early universities (including Virginia’s College of William and Mary and University of Virginia), churches, and libraries.” –

These tips on how best to eat rolled oats –> (Scroll to the comments section where everyone chimed in after my debacle!)

These people in the “Million-Mile Club” –> The World’s Longest-Lived Cars (You will crap your pants when you see how much mileage that first person has racked up so far!!)

This article on movie money –> Where does fake movie money come from?

And this simple way to ensure you are focused on what matters –> “A simple way to ensure you are focused on what matters: Imagine everything gets wiped. You inherit no tasks or responsibilities from your past or present. Then, add back only what you miss. Choose what to add to a blank slate, not what to keep from a full plate.” – @JamesClear

Blessed weekend,

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The sweetest sound to anyone’s ears is the sound of their own name



This week I’ve been obsessing over two big things: 1) finding a way to convince my wife to let us keep renting instead of buying a home again (see blog post articles below!), and 2) trying to be better about remembering peoples names.

So far it’s a big fail on that first one, haha, however I’m proud to say that the second one has seen some major progress.


And apparently I’m not the only one who sucks at this as one post on Twitter and the internet almost breaks, haha… But as Dale Carnegie liked to say, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” And plus – it’s just a nice thing to remember as a human :)

Tips on how to be better about this can be found on that same Twitter thread, and here’s an excellent article I found on it as well that really puts things in focus: The power of using a name, via The Washington Post.

Hope you find this, and everything below, helpful!


Articles I wrote on The Budgets:

MONDAY: Net Worth Update #133: $877,998.20 [+$29,332.73] — part of our Net Worth Series where we show a real-life snapshot of money (my money!) in hopes it helps put more perspective around this stuff…

TUESDAY: My wife is itching to own a home again (!!!) — As we approach our upcoming move back to the greatest state in the nation this summer (Virginia is for lovers!), my wife’s hints of revisiting home ownership again are getting harder and harder to ignore…

WEDNESDAY: Excellent home searching advice, especially for first time buyers… — If you’re new to the home buying process, or dipping your toes back into it again after some time off like us, this is for you.

THURSDAY: Advice From a Coffee Mug ☕ — If you never thought your mug could change your life, think again ;)

FRIDAY: Where are you on your path to Financial Independence? Take this test. — Answer 20 super easy questions, and it’ll spit out your rank and where you stand in your journey towards financial freedom right now :)


Places I was featured this week:

Business Insider: 7 money habits that have a high rate of return — This is an oldie from my blog, but still jam packed with nuggets that’s sure to excite any wallet out there ;) Habit #6 is is my favorite.


Things I enjoyed around the web:

This personal finance tip from Nicki Minaj –>Don’t spend your tax refund

This mega way of paying it forward –> D.C. restaurant feeds the poor and homeless every single day // “This immigrant-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C. just blocks from the White House feeds the homeless and poor every single day as if they were full paying customers, no questions asked.”

This idea on limiting phone use –> “We are trying a new routine at our house from now on. We are putting the phones in a kitchen drawer from the time we both get home from work until the baby goes down for bed. Once the baby is secured, the phones can come back out.” – Ramp Capital LLC

This wild fact about $100 bills! –> There are more $100 bills in circulation than $1 bills, and it makes no cents // bonus point for the pun!

This backstory on Justin Bieber’s mom –> // don’t ask me why I was googling that, haha…

These random invention facts –> “It took 50 years after the invention of canned food for someone to invent the can opener. And we put a man on the moon before we put wheels on suitcases. How is that possible? The can opener had to wait for thinner cans: early tins were too hefty to submit to anything less than a chisel. In the case of wheeled luggage, the barrier may have been social acceptance. Luckily Robert Plath, who patented the two-wheeled Rollaboard in 1991, was a Boeing 747 pilot with Northwest Airlines, who began selling his invention to other pilots and crew. When passengers began asking to buy them, he started the Travelpro company.” – Rory Sutherland via David Perell’s newsletter

This children’s book my boys and I are obsessed with –>Little Pea” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

little pea book

(Links to Amazon page // affiliate link)

And this beautiful love a mother in our community has for her son who was recently diagnosed with cancer –> “just came out of hospital bathroom after shaving my head again… His eyes light up.. he says “MAMA! They gave you the medicine so your hair doesn’t grow!!!” I said yep…He reaches for me.. hugs me..Pulls me back to smile at me and says “I love you mama” and gives me a big fat kiss on the lips… This is what I live for. To make that boy smile and show him I care and now I’m crying in the bathroom.” – @FrugalPharm

Every day really is a blessing,

j money signature

* Subject line adapted from a quote by Rear Admiral, Robert C. Lee

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“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”


Morning, beautifuls!

