Good morning ladies and gents. It’s your captain speaking, Mr. Money. Today we have a smorgasbord of links and info for ya, so please grab your coffees, get comfy, and enjoy the awesomeness that’s about to follow… Questions, comments, concerns – you can find me in the back smoking a pipe.
Best place my money went to this week: $140 for a handful of old coins from the 1800s. Which only add up to 31 cents ;) But if you happen to like odd denominations (I picked up a 1/2 dime, not to be confused with a nickel!, and two 3 cent pieces) you’ll like what you see when you click that link back there. And also this one here: my 3 new “error” coins. And then, if you’re a fan of 1/2 pennies and other interesting oldies, you can see more of my sexy coins here. The best part? The money spent was from my hustling stash of selling things over the year – which meant it was all pretty much free!
Worst place my money went to this week: Daycare. Not because I don’t like the service it provides (I wouldn’t be able to blog this to you right now without them!), but just that it hurts every 2 week we cut them a check for $450, ugh… If you saw my grand finale of baby costs this week, you’ll see that we’ve spent a whopping $10,588.75 so far. Not fun. (On the flip side, we should get some sort of $$ back once our taxes are filed – just have no idea how exactly it all works (my wife had to tell me to track it and send to our accountant – I had idea??)
Speaking of checks… Our monthly rent we pay for this place in VA stopped taking credit cards!! Where we were reaping cash back rewards every month from – I’m gonna miss it so much!! I’m sure they canceled it due to fees they had to pay/etc, but still – what a nice perk, right?
One last tidbit about our money… My personal credit card I haven’t used in over 6 months now has a negative balance on it! USAA had stopped sending me statements since there was no action going on all year, and only recently did I notice I had one waiting to be opened in my account (I hide this c/c from my main screen since it never gets used anymore). Apparently the cash back I earned last year somehow triggered a $0.42 credit, which then put it into the negatives :) Free money is free money so I won’t complain, but funny!
Things I’m flirting with lately:
- Scaling back to blogging 3x a week (M, W, F) instead of every day (M,T,W,Th,F). I’ve never missed a day in over 6 years straight of blogging, but I’m finding my time dwindling and dwindling as the months tick on. And I’m starting to get scared I won’t be able to pay attention to Baby #2 when he arrives in a short two months :( More than likely I won’t pull the trigger on this cuz, in all honesty, I’m afraid of what would happen!, but wanted to float this out there to y’all and see what you thought. I doubt most of you would even notice, haha… Us bloggers like to think we’re the center of the world, but facts are we are far from it ;)
- Freelance writing. This kinda goes exactly opposite of the above I just mentioned, but sadly I could probably make a lot more money freelancing for other sites/organizations on a per post basis than on this site. If I were fortunate enough to score high-paying gigs, of course, but I would only accept those and nix others (for example, I might have one that pays upwards of $1,000 for just 1 post (!!!), whereas some other places have offered me $50 for each…). I don’t know if I have the skills, or even right, for that matter, to demand such high prices, but it’s something I’m at least flirting with nonetheless… I know some writers who make $1,500-$2,000 an article! Though they’re more considered journalists than bloggers, but still… people are making some bank! :)
- Taking a job at a bank. Yet another thing that goes against #1 and #2 up there since time is my main area of problems right now, haha, but this is my brain and I can think what I want to ;) And the idea of handling money all day long and not being creative sounds pretty damn good to me these days… You go in, do your work, find some cool coins/currency possibly in the process, make a little cash, and then head back home to the online world (I’d only want to do part-time)… Being a teller/banker has been on my Top 10 Jobs to Do list for years, and I swear one of these days I’m gonna try and pull it off :)
Things I took action on from last Flirty Friday:
- I launched my coin blog! You already know that cuz I just linked to it a billion times above, but you can read about why I did it, and how it’s helping me become a better entrepreneur, here (scroll to “the sexy”). It’s been a refreshing break from “work” so far, and I’m really enjoying it :) PS: We’re giving away a silver Great White Shark coin this week – make sure to enter if you like free money!
- I’m keeping my beard & ‘stache. I was debating last time on whether to shave it completely, or just keep the ‘stache and get rid of the beard, but I REALLY want to see how long I can get it and be cool like this guy. So far my wife hasn’t divorced me.
Cool things other bloggers are doing:
- Jeremy from Modest Money launched his automated List of Top Finance Blogs, to rival that of Wise Bread’s. If you click over you’ll see why I happen to prefer it :) And, on a REALLY random side note, I just learned Jeremy is engaged to another PF blogger out there!! GirlMeetsDebt.com! I’m apparently behind the times with this, but still – pretty cool stuff!
