Goood morning!!! I’m back!

It’s been a while, eh? :)

Anything wild or crazy happen with y’all lately?

Some wild stuff happened here – but unfortunately not all in the “fun” department, haha… I just got back from an ER visit this weekend where I found out I have pneumonia (oops), making it the 2nd time at the hospital this month as we were just there when my son decided to crack his head open at the pool! :( Fortunately we’re both tough cookies and our health benefits are bonkers ($0 cost for son’s visit where he had to get 5 staples!), but it sure wasn’t the best way to wrap up the summer…

In other more exciting news though, we’re officially all moved in!! And 80% unpacked and living “normally” again! Which I might add is substantially easier to do when you don’t have a day job you need to get to, haha… It’s also helped us to do some good exploring and relaxing in our new town every week, with some days completely forgetting to check email or social media, imagine that?!

In fact, if it weren’t for people asking me when I was coming back to the blog, I’d have thought I was already retired, haha… Which wouldn’t be the best since I very much still need an income :) And plus I started kinda missing y’all and the feeling of productivity.

But the break is now over! Time to get this fiscal party on the road again! And I’ve got a lot of new ideas and mini-epiphanies to share with y’all over the coming weeks, as well as a major announcement and our latest net worth report pre-crash, which I heard something about last week?!

In the meantime, here are a bunch of other little highlights from my time away that may or may not be of interest to you. Would love to hear what you got into over the past 40 days! :)

  • Saw the premiere of the Playing With FIRE documentary! It’s really cool, and you should see if it’s playing around your city!
  • We started our trust and wills!! And by “started” I mean we found and contacted a lawyer we like and have almost completed the questionnaire so he has the data needed to get the puppy rollin’ once and for all…
  • We saved a bunch of money on our car insurance by switching to Geico moving to Virginia :) Which alone saved us almost $400/year (was also good to update our usage which I’m sure helped as well since we’ll be driving around much less here)
  • We killed the Mrs’ engagement ring insurance ($67/year) after realizing we’ve paid over $700 since getting it, even though it’s no longer important to us! (Another reason to call and do a check-up on your insurances! Never know what’s hiding in there from days gone by.)
  • I bought a bunch of new tools for our lawn and garden which has gotten me more excited about tending to them (more on that later)
  • I re-read a couple of superb books to help keep the mind right: Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home (gonna try making my own mustard and lip balm at home from her recipes!)
  • And then in other health-related news/warnings: don’t ever try to pick up a safe on your own and throw out your back for 3 days! :( I’ve never once had that happen to me in my 39 years, and WOW is it scary to be so incapacitated like that… Gave me such an appreciation for how important our bodies are, and will no longer go around pretending I’m invincible.

And with that, I’m taking my own advice and getting back to resting up again to finally wipe out this surprise* ailment…

Will see you guys back here tomorrow! Thanks for sticking around while I was out galavanting! ;) What’s new in your world?!

*Funny story about this pneumonia – I didn’t really know I had it, but my wife woke me up in the dead of night telling me she thinks I’m having a pulmonary embolism and I needed to head to the ER as soon as I woke up later that morning. You can’t really sleep after hearing THAT news though of course, so I quickly shimmied out at 2:30am and got seen, and while in fact Dr. Google did turn out to be quite wrong (thankfully!), they did catch this sneaky affliction which I’m now on meds for… So a) Thanks to all the significant others out there who are always looking out for us boneheads!!!, and b) please don’t wait until your wife has to literally force you out of the bed when something seems awry ;) It was a happy ending this time around, but it could have ended drastically different!

** Links to books above are Amazon affiliate links

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  1. Gene Roberts August 13, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Welcome back, J!

    We missed you.

    Glad everything is OK and getting back to normal. But you see what happens when you leave us. (sound of whip cracking) Now BACK TO WORK! :)


    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:40 PM



  2. Jacq August 13, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    Oh no pneumonia! I hope it’s a speedy recovery! And ouch for your son!