A fresh new month with fresh new goals to hit! Anyone beat me to it this morning and already update their ol’ net worth?? ;)

If so, enter e-high five here.

For everyone else, let’s move, baby! Tracking it is one of the best things you can do for your money, besides earn it! And I’ll be reporting back on my own come Monday, which will make the 133rd month in a row and quite literally 28% of my life, haha… Guess there could be worse habits to have though?

My favorite reads from the week, as well as everything I wrote on BudgetsAreSexy, are below… There were some zingers this week!


Articles I wrote:

MONDAY: The average 401(k) balance by age — Which almost broke my site this week! Apparently it got featured on Chrome’s “recommended articles” list and gave me the highest day of page views since the site’s creation (40,000). It was a good post, but not sure it was that good!

TUESDAY: A Saver Checklist + Tips! — The perfect way to celebrate “America Saves Week!” See how many things you can cross off this checklist (I hit 12 of 15), and then scroll to the end to learn about a $750 giveaway going on for anyone who pledges to save throughout the year.

WEDNESDAY: Would you give up sex for a year in exchange for a free year of college tuition? — What about if it’s for your kids?? What about if it erased a year’s worth of *student loan DEBT?* :) We do an unofficial poll on the site, and then test our fortitude whether or not we could actually pull it off, haha…

THURSDAY: Obscure financial holidays to mark on your calendar :) — A bunch of great – unknown – holidays that are actually GOOD for your budget!! Like “Library lovers Day” (2/14) and “National Thrift Shop Day!” (8/17)

FRIDAY: Favorite articles from around the web this month ✨ — Basically a roundup exactly like this newsletter here, only the best from the *month* of which you’ve already mostly seen ;)


Things I enjoyed from around the web:

This nerdy FIRE calculator –> Will My Money Survive Early Retirement? // “It helps to answer the question: If I start out with $X dollars at the beginning of my retirement, will I run out of money before I die?”

This idea for all website owners –> How to Make Your Website Carbon Neutral (BTW, it’s Really Easy) // “Every time someone visits your website a server somewhere needs power. More often than not that power comes from a “dirty” electricity source. Websites now produce a huge chunk of global greenhouse gasses.”

This research on happiness –> Happiness research shows the biggest obstacle to creativity is being too busy // “Simply put, creativity happens when your mind is unfocused, daydreaming or idle. (This is why we have so many “aha” moments in the shower.)”

This brilliant investor you’ve never heard of before –> An Optometrist Who Beat The Odds To Become A Billionaire

This fundraising idea –> Church Raises $100K Through Month-Long Fast So They Can Pay Off Student Debt for 34 Grads

This thief who gives all coin collectors nightmares! ;) –> Man Stole $33,000 of Rare Coins And Cashed Them In At Coin Star For $29.30

This perspective on social media by a photographer –> Why I Deleted All of My Social Media and 60,000 Followers

And this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson –> “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

Happy stretching,

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Double-Stuf Quarters

double stuf quarters


Did you see that the Mint has partnered with Oreos to create the new Double-Stuf Quarters? Yum yum! Haha… And in other fiscally fun news, The Tooth Fairy is now giving kids an average of $3.70 a tooth, even though that tooth didn’t do a thing to earn it! ;)

More on The TF, and other interesting stufs around the web, below…

Happy Friday!


Articles I wrote this week:

MONDAY: Stats That Would Make Our Founding Fathers Cringe — Includes such gems like, “Two-thirds of pet parents would buy a portrait, blanket or article of clothing with their dogs face on it” and “Nearly 1 in 3 Americans think “Bigfoot” being real is more likely than retiring comfortably.”

