This Week in Money, Business and Overall Bad-Assery

Hey guys! I’m thinking of doing a new series here where I share a bunch of cool/random/interesting stuff that goes down in my world every week, and wanna know if you find it helpful. It’ll be mostly $$$ related stuff of course, but I’ll also include personal and blog/business items as well.

Let’s try it now and see how it goes, eh? :)


Best news of the week!

My wife’s dissertation is not only finished, but also approved and ready to be defended – woo! Which means in a short few weeks she’ll have a PHD and start looking for jobs to get her career (and salary) going again. I can’t tell you how happy my wallet is right now :) And this may even mean no daycare for however long it takes her to land a gig too, saving a cool $2,000/mo! Which is about a $36,000 salary alone if you factor in taxes, *face palm*.

Other financial wins this week…

  • Saved $21.86 more through Digit
  • Invested $11.28 more through Acorns
  • Made a $25.00 donation to support a friend’s cause (I have a rule that I have to donate to places my friends ask me to since I suck at donating anything on my own accord :( This forces me to actually do it while also helping out a friend!)
  • Got $153.00 back in taxes! Which is good or bad depending on how you look at it ;) I’d say the big win here is really just FINISHING my taxes to begin with, haha… What a pain in the ass. And I don’t even do them myself – I use an accountant! Who I gladly pay to make sure it gets done right too so I don’t have to fear going to jail. And I’m only half kidding about that.
  • Maxed out my SEP IRA! Details on that when I drop our latest Net Worth update next week…

Financial losses this week…

  • $114.23 — Cost of replacing my Frankencaddy’s battery so it can drive again. Though I wonder if this is a tax write off since it now counts as a side hustle? ;)
  • $66.76 — The amount Baby Nickel’s specialty acid reflux medicine costs… and that’s w/ insurance!
  • $500,999 — Speaking of insurance, that’s the value of the time I just spent dealing with Obamacare trying to prove that neither my 11 mo old or 2 and 1/2 year old brings home any income. It literally took me over a month to do this, and thank goodness they finally mailed me something saying we’re straight now, ugh… I also had to prove my own income too, but that was even easier since all I had to do was run my yearly “Income & Expense Summary” via which I use for tracking all business $$$. A HUGE time saver right there, I’ll tell you what… If anyone’s looking for a good way to track their biz $ I highly recommend them! In fact, I’m even on their testimonial page! Haha…)

Cool stuff that went down around the Blog:

budgets are sexy blog

But first a PSA: Sometimes stuff breaks here (sorry!) but thankfully this week was not one of them. If you ever see something jacked up or that you wish I’d add here, please let me know!

#1) We now have a mobile app! Okay, well this actually happened last month but I keep forgetting to tell you ;) And actually it’s not really an app-app so much as it is a redesigned site specifically fitted for phones/tablets. The next time you’re on yours bring up and let me know what you think! It’ll even let you save a nifty icon I created to your home screen so I’m just one click away – woo!

#2) I may or may not be in the works of starting a podcast :) I’ve told myself over the past year or two I’m not going to do it unless I can find the perfect co-host so I don’t bore myself (or you guys) to death, and out of the blue this guy/girl? crossed my path and it just clicked. I don’t want to say too much until I know what the hell I’m doing (FYI – I have no idea what I’m doing!), but as soon as things are more squared away I’ll start sharing some of the details… Also, I need you to hold me accountable so I actually go through with this! I think it could be really fun/educational for all of us!

#3) One of my articles was blasted out to Republic Wireless subscribers! Giving me a total nerdgasm! Haha… Been a huge fan of theirs ever since switching over last year and saving $100+/mo which completely jump started our Challenge Everything series we’ve got going on. So thanks RW! And here’s the funny part about this article they picked up (“7 things I learned about money in 7 years blogging“) – it almost didn’t get written! I was worried it would come out lame but decided to sit down and start typing it out anyways and it went on to become one of my more popular articles in recent history :) Sometimes you just gotta give things a shot!

#4) Our food battle from last week? Over 300 comments between the two (here’s the instigator and here’s the backer upper) sharing all kinds of awesome tips, banter, and a few heated debates. I had no idea people were as passionate about their food as they are politics ;) Seriously. You should go back and check some of them out if you haven’t already – jam packed with details and emotion.

#5) Lastly, don’t forget to enter our book giveaway! The One-Page Financial Plan by NY Times columnist Carl Richards (and overall doodler extraordinaire).

Cool stuff other people are doing around the financial community:

phroogal road trip

#1) Luke from and our financial blogger “Plutus Awards” is building a foundation. Which is bad ass because it’ll now mean our online financial community will have a centralized place to do good and give back. And since my older philanthropy project, Love Drop, has been closed for over a few years now, I’ll have a new place to latch onto and get better about said charity sucking ;) So thanks, Luke!

#2) I also had a fun call with Jason from who’s about to embark on an epic 30 day / 30 location cross country tour to spread the good financial word around town. And I’m not one to usually drop that damn trendy word, “epic,”  but it fits too perfectly here so whatev. Check out his list of the 30 pit stops in the right column of that link and see if you can make any of them. They’ll be chatting $$$, featuring cool speakers/founders, and in some areas offering free food and booze! ;) And if you work for a financial institution, maybe try to involve them too?

#3) Then there’s our hustler friend, Lil’ Vee – remember her? Who rocked that $10,000 savings challenge late last year and writes as hilariously as our new foodie friend Braden does?  Well, turns out she’s launching her own financial blog here shortly which I’m thrilled about. She has some damn good ideas for helping people make money, and an even more fascinating back story. I’m hoping she divulges all so we can learn from her!

Some new financial services/products I came across this week:

every dollar budgeting

These are some of the companies that were forwarded to me, whether by reps or fellow readers letting me know about them. I literally get over 20 a week and thought featuring some of the more promising ones here might help. I’ll still review those companies I love and use myself more in-depth (like Digit, Personal Capital, etc), but this is a way for me to highlight some others that might never get such treatment. Since obviously not everything I like or need will be exactly what you like or need :)

Let me know what you think, or if you’re already using any of them!

#1) — This is a spankin’ new budgeting site from the legend himself, Mr. