Don’t Have a New Year’s Resolution? Steal One of These.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!!!

Time for the obligatory post on New Year’s Resolutions, haha…Which I still very much love despite all the hate they garner ;) Why NOT start a Big Hairy Goal as they say, while you’re motivated and roaring to go? You could have done it any other day as well, but you didn’t – so today’s the day!

And I have a bunch of ideas for you to choose from if you’re lacking in the creativity department :) I was just going to list out all my *own* resolutions here for you today, but realized I’ve already pretty much done that and really don’t want to bore you all over again. I only have one main one anyways!

My New Year’s Resolution: be a stay-at-home daddy blogger!

(Not to be confused with “a blogger who stays at home writing about being a daddy”, btw, although depending on how wild it gets, I may just have enough material for that too ;))

On a more silly note, here’s a list of the past 17 resolutions of mine over the years since I’ve been tracking… See if you can catch the one I suck at:

I like how it went from lifestyle stuff, to straight up money goals, and then back to the lifestyle stuff again :) Which is a great benefit, btw, once you finally get your finances on track! And having recently cut out 50% of my work time already for this year’s goal, I’m liking the odds so far of pulling it off…

But enough about me, let’s talk about you!

If you’re still here reading, I’ve got a handful of great ideas for ya today that’s bound to impress the pants off your wallet ;) Go for a home run with just one, or try knocking out a handful of these and get your wallet to take off its shirt too! Hubba hubba!!

<< Goes looking for a gif to accurately portray a naked wallet, comes back with John Travolta >>

john travolta wallet gif

Some Good Financial New Year’s Resolutions To Steal….

Alright, here’s a bunch of goals you can run with if you’re inclined… The only rule is that if you do any of them, you have to come back here later and let me know how it went, deal? Deal.

#1. Start a budget! (You knew it was coming…)

If you’re already FIRE’d up and got your money on lock you can skip over this one, but if you’re new in the journey and just don’t know where the hell to start, let this be the push you need to figure out once and for all where all your money’s going. If you don’t want to budget-budget, at least start tracking all your *expenses* for three months so you can get a better (and more accurate) lay of the land!

Here’s a bunch of spreadsheets I’ve collected over the years, including some that I’ve used myself:

#2. Start a side hustle

Try to make an extra $1,000 on the side this year! Extra money is worth so much more than “regular” money because it’s not already divvied up and accounted for six ways from Sunday. So anything you earn on the side can be thrown right at your goals to amplify the process even faster!

Here’s a list of over 70 ideas we’ve featured here before, if it helps: Side Hustle Series

Who knows, maybe one of them will completely change your life in the process like it did mine! This blog was a total accident in the money-making department, but it sure did open up a lot of new doors for me over time! From new friends to projects to new skills, you name it. Probably good to pick a hustle with a more guaranteed payout if you’re on a financial *mission* here, but the point is side gigs can do a lot more for you than simply fill up your wallet. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there and get your hustle on.

#3. Fill up an Emergency Savings fund

I know not everyone agrees with this, but from where I stand you really can’t go wrong with sitting on cash. Particularly if you’re starting out in your journey! Try to hit $1,000 in a side savings account for emergencies, and if that becomes too easy for you, jack it up to $3,000 by year’s end :) You get that and you’ll be sleeping a bit better every night… And can then work towards more fun areas of finance like investing!

#4. Finally get life insurance!

Particularly if you have kids and/or a husband/wife/ferrets/people who count on you/your income/etc… And most times you’re just fine with *Term Life*  vs any of the fancier policies out there. It’s as straightforward (and cheap) as it gets:

You die, your beneficiary gets the pot of money.

You live, they don’t.

The End.

You don’t have to take out a million dollar policy either, but it should at least cover all debts you have (mortgage, loan, c/c), and at the VERY least should provide your loved ones with enough to cover your funeral costs if the fateful day should ever come… Because believe me – the last thing they’ll want to deal with is money when they’re grieving, unless it’s money you’re leaving them! (OPAH!)