TUESDAY: 17 Hacks to Reach FIRE Faster — Includes a number of clever ideas like the “uniform” hack, the “punishment” hack, the “free yoga” hack, and the ever popular “why I can’t go out to lunch with you” hack!

WEDNESDAY: Some good resources on the blog to bookmark ⭐ — Reminders of all the awesome stuff on my blog since no one looks at menus or sidebars anymore :)

THURSDAY: When was the last time you really treated yourself? — My take on an article about a CEO who grants 10 of his employees’ wishes each year instead of year-end bonuses. (Spoiler alert: you can be your own CEO Fairy!!)

FRIDAY: Tooth Fairy payouts plunges for a 2nd consecutive year 🧚‍♀️ — According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® by Delta Dental, average monetary payouts are down $0.43 from last year, bringing the current rate to $3.70 per lost tooth. And even more interesting than that, the stats have been mirroring the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) for 14 of the past 17 years!

tooth fairy index


Other things I enjoyed around the web:

This 46 page (free) e-book by David Cain –> On Becoming an Individual (or HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD) // A great, quick, read with a cup of coffee or tea in hand… Touches on three main areas: why people live up to only a fraction of their capabilities, why people usually end up serving the desires of other more focused people, and how to plan an exceptional life that defies what’s “normal.”

This 1 min video on how Shaq chooses partnerships –> Why Shaq Turned Down Wheaties (I do the same thing with all my projects!)

This problem to solve before you die ;) –> The Weird Rise of Cyber Funerals // “When more and more of our lives are lived online – from tweets to dating profile and even medical information – how we dispose of that personal data matters, arguably more than what happens to our physical body. That corpse will decompose over time… but our digital legacies could last forever.”

This advice by Austin Kleon –> Love What You Do in Front of The Kids in Your Life // “You can’t tell kids anything. Kids want to be like adults. They want to do what the adults are doing. You have to let them see adults behaving like the whole, human beings you’d like them to be.”

This take on budgeting –> Welcome To The Wish Farm! // “After budgeting for obligations and fully considering and saving for True Expenses, it’s all about the Wish List. Budgeting becomes a wish farm and the harvest is rich!”

This idea about sleep –> “Legend says that when you can’t sleep, it’s because you’re awake in someone’s dream.”

And these thoughts by Derek Halpern –> “I’ve come to realize that nobody ever remembers what you say on social media… They remember how you make them feel. And if you make them feel great, under a unified theme, they’ll remember the theme.”

Happy themed weekend :)

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Four fonts walk into a bar…

west end park - rockville md

Morning, y’all!

My wife stumbled across a bunch of old emails I sent her a decade ago, and apparently my strategy of woo’ing her was slipping in jokes ;)

It worked! So I thought I’d re-share some of them here in case they turn your heart on too…



Four fonts walk into a bar…
The bartender says “Get out! We don’t want your type in here”.

A guy went to a psychiatrist. “Doc,” he said, “I keep having these alternating recurring dreams. First I’m a teepee, then I’m a wigwam, then I’m a teepee, and then I’m a wigwam. It’s driving me crazy. What’s wrong with me?” The doctor replied, “It’s very simple. You’re two tents.”

A duck walks into a bar and asks, “Got any grapes?” The bartender, confused, tells the duck no. The duck thanks him and leaves. The next day, the duck returns and asks, “Got any grapes?” Again, the bartender tells him, “No — the bar does not serve grapes, has never served grapes and, furthermore, will never serve grapes.” The duck thanks him and leaves. The next day, the duck returns, but before he can say anything, the bartender yells, “Listen, duck! This is a bar! We do not serve grapes! If you ask for grapes again, I will nail your stupid duck beak to the bar!” The duck is silent for a moment, and then asks, “Got any nails?” Confused, the bartender says no. “Good!” says the duck. “Got any grapes?”


Articles I wrote this week:

MONDAY: Hack #1308: Put yourself in situations where you can’t even spend if you wanted to! — Here are 8 ways to hide money from yourself if your spending has gotten out of control!

TUESDAY: New Book (and Giveaway): “Work Optional” by Tanja Hester of — Another book by a blogger got released this week! Be sure to stop by and congratulate Tanja if you know her, or answer the question at the end of the post for a chance to win one of TWO FREE COPIES we’re giving away.

