9 Things I No Longer Do With My Money

9 years ago I blogged about how people who like to “split the check” aren’t my friends anymore. I had totally forgotten about it, but the memories flooded back when I received the following comment on it just this week :)

I know it’s not entirely fair. BUT COME ON, it was only 3 bucks dude. After reading your article, it seems like you are the cheap person there. You had a good time, then just let it go! Chill out dude.

Haha… Fortunately these days I do just “chill out” whenever stuff like this happens (though I’ll still ask for separate checks w/ larger parties! Takes forever trying to pay those bills!) but it was a great reminder of how far I’ve come since first starting this blog all those years ago… Now I’m more likely to “split the check” myself, or pay for the other person’s meal entirely because it’s just a nice thing to do!

But in honor of hitting my 9 year Blogiversary last month which I accidentally skipped (oops), I thought I’d share 9 other things I no longer do either since my early days of paying attention to money.

Hope it helps in some way!

#1. I no longer obsess about money anymore

It helps having more money than I used to, of course, but somewhere along the line I’ve moved way from dreaming about millions, to dreaming about having a great LIFE instead. Which, big shocker, you can actually have with or without gobs of money! Now unfortunately it takes just as much time and energy to figure out how to set this up as it does your finances, but hey – it’s a valiant pursuit :)

#2. I no longer track every last penny

Someone on Twitter just asked me if I thought I’d be where I am today without tracking my money every month, and the answer would be an affirmative NO. I’ve tracked my net worth for over 110 months in a row now, but it was really those first couple of years that were most transformative. Paying attention to where all your money is coming and going is HUGE when you’ve never done it before – it totally opens up your eyes! But once you get a good grasp of it, tracking every last penny isn’t *as* game changing as it is in the beginning.

Now it’ll certainly save you more cash than not tracking it, I guarantee that, but once you’ve got your rhythm down you get the beautiful decision of whether or not it’s worth the trade off of time anymore. If it is, great! You’ll be saving more than me! But after a few years and seeing the same rough expenses over and over again I decided to just stick w/ my net worth which gives me that overall picture I need without driving myself too crazy. Then I’ll just pop my head into the nitty gritty anytime something major happens, like moving or new kids popping up ;) Another big difference between now and 9 years ago – I’m now a daddy, crazy!

#3. I no longer hustle 24/7

In my efforts to improve upon #1 up there, I realized that in fact working more does NOT make me that much happier despite our culture (and entrepreneur friends) telling us it does. In the last 4 years I’ve gone from priding myself in working 20 hour days down to working about 9-10 ones depending on how efficient I am or not. It’s still a lot more than I want – my target is to stop working nights and weekends! – but you know, one step at a time… And it was again those babies that really put all this into perspective because I was on the train straight towards Workaholicsville and couldn’t get off!

#4. I no longer chase credit card deals or the best interest rates or even the hottest stocks

I’ve since learned that I value simplicity far more than I do an extra percentage point on one of my accounts – so long as I have “good enough” (or, 80% for any of you Pareto Principle lovers out there). It means not having every last one of my dollars maximized, but it also means feeling more at peace with myself/wallet and not being so frantic all the time scouring the web for the next hottest deal, or worse – stock. And believe me, even if people can tell you the latest trending stock, they sure as hell can’t tell you when to cash out of it in time!

So there’s no more chasing the markets or looking for the best savings/credit card accounts for me anymore… I keep almost all my banking under one main roof I’m happy with (USAA), and then all my investments under another happy roof (Vanguard). I then keep my sanity and go about my business from there :)

#5. I no longer go shopping for the fun of it

This was one of the first epiphanies I had in my early stage of blogging. I had tried my first “No Spend” challenge where I couldn’t spend any money on stuff that weren’t essentials (bills, groceries, etc), and WOW did I realize I had gotten into a bad habit! I’d literally catch myself pulling into the mall or other random stores anytime I was simply *bored*. And the crazy part was that I had no idea I was doing it!

From that point forward I literally just stopped walking into stores and have saved myself approximately $200/mo ever since… (Now if only there was a way to not stroll into Amazon! ;))

#6. I no longer require new jobs or locations to be happy

This is probably the biggest shocker of them all to me. Having grown up moving around every 2 years in a military family, *change* played a major, and rather exciting!, role in my life. It didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing, as soon as that two year mark hit I was ready to move onto the next glorious adventure awaiting me.

It wasn’t until I went off to college and started working “real” jobs that I realized my normal wasn’t going to be normal anymore… Even so, I struggled with not being able to stay put, whether in location or employment (or relationships!), until finally this blog and my wife were found. Both of which showed that stability can be sexy too :) And coincidentally enough, both found in the same year as well, making it super easy for me to remember the more important anniversary! Haha… And thankfully the entrepreneurial life brings enough change and adventure to keep anyone on their toes.

#7. I no longer care what others think of me

This is also a big turnaround for me over the last handful of years. I still have my weaknesses and seek approval from certain people out of habit, but for the most part I try my best to just be me and do my own thing whether others seem to approve of it or not. Even my beautiful mother – gasp. (As evidence of me still rocking a mohawk at 30-something years old and “looking like a vagabond” with my ragged clothes, per this same mother ;))

Another perk of running a blog, however, is that you also learn how to grow some thick skin as there’s never a shortage of people who find it necessary to tell you how they really feel. Here are a few of these kind words I’ve saved from only the past handful of months:

“The content is good, but I’m unsubscribing because I have a difficult time with the grammar style of this blog. I feel like I’m reading text messages, not trying to save for retirement.”

