Happy Blogiversary!

Happy Memorial Day, y’all!

It’s been 1 full year since I took over blogging here at Budgets Are Sexy. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!

I really appreciate all you lovely people. Thanks for reading, interacting and sharing your stories. It’s been a great year.

Wow, time flies. It’s a weird feeling because even though I’ve spent a whole year writing here — sharing intimate financial and personal details, fielding thousands of comments/questions/emails, and building great virtual relationships with some of you guys — somewhere way deep down I still feel like Budgets isn’t really my blog.

Imposter syndrome is a real thing!

I remember when I took over last June, J$ told me it took him 2-3 YEARS to find his groove in blogging when he started out… So I guess there’s still a loooong road ahead for me and Budgets; one I’m happy to keep trotting down. 😎

Seriously, thank you all. This blog wouldn’t exist without you peeps. Let’s do another year and keep bringing the fun and sexiness to Budgets.

$exy Stats From the Past Year

A lot of cool stuff has happened with the blog the past 365 days!

  • Total blog posts published: 104 ←—- 15 guests posts + 89 written by yours truly 
  • Total comments: 2,109
  • Total email replies: 10,000+? ←—- People don’t realize that for every public comment on a blog post, I probably receive 5x *private* email replies from the newsletter. I respond to all comments and emails — it’s my fav part of blogging. Thank you all. 🙏🙏🙏
  • Net worth increase: +$151,296!!   ←—- Holy crapamole! This is the increase since we started tracking some net worth assets 7 months ago. 🔥🔥🔥
  • Number of beers consumed while blogging: ~254 ←—- Beer helps the creative juices flow. 🍻 Do you think I can claim these as a tax deduction?
  • Number of free books sent for me to review: 37 (and 1 nudie magazine was posted to my PO box by a fan. Not sure what to think of that, but, thanks?? 🤷‍♂️)
  • Books I actually ended up reading: About 8 😥 ←—- It’s not that I don’t want to read everyone’s stuff, it’s that I don’t have time. I’m trying my best!
  • Podcasts I’ve been a guest on: 7 ←—- How to Money, Friends on FIRE, Do You Even Blog, Best Interest Podcast, to name a few!
  • Other media interview requests: 100+
  • Number of interviews that were cancelled once they found out that I AM NOT J. Money: 100+ 🤣

A few other cool things that happened this past year:

Lastly, and probably the most important thing that happened this past year …  My wife and I HAD FUN and enjoyed life, the best we could, through all the challenges and shit that we all lived through the past year.

Summer 2021 Happenings and Life Updates

Some people asked, most people didn’t, but here are a few life updates and things going on with us personally…

My wife and I are finally approved to be resource parents! We started the long and slow application process to foster/adopt kids through L.A. County last year, and a few weeks ago we received our final approval certificate. Going forward, we will get transferred to another case worker — one who actually matches people with kids — and then the *real* stuff begins. We still don’t know what the end game looks like for our future family, so bear with me while we figure things out. Thank you to all the people who have reached out with encouragement and support.

We’re road-tripping this summer! Camping in Sequoia National Forest, Vegas, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Montana, and maybe a coastal route on the way home… Most of July we’ll be out and about! Of course some of this could change depending on the note prior. :)

Also in the works later this year is an all-inclusive trip to Mexico somewhere, and maybe a surprise trip home to Australia (covid dependent) for Christmas! We’ll see.

Before I forget — any of you industry peeps making it to Fincon in Austin this September? I may try to make it out there (we have some rental properties “around that area” so I could probably claim the trip as a tax deduction 😉). Or, maybe I’ll wait another year until 2022 when Fincon comes to Long Beach.