WEDNESDAY: Model Ts and Immoral Debts — Where I learned Henry Ford was massively against personal debt! And that you can still buy (working) Model Ts!

THURSDAY: You’re Hot, But Your Finances Are Not! — A Valentine’s reminder of how important it is to stay away from STDs… Sexually Transmitted Debt ® ;) (Yes, that’s actually trademarked! By a friend in our community even! –> Valerie Rind)

FRIDAY: How to Get Health, Wealth and Comfort… in 1890 — Some fun passages from a 100 year old pamphlet I stumbled across recently…. (and why you should never live in the city unless you want your kids to have “thin hair, saucer-like eyes, sunken cheeks, and emaciated arms and legs” – hah!)


Things I enjoyed from around the web:

This short (economic) story by Collaborative Fund –> “If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you.”

This experiment by David Perell –> “For days or weeks at a time, I will escape the present moment and only consume content published in a different decade. For example, if I want to learn about the 1970s, all my media consumption will consist of books, videos, and interviews published in the 1970s. By doing so, I’ll embody the mindset of people in a bygone era and gain new perspectives on the here and now.”

This idea of writing letters to CEOs –> “I realized something scary a couple of years ago: There is no way I could ever act on all the ideas I’ve scribbled in notebooks, even if I live to be 100. That’s why I decided to freely give away ideas for new products, marketing strategies and businesses.”

This mixed media and street artist –> Amberella

This coin collector… who’s blind! –>

What happens when you mistype gmail .com –>

This reminder by Uncle Buffett –> “If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”

And this definition of “The True Gentlemen” by John Walter Wayland, circa 1899 –> “The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.”

Virtuous weekend, everyone.

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Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

financial freedom

Morning, friends!

Hope that $$$/family/career is going well for you over there! Spent some extra time with the wee one this week [look how happy he is!] and always reminds me of how precious life is… As well as how *little* we actually need to be happy :)

Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying a few extra “wants” for myself this week, haha, but that’s only because I made a small windfall when I randomly sold a domain I’ve been sitting on for years [].  I was pretty proud of myself for negotiating a $1,000+ deal up from $100, but then again maybe he got the best of me when it turns into a multi-million dollar enterprise! Haha…

Time will tell, but in the meantime – check out some of these articles from around the web this week, as well as those I’ve spent over 20 hours on myself :) 100% free knowledge with just a click of a mouse!


Articles I wrote this week on:

MONDAY: Net Worth Update: $848,665.47 [Surprise Increase of $57,000?!] — Our 132nd monthly net worth report! And apparently the best January for the markets in 30 years too?!

TUESDAY: New Book Out (and Giveaway): “Financial Freedom” by Grant Sabatier of — Answer the question at the end for a chance to win a *free* copy of Grant’s new book that just hit the shelves!

WEDNESDAY: Which “tendency” are you? — Take the quiz and see if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel in life. You might be surprised! :)

THURSDAY: My new favorite charity right now –> Breadcoin — Had to re-share this again because I’m just so OBSESSED with them! Love the idea of handing out tokens instead of cash!

FRIDAY: How I Stopped Sabotaging My Own Financial Independence — A guest post from who stops by to share her financial journey over the past 10 years 💪💪


An interview I did: A Look Behind the Man and the Mohawk: An Interview with Budgets are Sexy — Where I answer questions like “what’s one thing people may not know about me,” “What great piece of art, song, film, book, etc would I steal credit for if I could,” “What my autobiography would be called”, and my personal favorite – “Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over” haha…


Other gems I enjoyed this week:

This excellent way to declare your blog retirement –> 2019: Our Final Year [Where Design Sponge gives *advanced notice* that she’ll be retiring the blog at the end of the year, giving her community plenty of time to soak up the fun and reminisce together! Which is way better than when blogs shut down [or sell] so abruptly as they tend to do!]

This Museum of American Finance! –> “The nation’s only independent museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and teaching about American finance and financial history.” –

This journaling method, done entirely through *email* –>

This musician who hid a secret song in her videos –> Dodie Clark [youtube]

These 🖤 ideas –> 28 Random Acts of Kindness you can do this February

This 2 min. video by Bill Gates –> “There are few things I love talking about more than toilets.”