“I don’t really care to read about your life for the few nuggets of financial advice you give. My time is too valuable.”

“Oh, and I listen to your podcast with Paula. Love her, but you sound like a clueless 16 year old valley girl.”

“Not the most professional blog.. way too many smiley faces on everything.  I also cannot believe you rent!  You did introduce me to Rockstar Finance though, so thanks!”

And my all-time favorite:

“He says really nice things but looks like a weirdo. But i guess thats why people like him. Hes like the Miley Cyrus of Finance”

#8. I no longer watch the news/Facebook/media

Want a great way to feel worse about your life? Go scrolling through the news or your Facebook feed :) I used to be obsessed with keeping on top of everything, as well as what all my friends were doing/ buying/flying, and then I realized I never left any of those places actually feeling *better* than when I got there. I’d either feel depressed, jealous, anxious, or just plain scared.

So I stopped reading everything and deactivated all of my personal social media accounts except those relating to this blog. I’ve been in bliss ever since! Now it also means I don’t always know what the hell is going on in the world, but again – trade offs. And my wife is quick to tell me anything she thinks I better know :)

#9. I no longer buy bottled water or lottery tickets!

If you were around this blog in 2011 you might remember the hate storm that occurred when I proudly exclaimed that I drink bottled water and wasn’t ashamed to admit it ;) I was mainly targeting the financial aspect of it and how I don’t mind spending the $$ there since bottled was the only way that got me to actually DRINK water (thus, the money spent was = the health benefits), however, I underestimated the environment part of it and was called out pretty good about it.

6 years later though, I’m proud to exclaim that I very much still drink loads of water, but no longer need to use a new bottle every time in doing so :) Finding this bad boy has helped immensely with that, along with purifying the tap more.

And lottery tickets? Well, my experimenting there is over too as I no longer have as much fun playing them as I used to (nor the time to keep going out and buying them each week). I still enjoy giving, and receiving them, for Christmas as they make excellent (and cheap) stocking stuffers!, but now a days I get my cheap thrills off hanging with my kids or chatting with you all here on the blog ;) I’ll never get rich off of it, but hey – LIFE!

And that’s really the point of everything I’ve learned over the past 9 years. Money is great and severely needed up to a certain point, but once you’ve hit the minimum amount for survival/happiness, the rest just feels like extra. The trick then becomes incrementally improving your *lifestyle*, which is just as challenging, if not more, than figuring out your money.

My dream for everyone here is to be able to master BOTH sides of this equation, and then appreciate the progress we’ve all made so far as well. I don’t know what comes after that, but I’d imagine it’s one helluva place to be at :)

What have you learned over the past 9 years?


PS: As far as I’ve come over the years, I still mess up alllllllll the freakin’ time. Check out last year’s 8 fails over 8 years of blogging for some good ways to feel better about yourself ;)

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  1. Matt @ The Resume Gap March 20, 2017 at 5:37 AM

    This seems to be a common theme in the personal finance community: those money habits (like tracking every expense and hustling at every opportunity) are essential for getting out of debt and starting to build wealth early on — but once you’re on track, the only thing you really need is time. Glad you’re finding more relaxation with money. And nice job giving up the bottled water ;)

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      I think the next step is following your lead and taking a long break :)

  2. Liz March 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM

    Number two has been key for me. I track my net worth every quarter, rather than every month like I used to. And tracking every penny was key to getting out of debt years ago, and was key to making sure I could free up enough cash flow for my goals, but nowadays I have everything set on automated systems so I don’t need to track every penny anymore. I have enough for my goals automatically drafted out of my accounts, and then I know my “floor” amount where I need to stop spending until the next paycheck. As long as I’m not at the floor, I don’t need to obsess about where every dollar goes. :)

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      Good idea with the “floor” amount – I like that :)

  3. Felicity (@FelicityFFF) March 20, 2017 at 6:23 AM


    Actually, in the last couple of years, I’ve seen some of the same changes. I remember one brunch where I ordered some $9-$11 thing, no drink, and got into a “let’s just split it five ways” situation. I hesitated when I realized the 5-way cost was over $30 EACH and asked if we could split out what we ordered.

    Well, I ended up being the only person who did that, putting in $20 total, and it was *so awkward,* and I just felt cheap. For $10-$15 more I could have just had a nice brunch with friends.

    Now I don’t make a fuss, and I’ll even treat friends. No stress, all smiles. I only see these friends about once every few months, so it really has a negligible effect on finances anyway.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:45 AM

      Exactly :) A nice benefit of having your money down too – you can “waste” a few extra dollars without having it impact your life drastically. Good position to be in!

  4. Manuel Schulze March 20, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    I really like this post! And I think we both have a lot of in common. I was also moving around every few years because my dad was a soldier. I’ve got the same troubles staying for a longer time at a location or in a relationship. However, now that I have met my future wife I’m ready to settle down. For #2 I agree heavily with you. I always think about it like that: ‘Does the extra time saves me more money than I could get during the same time doing my job?’ When I started tracking my outcomes it saved me a lot of money. But to track every cent takes at least 1 hour/week more compared to just making it roughly. As a software developer, I get around $85 per hour. So there is no way it turns out to be a good investment (of time and money).