Here’s a great calculator by Haven Life to figure out how much you need: Term Life Insurance Needs Calculator. They’re also a great place to pick up dependable term life insurance btw: Really like those guys, and wish they were around when Mrs BudgetsAreSexy and I were first getting our policies together, as it took us weeks to get ours! Haven Life has completely changed the insurance game by moving the process of applying for and buying a term life policy *online*. And they’re also backed by MassMutual which is nice. In fact, if you’re healthy enough, in some cases you don’t even need a medical exam, which is based on health information in the application. The most annoying part of picking up a policy!

Once you cross that New Year’s Resolution off your list and are feeling good, take it a step further and then write a You’re Welcome note to your significant other on how to spend this insurance money ;) They’ll love you for many years beyond the grave! Haha…

(We both rock $350,000 of term life @ 30 years each, btw, which costs us $30.99/mo and $24.57/mo respectfully. This was back when we had a $350k’ish mortgage and didn’t have kids yet, so probably good for us to sit down and re-assess ourselves, now that our lives are completely different…)

#5. Speaking of life insurance, make sure your *beneficiaries* are set up properly!

Here’s a super easy win that should only take you a handful of minutes. Log into all your investment/retirement/insurance accounts, and then make sure your beneficiaries are set up exactly how you want them. Especially if we’re talking accounts that are now decades old!

Check out this freaky article I recently read:

“Beneficiary designation almost always trumps a will or trust. Even if you spent a few thousand dollars creating a trust that details your wishes for your assets, the company managing your assets is obligated to follow the instructions on the most recent beneficiary designation on file.”

ACK! Good to know!! Here’s a list of accounts they recommend double checking on:

  • Retirement accounts with your employer (401(k)s, 403(b)s, TSPs, etc)
  • All IRAs (Roth, Traditional, SEP)
  • Life insurance policies
  • Annuities

#6. Pay off a credit card, or any other annoying debt

Most people have more than one loan going on, but if you can at least nix one debt with each passing year, your cash flow – as well as your confidence – will get stronger and stronger as you go. I prefer the Debt Snowball route of knocking off the smaller ones first and working your way up (because I’m more emotional in nature), but if you’re a more logical person, then of course tackling the debts with the highest interest rates first will make the most sense to you. At the end of the day though, so long as you get them *all paid off* it really doesn’t matter how you do it. It’s the end results that count!

#7. Max out a retirement account! Any retirement account!

Pick any retirement account you want – Roth, Traditional, SEP – it will all help you become a millionaire sooner than later, even if that’s all you ever do each year!! 70% of my net worth is solely based on just maxing out my retirement accounts year in and year out… Which doesn’t exactly mean it’s *easy*, but again – if that’s all I ever pull off and do nothing else, I know it’s just a matter of time until I cross into that elusive Million Dollar Club. A great resolution to go after if you’re ready to push it into overdrive.

#8: Work less / Live more

Okay, this is the ULTIMATE challenge for anyone who just can’t step away from all the hustling! :) A good problem to have vs the opposite, but still a problem no less that takes some hardcore patience to fix. In fact, this is my third shot at it myself over recent years, and I still haven’t quite figured it out! Haha… Though reading and actively working on it certainly helps. I know I talk about this book all the time, but seriously – Essentialism was a game changer for me that really helped turn the tides. Strongly recommend if you’re a compulsive project starter/workaholic.

essentialism sticky notes

#9. Lastly, if all else fails, try complaining less! :)

I know it sounds silly, but one of the most powerful challenges I ever tried was cutting down on all my complaining. I gave it up one year for Lent (40 days), and I’ve never been the same since.


It’s crazy! And then you see just how much all your friends and family do it too which drives you bonkers, haha.. I’ve probably cut down my complaining by a solid 95% since taking this challenge, and have since re-trained my brain to look for resolutions first before spouting out from the mouth (or at least complaining quietly to myself when I do ;)).  This will improve your life, your money, relationships, happiness, and just being a better person all around.