- Jim Wang of Bargaineering fame (which sold for $3+ Million) recently launched his Microblogging podcast which is already ranking pretty high on iTunes. I was featured in the second episode of his (“How J Money, an Anonymous Mohawk, Became a Recognizable Money Blogger“) which followed his first on J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly. Check it out if you like blogging and/or entrepreneurship!
- Derek Olsen and his beautiful (expecting) wife Carrie also launched a fun podcast, with this one centering around Money & Marriage. I guess they’re all the rage these days!
- And lastly, here’s a fun interview I did with CouponPal.com on habits and building online projects… Or do I not count as a “cool blogger” for this section? ;)
The 3 winners of the “F My Job” t-shirt giveaway:
- Will S.
- John @ Frugal Rules
Some posts that tickled my brain cells this week:
- The Diderot Effect @ Boomer and Echo
- Are We Overworked? @ Living Rich Cheaply
- DIY Crafts: Penny Marquee @ Shoestring Mag
- Dad’s Savings Advice to His Child @ Rich Habits
- Why My 77% Savings Rate Means Nothing @ Afford Anything
- Committing Financial Suicide by a Thousand Tiny Cuts @ Escaping Dodge
- Everything You Need to Know About Investing on One Page @ The Micawber Principle
- Why Wu-Tang Will Release Just One Copy Of Its Secret Album @ Forbes <—– WOW.
One last (fun) thing:
Check out this perfect way to hide some cash!! As long as you don’t lose it!
That one seems to be hand made, and probably the way to go if you don’t mind scraping out/cleaning the insides, but I did see a similar one on Amazon too you can buy for like $12. If you like this sorta stuff, you’ll probably like my list of Top 10 Secret Safes I wrote about years ago too.
Happy (sneaky) weekend!
PS: That “wake up and do nothing” sticky note up top? It was inspired by a killer article over at RetireBeforeDad.com: Strive to Wake Up and Do Nothing. It’s all about having your finances in place and doing the work for you every day so you don’t ever have to really *do* anything. But also more about career and future passive income too. The idea that you can do whatever the hell you want every day when you wake up ‘cuz money’s already accounted for! (Don’t judge my dusty keyboard)
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$1,000 for a freelance job? I would be thrilled to make the $50. $50 is 2 long hours on my feet at my regular job.
I am on vacation this week and getting to sit whenever I feel like is my main vacation activity.
Oooh nice – enjoy vacay! We don’t get that as self-employed people :)
Sounds like you’re in a good place. I am all for constantly reevaluating what you want in life. It may be tough because it is what your used to, but scaling back to 3 days a week sounds like a good option for you. Pretend as though you started blogging today. You had never written an article before in your life, but you were excited about this brand new hobby/hustle of yours. How many days a week would you blog now, given your current life situation?
Current life situation? 1 day a week, haha… But you’re totally right – always have to reevaluate things in life because the “norm” isn’t always as good as it perhaps was at some point. I’d miss you guys too much to do 1 day a week, and probably even 3, but it does feel nice to at least consider it as an option. We’ll see if i pull the trigger or not :)
I think if you have to scale back the blog posts then you have to. You don’t want your child to grow up without you! j/k. I recently had to scale back to three days a week because my job has been so crazy busy, but I am hoping to amp it back up to at least four days a week soon! The cool thing is that if you find you have more time later you can always change it again :-)
Totally! I mean, the second my wife gets a full-time job again I could nix other work I’m doing and be totally fine even at 5/days a week. Just a matter of waiting the 6 mos or year though for it :) Glad to see others like you adapt and it’s working well! I’m nervous just thinking about it…
Don’t think about scaling back the # of posts – just do it!!
I’ve scaled back from 3-4 to 2 recently b/c of work + blog burnout. And I have no kids.
If I did have kids, I’d probably be telling you, “They are only young once, son.”
Besides, fewer posts generally leads to higher quality posts. There’s only so much financial shit one can have in their brains.
Haha… I need a miniature size you in my pockets every day ;)
I lose chapstick way too much for that to be useful for me…
Love that you’re thinking of ways to adjust with B$2 coming along! If you can score the thousand dollah gigs, I’d definitely take it!
Are you offering me one?? :)
$1,000 to $2,000 an article would be amazing. I recently raised my rates, which has helped me a lot. I can do fewer gigs but still make the same amount in freelance writing each month.
Yes! Love that! Ideal way to go too – same work or less for same money or higher over time. Essentially the articles take roughly the same amount of time unless the higher ones require research or longer words, so it’s a great deal for sure. If you like writing :)
$1k for an article would be sweet! It would certainly help fund day care! :)
Oooh that’s a good way to look at it! 1 month of daycare right there – I like it!