    I went on a trip (which was wonderful) , and came back to news a deal had been made regarding my company, which meant I ended 1 job, and started a new job the next day while sitting at the same desk, in the past 40 days! That has meant saying goodbye to a lot of coworkers, some who left by their own choice, some who were not asked along in the deal, and some as they moved to the building next door (more of a see you later but still different to not see them every day). I attended a friend’s wedding, had a great time celebrating, and the couple is so cute together!
    I had not expected the job related changes and it seemed to happen so quickly, but over all a good middle of the summer.

    I was glad to see your post this morning. Welcome back! !

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:42 PM

      Wow – that’s quite the shake-up over there! Glad you were one of the fortunate souls to keep their job! Pretty wild what life throws at you every now and then!

  3. Financially Fit Mom August 13, 2019 at 8:39 AM

    Welcome back! I don’t know where I picked this up, but for whatever reason I had you living in the Portland, OR area. When I read you moved to Virginia, I thought, “holy crap you weren’t kidding when you expanded your neighborhood search!” Hmm…..I wonder who lives in Portland that I somehow crossed you with……

    While you were out, I also got all moved into my new place! And true to a good challenge, I followed through on my comment to you challenging me to count my items as I downsized (yay for a new spreadsheet!). I had the advantage to cheat a little and I don’t want to give to much of a spoiler alert because I have a draft article to clean up and post someday, but I think you’ll be impressed :)

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:52 PM


      I WANT TO SEE IT!!!

      Like candy to us nerds!!

  4. Lisa O August 13, 2019 at 9:04 AM

    Welcome Back! I look on Monday but no you yet…..glad you found your way!

    Sorry to hear about ER visits but glad the insurance covered it well.

    I just had an evaluation on my insurance because it went up in cost by $250. We have had no claims so I felt that was a little high. They had our house value to rebuild 3xs as much as the value on Zillow. So I had to complete a questionnaire and was happy to say they had our heating system wrong and with the correction it save $91 on that premium. With that being corrected the umbrella also went down also!

    Enjoy getting settled in the new house & neighborhood.

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:54 PM

      Well that’s a great catch!!!

      Good job taking the time to sniff around!

  5. Kim August 13, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    Yay, welcome back!!! You were sorely missed! Congrats on getting mostly moved in. Hope you get some R&R to recover now though!

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:56 PM

      Thanks Kim!

      Crappy timing to get it right when my sabbatical is over, but hey – when is there ever a good time for sickness?! ;)

  6. COD August 13, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Welcome back to the Commonwealth.

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:01 PM

      Thanks! Feels good to be back! :)

  7. Travis Fisher August 13, 2019 at 10:39 AM

    I saw an ad just today for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This is one thing that is very much holding me back. Coincidence that I see the exact same book on your blog? I think not! If you want the audiobook it’s on sale for $1.99 here. Time for me to put this at the top of my list.

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      That’s as good of a sign as you’re gonna get ;)

      Make it happen!!

  8. EFI August 13, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Welcome back!

    Congrats on getting the move done and (80%) unpacked. Having just moved at the beginning of July, I know how much effort that is and how good it feels when you can get back to a normal feeling. Of course, I don’t have a safe, so my back was unscathed!

    Also, thanks for the reminder about the ring insurance. I don’t *think* we’re still paying it, but now I’m definitely going to check!

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      Good to do every now and then as things tend to hide pretty well in those insurances! :)

    2. Travis August 13, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      I bought the book. Still on Chapter 1 but I’m amazed at the similarities between paying off debt/investing and tidying. Those who do a little bit at a time just never get anywhere. They pay off a tiny bit of debt and then end up getting even more debt for some reason. I see it over & over with my friends! (maybe I need new friends…)
      Those who attack it like crazy kill that debt or investment goal. They become machines that just don’t stop! It’s awesome to see in real life!
      So far that’s what I’ve got from chapter 1 of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Attack it and get it done. Change your life completely. Quit dipping your toe in the pool of Freedom. Stop pretending that’s enough.

      1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:06 PM

        Look at you go!!! A man of action!

  9. Elise @ Financial Fitness Fanatic August 13, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Welcome back! That pneumonia does not sound fun. You and your wife sound like me and my fiance – I’m constantly making him think he’s dying of something. I’ve already diagnosed him with a lymphoma that turned out to be a hernia, and a skin cancer that turned out to be a benign little mole. Thank God for WebMD. There’s no feeling quite like thinking you’re on your death bed and then realizing you just have the common cold. Puts things in perspective, eh?

    Sounds like you guys are crushing some savings between the move and killing the insurance. We just moved last month too, so we understand the chaos you may be going through. Hope you’ve been finding a way to enjoy the process, and getting some much needed R&R!


    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:09 PM

      Thanks Elise!

      And I hope your fiance appreciates you as much as you’re looking out for him! :) Us guys need you in our lives!

  10. Nita August 13, 2019 at 1:35 PM

    Welcome back! Sorry about the pneumonia. No fun!
    On the health plan, I discover I’m allergic to the sun. UV-As especially. I HATE it. Antihistamines and sunscreen all around just by walking to work.
    I’ve been evaluating my finances and debating staying part-time vs going back full-time. Still not sure. I like my 9-5, but I like it less as a 9-6.
    I got the giveaway book (Clever Girl Finance) just this weekend. I would shoot you an e-mail with a pic from the book with a local landmark but I have yet to take the pic :)

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:10 PM

      Haha – that would be a fun pic to see!

      Crazy you could be allergic to the sun?! I didn’t even know that was a thing?! Maybe you can find some super epic and trendy one-piece suit you can wear that protects all the skins so you never had to think about it :)

      1. Nita August 13, 2019 at 7:10 PM

        I’ll take the pics sometime.

        I don’t know the English name – the dictionary says “light eruption”. It’s an allergic reaction to UV-As. Apparently it’s quite common. It’s much more funny than really bad because it’s just so stupid :) I can relate about the shattered invincibility feeling. And except for a hazmat suit, well… :D

        Can’t wait for you to tell us everything ;)

        1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:39 PM


  11. B.C. Kowalski August 13, 2019 at 1:35 PM

    Oh man! Well, I was going to give you a hard time about losing track of not only days like a retired person, but months; but wow, you’ve been through a lot! Good to have you back J$! I turned a whole decade older while you were gone – you can read about it on my blog if you’re bored ; )

    1. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:12 PM

      Haha…. just clicked over there – that first section sounds like you’re about to die and you’re okay if that happens :) A pretty good 40 years you must have had!!

  12. Carol in Mpls August 13, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    Welcome back! Sounds like it was an adventurous time away from us…

    I’m starting to Marie Kondo my own condo, and am finding the book interesting. I fear having to go through my own books and sentimental stuff, but I am determined to make a difference. My target is for November. Also, doing the will revision, getting all my ducks in a row, etc. Probably will do the emergency binder you’ve talked about as well. To say this is challenging as an ADD person, is an understatement. Let’s get tidy and spark some joy!

  13. J. Money August 13, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Heyoo!!! Make it happen!!

    And def. leave the books/sentimental items for last as I agree those are the hardest :( By the time you go through all the rest though you should be a lot more in-tuned with your Joy-o-Meter so it’s less scary! I’m cheering for you!

  14. Jason Butler August 13, 2019 at 3:35 PM

    Welcome back and feel better!

    Since you’ve been gone, I started a new FT job and I started a new side hustle. I will finally be able to make some moves with this debt after some ups and a lot of downs.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:41 PM

      Congrats man!!! And of course you started a new side hustle, haha… I don’t know anyone who hustles more than you, all the while staying positive throughout the duds :) Fingers crossed this is the one that turbocharges that $$$!

  15. Leslie August 13, 2019 at 4:57 PM

    Welcome back! Missed your blogs. Love Marie Kondo.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:41 PM

      Thanks Leslie :)

  16. George August 13, 2019 at 7:51 PM

    I am very glad to have you back – hope you have a speedy recovery – have a relative who has been on a ventilator from pneumonia. Scary stuff.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:43 PM

      WHAT??? That is horrible to hear, dang!! I hope he/she is able to get off okay and recover!