I’ve always loved this from Sidney Poitier:

“I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.”

BOOM! The whole point of New Year’s Resolutions, isn’t it? To be better this year than you were before? Most of us might end up failing in these resolutions, but typically they’re only replaced by other – more immediate – smaller missions as the months tick by.

I think that’s why so many people are against setting resolutions up in the first place. Not because they don’t want to hit a huge goal, but because they tend to focus on only that *one* goal shared around to the world, and forget about all the tiny wins they’ll go on to accrue in its place.

Have you ever met anyone who didn’t accomplish a single thing in a year?? I haven’t. There’s always *something* you can be proud of achieving over the months, it just sometimes gets a little lost in the shuffle of life.

Perhaps we need a “List Out All Your Accomplishments” Day on December 31st before rolling right into these resolutions?! :) I guarantee people would feel much better about themselves then, haha…

Anyways – there you have it. 9 not really new, but still good to shoot for, financial ideas up there to choose from if you’re lost… Pick one or pick all, but either way pick something to go after! Always better to over aim than not to aim at all!

Happy new year, everybody!

j. money signature

PS: This post was in collaboration with, even though I ended up straying a loooong ways away from our original idea haha… Which tells you just how passionate I am about this stuff! As well as my words about them. An innovator trying to make this life insurance stuff a lot more accessible and easier on everybody, and from what I’ve seen so far they’re accomplishing the mission. Per their legal department: This discussion is educational only. Haven Life doesn’t offer legal, tax or investment advice. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC.

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  1. Debbie January 1, 2018 at 6:28 AM

    New Year’s resolution: No drinking before 9AM except coffee, tea or O.J. just kidding. Hubby quit smoking (pray! he makes the same promise every year. Sometimes he quits for months or even 3 years, then back again). Me? I like your last suggestion & hope I don’t break it in an hour when the dogs start barking their heads off waiting for breakfast!!
    Happy New Year & Best Wishes for 2018!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 6:44 AM

      Haha… here’s hoping for successes all around :)

  2. Lily | The Frugal Gene January 1, 2018 at 6:47 AM

    Oooh we need to take up #5. I never heard of a beneficiary designation before. I wonder if my husband is aware of it. There’s something to be said about havin’ a clean finish.

    We’ve been away with family and just seen the mess and confusion a trust can cause among the family – not exactly pleasant!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 6:50 AM

      I’m pretty sure it’s something all places require when you *first* create the accounts, but for most of us that was years (decades?) ago and life has probably changed quite substantially since :)

  3. Josh January 1, 2018 at 7:02 AM

    Our goal this year is to buy our first real estate investment (rental property/house flip,etc.). We just started researching the possibilities in late 2017 now that we finally have some capital to play with, so it won’t be until later in 2018 before we finally get our ducks in a row.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:17 PM

      How fun! I hope you blog about it so we can all follow along :)

  4. Dave January 1, 2018 at 7:20 AM

    Happy New Years J$. I hope everyone has an awesome 2018. I just finished Essentialism. It is a good book about learning how to say “no” to things that do not matter. I passed it on to my friend at work who recently was promoted from Director of Finance to VP of Finance. He definitely needed the book.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:21 PM

      YES YES!!! Love to hear that!

      In fact, reminds me that I have a handful of books here that I’ve been meaning to pass around to people.. Maybe I’ll give them away here and make the only rule that people have to pass them on once read? Kinda like that… :)

  5. Matthew in Michigan January 1, 2018 at 7:43 AM

    Happy New year J,

    I really like your no more complaining idea, especially when one has children. They tend to follow your lead and I need to be better at that….Lead by example, easy to say but not always to execute haha. I’m also trying to eat all my meals in a 12 hour window leaving me with a 12 hour fast. I’ve got some mild digestion issues so hopefully this help.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:23 PM

      Interesting one! You’ll have to let me know how that goes as I’ve never heard of it before :) I tend to eat/drink from 5am to about 8pm and then nothing after that.. I actually hurry up and brush my teeth right after the kids go down to make sure I don’t eat anything late night! Haha… it’s 100% always junk food :)

  6. Accidental FIRE January 1, 2018 at 7:56 AM

    I second the “Essentialism” recommendation, awesome read.