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:50 AM

      Good one – as long as you spend that hour on work of course, haha…

      I think of it now as 1 more hour with family and away from the computer – something I still very much need to work on :(

      1. Manuel Schulze March 20, 2017 at 2:17 PM

        Yeah, I mean just to compare the worth of one hour work vs. one hour tracking every cent. Let’s say the ROI of the hour invested. ;)

        I think an hour with your family is much more worth it compared to all hustles.

  5. Mustard Seed Money March 20, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    I still have a long way to go but I feel like I have done a ton of growing up. I no longer check my mint.com account multiple times a day especially when I haven’t done anything to make it go up or down on the weekend. I no longer waste my time playing on Facebook and reading the latest update on Yahoo about the latest hot stocks :)

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      Those two alone are huge!! That solves a lot of the heart ache right there, haha…

  6. Band of Savers March 20, 2017 at 7:18 AM

    Sometimes I wish I could stop obsessing about money. I’ve never ever bought bottled water or lottery tickets, NPR is the only news I ever listen to and adamantly hate Facebook. I only stick with one credit card and simple selection of mutual/index funds. The thought of shopping makes me sick (literally nauseous at times). I hate change so much that I really need to change jobs but can’t bring myself to actually start the process. I try not to care what people think and just do my own thing but sometimes it secretly bothers me inside and can eat away. I probably need to spend more time hustling but the requirements of each day leave me too drained to do anything extra. And I love tracking every penny and hope that never changes.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:52 AM

      Haha… you know yourself well :)

    2. Rose March 21, 2017 at 12:07 PM

      Wow – living this way would be a nightmare for me, especially the part about hating change so much.

      But, just like you, I do love tracking every penny, I just do it a bit less often than I used to. I mean, after all is said and done each month – there really is very little change in expenses. Everyone has a few big expenses every so often, but the difference is, once I saved up for them – I now gleefully spend it on those things that make my life better, sweeter, safer, healthier or more comfortable and of course always more enjoyable.
      You see, in the end, you can’t take it with you – so I decided to use it while I am alive – to enjoy myself and help family and even strangers on occasion.

      1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 6:47 PM

        “once I saved up for them – I now gleefully spend it on those things that make my life better, sweeter, safer, healthier or more comfortable and of course always more enjoyable.” – that’s great!!! i know a lot of people still have a hard time spending even when they’ve diligently saved up for things :( we def. need to be better about *using* our money and not hoarding it all the time or feel bad about ourselves.

  7. The Green Swan March 20, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    Congrats on 9 years! That’s crazy long. Keep it up! I love some of the “constructive feedback” quotes you shared…can’t tell if the Miley Cyrus comment was a good thing or bad… :)

    I remember a few years ago my older brother (pretty rich) made a statement about how he no longer worries about spending $100 here or there because relative to his net worth it is pretty meaningless. It got me thinking how relative it is as we get more money and easier to loosen up the belt a bit. Spending $100 when my net worth was $10K is a bigger deal than $100 when my net worth is $1 million…

    I’ve loosened up a bit as well, but I still make sure to spend wisely.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:54 AM

      Very true!! Started at $10 for me years ago, and probably up to maybe $30 or $40 now without worrying too much. Once it hits $50+ I def. take more time to think though and make sure it’s something I really want/need :)

  8. Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 20, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    “And that’s really the point of everything I’ve learned over the past 9 years. Money is great and severely needed up to a certain point, but once you’ve hit the minimum amount for survival/happiness, the rest just feels like extra.”

    Love this. I think 1-4 are a huge part of the learning curve when you start getting into personal finance. You spend a ton of time figuring out how best to track money, hustle, and get the best deals, and then once you master those things you realize that they ultimately don’t really matter in the end. Once you learn that and start dialing back you can have a much more comfortable relationship with money.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      Being comfy with your money is where it’s at!

  9. David Domzalski March 20, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    Love this — “I’ve moved way from dreaming about millions, to dreaming about having a great LIFE instead.” That concept was a big part of my transformation over the last 9 years as well. You summed it up perfectly.

    I realize I need a lot less to be happy and really wealth to me is time. I’ve also embraced Orthodox Christianity, being a husband, and becoming a father in 2015. All of those combined have really helped me realize what is truly important.

    Also, the “Miley Cyrus of Finance” comment is legendary. I think that’s a compliment, not a dig. Ha.

    Thanks for sharing,


    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 9:55 AM

      Love the path you’re on, man. Perhaps we’ll cross each other on it one day :)

  10. Miss Mazuma March 20, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    The Miley Cyrus of Finance?? Hysterical!

    Despite what those few had to say I still consider you one of the best personal finance peeps around and, funny enough, mainly because of the things that turned them off BAS. You talk about real things (life) and in a conversational tone. Your style writing made me more comfortable to start my own PF blog because one of the things stopping me was my terrible grammar. I was afraid of haters! Run on sentences and extensive use of the ellipsis and other punctuation is how I write. If an English teacher got hold of my blog it would be full of red marks! Seeing your emojis and conversational style helped me feel comfortable to write my way. So to hell with em! Keep on keepin on. :)

    Congrats on 9 years!! Its nice to be able to relax a bit on the finance front and enjoy the life in front of you. We all need that reminder sometimes so thank you!!