  17. LowNSlow August 13, 2019 at 8:37 PM

    Did the same thing for the engagement ring they just average out the payment over 50 years of the actual cost. Doesn’t seem worth it at all

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:44 PM

      Oh really?? Never heard that before, or really even looked into for that matter haha… All I know is my wife never even wears hers anymore due to it scratching the kids so it sits all alone in the safe waiting for Date Nights ;)

  18. LeeAnne August 13, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Glad you are back so I can get my budgets are sexy fix again!! Bummer about the pneumonia- hoping you have a speedy recovery. (Hoping your son healed quickly too – I’m sure he had a blast showing off his stitches.) Not too much crazy for me while you’ve been on sabbatical- just working on planning my Europe trip. As my luck, Murphy steps in and I have to have a minor surgery in two weeks. There goes a couple grand!! Oh well, would be way worse if I didn’t have insurance. Welcome back!!

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:45 PM

      I hope it’s smooth and just routine stuff! Europe needs your presence over there :)

  19. catseye August 14, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Welcome back, Jay! So you live in Virginia now? I’ve heard it’s a beautiful state, I hope you and your family are very happy there.
    Yeah, I hear ya on the subject of not lifting safes. I strained my back three times last year, twice while trying to open stuck a closet door. (humidity issue) Finally learned my lesson!
    Thank Goodness for your wife! Pneumonia is not something you just bounce back from, so take care of yourself.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:46 PM

      I’m slowly learning that over here :( Thought I could just bounce back after a few days, but apparently not! Here’s to both of us being better with our bodies in the future!

  20. Deanna August 14, 2019 at 10:45 PM

    Hey, J! Welcome back & congrats on the move!! Ugh on kid’s cracked head, you throwing out your back & now pneumonia. I’ve thrown my back out before & suffered w/ arthritis (separately). Back problems affect everything! Rest, flexibility & sometimes chiro adjustments are what keep my back healthy.

    Anyway, we missed you & are happy to have you back!!

    My big news is that I rebranded from Ms. Fiology to Recovering Women Wealth :)

    1. J. Money August 15, 2019 at 12:47 PM

      Well that’s neat!! I hope the transition is going okay so far? Will you be at FinCon next month? Because I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to meet you in real life one day.. You’d get to see so many other bloggers there too! I hope you’re coming! :)

  21. JR August 15, 2019 at 3:54 PM

    Oof, sorry to hear about the health stuff, hope you and the little one are recovering quickly. Loved the Playing with FIRE doc, couldn’t stand Kondo. I wrote about both, feel free to check ’em out if you feel the urge and have the time.
    Do you know of any other films in a similar vein? I just checked out Painting Anna upon a rec from Angela @ TLRE. Looking for more to enjoy and review.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2019 at 2:04 PM

      Oh cool!

      I don’t know of others really, but would love to stumble across more as the movement gets more popular.. (it’s def. a lot more so now than it was 3-4 years back!).

      funny you can’t stand Kondo – I feel people either love her with a passion or hate her with a passion, haha..

  22. Deanna August 15, 2019 at 5:40 PM

    So far so good! A lot of work but totally worth it. I am coming to FinCon so we’ll get to meet IRL!!! I actually was there last year on a scholarship & saw you from afar.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2019 at 2:04 PM


  23. Trista August 16, 2019 at 1:59 PM

    Welcome back! Missed having the posts in my inbox everyday.

    You have surely had an eventful summer. Great tip about updating the insurance coverage. The amount of insurance you have paid for the ring reminds me of a time when we had some things in storage. I get that sometimes it is necessary to do this, but it used to frustrate me to no end that we spent more money on storage fees than the value of most of the things in the unit because they were our things. #facepalm

    1. J. Money August 16, 2019 at 2:05 PM

      Haha yup… sounds about right in this country :)