And this quote by American novelist, Anne Lamott –> “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Happy unplugging,

j money signature

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The secret is to focus on subtracting

less is more

Morning, friends!

Nothing too juicy to report this week, but I have been having fun asking a lot of random questions on Twitter and seeing peoples’ responses ;)

If you’ve ever wondered how many times someone has moved in recent years, or what tips they have for getting vasectomies, click here and here, haha… I also particularly liked seeing how many domain names people own in our space as many of us love to blow money on them!

Happy February! Fresh month to attack those goals (and debts)!!


Articles I wrote this week on:

MONDAY: Did you know there was a Personal Financial Satisfaction Index (PFSi)? — It’s true! And you can even take the assessment yourself, if you’re feeling brave ;)

TUESDAY: Financial Confessional: “I Day Trade Penny Stocks” — Our confessionals are back!! And we start off with a juicy one that many of us like to avoid! Haha… If you have anything you’d like to get off of your chest, just pass me a note and we’ll feature you (anonymously) on it as well ;)

WEDNESDAY: 4 Ways to File Your Taxes for Free — Some excellent resources for those who make under $66k/year or are in the military or just have super simple situations (W2s, rent, etc).

THURSDAY: “What are your thoughts on taking a pay cut to land a more dependable job?” — A reader’s request for help! Shoot her all the advice and happy thoughts you can muster up!

FRIDAY: My Favorite Finds This Month 💎💎💎 – Similar to today’s newsletter, this one features a handful of articles I enjoyed from around the web the past month. Many of which you’ll recognize as I pass them over to you first ;)


Other gems I enjoyed this week:

This reminder from Derek Sivers –> “Life can be improved by adding, or by subtracting. The world pushes us to add, because that benefits them. But the secret is to focus on subtracting.”

This essay contest! –> You could win a $1.7 million mansion by writing a standout letter

This tiny space living –>Want To Check Out My Caboose? (Miss Mazuma bought a freakin’ TRAIN to live in!! For $36,000!!!)

This (free) tool for cropping and re-sizing animated gifs –> (Had no idea how easy it was until I took 5 seconds to research it, haha…)

This hilarious 6 min stand up bit –> Gary recounts the thrilling tale of how postal code abbreviations came to be [youtube]

This frugal way to entertain yourself ;) –> Cat Food Bowling

And these thoughts by Four Pillar Freedom –> Not Wanting Something Is As Good As Having It — “What we’re all after isn’t stuff, it’s the feeling that we think that stuff will give us: contentment, satisfaction, and tranquility. We all just want to feel at peace. And the less stuff we need to own to feel at peace, the less time we have to spend in a cubicle doing work we find pointless.”

Happy stuff-free weekend,

j money signature

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The world’s more interesting with you in it


Morning, fam!

What a week! Between the wife starting a new job and me extending my stay-at-home-daddy daycare, it’s been quite the affair around here! But the world marches on as it always does, and I took immense joy from the small pockets of time afforded us to just stop and breathe for a few…

And hopefully you were able to find a little peace yourself :)

Here are my favorite finds from around the web this week, as well as the articles that came out of my own head when I wasn’t deep in thought marveling over pencils

Hope it sparks something!


Articles I wrote this week:

MONDAY: A Bunch of #Wins Martin Luther King Would Be Proud of ;) — Did you know MLK was a personal finance proponent who wanted to wipe out poverty using a “Freedom Budget?”  We’re still far from that dream unfortunately, but here’s a list of those getting closer to their own in our community.

TUESDAY: Don’t forget to load up on Forever Stamps this week! — A reminder to pick up Forever Stamps before they go up 5¢ this weekend!! Also – all the Post Office stats you’ll ever need to impress your friends 📪

WEDNESDAY: Are you a Showroomer or a Webroomer? — Showrooming: when you visit a store to check out a product, but then go home and purchase it online. Webrooming: when you research products online first, and then go to the store to check it out/purchase ;)

THURSDAY: The “Beat Last Year” Budgeting Challenge! — #1. Pick a category of your spending you desperately want to improve #2. Find out how much you spent on it at this time *last year* #3. Commit to spending *less* in that category for the next month!

