Last Week Today: Coffee, Money, Hustling, Music

Good morning my fiscal friends! How art thee and thine’s money this week? Art thou happy and glee? My friend Lil’ Kim certainly is ;)

lil kim cash money

You might remember her as my very 1st money coaching client and she’s still working hard to reach FIGMY$HIT status. Lately she’s taken a renewed interest in starting her own photography/art business up again so I’ve been giving her some homework assignments there. Mainly, “find a way to earn $100 this month with it!” And as that picture shows, mission completed :) (Go Kim!)

Anywho, was feeling like a proud papa so had to share… The hardest part with side hustles is getting your first client, so if you start with that out of the gate you’ll not only learn real fast if what you’re offering is good (the “real” world is a lot different than the textbook world!), but you’ll get in the habit of asking for money. After all, as they say on Shark Tank, a business that doesn’t make money isn’t a business – it’s a hobby. So be sure to ask for what you’re/your product is worth!

Other Money Wins This Week:

  • We turned in our two weeks notice to daycare!!! As soon as Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy is done defending her dissertation she’ll be defending our boys from getting into trouble all day long at the $ household ;) And we’re both excited and terrified at the same time, haha…
  • I maxed out my SEP IRA to the tune of $11,000 and change. You might have seen this in our latest net worth update, but we shot it straight into VTSAX with Vanguard which gave me a high stronger than Bob Marley on 4:20. (Was 4:20 a “thing” back in his day?)
  • No Spend Month II is complete! 40 days of no spending on anything outside needed expenses to survive – minus a few slip ups (mainly tip jar related). I wish I could say it was as enlightening as the first time we took this on 7 years ago, but the sad fact is I didn’t learn a thing. No epiphanies this time around, but at least it reaffirms that my spending habits are aligned with how I want them to be. Which of course is the point to it all :) (For those who joined me in this, how did your journey go??)
  • I saved $237.96 more with Digit. I guess they forecasted my daycare savings? ;)
  • I invested $10.35 more through Acorns. They round up your transactions and invest the pennies into a portfolio for you. You can see my full review of them here.

Stuff That BLEW in Money This Week:

  • Capital One is kicking me out of my business account. They didn’t say why (other than “restructuring” or something lame like that), but I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t pay them jack to use their accounts :) So now I’ve been downgraded to a different business account and if I deposit anything more than $5,000/mo they’re going to charge me $1.00 each additional $1,000. What the freak is that about?? Needless to say I’m on the hunt for a new business account… (which USAA doesn’t offer, arghh). What do you hustlers use?
  • My wife has to spend $200+ for a graduation gown she doesn’t even get to keep. “I don’t even spend $200 on a dress that I DO get to keep – what the f*ck?” was her exact response. Followed by “Do you think they’ll notice if I just show up in normal clothes?” Haha… Go for it mama!
  • Some asshat stole my credit card info and tried buying something halfway across the country. Which USAA caught in a matter of seconds and shut it down – along with my credit card – and promptly re-issued us a new one. This was the 3rd time in a year it’s happened to us (they say they’ve seen an incredible upswing in hacks lately), but luckily the annoyance levels have been diminished since I’ve already made a list of all the places my credit card is attached to. So within minutes of receiving the new card all I had to do was log in to a few places and update the accounts. IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE THIS YOURSELF I HIGHLY ADVISE DOING SO! Saves you a butt ton of time and stress in the future.

This Week Around Blog Land…

epic bean coffee

Our early retired friend Go Curry Cracker’s story went viral! He had a great feature in Forbes which then got picked up by Yahoo Finance and then shot across the front page of a half dozen other media sites back to back to back. They’re all a little slow since we  featured his kick-ass “I quit to travel the world forever” story here first on this blog (uh thank you), but super proud of him for all the coverage and fully taking advantage of this opportunity to grow his blog over night. He literally got more hits in 24 hours than I have in an entire month – hah! And I won’t be bashful and omit that he’s a blog coaching client of mine either ;) *tips hat*

[UPDATE: Jeremy tells me he’s at the hospital right now awaiting the birth of their first baby :) Send him good thoughts and prayers – it’s miracle time!!]

Fellow blogger, and former Early Retirement chaser, Johnny Moneyseed launched a new coffee shop. Epic Bean Fair Trade & Organic Coffee – a brick and mortar store which also offers subscription services to anyone who would like fresh coffee delivered right to their door. We’ll be featuring his journey on this blog here shortly, specifically because he dropped his race to early retirement to jump right into the coffee world!, but in the meantime check out his new shop: Congrats bud!

Speaking of coffee, if you want to see how 32 of us entrepreneurs drink ours, check out this article from another blogger who’s getting into the coffee space online: You might remember Matt as the former half of the Listen Money Matters crew.

Life Comma Etc launched a new eBook on helping people get paid to freelance write. It’s called “Five Figure Writer” and shows the email template and tips Sarah used to earn $59,000 her first year freelancing. You can pick it up for a cheap $19 bones. (Congrats Sarah!)

freelance writer paid

Financial Companies That Came Across My Desk:

As we did last week, I thought it would be helpful to feature some of the services and products that I came across in the $$ world this week. I haven’t poked around these guys in depth (so please be sure to do so yourself) but I wanted to highlight ’em here vs keeping them hidden in my brain ;) Any I start using and fall in love with myself will get its own dedicated review in the future…

Achieve Lending — These guys might be worth looking into if you’re looking to condense/refinance or get new student loans (or any other *private* loans it looks like) They bill themselves as the “first ever search engine for student loans,” and a good blogging friend of mine started working for them which leads me to believe their legit :) You plug in what type of loan/refinancing you’re looking to get, along with the amounts and some other info, and then it pops out a list of options that match up. If you try it out let us know how it goes! — This is a pretty cool idea: “Work out your monthly budget using this free tool to download a useful spreadsheet. See how much you are spending and how much you can afford to save throughout the year.” Spits out a nifty pie chart at the end of it too.

Cinch Financial —  These guys have been all over the place lately. In a nutshell they show you only “the best products” for what you’re looking for (credit cards, insurance, mortgages) and state they’re unbiased, but the part that really caught my eye was their billsnap feature: “Take a photo or upload an image of your mortgage, credit card, insurance, or other big bill. Our experts will tell you if you can pay less, and exactly how.” Not sure how that works with privacy stuff, but quite an interesting concept!

cinch financial

A Giveaway You’d Actually Want to Enter:

Lady Antebellum (the country group) and Quicken Loans are teaming up to pay the mortgages for 7 lucky people for an entire year as part of Lady’s Wheels Up 2015 Tour.

“All you have to do is impress a panel of judges with your creativity, clarity and reasons for deserving a mortgage break. The mortgage prize is worth a minimum $12,000 to a maximum of $24,000 (principal and interest only)”

Want to give it a shot? You can enter here:

Awesome New Music I’m Listening to…

This guy recently wrote a piece for Priceonomics on how much his musical duo makes busking (ie street performing), and I followed the rabbit hole down through his personal blog where he shares how much he made his first year blogging and onto his musical act: The Dirty Little Blondes. It’ll make you sick how cute and awesome these two are (bf/gf duo) but my damn is their music good.

Here’s my favorite of their songs so far:

I also happened across this video of the prettier of the two which apparently went viral last year netting more views than any of their songs combined – hah! Not surprising though considering the title: “Bikini fail feat cute puppy” ;)

And that’s what went down in my hood this week… How about you? Anything juicy in your money or biz? Do you use any of the companies I featured above?

Hope y’all have a great weekend… Don’t forget: Freedom > Money > Stuff!

PS: Let me know if any of you guys come across any cool $$$ companies too and I’ll consider featuring them here (as well as any of you bloggers doing big things!)

PPS: Here’s last week’s recap if interested: Money, Business and Overall Bad-Assery

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  1. Kirsten April 10, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    Ooh, I’ll have to check out that book! I started freelancing a while ago but I’ve always felt a little lost about the mechanics of getting clients and ensuring I get paid what I think I’m worth. The “just do it” philosophy wasn’t really working for me ;-)

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      Let me know what you think if you end up getting it!

    2. Sarah Greesonbach May 8, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      Sorry for the delay here Kristen — but thank you for sharing your thoughts! The “Just do it” can be a hard approach because it’s so vague… I’m not sure I ever would have broken through that if I hadn’t been laid off, haha!

      I think the first step is to think of what you like to write and then think of who would pay for that. For me, digital marketing is something that every online company needs, so I know I can approach them and basically say, “Need a writer? I’m great!”

      For you, that might be writing about sports psychology for a particular blog or speaker. Whatever you’re good at, find those people and pitch, then see what they say.

      As far as pricing, that is all over the place. Figure out a comfortable hourly rate for you, then charge a project rate for the final item. Over time, you can adjust that to what you know you’re worth based on your experience. (I started a project at $35, now I charge $75-95+).

  2. Mrs. Frugalwoods April 10, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    That’s fabulous that you’re ditching daycare! Woohoo! I’d be mad about that graduation gown too–I wonder if you can find one used? Probably not since no one gets to keep it… boo. I was so excited for Jeremy too–such an awesome feature!! And yes, I do remember reading yours first ;)

    I think Mr. FW and I are on a permanent no-spend challenge… as long a nice coffee beans count as a “necessity” (they are, I swear!!).

  3. David Hunter April 10, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    I’m surprised how little views The Dirty Little Blondes have on their music video. I understand the bikini one, but still… Just goes to show how hard being a YouTuber really is (did you check out their other videos and skits?).

    Oh, and $200+ just for a graduation gown??! Sheesh, they get you every which way.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      I know right?? They’re music is AWESOME too and they spend tons of hours putting it all together, esp with the music videos. Maybe some talent agent reads my blog and will give them their big break – hah!

  4. Dee @ Color Me Frugal April 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    I can’t believe that about your Capital One business account! I also have a business account there and have received no crazy notices like that. Right now we have a rather large balance in there though, so maybe they figure they are making enough $$$ off me :-). Also, I recently featured a guest post from Allen Kors from Achieve Lending. I’m impressed with his student loan search engine. Right now I’m not in the market for another student loan (thank God), but I’ve played around with the search engine a little bit. I think it’s a pretty cool tool for those who are loan shopping.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:08 AM

      Thx for the info! And hopefully you don’t get any of those Capital One notices :) I drain the account every month so they probably don’t like me… Though I do keep savings there for taxes in my 2nd acct with them but that’s not what the notice was for – hah.

  5. FinancethingsinLife April 10, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    This week was the start of a renovation project. Jeezzz, I didn’t know that tiles could weigh so much. Thank god you are entitled to an accomplishment beer this weekend.
    I read the Forbes article and you can’t help but to admire what they achieved in their life. I definitely want to have the same kind of lifestyle in the future. Although in smaller portions perhaps.
    What about you JMoney? Is living in a different country in your future plans?

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:42 AM

      I’d love to live in a foreign country again :) Did a lot of traveling growing up (military lifestyle) and then more so when I worked for the airlines (best way to travel the world for pennies!!!) but not in a rush to get back out there since having kids. Just going with the flow now and enjoying wherever I happen to be/living :)

  6. Renee Simone April 10, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    I totally need to make a list of where my bank cards are tied to. Great tip!

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      I have a spreadsheet called “money” that lists all sorts of stuff all in one page – including this list – which makes it super easy to find and add to/edit over the years. Just gotta take a little time once and set it up!

  7. Kalie April 10, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    Congrats to Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy for graduating. Not paying for daycare will feel great–and being home with the kids will be even better. I also love the idea of a No Spend challenge. We’d have to decide exactly how to define needs, but I’m sure we’d save if we did this. Sounds like the 1 thing you learned this time is you’ve got your spending right on track already.

  8. Jon @ Money Smart Guides April 10, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I’ve heard of banks charging you for low balances but never for too high of a balance. Sounds like you’ve entered into the bizarro world my friend. I use Ally for my business. I use personal accounts there (not sure if they do business) but since I am a sole proprietor, it doesn’t matter. All of my personal checking/savings are with Capital One 360. Anyways, Ally is awesome – never an issue in 2+ years with them and no fees.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      I hear that too about Ally – always in top suggested banks on lists and what not.

  9. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 10, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    That graduation gown fee is ridiculous. I wonder what would happen if she just wore whatever she wanted or if she could find a similar one on craigslist :)

  10. Debtless in Texas April 10, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    i wish USAA had a business account…but I use Chase as they offer military/former military free personal and business accounts. I haven’t paid Chase a dime in fees and enjoy excellent service. If I throw a rock in any direction, I can hit a Chase branch too.

