5 For Friday: Stop Thinking About Money?

Being at the beach all week, I’ve done a pretty good job of not obsessing about money. Sure I’ve blogged about it and done the usual calculations in my head whenever I went to buy something to make sure it was worth it, but outside of that my mind’s been a blank canvas when it comes to scheming. I even went a few days without logging into my bank account, if you can believe that! :)

So needless to say this vacation is doing the trick. And because that’s so, it’ll be easier for me to answer today’s 5 For Friday questions that I just so happened to write a month ago and now find them worthy of picking back up ;) If any of you caught the post on Clever Dude a while back, it was Brock’s frustration of always thinking about money that prompted ’em. I’m sure you all can relate:

“Do you ever get sick of paying attention to your finances? Tired of planning your spending and tracking every dollar? Yeah, me too.”

And then he goes on about a recent experience that happened with him…

So in light of all that, here are today’s 5 For Friday questions. I’ll answer them first, and then it’ll be your turn to spill your guts and tell us what’s been rollin’ around those minds of yours ;) Perhaps you’ll be in a money-free zone too?”

  1. When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money?
  2. When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money?
  3. What’s your biggest financial concern right now?
  4. How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff?
  5. What prompted you to start?
  6. *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;)

Here are my answers:

  1. Last time thinking about money: The last time I REALLY thought hard about money, outside of the usual day-to-day unavoidable stuff, was alllll last month (July), alllll the month before (June), and most definitely the entire month of May too. It’s kinda hard not to when you’re planning such huge life events all around you, haha… So this was a week I needed drastically :)
  2. Last time STOPPED thinking about money: Well that’s an easy one now – this entire week! But it most certainly wasn’t the case a few weeks back when I first drafted up those q’s.
  3. Biggest financial concern: Probably my businesses imploding and losing all our income. A very unlikely thing to happen, but regardless it’s taking up the #1 spot in my “worries” list right now when it comes to finances. I think last month’s perfect storm really took a toll on me, and I’m looking forward to starting again here fresh when we’re back from the beach over the weekend. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeves that I think really has some good potential.
  4. How old: Oh man, this is gonna sound bad, but I really didn’t pay much attention to money at all until about 6 months before starting this blog, haha… I wasn’t ever really *bad* with it and never got in trouble or anything, but on the flip side I wasn’t really saving or building much up either. I liken myself to being a log on a lazy river just going wherever the currents took me. And just so happened to be lucky enough not to cross any waterfalls! :) The thing that finally snapped me into reality? Oh, buying a house. It’s funny how that happens…
  5. What prompted me to start: Oh, buying a house ;) (I’m one step ahead of myself here!)
  6. *BONUS*: I don’t want to answer this one! Haha… but if I have to (and of course I do), then I guess I’m gonna put it out there and say money. Wha wha wha… But in all honesty that’s mainly due to my j-o-b over here. You take that out of the picture and I’d reckon they’d be neck and neck crossing that finish line! At least when it comes to the weekends, haha… (Bow chicka wha wha!)

Whew, tough Q’s today… Making me think on my day off like that, what a lame boss I have! Your turn though… Be as open and honest with yourselves as you can! It’ll make it that much more entertaining for the rest of us to read today, haha…

And all kidding aside, give your brain a money break every now and then :)

[Photo by Dan4th. Smooch by TaniaSaiz]

(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. Free Money Minute August 23, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    I will take #3, but change it slightly to ask “What is your biggest financial goal right now?”. I would say it really is always about getting to the point where my investment income is greater than my expenses. A day when I have the choice as to whether I want to work or not. I would absolutely continue working in some capacity, I just may not do some of the things I do not enjoy.

  2. Blair Illiano August 23, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    1. During my latest stop at Starbucks.
    2. Right after I stepped out of Starbucks- I know, that was probably too quick.
    3. I’m financially secure right now. Not really concerned- should I be? Hmm…
    4. 21- graduation. Loans.
    5. See above.
    6. Cough- let’s not go there…

    Great post!