    And you handwriting sarcasm had me laughing. Mine has gotten so bad over the years it now looks like a mix of Swahili and Mandarin. Computers have destroyed and hope of getting it back.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:24 PM

      Haha… good thing most communication is done via typing now :)

  7. FullTimeFinance January 1, 2018 at 8:08 AM

    I love the complain less one. It’s like a national past time these days. If we (and I include ourselves even)complained half as much we’d have double the time to complete our other activities.

    My goal…. Figure out a way that I can get my kids to sleep in next New Years. They were still up at 730am!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:25 PM

      Wha!!!!! How old are they?? We did a fake New Year’s celebration at 9pm w/ apple cider and then they conked out haha…

  8. Budget on a Stick January 1, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    Both of us are working on side hustles this next year and planning to max both of our Roths! We have lots of others, can’t wait to share ours soon.

    I should probably work on complaining less at work…or at least be more constructive with it .. .

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:27 PM

      Awesome! I wanna hear about all the hustles!

      1. Budget on a Stick January 2, 2018 at 9:36 AM

        The wife started working for VIPKids on the side. She is teaching kiddos in China English!

        1. J. Money January 5, 2018 at 7:01 AM

          Fun!!! My mother used to teach English in Korea when we loved there – was a fantastic gig! (And super high-paying!)

  9. Joe January 1, 2018 at 8:18 AM

    Happy New Year! Those are great goals to shoot for.
    Probably should add a Will or Living Trust to the list. I really need to get that one done.
    Also, don’t get mad at kids. :)
    Good luck!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:28 PM

      Ugh I know – those are the worst!

  10. The Wealthy Accountant January 1, 2018 at 8:49 AM

    It took eight years to give up on the impossible (better handwriting). That is something I understand. Without computers and typewriters before, I’d never be published.

    As a side note for 2012: It’s not work when you’re having this much fun.

    Happy New Year, J. I can feel it in my bones it’s going to be a good one.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:30 PM

      Amen, brother.

  11. Tonya January 1, 2018 at 9:02 AM

    2018 is all about #6 for us. This is the year we pay off our last two credit cards and our car.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:30 PM

      GOOD!!!! Please email me when you pull it off so I can celebrate wit you!!

      1. Tonya March 22, 2018 at 5:37 PM

        UPDATE: Just paid off one of the credit cards. One credit card and a car loan to go!

        1. J. Money March 23, 2018 at 6:42 AM

          BOOM!!!! You’re killing it!

  12. PaulM January 1, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    I was doing fine until #8 and #9, Looking for resolutions to problems is so much better than complaining about them, which achieves absolutely nothing but high blood pressure and family members who stay clear of you until you’re finished complaining. That will be high in my list for 2018.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:31 PM

      Haha, I’ll be rooting you on over here, good sir :) It does get easier over time!!

  13. Physician on FIRE January 1, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    I like Work Less, Live More.

    Much of the time I gave up by working less (at the hospital) has been sucked up by working (or is it playing) more on the computer. Time management is hard.

    Cheers to a Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:32 PM

      Sounds about right :) In both at least you’re helping others though! Lives and Wallets – you’re like a real-life superhero.

  14. Mike @ Balanced Dividends January 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    As a few folks mentioned above, the better handwriting made me smile

    I sometimes can’t even read my chicken scratch – a day or two later I’m thinking “what the hell does that say?”

    Also, nice list of goals to consider! It is easier to sometimes leverage a template or existing resources. On the actual items we’re considering:

    #1. Start a budget! (You knew it was coming…)
    – Of course ,we knew it was coming! Budgets are sexy, of course. But I guess I’m not very sexy; we’re mindful of spending each month, but we don’t budget out each category, etc. as we probably should be doing.