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:12 AM

      Really appreciate that, MM. I can’t blog in a different style even if I wanted to! it’s just ME! :) and i guess that’s why I love reading your blog so much to then, haha… it’s fun and real and PERSONAL. The part some people forget w/ blogs.

  11. Paul March 20, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    #3. Its all about the $/per hour. Once you get to a certain point that is. I could put a lot more time into my business, a lot more. I work exactly 40 hours a week maximum, I keep telling my friend who makes somewhere in the 400-500K dollar range that hes wasting his life. Dude has been at it like 15+ years I swear he works 100 hours a week at least, whats the point if you never see your family… Although, I have to admit I would like maybe 5 years at that level (to speed up my path to FI), I’m sitting at about half of what he makes but we probably make the same per hour. But since Quality of Life is my primary goal I think its best to stay the course. IDK, maybe its just me but money seems pointless without way out of the game.

    Also, #9. I’m not against buying a lottery ticket every now and then, but I view it as cheap entertainment, my mind gets to wandering about all the things I would do in life, where I would go, who I would help, and how I would spend the rest of my time on this earth. Too me that’s worth a dollar. But not $2, so I only play mega millions every now and then, never powerball, because $2 isn’t worth it.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:19 AM

      I thank my stars for hustling hardcore for a few years too before realizing how important lifestyle was! glad i got it out of my system (and got my businesses/$$ up) before the kids came around and shocked me out of it, haha… So def. hear you on wanting to do it for a few years to speed it up, so long as we’re still alive and healthy to be able to enjoy or there’s REALLY no point!

  12. Apathy Ends March 20, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Haha, I have only had a few “perks” so far and they were mostly about my grammar (grammarly plugin helped me a lot)

    My biggest lesson in the last 9 years is a college education doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s a foot in the door and the rest is on you.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM

      True true…. though at least the degree gives you a huge ass foot once you do take action :) (and one that will last you forever too)

  13. Jack @ Enwealthen March 20, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Growth keeps us on our toes. Love the Miley Cyrus comment though – thanks for sharing! :-)

    Right there with you on the social media thing. Mrs. E loves Facebook and spends time every day watching what her friends are doing. I’d rather be doing something than worrying if I’m missing out on some trivial update from someone I barely know. And that’s ignoring the oft-reported statistic that social media can make you depressed…

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM

      YES – TRUTH

  14. Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto March 20, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    In spite of what your Mom thinks (who cares, anyway, right?!), you’re growing up!!

    Funny, the less I focus on money, the more it grows. That snowball gets to a certain size, and you don’t have to worry about keeping it rolling anymore. Wierd how that works.

    Oh yeah, and I’m offended that you don’t care what I think about you. Really. I am.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      I only care about the GOOD stuff people say about me, so please – keep it coming! ;)

  15. Amanda @ centsiblyrich March 20, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Love it! I’ve had many of the same lessons. I’m particularly fond of not caring what others think and going on a news/Facebook diet. Both have resulted in more happiness/less stress for me.

    I’ve learned so many lessons over the past 9 years. And sometimes those lessons come about in the shittiest ways. But, to paraphrase Tony Robbins, it’s important to learn that “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you”. This mind shift can be life changing.

    1. J. Money March 20, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      Dannnnnng good one.

  16. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials March 20, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Are blogger years like dog years? If so…… woah. :P

    Thanks for sticking it out this long! Dunno what I would’ve done without you and this blog bein on the interwebs! (………..when I was in high school hahahah sorry! I had to!)

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 6:50 PM



  17. Mr Crazy Kicks March 20, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    I with you on being a lot more relaxed about expenses and finances. I think part of it is because we’ve grown into our early retirement lifestyle. We don’t need to think about how much we are spending or saving because it all just comes naturally to us now.

    And here’s to growing thick skins! I don’t want to be holding myself back from enjoying life just to avoid embarrassment. I also don’t get people not liking smiley faces. Smiling is a great way to put yourself and other people into a better mood :)

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:06 PM


      Maybe I’ll create BudgetsAreNotSexy.com and write the opposite of all articles with frowns littered all over, haha… :( :( :(

  18. Lars-Christian March 20, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    Those reader comments are absolutely hilarious Thanks for the laugh! I’d say the biggest thing I don’t do with money anymore, that I used to do, is think myself entitled to as much of it as I am able to spend.

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 6:51 PM

      Ooh yes!! Good one!!!

  19. TJ March 20, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    I gave up on the lotto tickets too! I remember around the time you first started writing about them, I went out and bought a scratcher and won $50. Sould have quit while I was ahead. :D

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 6:52 PM

      Hah! that’s $50 more than I eve won! :)

  20. Joe March 20, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    Isn’t amazing how much we change as we get older? I call it maturing. :)
    I still love your blog. It’s entertaining and educational. That’s a difficult combination to pull off. You’d be a great teacher.
    I still buy lotto, but only when the jackpot is over $100 million. Just a $1 to dream a little…
    This is a great topic, I’ll have to copy it when it’s my blog anniversary.

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 6:58 PM

      Thanks man, really appreciate that :)

      And please do copy the idea! it’s fun to see how far you’ve come!

  21. Mrs. Picky Pincher March 20, 2017 at 12:13 PM

    “The Miley Cyrus of Personal Finance.” That should be your new tagline. ;) I do have to say that blogging gives you a thicker skin. It’s amazing how brave people are when they hide behind anonymous keyboards. But these are all great. I used to extreme coupon, but I stopped doing it once I realized how much money, time, and stress it caused me. Many times simple is better.

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM

      Totally making bumper stickers with it, haha…

  22. Paul @ ABL March 20, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Love the kind words you’ve received – reminds me of Kimmel’s “celebrities read mean tweets”. Growing thick skin may be a benefit of the love notes, but it’s also encouraging that you only get them when you’re highly successful and popular. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:01 PM

      YES!! In fact, we actually did them a la Mean Tweets at our last blogger’s conference – it was HILARIOUS.

  23. RJ March 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM

    Great to see your transformation. Whenever I see people live complicated lives, I always wonder if th effort they put in is worth it. There’s nothing wrong with a good hustle, until it starts making you unhappy.

    The best feeling is having the strength to say ‘no’ and walk away from stuff I really don’t need in my life. And I’m not just talking about money either!

  24. Paulie @ droppedcoin March 20, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    This is f&*$ing hilarious! That is all.

    P.s. Don’t worry, all the coolest dads twerk

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:03 PM

      I’ll break it out for you if we ever cross paths ;)

  25. Gary @ Super Saving Tips March 20, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Belated happy 9th blogiversary! It sounds like overall you’ve found a much more relaxed way to deal with your money, and your life, so congrats! I tend to be a bit of a worrier, as is my wife, so 10 years later, we’re still tracking every penny because we’re more comfortable with having all that data. But to each his own.

  26. Mrs. BITA March 20, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Damn, some of those comments were mean. What a sad little life you must lead if leaving little barbs on the internet is the way you get your jollies.

    I grew up moving all over the country too (my father was in the Indian army), and I still haven’t quite lost that itch.

    What are some of the things I learned over the last 9 years?

    1. That this country can be my home too. I moved here when I was nearly 30 years old. This year I will have been here for 9 years, and I have just applied to be a citizen.
    2. That I had no idea how much love I was capable of and how much sleep deprivation I can tolerate until I had my daughter.
    3. That early retirement is a real thing, and can be part of my reality.

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:08 PM

      Awwww love all those things!!! Especially #1 despite the recent political climate here!!

  27. Primal Prosperity March 20, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    Wow, those comments are terrible… sounds very small minded.

    “Not the most professional blog.. way too many smiley faces on everything.” – This is one thing I love about your blog! The smiley faces show that you are a caring and compassionate human being, with a soul. We need waaaaay more of that! :) :) :)

    Or… you could just chop your Mohawk, conform, and become one of those vanilla blogs, without any real personality, that tries to satisfy all audiences. :)

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:10 PM

      Thanks, friend :) I don’t think I could even do that if someone paid me!! Like I literally wouldn’t know how?

  28. Smart Provisions March 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM

    I’d really like to get to your point some day, J$. I still perform 9 out of the 9 things you listed, but maybe that’s because I’m still in the accumulation phase.

    Sorry about the mean comments though, they weren’t really nice. Your blog is pretty awesome and is one of my favorites!

    1. J. Money March 21, 2017 at 7:16 PM

      We all do! Every single one of us goes through the phases at some point of our journey. What counts is that we’re all taking steps every day towards the next one! :)

  29. Chris March 20, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    Thanks for the honesty and authenticity. Some might say it could be “dangerous” to share these beliefs on your personal finance blog, but your honesty is why I always come back.
    Not caring what other people think is probably the number one thing I’ve learned over the last nine years as well. I think it has something to do with turning 40, with having kids, and with simply realizing that happiness leads to success, and not the other way around.
    As always, thanks for the solid read.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:45 PM

      Thanks Chris!! I cringe every time I hit that “publish” button on posts like these, not gonna lie, but then I get such a rush out of it that it makes me want to keep divulging more haha… I’ll continue doing it so long as people seem to enjoy it! :)

  30. Melissa March 20, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Hmmmm…I hope you didn’t use too much emotional energy begrudging the person that wrote, ” they liked the contend, but don’t care for the grammar style.” I bet they didn’t even mean it to sound rude. I know I’ve written similar comments and never occurred to me that the person might take umbrage. Besides, the person who posted that comment is probably a 40 yr old fuddy duddy like me. I swear it’s middle age. I’ve found that people just 8-10 yrs younger than me just don’t have the hangups with grammar and sentence structure. I don’t mean that as a criticism. It’s just something I’ve noticed and a bit of a hard line between us Gen X’ers and older and the MIllenials and younger. I fancy myself a writer and honestly have felt the same way with a few blogs I follow. I enjoy the content, but sometimes I feel like I have to spend so much energy figuring out the text “speak’ that it would’ve been easier if the blogger had just actually written the word or sentence out completely. Anywhooo…I enjoy your blog.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:48 PM

      Haha, fair enough… It’s probably the same thing with me and articles miles long with no bolding or break-up of texts forcing me to battle with A.D.D.! if it’s not easy on the eyes, I tend to just gloss over it and move to the next article :)

  31. Erith @crackingretirement.com March 20, 2017 at 4:41 PM

    Many of your comments resonate.
    I now always offer ‘split the bill’ because I have generally eaten and drunk less, so I always pay a bit more. So what…. Life is too short
    I track our net worth, Twice a month, but in general ups and downs don’t bother me. The reality is that I only analyse them twice a year. April and December
    – instead of trying to beat the market by stock picking, I have moved to Vanguard index trackers. The return is far better!
    – I no longer ‘shop’ except for essentials…I Still do a bit of FB, (but more to cover blog related info. ). I do keep a few bottles of water in the car for emergencies, but 5 a year rather than 50 or 500!
    -I’m still looking for a side hustle, trying to grow my (new) blog. 2017 goal is get a Rockstar Finance post! (Ever optimistic!)