    Sorry to hear 360 hosed you J$, that sucks.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:14 AM

      Well now Chase may get my sexy business now – thx :)

      1. Moon April 11, 2015 at 10:20 PM

        I have a Chase business account and I am not sure I will wholeheartedly recommend it. I only opened it there because my FCU doesn’t offer business account for certain type of business set up. Chase charges $10 a month if the average balance under $1500, $2 extra if you want paper statement. But those are not the things drive me insane – the crazier part is that (at least for my type of business account , the lowest one) is that I can’t use mobile banking to deposit a check more than $2000. I have to go to the bank to deposit it. Sorry but who goes to the bank these days?!

        1. J. Money April 15, 2015 at 12:25 PM


          Okay, you are def. steering me away from them, haha… Ain’t nobody got time for that! ;)

  11. Hannah April 10, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Since it’s a PhD she’s going to look like she’s at Hogwarts, so maybe you and the kids can get fancy robes and carry broomsticks and wands and take a Christmas card picture. Maybe you can have a lightning bolt on your forehead too.

    My husband is getting his masters (en route to the PhD), and his department secretary asked him for the $80 fee for walking, and he said, “That’s like half my stipend, will you mail me the diploma instead?” I guess we will have to drop some Benjamins when he graduates too.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      hah! I’d pay $400 to have a Hogwarts looking family photo ;)

  12. Pengepugeren April 10, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    Does she HAVE to wear the robe? It seems insane to pay that much for a rental.

  13. Cait Flanders April 10, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    That was my favourite song of theirs, too! *goes to listen again*

    And seriously cool about Johnny Moneyseed launching his own online coffee shop! One of my girlfriends recently taught me how to roast coffee beans in my oven. I can’t wait to try it out by myself and see what kind of flavours I can get. :)

    Also, Canada needs more of these FinTech companies. We’re slowly but surely seeing a few pop up here and there… but I want more! These guys said they’d let me be an early tester, and their product really interests me! (Kinda like Simple in the US?)

    Happy Friday, friend!

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:21 AM

      ooh cool – I’ll check them out, thx for the note!

      I keep hearing GREAT things about Simple for sure – totally gonna plug them here in the near future and maybe even try out myself!

  14. Melody @ Saving To Sail April 10, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Just downloaded the Five Figure Writer book – can’t wait to dig into it. Thanks for the tip, my friend! Maybe one day you’ll be featuring me and my story on how I made a $hitload of extra money by writing. Happy Friday!

    1. Sarah Greesonbach May 8, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      Thank you, Melody! Let me know if you have any particular questions when you get started — there’s definitely a lot of “orientation” for getting set up, but once you are, the sky’s the limit!

    2. J. Money May 10, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      I hope so, Melody :)

  15. mollyjade April 10, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    Our business account (a nonprofit, but same as far as banking goes) is at a local credit union. For personal banking, credit unions can be a little less flexible because of atm locations, but that’s not an issue with business accounts. Credit unions tend to have great customer service, and many have the same website and app banking as larger banks.

    1. J. Money April 10, 2015 at 11:22 AM

      That’s a damn fine idea, actually. I’m a huge advocate of credit unions so yes – I will see who’s around my hood and if they can hook me up, thx! It’s been so long since I’ve thought about this stuff I’m a bit rusty :)

  16. Kim April 10, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    I had to rent my gown when I graduated from optometry school. Better yet, it was a big heavy thing with a velvet part at the collar and it was the end of May in Memphis AND about 102 degrees. Our graduation ceremony was in this old church with no A/C. I think my class probably lost a collective 200 pounds from all the sweating! All I got to keep was the tassle…..

    I was happy to read about the GoCurryCrackers on Forbes. It make me so proud when someone from the fold makes it big time.

  17. Kayla @ Femme Frugality April 10, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Wow! I’d love to win the contest to get my mortgage paid for each month for a year. That would be amazing! I think I might try to win it, haha. :) Have a great weekend!

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:19 PM

      I hope you win!!! 7 people have to, why not you?

  18. Nicola April 10, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Graduation gowns are so expensive! And what an amazing contest – I wish they’d do something like that in the UK! Have a great weekend :)

  19. Michelle April 10, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Good job on the money wins!

    My friend when she graduated with one of her degrees once had to pay $600 for a cap and gown that she didn’t get to keep either. It’s insane!

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:23 PM

      Dammmn, I’m feeling good about our $200 only then – thanks! haha..

  20. Tawcan April 10, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Sorry to hear that you got your credit card info stolen…. hopefully you got everything sorted out.