You blog 5 days a week, I’ll be here, blog only 3 days…guess what? Still here! Make the decision that’s best for your family…everyone will understand. Just don’t stop blogging – we’ll cry like babies. :-)
And finally, if I had the cash, it would SO get spent on that Wu-Tang album…there is seriously nothing better that some good ol’ fashion hip hop!
What? #1 on Modest Money?! Nice!
Thanks friend!!! You sure know how to make a blogger happy!!
They call me the “Office Cheerleader”…lol…
I complain about beards/staches on my man, but I secretly like it. In our wedding pictures, my husband’s brother had full blown handlebar stache status… at first he had to use mustache wax, but after a while, he said it just stays in that shape
I love your husband’s brother! Mine is now doing it automatically as well, but still looks better w/ the ‘stache cream at least for now :)
Chapstick…what a great place to hide money….gotta tell my wife about that one. Sucks that you can’t pay your rent by credit card anymore…that must have been useful to get rewards and to meet the minimum spend on credit card bonuses. Pretty amazing that you post every weekday for 6 years…don’t know how you do it…especially with a kid! Not sure I could last 6 days.
What if it were your full-time job though? :) Well, I do a lot of other projects too and combined it’s my full-time job, but still… I guess I’d feel like a wuss scaling back when I’ve rocked it for so long now.
I’m not a blogger and don’t play one on TV, but as someone who reads a lot of PF blogs, I will be honest and tell you that I hate it when I find a blogger whose writing I like and then when I go back there isn’t anything new updated for weeks. So you have to do what you think is right regarding how often to post. But don’t neglect your site for weeks, or even days at a time. I’ve ended up not looking at some blogs any more because there is never anything new posted on them.
Definitely frustrating – I agree. I’d never just stop blogging for weeks or months at a time though, so you don’t have to worry there (unless I go to jail or die or something, ack!).
Also, does this mean you like my writing? :)
I would really hate it if you decided to only blog 3 days each week. I like starting my morning off by eating breakfast and reading your blog. Of course, this is a purely selfish reason why I think you should keep going with 5 days each week.
I do understand about time constraints with 2 little ones though. Once things start to get into a good routine with baby #1, baby #2 comes along and makes you remember how hectic those first few months were. I recommend sticking to your usual routine as much as possible and just see how much your time management has to change once that second bundle of joy pops out.
Awww, well that’s nice to hear!! I’m totally printing off that line there to look at whenever I’m down on myself – thanks so much for letting me know :)
Very nice on the coin pickup J! I say go for it on the freelance writing. Not only can the pay be good, but you also get the potential added benefit of extra exposure, which is always nice. :) Like Michelle, I’ve raised my rates recently as well which makes it nice as it means fewer jobs but bringing in the same each month.
Thanks man. And congrats on YOUR new gig too w/ Sprout Wealth! Killer name for it and the few posts I’ve read so far have been great :) Don’t be surprised when it gets picked up by Rockstar Finance – woo!
I am apparently undercharging for my freelance writing, lol. Go for it if you can get big money for every post!
As for posting every week day, I understand the need for more time. I’ve posted Monday-Friday consistently for 4 years (I’ve taken days off unlike you, but it’s my usual). And I understand the amount of time that takes. Good luck making up your mind!
That makes me want to keep going strong like you! Haha…
I’m super impressed with the consistency of your posting. With the amount of freelance writing I do in addition to my own site, there’s no way I could do more than 3 posts per week.
I guess I don’t know the difference since I’ve only done M-F since day 1? And I don’t have any freelance gigs yet? :)
I had a Summer job at a college bookstore long ago. Some students paid for their books with $2 bills. I spent a lot of my earnings collecting those bills and a few foreign coins. I know they aren’t worth more than $2 but I liked the novelty of it and still have them. I think I would get in to a lot of trouble at a bank. I would never bring any money home, just fun currency to collect!
yeah! def. cool things to collect – I used to do it as a “savings trick” a while ago too :)
I am actually amazed with everything you have going on that you are able to blog daily. I did it for the first time last week, and I am STILL exhausted. And I had to laugh about you just now finding out about J and GMD. :-) J sent a Valentine’s note to GMD from his blog on Valentine’s day, it was one of the geekiest/coolest/frugalist V-Day gifts.
Hah! Nice – love that!
Hi J ~
Hey, I was a bank teller, merchant teller and trainer in my “early days” and those were some of my favorite jobs. But, I must say that going to a “9-to-5” would probably kill you now since you are very used to managing your own time and calling the shots. You’d likely not do so well waiting to go to lunch until Teller X came back from his!!!
I love the new CoinThrill.com site! You’re motivating me to branch out and cover one of my favorite hobbies…(it has to do with rocks and not the sparkly kind you wear on your hand!).