  3. Brian August 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    I’d take #4.How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? Far to late. I was almost 40, my family and I had hit rock bottom with over $100,000 in debt. Thats when we decided to make a change. 3 years later we have paid off over $75,000. I so wish I had started thinking about this stuff 20 years ago.

    1. J. Money August 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Wowwww good for you guys! I hope you’re blogging and sharing your story with others on your site – that’s prime time motivation for people right there :)

      1. Brian August 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Certainly am, hoping to share our story and get others on the right track!

  4. Brian August 23, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money? Yesterday afternoon when I was considering a new investment.
    When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money? Last vacation. I don’t think about money much when I am disconnected from the internet
    What’s your biggest financial concern right now? Not really concerned right now
    How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? 8-10ish
    What prompted you to start? I was watching my grandpa research some stocks and I wanted to be like him
    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? Studies show people who have more sex make more money so…

    1. J. Money August 23, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Haha…. good answer ;)

  5. Sarah Greesonbach August 23, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money?
    At least once a week when I review all our accounts and try to plan for upcoming expenses.

    When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money?
    At night! I’ve learned that it stresses me out too much to think about money at night, so I just stopped!

    What’s your biggest financial concern right now?
    Getting out of debt and/or raising our household income. It’s silly that my husband and I both make a decent income, yet feel strapped every month because of our payoff debt.

    How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff?
    After college, so let’s say 26. Before I thought about the future much, or had any kind of long-term plans.

    What prompted you to start?
    The idea of getting married and/or wanting to start my own company!

    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;)
    I have to go with the majority here: Money!

  6. The Phroogal Jason August 23, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    I don’t think about money the way I used to a couple years ago. So I can’t say for sure when I Really thought of money but I know I stopped really thinking about it 2 years ago. My biggest financial goal right now (not so much a concern) is building my startup Phroogal. It’s where my money is going to currently. I started thinking about paying off debt right after college. I had a ton of school loans and whatever I couldn’t cover in loans or my paycheck I put on credit. So I had a bunch of tuition payments on credit cards as well.

  7. The Recovering Coupon Queen August 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    1. Yesterday when I started breaking down tuition, textbook costs, raising 5 children costs and comparing it to scholarships received. While the scholarships are fantastic, the lack of job right now makes me obsess frequently… always have those budget options running through the head!
    2. Um… maybe for a moment during finals week during last semester? But I am majoring in Finance – the finals were money related, so not sure that counts???
    3. Replacing income from my former job
    4. About 18 when I unexpectedly became pregnant and had to move back to my parents house! That gets the financial juices going in a hurry… “How the hell do I do this????!!!”
    5. See above
    6. Money. And my husband can attest to this “problem” (in his opinion)!

    1. J. Money August 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Ahahahahhahha… Better to be thinking about money than someone/something else, eh? ;)

      1. The Recovering Coupon Queen August 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        I am totally using that next time the conversation comes up!

  8. staralfur August 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    1)When I saw the new macbook air that was “needed” to replace my wife’s macbook pro which is starting to slow down (still not stopped). I then realized it was pretty much 1/2 a months rent and thought about it some more. Still got it as the look on her face said it all, but i saw the value of it
    2) I had to get back to Ireland REALLY quickly for my grandmothers funeral, no cost would have been too great for that woman. Fortunately, it was below $1000 (the trip altogether cost a little over $1500 as there was a lot of guinness and whisky involved)
    3. Am I really getting enough bang for my buck with my investments, sounds petty as I know there are people losing their homes etc, but it irks me that I feel with a little more time investing in studying the market, I could get a better return
    4. 26
    5. My wife and I were completely sick of ending each month just with our heads above water, and not knowing exactly where our money was going. We spent 1 month tracking expenses then made a few changes, before we knew it we had wiped out 600 Euro’s from our month’s spending. Moving to the US gave us a further fresh start, a year 0 which we’re coming out from on top, and looking forward to year 2 here.
    6.I’ll go with 50/50.

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Congrats on getting things turned around, and onto year #2 :) Tracking my money changed my financial world for the better too – I really wish more would try it!