    #2. Start a side hustle
    – On it now! It takes time, but we’re going slow n’ steady & gonna’ get dividend heavy! I’m also now a TestBird :/ squashing those bugs and getting paid in Euros!

    #3. Fill up an Emergency Savings fund
    – Completed in 2015 after getting scared as hell due to one event.

    #4. Finally get life insurance!
    – Completed! This can be a morbid topic at times, but it’s important to consider for many of the reasons you pointed out.

    #5. Speaking of life insurance, make sure your *beneficiaries* are set up properly! – Completed!

    #6. Pay off a credit card, or any other annoying debt
    – Agreed, we’ve avoided at all costs. Mrs. BD’s grad school was the closest we came to going into debt and we worked through it without having to take out a loan.

    #7. Max out a retirement account! Any retirement account! –
    – Agreed we should be doing this, but I think we’re purposely NOT going to do this in 2018. We’re trying to diversify our account types; too much of our net worth / passive income – at least for us – is in retirement accounts.

    #8: Work less / Live more
    – This one is hard :) but thanks for the book recommendation.

    #9. Lastly, if all else fails, try complaining less! :)
    – This is a great suggestion.

    Overall, thanks for a great list of considerations, J!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:36 PM

      Glad you liked, man!

      I’m in the same boat with you with #7 and having all the eggs in mainly retirement accounts… I keep shutting down all my little brokerage accounts I set up over the years to simplify more, but maybe I need to drop like $10k in there to force me to keep it open and then grow simultaneously over the years… It’s just those retirement benefits are so good!!! :)

  15. fin$avvy panda @ January 1, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Hey J $!

    This list is great! I am focusing on building up more cash for both big emergencies and scooping up any opportunities in investing when they come

    As Warren Buffett says:
    “Cash, though, is to a business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent.”

    Happy new year, J$! I’m sure you’re going to crush your goal as a daddy blogger, but as you do… don’t forget your other goal of livin’ more

      1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:37 PM

        Haha, thanks friend :) And great Buffett quote – never heard of before!

  16. Sean @ FrugalMoneyMan January 1, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Awesome list J. Money!

    I am defintely going to be interested to see how your goal plays out through the year, but I have a good feeling that you will make that goal a reality very soon:)

    I also love the tips of maxing out your retirement accounts and setting up beneficiaries! I finally got to setting up my beneficiaries this year in my retirement accounts (why it took me 3 year I have NO idea) and it does make me sleep better knowing that if something were to happen, my loved ones will get the golden pot at the end of my rainbow.

    I wish you all the best in 2018!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:37 PM

      Glad to hear man!!

  17. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance January 1, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    I’m going to steal the no complaining one. Can’t wait to read all about your daddy blogging. Happy New Year.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:38 PM

      Do it!!! Will be one of the best gifts you can give to yourself (as well as to all your family and friends too :))

  18. Paul n January 1, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    I’m going for paying off debt, which we have on a freaking credit card!!! Aaaahhhh.
    And not drinking alcohol for 6 months or mochas, and improving sleep every night.
    Thanks Jmoney. Good luck with daddy blogging. I’m sure it’ll be super easy ha

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:40 PM

      No alcohol for 6 months is great!!

      I did it for two months and felt FANTASTIC..

      A bit bored in the evenings, but still fantastic :)

  19. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner January 1, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Yesterday, I had to write a note for our dog sitter. I wrote it over 10 different times because even I couldn’t read it! I really need to work on that.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2018 at 1:41 PM

      Haha… that’s when you go to the computer and print the dang thing off :)

  20. Chris @ Duke of Dollars January 1, 2018 at 12:50 PM

    Who needs handwriting these days? JK lol

  21. Miguel (The Rich Miser) January 1, 2018 at 8:02 PM

    Yes, complain less! I’m really going to restart my meditation habit (started today, in fact). It helps dissipate all that negative emotional energy that goes into complaining. It’s one of the best stress relievers I’ve ever found!