Thanks so much for the shout out and for being so much fun :)
How interesting – I didn’t know you were into rocks! My old coin friend switched to rocks himself, he’s obsessed with them :) We’re definitely talking about this the next time we chat, hehe… Give my love to mom!
I must have been the world’s unluckiest bank teller but I was robbed 4x in less than 18 months. It was NOT fun so needless to say I’m doing something else now lol.. “J” and I are actually a really nerdy blogging couple but shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone! ;)
WHAT???? No way???? Okay, second and third and fourth/fifth/sixth guessing this move now… scary!
I’ve made it to the point where I’m so busy with freelancing that I won’t take blog posts below $50 a post, unless it’s a really good opportunity. Freelancing is great, but it has its downside. The income isn’t consistent – I consider it like found money. Quitting your day job to freelance full-time if you have a mortgage would be difficult to say the least. Although the higher paying gigs sound good, sometimes the editors are very picky. I would rather get paid a bit less and not have to deal with hours of rewrites.
True true, good points man.
J Mo, as you’re busy, I’d love to help out and take that $1,000 per post gig off your hands. :)
I think fewer posts might be a good idea if life is getting busier. The rub is that you have a streak going, and we hate breaking a streak. Six years of steady posting is not only a great habit, but provides its own incentive not to break the habit. I can see how that’d be hard to alter.
It’s like I kinda need a major event to happen to just tell me one way or the other what to do – I’m not real good at making big decisions on my own :) Not that this is even considered a “big” one really?
It’s not as intense or long as your schedule, but this week was my first week NOT posting every MWF since I started my blog 28 months ago. I skipped my Wednesday post after about 5 months of deliberation. Obviously it is yet to be known what the effect will be on my writing and traffic, but I feel like I gained several hours this week – which I spent working on yet another online project!
I love streaks and yours is very impressive, but do remember that if you change your posting frequency it’s not an irreversible decision.
Indeed! Can always go back and add more, or go down again to less, etc… good call. Nothing’s ever permanent.
Your blog might not be made for it, but hiring a couple of weekly contributors really helped me improve the quality of the posts that I write each week. Plus added some variety. But it might actually be counter-productive to add contributors to your site because of the nature of it. Budgets are Sexy = J$. I vote you lower your daily posts to three times a week.
I thought $50 per post was a really good rate! I just started my first weekly freelance job and it’s around that price. I would love to get $1-$2k per article, though : )
$50 is a great rate!! I just compare it to what I’d be doing instead with that time and so far it doesn’t seem worth it…. $1,000 on the other hand most def. does :)
I’m extremely satisfied with the reliability of your publishing. With the amount of composing I do moreover to my own site, there is no way I could do more than 3 content weekly. Thanks for your post.
Thanks man, I appreciate you saying that :)
I’ll miss my daily shot of sexy budgeting, but your kids are way more important :)
Hehe agreed!! :)
It sounds like you have a lot of different ideas bouncing around. Maybe it would help if you can determine what you would do if you could only take on one new thing, given that any of them were guaranteed to work. Then you can pursue that item first as much as possible. Just an idea! Thanks for the interesting post!
For sure – great way of thinking of things. I’ll add it into the equation! :)
I think I would be MUCH more prone to lose the chap stick, than lose the money in my wallet … I only have maybe $25 or so at any given time. I use a cash back CC almost always.
The kids are expensive, that’s why I don’t have any. But maybe in a few years, when they are 7 or 8, you can put them to work making shoes or picking vegetables on a farm during the day, rather than day care. That will start pay you back for all of the money you spent. You already spent enough to pay a mortgage on an investment property….
A teller is now a ‘Banker’. They make loans and other things. Call Center bankers might be another option. They work odd shifts if you like that. And there is a high turnover, so be careful.
I want whatever job handles the cold hard cash and coins :) That’s my main objective outside of working w/ people face-to-face again and getting out of the house.
Hi J.! I thoroughly enjoy your posts, and get excited when I see it in my inbox each weekday morning :) That said, as a reader, I would totally support your decision to go to 3 days a week. Esp with baby #2 coming soon. I have a 9 month old and we are planning for #2 as well, and while I am all about working hard and saving money and accumulating wealth (thanks to a lot of your tips!), you absolutely can’t put a price on spending time with family. My 101 year old grandfather has impressed the concept of “wealth of family” on me every time I see him, and after 101 years, I trust he knows what he’s talking about. Anyways, just wanted to put in my two cents — do what’s right for your family, and we will all still love you! :)
Thanks Ashley!! I can’t believe your grandfather is 101 years old!! Amazing!! And yes, smart! :)