  9. Rebecca @ StaplerConfessions.com August 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    1. Last weekend, as I tried to calculate how much $$ we could send to the student loan company.
    2. I think I’ve stopped thinking about money for about a day or two at a time, but not more than that. (SO bad!)
    3. $200k in student loans.
    4. 17.
    5. Before I left for college, my dad and I set up my budget for living expenses. I’ve been budgeting ever since.

  10. MonicaOnMoney August 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    #1- I always think about money. Seriously, if I’m not thinking about my next article, then I’m thinking about how to save more money in general. Actually, writing articles means that I’m thinking about money daily which motivates me to save more and spend less!

  11. No Waste August 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    #1 – Signing up Thing One for a school program
    #2 – After cutting the check
    #3 – How much is my house worth?!
    #4 – 20
    #5 – Frugal GF, Planning a wedding!
    Bonus – Well, you see…oh my phone’s ringing!

  12. Aimee August 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    1. I always think about money. I’m an accountant with a 5 tab budget at home. I thought about it real hard the other night though when I was thinking about how much money I’d have to make to buy a little piece of land and live in a Tiny House.

    2. I don’t believe I thought about money when I was hiking last Sunday.

    3. My biggest financial concern is an unexpected car repair.

    4. I started thinking about personal finance about 5 years ago in my senior year of college when I started thinking about student loans. I guess I was 22 then.

    5. I went to this small student loan/personal finance seminar at my college to learn about my impending doom (and to schmooze with the firm that was hosting it) and began thinking about how I’d pay my loans off as early as possible.

    6. Oh gosh… I think about money more. My boyfriend can probably attest to that. How could anyone function thinking about sex that much?! J$ you better do a 180 on this one if you want to have a second child!!

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      I think it’s why us men are always getting in trouble – you Can’t function right thinking about sex all the time! Haha…

  13. Nick @ ayoungpro.com August 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money? A few days ago, when I bought a car.
    When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money? A few months ago, when I was on vacation in New York with my parents.
    What’s your biggest financial concern right now? Paying for our next adoption!
    How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? 23
    What prompted you to start? Getting engaged!
    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;) This question depresses me, because it is probably money.

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Congrats on going for adoption #2! And for getting engaged – such big things happening over there :)

  14. Wunderwriter August 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money? Reading this post today, but I seriously constantly obsess about money, particularly since we recently inherited some money. Most of the time, I worry that it’s not in the right investment, we’ll lose principal, we’re too old to make it back, etc., etc., etc.
    When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money? I’m drawing a blank, probably not anytime recently that I can recall.
    What’s your biggest financial concern right now? That the inheritance and the IRA are not invested properly.
    How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? Way older than I should have been, I spent a lot of younger years thinking we didn’t need to save for retirement because I was going to inherit a bundle…surprising how “a bundle” gets smaller and smaller as you get older and older. I originally thought I’d never have to work again (wrong, wrong, wrong). Now I’m just hoping to have something (anything) to pass on to the kids.
    What prompted you to start? FEAR, plain and simple. Illness (husband’s disability years before he was scheduled to retire). Too much debt, particularly credit card, failed business and student loans. Loss of his income (he was the primary wage earner). High balance mortgage with an adjustable rate. You name it…I needed to pay a LOT more attention a lot sooner.
    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? Not even a contest, money hands down…

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      I thought you were gonna say you didn’t think about saving $ for retirement cuz you were gonna die young having fun, haha… I know a few people like that and I always cringe cuz I really think they mean it! And if they (hopefully) don’t die sooner, they’re gonna be in loads of trouble later :(