    Happy 2018!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2018 at 6:06 AM

      That’s what I hear! I’ve never been able to pull it off in the few times I’ve tried it myself over the years (although admittedly I’ve always half-assed it), but I wonder with my new mindset and ability to actually sit still and think now, haha, if it would be easier for me? I’ll give it another shot this afternoon!

  22. Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom January 1, 2018 at 9:19 PM

    These are all so important. Just curious…Do you max out your IRA and your wife’s IRA? I’m trying to decide if it would be better to max out both of our IRA’s or only one and put the rest in my husband’s 401(K). Right now, he only invests up to the company match.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2018 at 6:09 AM

      In recent years we’ve only had enough extra money to max out my Roth, but this year due to the sale of my website I went ahead and maxed out my wife’s as well :) I think both places are great to do it (401k or IRA), but the IRAs give you a lot more freedom to decide *how* you want to invest the money which is nice. Though on the flip side you don’t have to pay the taxes on the 401(k) money yet either, so both have their sets of pros/cons :) As long as you invest it *somewhere* though, that’s what matters most!

      1. Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom January 2, 2018 at 12:13 PM

        Awesome!! Thank you!!

  23. ZJ Thorne January 1, 2018 at 9:56 PM

    I updated my beneficiary this week. It was a small money thing, but I could do it. Small accomplishments can get the ball rolling.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2018 at 6:10 AM

      Yes they do!! Feels great grabbing that win as well :)

  24. lisa January 1, 2018 at 11:40 PM

    Due to this great blog and some really smart folks that gave me advice free of charge, here’s what’s happening:
    1) Get a brokerage acct and start putting $ into an ETF and play a stock. CHECK
    2) Make sure the kids have life insurance as they’re going to college and if something should happen, the bank will still expect their loans to be paid. CHECK
    3) Don’t get sick. Medical co-pays/deductible are costly with my insurance. IN PROGRESS
    4) Keep putting extra $ each month towards mortgage/kid school loans. IN PROGRESS
    5) Always have gratitude for everything good that happens to me, even breathing. CHECK

    1. J. Money January 2, 2018 at 6:14 AM

      LOVE IT!!! Especially #5 :)

      Smart about life insurance being able to cover student loans too – those are sometimes bigger than mortgages these days!

  25. Dads Dollars Debts January 1, 2018 at 11:54 PM

    Add get good homeowners and auto insurance and I am in…man our home insurance is saving our butt after the fire.

    Great resolutions indeed…trying to be a great dad is admirable to say the least.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2018 at 6:21 AM

      I bet! You guys were super fortunate to come out both with your lives and being insured! Reminds me of those stories you hear where people don’t pay their town’s fire fees or whatever they’re called, and then when their house goes up in flames the fire department just sits there and watches…

      I remember getting so pissed once reading a story on this, haha, let me see if I can find it…

      Here we are!

      Back when I got SUPER feisty up in here ;)

  26. Gene Roberts January 2, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    I’ll choose #7 since that’s a slam dunk.

    Just before checking out today’s blog, I maxed out my Roth IRA with $5,500.

    Boom, done! I’ve won New Year’s Resolutions. :)

    I may be back for some of the others.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:00 AM

      Yeah you have, haha… Well done.

  27. OMGF January 2, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    I only have one resolution for the year: DO NOT GET A JOB!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:02 AM

      Hey! That was mine in 2011! Are you trying to avoid them so you focus on your *own* projects/self-employment as I was doing, or because you’re financially free now and don’t *need* a job anymore?