Some sad news about Cooper, our dog… A few weeks ago he hurt himself and has somehow lost most of the coordination in his back legs. Don’t worry, he’s in no pain… But he’s hobbling around like a baby deer who’s learning to walk for the first time. Falling, no strength, wobbly… We’ve had X-rays and are getting an MRI to try to figure it all out. Poor Coops. 🐾

I’m officiating my friend’s wedding! Some good friends here in LA are getting married and asked me to officiate their wedding this summer. What an honor. I have recently become a licensed minister and can legally wed people in the state of California. So if you all could please address me as Reverend Joel going forward, that would be great. (And if you live in SoCal and want an Australian accent in your upcoming wedding ceremony, I am for hire. I only ask that you a) allow my wife and I to attend the reception and b) play a few ABBA songs so I can show off my sweet twirling dance moves.)

Ending on a serious note… Do you readers have any finance topics or specific article ideas we should look into writing about this upcoming year? Speak up now, or I’ll just be picking random stuff to write about, and it could get weird. 🤪

Have a great Memorial Day!

Love, Joel

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  1. Alexandre May 31, 2021 at 4:58 AM

    Hi Joel,

    Maybe I should drink some beers while blogging to improve my productivity !! Hahaha
    Thanks for your content, it’s always a pleasure to discover your new articles.

    Nice summer trip, I looking forward to come back in US National Parks, but borders are still closed :(


    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 9:46 AM

      Morning blogging = coffee. Afternoon blogging = beer. Not sure if it increases your productivity, but it makes sitting in front of a screen dreaming up words easier! :). Cheers Alex!

  2. Latestarterfire May 31, 2021 at 7:01 AM

    Congratulations on your blogoversary! You’ve done an awesome job, mate! Excited for your future with children – wishing you all the best :)

    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 9:48 AM

      Cheers mate. How’s lockdown going?

  3. Ben H May 31, 2021 at 8:33 AM

    Congrats, Joel! You’re doing a great job faking it :) And good luck through the fostering process! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts in year 2!

    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 9:48 AM

      Fake it till you make it! Or, until you FIRE – whichever comes first :)

  4. Shannon May 31, 2021 at 9:23 AM

    I’ve been asked to officiate a CA wedding at the end of this year as well! May I ask… where did you get licensed? Any other tips? I look forward to hearing about your experience!

    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 10:20 AM

      Congrats! I joined the Universal Life Church. Fast, free, etc. They do offer some packages you can buy, but none of that is really necessary. You just need to be registered. For the licensing/certificate process, I called the LA County Clerk to have them walk me through the process. There’s a HUGE waiting period right now for applications and licenses (Backlog from covid wedding delays) so it’s a good idea to call early and get an appointment. This is kind of the responsibility of the couple (they’re the ones that have to show up, with IDs, etc, and get the license) but I’m trying to help out as much as possible to take work off their plate.

      As for the ceremony, I’m working with the couple on how long/short they want it. We’re still debating on how many Dad-jokes or puns I can include in the speech… Ultimately, I’ll have a microphone, and they won’t, so people will LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY. (I’m watching movies like the wedding singer to prepare for this event)

      On a serious note, when I got married, our officiant did some pre-marriage questionnaires and coursework with me and my wife. As boring as it sounds, we actually really enjoyed the discussions and exercises. It mentally prepared us for things we’re facing today. I’ve still got my workbook so I’ll be recycling some of those questions and exercises my friends. I have 100% faith in their partnership, but if I can help strengthen it in anyway or help prepare them for the challenges that marriage throws at them, I will do whatever I can.

      Good luck with your preparations! And congrats on the honor!

      1. Shannon June 14, 2021 at 1:17 PM

        This was awesome- thank you so much! I’m super nervous/excited- can’t wait to compare notes :)

  5. GE Miller May 31, 2021 at 9:56 AM

    Congrats on 1 year!

    Re: Cooper
    Have you had blood glucose checked by a vet? Loss of strength in back legs can be a symptom of diabetes. If he has become diabetic, he may be in a ketoacidosis state, which can be life threatening. Hope he has a full recovery.