  32. Dividend Growth Investor March 20, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    Whoo-hoo congrats on the 9 year blogoversary! Here is to many more years of blogging!

    You have an unique voice. I always enjoy your easy going tone. And you have managed to aggregate a lot of other voices to this site, which has helped find new reads.

    Growing a thicker skin is challenging, but something that is important. ( i am working on that myself)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:51 PM

      Thanks man – appreciate the love!

  33. Mystery Money Man March 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Love the comments from your ummm…detractors, they actually make me love your blog that much more. 16-year old valley girl? I have to listen to that one, haha

  34. MMD March 20, 2017 at 7:15 PM

    Happy blogging anniversary! #7 is by far my favorite. It really doesn’t matter at all what people say or think about you. Usually they’re wrong anyways … :)

  35. Chris Glover March 20, 2017 at 7:53 PM

    Thank you for number 8. I HATE social media if not for business. I just don’t care to compare myself or my financials to my “friends”. I thought I was the weird one, but I’m glad it’s not just me.

    Also, those negative comments are great. I love when people feel the need to announce to you why they’re unsubscribing. Cute.

    Chris | http://www.ilovequietsundays.com

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:52 PM

      Great blog name :)

  36. Kate @ Making it Rain March 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    I didn’t even realize until reading this list, but #6 resonates so much with me! I didn’t move around as a kid, but have moved all over most of my adult life (I recently had to fill out some paperwork for a criminal background check and had to list all my addresses from the last five years…it was hell!). The big 3-0 is a few months away and stability is SO SO sexy to me now!! Haha thanks as always for the fun relatable posts (P.S. most of us like your smilies :D:D)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:53 PM

      Thanks Kate :)

  37. Go Finance Yourself! March 20, 2017 at 10:03 PM

    HaHa. The Miley Cyrus of finance is great. You should get shirts made up that say that. :)

    I too stay away from social media and the news. I think it’s the biggest time suck there is, and there’s no way to scroll through facebook or twitter and not walk away irritated by random comments by a bunch of random people. Watching the news is another great way to really feel like crap about life in general.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:54 PM

      Maybe I’ll rock one at FinCon :) But only if you’re going… (you are going, right? RIGHT???)

  38. Dividend Diplomats March 20, 2017 at 10:10 PM

    J –

    Nice share here and makes a lot of sense. I would say #1 has to be the bread and butter, right then and there. All about experiencing life, making a difference in your loved ones eyes and in adding value to “something” – which you are definitely doing.

    Further – #3 is a weird one. When one is a “grinder” – I bet that it has to feel SO odd not having to push, shove and scrape at receiving additional revenue streams or to boost current revenues with what you are doing – salary, div income, blog income, rental income, etc.. I find myself just non-stopping in straight hustle mode and am afraid I could burnout from all of it, at some point… scary right? Thoughts on that?

    Thanks again for sharing J, always pumped to see you keep it real with the community. Talk soon.


    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:57 PM

      Totally man – it’s honestly the hardest thing I’m trying to conquer! It’s not even so much the money either, but more so the DRIVE and potential you know you have to build the next big thing or to push your growth or network or yada yada yada…. I’m finding lately that i have a tendency to either go ALL IN or nothing, and sometimes the “nothing” is nice to calm things down and really reflect on life. It also gets you to then think about all the stuff you could be doing and building as well, but hey – at least it helps w/ burn out! :)

      so yeah man – please do pay close attention to your body and thoughts and whatever happens make sure you don’t burn out. hard as hell to figure out, but we’re worthless once we get to that stage!

  39. Adriana @MoneyJourney March 21, 2017 at 2:01 AM

    I have never bought lottery tickets. My significant other though does! While I’m not a fan of the 1 in 14 million shot at winning, there were a few times he actually won! Not the jackpot, but a few hundred bucks at a time. Since I still obsess about money, we usually add them to our savings. Last time he won ‘big’ it brought us months closer to buying our car :D Score!

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:59 PM

      Well damn – can’t hate on that! well done, boyfriend!

  40. Jody March 21, 2017 at 7:20 AM

    You need to put that last quote on the back of a tshirt with your url below it, and a black silhouette of the jagged mohawk picture on the front, and I guarentee you’d make bank.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:58 PM

      if you’re hinting at getting it for me for Christmas, I’ll accept :)

  41. Rose March 21, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Congrats on your nine years of blogging – Happy Anniversary! I find myself in agreement on all points more or less, although I still love to track closely – just not that often. I love today’s tech – you can set just about everything on automatic.

    Money and I were not friends for a long time, it was a long and winding road for me. I had to get over the “money is evil” mentality. I used to spend it as fast as possible or treat it with total disdain.

    Funny thing though, once you pay attention to it without demonizing it or thinking about all you do not have – but rather, what you can make happen with what you do have – your thinking shifts and you see possibilities and opportunities that you were blind to before.