FRIDAY: “You want HOW much for that stamp?!?” — Two days this week talking about STAMPS!! What a party this blog is! ;) But here’s a post you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of creative hustles. As told by former U.S. Navy submariner, Doug “Nords” Nordman.


Articles I was featured in this week:

The NY Times: The Easy (and Free) Way to Make a Budget Spreadsheet (Includes tons of templates and online resources, including my own spreadsheets) 30 One-Sentence Stories From People Who Have Built Better Habits (Features my teeth brushing hack! :)) Rockstar Rumble, Round 1, Posts 17-24 (If you liked my post earlier this year on the 35 Mini-Missions to improve your money, cast a vote for me so I don’t lose in the first round again! Haha…)


Other gems I enjoyed this week:

This new(ish) charity –> They created tokens you can give out to those in need which are redeemable for food, for anyone uncomfortable handing out cash! Which is pretty ingenious!! And with 2,800 of them already in circulation, I’m hoping to get it closer to 3,000 when I start buying some up myself and passing along :) If you like the idea – please share as they’re currently only in D.C. and Portland right now! Here’s an excellent article and video on them from CGTN America: Breadcoin: The new dough to help feed the hungry

This idea for the next Halloween –>, where you give books instead of, *ahem*, treats at Halloween ;) To “feed kids’ minds, not their cavities!”

This tool to cut down on your inbox size –> (Just ran it myself and helped get my Gmail from 76% full down to 45% within minutes!)

This offer of Free financial planning for furloughed workers –> Kevin Mahoney, CFP®

And then lastly, this friendly reminder from Austin Kleon –> The world’s more interesting with you in it.

Happy weekend :)

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No one gets to write your story but you.

pretty coffee cup

Happy Friday!

Here’s our weekly digest featuring all the articles I wrote on Budgets Are Sexy, along with other interesting items I came across this week.

It was a pretty good one until learning of the passing of Vanguard’s legendary founder, Jack Bogle :( What a gift he left all of us! And what a perfect time to reflect on our own legacies as we move into the weekend here too…

If you like today’s newsletter, please pass it forward to others you think could be helped by it! Thank you! 🙏🙏


Posts I wrote this week:

MONDAY: The Best Banks and Financial Products of 2019 — A sample of the top categories from’s yearly “Best of Banking Awards.”

TUESDAY: I want you to love your money like this guy! — How bad do you want financial freedom? Are you willing to fight for it like this guy who puts out 19-slide Powerpoint decks about his money? ;)

WEDNESDAY: Product of The Month: The Avid Investor Daily Planner! — A great journal for investors who want a better way to track their performance… Answer the question at the end of the post to be entered to win a free copy!

THURSDAY: A Fun Money Quiz ✨— I don’t know why I put “fun” in there since aren’t ALL money quizzes inherently fun?, however I did really enjoy the few minutes testing out my skills with this one ;)

FRIDAY: My *Favorite* Blog Posts From 2018 — The last of the roundups for the year! Have any of your own favorites that stuck in your head or really helped you? Would love to know which!


Items I found interesting around the web:

This article penned by Steph Curry –> Underrated  (I don’t even watch or follow the NBA much, but I couldn’t stop reading this piece on how he became the powerhouse that he is – spurred by a simple talk his mother once gave him: “No one gets to write your story but you.”)

This Facebook group by Jay Geddie –> Black People Invest Too — “Black People is a group I started on FB last year to help educate black people on basic financial principles. I’ve run across so many people who either don’t save any thing, put it all in savings (vs investing), are bad investors (chasing the latest trend bc they heard it on tv, etc), or know nothing about investing/personal finance at all. I try to make this an open forum for people to ask questions about things they may have been curious about in the past as it pertains to money habits.”

The 15 charts in here –> How The World Got Better in 2018 (A lot went wrong, but it’s still the best year be a human being on Earth!)

This 18th century bond –> The Bond That Still Pays, 280 Years Later

This free little library –> Woman Turned 110-Year-Old Dead Tree Into A Free Little Library For The Neighborhood And It Looks Magical

And this powerful question to ask yourself at all times –> “Do I like who I am when I’m doing this?” via David Cain’s reflections on self-esteem.

Happy weekend,

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