  15. Kelly August 23, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    1. I stared at my accounts yesterday as I played with numbers, thought about our goals, our pace toward existing goals, etc. and set up a couple new accoutns for saving for particular things. I think that would count as the last time I really thought about money – but it was the first time in a couple months that I took a look at the auto-pilot course we were already on.
    2. I realized a few weeks ago that I don’t log in and check my accounts on weekends anymore – does that count as not thinking about it?! I used to check every morning religiously, and I think not checking is more a testament to the cushion we have than to inattentiveness or losing interest.
    3. Biggest financial concern: me losing my job. I make substantially more money than my husband and it would be a much larger hit. We have an emergency fund with about 3 months worth of living expenses, but I won’t feel better until that is at least 6 months.
    4. I was 23 when I started paying attention to my finances and reading blogs (like this one here!), which was 4 years ago.
    5. I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to start – some combination of being bored at work, making more money than a single girl living in an apartment needed, and thinking about paying off my student loans early. In no time I had paid off the remaining balance on my car, paid off my student loans less than 4 years after graduating, and figured out how to properly use a credit card (i.e. pay it off in full, or DON’T USE IT AT ALL. I’ve gone through both phases!)
    *Bonus* Money. But perhaps for the next few weeks whenever I think about money my mind will travel back to this question and sex will be thought of too? My husband thanks you, J. Money!

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Haha… You can tell him he owes me a beer ;) Congrats on all your success with you debts! And thanks for reading/sharing!

  16. Brian August 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    1) When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money?
    My wife and I have money on our mind in a major way lately. Read #3 for reason.

    2) When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money?
    4th of July vacation. Money was no object. We made a lot of memories and it was worth it. Went to Mackinaw City and St. Ignace and almost got carpal tunnel from swiping the VISA too much.

    3) What’s your biggest financial concern right now?
    Our financial life was good. Actually it was GREAT for us. We set low standards for ourselves :-) We tried for our second child. We succeeded…. kind of…. Twins!!! Now between the cost of daycare, gas, etc. we have come to the decision we are going to become a one income household. We are constantly trying to re do our budget and cut costs, but we are going to make it happen.

    4) How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff?
    I was 24.

    5) What prompted you to start?
    Not young enough.I had no clue until I had big bills. I would say when I realized my parents did it wrong and living check to check was not the way to go. It was when I got married.

    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;)
    Sex. Not even joking. I love finances, but I think about sex way too much.

    Fun little quiz. Thanks!

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Congrats on the new move to one income! Sucks about money but probably much better/happier in the end once you guys figure it out. We’re doing it now but luckily only for a year, haha… we’re not ready for that quite yet long-term ;)

  17. Vicky M August 23, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money?
    – About two weeks ago when I registered for a college class for myself and ran the numbers to see how they would affect my financial goals if my employer decides they can’t reimburse me.
    When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money?
    -Anytime I am obssessing…I mean thinking…about something else I “should” be doing. I “should” be cooking more from scratch as it is healthier, I “should” be working on the bathroom remodel I started because it has taken long enough already, I “should” be taking the dogs for a walk because we all three (myself and two dogs) need the exercise.
    What’s your biggest financial concern right now?
    – That I won’t be able to save enough to meet my goals. My BF is still in debt pay off mode so I am trying to save for two so that when we combine finances (eventually….just planning ahead) then we will be in a very secure spot.
    – How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? iI have always been into money, but things went hard core when I found out I was pregnant when I was 16.
    What prompted you to start?
    – See above.
    *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;)
    – If you were to ask my BF he would say sex, but honeslty it is money. Shhhh…don’t tell. LOL

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      When you were 16 I bet it was the latter ;) Babies are awesome though!

  18. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen August 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    1. When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money?
    When a new month starts we update our net worth and go over our budgets for the month. That’s usually when we see how we did and also plan ahead for the next month!

    2. When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money?
    Just this past Monday! I got the flu and all day I just slept or sat like a lump on the couch.

    3. What’s your biggest financial concern right now?
    Buying a house and paying it off! It’s a huge undertaking that’s both exciting and daunting. I’m scared we won’t find anything within our price range.

    4. How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff?
    I guess at 15 and a half when I started my first job as a cashier at a grocery store. Earning my own money puts it into a different perspective. Paying for my own stuff! And having actual income to save.