    We are all a bit afraid of change, but the alternative is stagnation and eventually death. Life is change, whether we like it or not. Sometimes we are so focused on the door (of change or opportunity) closing, that we do not see the hallway with another ten doors:)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM

      I feel like you need to be putting all this in a book or blog over there – it’s great! Making me get all deep over here!

  42. Steven March 21, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    I no longer care what others think of me……..I assumed you didn’t already:) I just thought the Mohawk was similar to saying you are a honey badger.

    So on the mean but funny comments, sounds like an episode of Mean Tweets which is pretty funny. One of them got me LOL.

    Congrats on 9 years sir, maybe for your 10 years I go Mohawk for a day!

  43. Kim March 21, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    “…people who like to “split the check” aren’t my friends anymore.” LOL This reminded me of when I was a teenager and I received 25 “movie dollars” as a gift. It was a gift certificate for a specific movie theatre, but it was broken down into one dollar increments so I could decide how much or little I wanted to spend. I went with the movies with friends one night and broke out my pack to pay for my ticket and I heard crap all night about how cheap I was because I wouldn’t pay for their tickets too. “It was a gift,” they said. “It’s not costing you anything.” “Yeah. But it’s a gift to ME not YOU,” was my response. I still think about that because I was actually very surprised that someone would think I should my gift on them. But it also opened my eyes a little more about sharing and being generous, given that it wouldn’t have cost me anything except a few more free movies. Biggest lesson though? When you go out with friends keep the gift certificates to yourself. Just kidding. Great post J$

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:57 PM

      Haha… I would have done the same, don’t worry :)

  44. Tawcan March 21, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    I think most of these I no longer do either. Having said that, we still track our expenses as I like to see what items we can optimize. I never liked shopping and find it tiring. That fact along makes it hard for me to spend money on things. :)

  45. Nick Loper March 21, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    Happy blogiversary buddy!

    9 years is like 90 in Internet Years, old timer :)

    And yes, I DO remember that bottled water post! Happy to hear you’ve changed your ways. Like I’m sure a lot of readers, there are a lot of parallels between your financial journey and mine so it’s been a blast following along.

    Here’s to the next 9!

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 2:01 PM

      Pretty cool you were around back then, man! That was a LONG time ago! :)

  46. ebene March 21, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    9 Years wow!

    I have been a long time lurker first time poster.

    A lot of these points you hit the nail on the head for me too. I love your number 8. This is key for me. I rarely watch the news, I skim the paper every morning and read magazines, but somehow that is better for me since you can close it an move on. With tv news, I feel like you just keep getting dragged into the next story and some of those images. Wow.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 2:01 PM

      Thanks for breaking your silence and saying hi :)

  47. Wallet Squirrel March 21, 2017 at 10:03 PM

    Oh man! Number 7 really hits home for me. I care WAY too much what other people think about me. This is one of my 2017 goals and it is going not so good. I still have 9 more months though!

    Congrats on your 9 year blogiversary! That is an impressive accomplishment!

  48. Tyler @ Monster Income Ideas March 22, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    like #8. The (bad) news has been downright depressing for years now. I also think it’s important to get negative people out of our lives.

    On #9, we love our Big Berkey! Best water ever.

  49. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 22, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Happy 9 years!! You’ve grown so much!

    I’m so glad you’re still around and going strong. Just today I deleted some links to Millionaire Mommy Next Door because she hasn’t blogged in 7 years! It was time to give up hope ;)

    I still run to look at my bank accounts when I’m feeling nervous or helpless about life or world events, and I need to get a sense of (probably false) security :) But the numbers there ARE reassuring, to some degree.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 2:05 PM

      Millionaire Mommy Next Door – oh yeah!!! Forgot about her!!

      The one blogger that I still read after alllll these years is Jonathan over at MyMoneyBlog.com. It was his net worth reports he used to do (no longer) that inspired me to not only track my own month, but to start my blog. Crazy to wonder where I’d be if he never started his :)

  50. Financial Samurai March 22, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Nice job being the Miley Cyrus of blogging! haha.

    9 years have gone by in a flash yeah? And to think you were gonna sell it all and be a hermit last year!

    I’ve learned that happiness is seeing a kid do something special he never thought he could do before. That was last week when a senior, who always blew big matches to the detriment of his team, gutted it out and won a nail-biting 11-9 tiebreaker in front of all his teammates, his mom, and me!



    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 2:06 PM

      Nice!! Happiness is also finding a sport you’re so passionate about and sharing it with others too :)

  51. ZJ Thorne March 24, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    I love your smiley faces!!

    I’ve learned a lot over the last year of blogging, which I do because of your net worth list. It has been really helpful to see the stark numbers and the changes that come with diligence.

    As for the past nine years. Well, I left religion. Then came out as a lesbian. Started dating. Broke a few hearts. Learned how to figure out what I wanted versus what I was putting up with. Continued temping, but began my own business in a niche in my field with the encouragement of my wonderful girlfriend and friends. Am still an activist, but care less about things I cannot control; I’m better at focusing my energies on things I have any power to change.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 2:08 PM

      That last line right there can save you soooo much stress and energy over an entire lifetime too. Really glad to hear your thoughts are changing :)

  52. Finance For Geek March 26, 2017 at 6:00 PM

    Haha love the kind words you received! In fact, I think this is the best part of blogging, you get to be what YOU want and do not have to rely on some other people rants. Even if I started blogging wayyy later than you did J, I’ve tried from day one to only care about what I want/love and not listen to what a few random people thought was appropriate for me (and this also applies to the offline world)!