    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 10:32 AM

      From what I understand, his vitals are all fine. But I’ll ask the vet about this regardless! We’ve seen a huge improvement the past couple days, mostly in his attitude, but his coordination is still whacky. We’ll know more this week!

  6. Steveark May 31, 2021 at 12:50 PM

    Congrats Joel! You appeal to a wide audience, even boomer fossils like me! My wife and I got married 43 years and 4 days ago, our officiant was also newly licensed doing his first ceremony. At least I hope he was licensed. Can you explain why my Australian ski buddy always called me “a big girls blouse”? I’m certain it was a compliment.

    1. Joel May 31, 2021 at 6:21 PM

      Haha! I think that’s an old british saying. It’s all good though, if an Aussie is teasing you in language you don’t understand, it just means they like you. :)

  7. Amit June 1, 2021 at 2:17 AM

    congrats joel. Your past year stats were quite interesting and funny specially the beer one.

  8. J. Money June 1, 2021 at 6:56 AM

    Congrats dude!! I mean, Reverend Dude! haha…

    Still loving your stuff just as much as I first stumbled across it 3+ years ago…

    And still 100% glad you became the new face here at Budgets! Honestly couldn’t have asked for a better person to take it over and owe you a pile of thanks for helping me transition out in peace.

    You’re doing a most excellent job, my friend. Here’s to many more years of being sexy :)

    1. Joel June 1, 2021 at 9:26 AM

      Cheers J, that means a lot :) Thank you for everything.

  9. John-Paul June 1, 2021 at 3:47 PM

    Congrats on your anniversary! As a dedicated reader and resource parent in Pennsylvania, I strongly recommend the Connected Parent by Karyn Purvis. We’ve had our kiddos for 3 months and it’s been a lifesaver.

    1. Joel June 1, 2021 at 4:20 PM

      Thank you so much. They didn’t have it at my library, but they do have The Connected *Child*, which is also written by Karyn Purvis. I just placed a hold at the library and will check it out soon! Making bonds and attachment was my biggest takeaway from our resource parent training sessions. Thank you for the recommendation, we need all the help we can get :)

      Sincerely appreciate it.

      1. John-Paul June 3, 2021 at 11:42 AM

        I do also recommend the Connected Child, but assuming you find it useful I still would recommend the Connected Parent, as it is the more practical “rubber meets the road” book. In fact, even as a FIRE enthusiast with a 60% savings rate, we have purchased copies of this for ourselves and my parents as well as recommending it to others.

        1. Joel June 3, 2021 at 11:44 AM

          Thanks! I’ll hunt down a copy for ourselves :). Really appreciate the advice!

  10. April June 1, 2021 at 11:42 PM

    I’m drinking as I’m reading this- must be by peer pressure or something?

    Can’t believe it’s been a year already. Congrats on the foster stuff. It’s so hard, but can be so amazing when it works. Hopefully you have a good case worker.

    I hope Cooper has a full recovery soon.

    I only decided to finally comment to get your numbers up, and give you more work to do. Ha!

    1. Joel June 2, 2021 at 9:07 AM

      Haha Thanks for giving me more work to do! And keeping me employed :) Cooper is improving slowly – I think all the good vibes are helping :)

  11. Leslie June 3, 2021 at 2:24 AM

    Wow Joel- Your list of updates and accomplishments this past year are impressive! You’ve done an incredible job filling some big shoes! Cheers and keep up the good work!

    1. Joel June 3, 2021 at 11:43 AM


  12. Jason Brown June 4, 2021 at 8:57 AM

    WOW – great stats Joel — what an amazing and exciting year it was for you. Congrats on making it to one year and I look forward to many more. I realized that I’m one of the 37 people who have sent you a book to review! Sorry to have added to your pile in that department but it certainly sounds like quite a collection of reading material you have amassed.

    All the best to you in 2021 and beyond!

    1. Joel June 4, 2021 at 9:26 AM

      Your book I wanted Jason!