    5. What prompted you to start?
    I didn’t want to keep having to ask my parents for spending money. So as soon as I could I got a part time job so that I could buy my own clothes and go out with my own money.

    6. *BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? ;)
    Money…hahaha. Is that sad?

  19. Crystal August 23, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    1.When was the last time you *REALLY* thought about money? Ummm, like 20 minutes ago. I’m looking for part-time work to get me out of the house and help rebuild our emergency fund at the same time thanks to $12,000 of dental expenses (see below).

    2.When was the last time you STOPPED thinking about money? Huh…I guess I sort of think about it in passing and my plans for money almost hourly…I like money, planning, and thinking about what a ton of money would mean for us.

    3.What’s your biggest financial concern right now? Rebuilding our pure cash emergency fund. We just spent $5500 on my husband’s teeth and there is a $6500 appointment next month. That officially will zero out our pure emergency fund and then some by a little. We still have a safe amount of padding in the account we pay ourselves out of (both self-employed) and we have some side accounts for new car funds and whatnot, but I have to have $10,000 just in an emergency cash account or I feel broke.

    4.How old were you when you started paying attention to this stuff? I made my first budget when I was 6 or 7 years old. I wanted to see how cheap I could live in college when I moved out.

    5.What prompted you to start? I have always liked that money gives you more power of choice in life. Even a 6 year old understands why our homes kept getting better as her family made more money (and why a single mom with a small salary was way more bitchy than a married mom with enough money to survive on regularly)…

    6.*BONUS* What do you think about more: Money or Sex? Money. But sex is a close second and I have a ton of room in my brain to multi-task. ;-)

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Hahaha…. nice. I hear ya on having pure cash in an E. Fund too – we’re the same way. Though my wife like 10x more than me :) We had like $40k in there once and my wife always felt like we were broke! I guess cuz we know one major hit can wipe a lot of it away – scary stuff… Good luck on finding a good side gig! I’m considering the same over here too – for both money, but also to get out of the house and turn my brain off. So I guess I better find one not relating to money/blogging haha… which of course is way more fun ;) I go in circles!!

      1. Crystal August 28, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        I found a cool side gig after all. I’m a freelancer for a guy that offers online courses to prep for the HVAC certification test. He pays me hourly ($15) to research random stuff for him and I’ll be earning a processing fee ($50-$100) for every finance application his clients fill out to get financing for the course if they need to (I’ll be entering their info into the financing application online). Honestly, this is just brainless enough to make me very happy to have a break, but flexible enough not to mess with my favorite part of self-employment (not having a set schedule).

        1. J. Money August 31, 2013 at 7:31 AM

          Yeah, girl – work it! That sounds like a fantastic break and way to make some side $ in the process. Who knows what types of opportunities/learning experiences will come from it too in the future :) Congrats.

  20. Tushar @ Everything Finance August 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    These are some great questions! I think about money seriously at least weekly, but I also stop thinking about money on a regular basis when it’s not the time for it!

    My biggest financial concern is probably sustaining what I have. I was lucky to start paying attention when I was fairly young, in my early 20s. College and it’s expensiveness prompted me to pay attention to finances! The bonus question is just far too difficult to answer :)

  21. Pauline @ Make Money Your Way August 26, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Really thought about money a couple of weeks ago when I got a nice windfall and it makes me crazy to have cash laying there earning nothing so thinking what to do with it!
    Stopped thinking about money the week after that because having cash made me relax and not wonder what next investment to cash out to cover all the ongoing investments.

    My biggest concern was to find a cheap flight to Europe and I ended up buying a not at all cheap flight but hey you can’t obsess over such stuff for too long.
    How old: I was piling pocket money in that little piggy bank in the shape of a house when I was not even 10 so I’d say for as long as I can remember.
    My parents were always very dramatic “at 18 you’re on your own” style so I wanted to have it covered. I left at 17 to go pay my way to college so they must be happy!
    Bonus: Money, the other one doesn’t require much thinking!

    1. J. Money August 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      :) Congrats on your windfall! You’re like the third person I heard received one today – perhaps I’m next?!