    1. J. Money March 27, 2017 at 5:54 AM

      It’s a much better way of life for sure :) It also helps you build a more natural community around your blog too since you’re just being YOU! The people who like your style will stick around, and those who don’t will leave.

  53. Julia March 27, 2017 at 12:14 AM

    I definitely think in order to get to this point, tracking every penny is crucial… but once you put in hard work. You reap the reward of being able to relax and not track every cent or have to go around and shop for the best credit cards! Putting in the hard work early, means relaxation and ease later on.

    Thanks for sharing raw honest content! Seriously is refreshing and a game changer.

    1. J. Money March 27, 2017 at 5:54 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it, Julia :)

  54. Jessica L Mullins April 2, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Love your blog and loved you on the Afford Anything/MONEY podcast back when you were on it! I’m sorry people feel like they need to take the time to leave negative comments, but I’m glad you’re not letting them impact you. Keep being yourself!!

    1. J. Money April 2, 2017 at 3:20 PM

      Thank youuuuuu Jessica! Very sweet of you to say!

  55. Bill @ Wealth Well Done April 4, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Great article, friend. I find myself doing alot of these too. Especially worrying less about how much money I have, and more about how to architect the perfect life for myself. More and more recently I have been thinking that I am going to die one day, and today is the only day I have alive like this. That thought alone has been waking me up more to really accomplish the dreams I have to make the world a better place, more than my dreams of having more money in my bank account. And you’re so right, it takes just as much, or more, energy to go on the quest to architect the perfect life as it does to make a million dollars! But the happiness and peace is worth it, at least to me. Cheers, buddy!

    1. J. Money April 5, 2017 at 6:21 AM

      Cheers indeed! Here’s to living more days vs less! :)

  56. Zee April 5, 2017 at 11:11 AM

    I want to be the miley cyrus of finance!

    1. J. Money April 6, 2017 at 6:08 AM

      Haha… it is pretty fun being her, not gonna lie ;)

  57. derek April 6, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    The Miley Cyrus of Finances could be a huge compliment in some cases!

    Also, I saw someone post recently (can’t remember who) making fun of a hater who said something like, “I found a typo and can no longer continue learning from you.” (Something like that.)

    I found it hilarious that someone would trip over a typo like it was a freaking 100 foot wall.

    LOVE YOU! :) ;)

    1. J. Money April 8, 2017 at 4:14 PM

      Those comments are especially good when the person calling out the typo misspells something himself! I’ve had two or three of those this year and are my favorite to respond to :)

  58. My Sons Father April 6, 2017 at 10:49 PM

    #8 is huge! No news really is good news. I cut news out of my life a few years back and have a much better outlook on life as a result. Great list!

    1. J. Money April 8, 2017 at 4:15 PM

      And from what I hear w/ the new political landscape, we’re missing out on a lot of those frustrations :)

  59. Kaman December 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    My first time actually commenting. But I love all these changes!!! Totally agree on not chasing millions and enjoying life momments. And not caring about what other people think about you. I need to work on that too!

    1. J. Money December 18, 2017 at 3:08 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! :)

  60. lisa February 12, 2018 at 10:07 PM

    The most successful people are curious people (not sure where I read that..Buffett?) and they keep learning.
    Nine years ago, I didn’t think of budgets, passive income, or enjoying life. The household was a crazy one and paying the bills while running the kids around and working was enough. Then, I decided to read finance books while on the treadmill. And it got me thinking, how can I live life better? After much reading and looking at our finances, we made a big jump by buying rental property. That started the “thought snowball” that we CAN work smarter and not harder. Let the tenants pay the mortgage….Slash expenses by cancelling most of them and go solar. Forget name brand anything. Heck, get a job very close to home and let it provide uniforms. We did all of these things and more.
    This website is my all-time fave and taught me soooo much! Thank YOU J. Money for all of your hard work, intense discoveries and willingness to put it out there for us to read!

    1. J. Money February 13, 2018 at 6:21 AM

      Well done!! Awesome to see how far you guys have come like that. So glad you’re enjoying the blog too – that means a lot :) thanks so much for telling me so!

  61. fiberguyr1 February 18, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    #9 made me chuckle. My dad and step-mother have been lucky enough to own land where companies have drilled for oil/natural gas. They now get checks in the mail in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, but my step-mom will still buy a lottery ticket each week.

    1. J. Money February 19, 2018 at 6:49 AM

      Wow – that is a loooooot of money coming in every month! Guess the thrill wore off a bit and she needs a new one? :)

  62. Ms ZiYou February 20, 2018 at 4:00 AM

    That’s some fabulous progress J, most of them resonate with me.

    Have to admit I still track, as I *love* analysing the spending afterwards, and doing the values to spending comparison. I am chuffed if I am on track, and give myself a nudge if not.

    And I also still love the thrill of a new job….and a new work location to explore. Don’t see that changing, well apart from the fact in three years I hope to not *have* to work anymore.

    1. J. Money February 20, 2018 at 6:34 AM

      Sounds like you know yourself well :)