    Paying $200 for a graduation gown is so stupid… that’s the last opportunity for the school to get some money out of you. Not sure about your wife’s school, when I graduated we had to return the gowns at a certain time or we’d face a fine. WTF right? The funniest is that within 10-15 minutes of receiving my degree I got a phone call from the university asking for donation.

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:23 PM


  21. Elise @ Simply Scaled Down April 10, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Wow, awesome updates! It must feel awesome to max out your SEP Roth!

    I have had an awesome experience with Wells Fargo for my business account (photography/photo booth business). They don’t have minimums on the account, no fees, and offer really great products at good prices (business lines of credit, credit cards with low and no fees, etc).

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:24 PM

      Thx! I forgot I’ve used them before with a different business so adding back to my list again… hopefully they have the option to deposit checks via phone as I’m spoiled now never having to walk into a location! :)

  22. Amy @ DebtGal April 10, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    Brilliant idea to create a list of accounts/businesses attached to a specific credit card. Will addit to my spring cleaning list…

  23. Julie G April 10, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Business accounts aren’t as regulated as personal accounts. So getting an apples to apples comparison is difficult to do. Also, banks need to understand what you are doing with your accounts. I am assuming that since your income is mostly blog income you have ach debits and ach credits, debit card purchases and little to no checks deposited. Some banks do accounts based on your activity. (It might be best to sit with a Business Banking Officer at a few banks those are the people that really have the knowledge to look at your business model and get the best idea. If you were in MA I would have you sit with my awesome BBO and he would get you set up right). Most business owners think that banks are DUMB (Don’t Understand My Business) so make sure that you sit down with someone who wants to understand your business and walk away if you don’t feel right about it.

    We have seen an uptick in Debit Card/Credit Card fraud. Bad guys are trying to get as much money as they can before the chip and PIN laws go into effect in October. Good luck with the business account.

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      Thx for the detailed info Julie! I take it you work for a bank? If so, you have one of my top 10 jobs to try one day – I’ve always wanted to work at a bank to look for valuable coins and currency to add to my collection ;)

  24. Michelle April 11, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    So much awesomeness in this post, love it! Always happy to hear of others making $hit happen and staring their own biz. Someday…LOL!
    What is up with Capital one? Charging YOU to keep YOUR money?!! WTF? Bizarre. Probably because they make more money off of interest charged on credit cards than people putting money in the bank. Clearly they want you to spend you money. UGH.
    Love the asshat comment BTW…hilarious!

  25. Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels April 11, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    That was a wonderful insight, thanks so much for sharing! I don’t think I could do any no-spending weeks or months. Most likely 2 weeks is maximum. However, I always conduct lots of research to find the best deals possible and I am always prioritizing as well.

    What comes to business accounts, I cannot really help here as I live in Europe and we have different deals here. My business account is free and hopefully always will be.

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Makes me want to go back and visit Europe :) If I recall correctly you’re in an interesting part of Europe too, and one which I have not visited yet! Would you give me a VIP tour? :)

  26. mobilehomegurl April 11, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Wow!! What crazy experiences you have in the “Stuff That Blew in Money This Week” area. Sorry to hear about the outrageous gown rental fee. Hope you find a new bank provider that works for you too!

    I enjoyed this post. Your blog is pretty educational yet entertaining and fun to read! :)

    1. J. Money April 11, 2015 at 3:28 PM

      Thanks so much – that means a lot :) I def. don’t want to bore y’all!

  27. Jason @ Islands of Investing April 12, 2015 at 5:21 AM

    Sounds like plenty going on as always J Money! And congrats to Lil Kim! That proud feeling of actually helping someone is one of the big reasons why I started my blog, and hoped to have a similar example to share one day!

  28. Aaron Myers April 14, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    It’s a very common practice for banks to limit the number of (1) cash deposits (2) debits, credits, deposited items. I’ve found that in many of the retail banks they limit this including SunTust, BB&T, etc.

    My assumption is that their thought is that businesses will have 239847923847293847 transactions per month versus a personal account that may have 500, and that added “stress” on their processing will/could be costly. Make sense?

    It’s been just over a year that I gave up on retail banking. I keep an account at a local bank (for cash deposits), but I do all my banking (business and personal) with EverBank. They don’t have any minimums, and no fees + ATM fees are refunded.

    1. J. Money April 15, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      yeah, definitely makes sense for sure… i don’t like it, but it makes sense :)

      haven’t checked out Everbank before but I hear good things. they’re going on my list when I’m ready to dive in and make the change… just such a hassle.