  28. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 2, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Done: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7!
    I should recheck 5 just to be sure it’s fine, and 6 is a huge annoying mortgage so that’s going to be a decade-long goal ;)

    8 is currently my favorite but I’m still trying to figure out how to match that up with the need to put away enough to be financially independent soon. I know there’s a way, I just have to find the one that fits us! Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:05 AM

      And sometimes you have to put one side into overdrive more in order to reach the other side faster too :) I am BEYOND thankful for putting in 15-20 hours days for a while to help jump start everything! No way I could do that now with kids!

  29. Greenbacks Magnet January 2, 2018 at 3:04 PM


    I really like this post! I was just telling someone to be more optimistic and positive as it really does help. I feel like great things are attracted to a positive attitude!


    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:20 AM

      Your friend is lucky to have you around to remind them :)

  30. Dave @ Married with Money January 2, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    “any other annoying debt” does that include my mortgage? Only $386k to go LOL. :)

    I like this list in general though!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:11 AM

      There is *one* way to get rid of it fast? Sell it and move over to the dark side of renting with me ;)

  31. Kristin Hanes January 2, 2018 at 3:58 PM

    I don’t have too many resolutions, but one major goal: KEEP MY CAR CLEAN. My car looks like a hurricane and a garbage dump had a baby. It doesn’t help that I keep ALL my clothes in the trunk since there is no room on the sailboat right now. I’m embarrassed to have anyone in my car, especially my boyfriend, so I’m going to look for a car wash groupon and get to work :) Great list, BTW and Happy new Year!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:16 AM

      Haha… at least you have a GOOD excuse for it!

      Reminds me of an observation a golfer buddy of mine once said about dirty cars – that the cleaner they are the more wealthy the owners tend to be! He did some (unscientific) research around it which was pretty interesting :)

  32. Huong Meeks January 2, 2018 at 6:07 PM

    Our new year resolution is to max out ROTH for both my husband and I.

    About your new year resolution, I think it is awesome. A question to ask, what are your thought of mommy and me class for a 15 month old toddler? I’m trying to decide if its worth to spent an extra $70/month….

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:23 AM

      Well I will tell you this, I’ve never regretted paying money for stuff that got me spending quality time with my kids :) And classes usually help with making new friends too – for both mom and child! So I’m all about them, provided you can afford them okay.

  33. Chuck Shaffer January 3, 2018 at 1:10 AM

    Solid list! Thanks for the mention and link back (in #5).

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:25 AM

      Yeah dude! Can’t stop thinking about that post – really amazed me as I had just never thought about it or researched before. Appreciate you putting it out there for us!

  34. Dads Dollars Debts January 3, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    Figure out what we want to do for next few years. Stay in Cali? Build or buy a home? Those are the big questions.

    Last year I grew my net worth and set my kid up with a sweet 529 plan.

    1. J. Money January 5, 2018 at 7:03 AM

      I think you should build a little village off grid, and then keep one hut just for me when I come visit :)

  35. Terry Pratt January 4, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Some people are uninsurable. What should people do if they can’t get life insurance?

    1. J. Money January 5, 2018 at 7:08 AM

      Ugh, I don’t know! Great question!! I just Googled a little and the top things that kept showing over and over were to a) make sure all the info they (insurance companies) have on you is correct as sometimes people get denied due to errors? b) work with an *individual* insurance broker who can fight/find for you, and c) consider “group insurance” – though not sure exactly what that is… I know a lot of financial bloggers are getting involved with *religious* based insurance providers and seem pretty happy with it, though that’s more on the healthcare side than the life insurance side… Tough question – wish I had more answers for you :(

  36. Norma December 28, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    I retired early due to health, but thankfully had most things in place. I adapted 2 resolutions and added one.
    #1 Spending plan ✔
    #2.Side hustle. Nah. Retired✔
    #3.Emergency fund✔
    #4.Life insurance✔
    #6.Debt, only mortgage✔
    #7.Retirement account, too late!✔

    Retirement resolutions 

    1. (#8) Live more/read more

    2. (#9.) Not just complaining less, say more positive things!

    3. Pursue the things i always wanted to do!

    Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2018 at 3:48 PM

      Happy new year indeed! :)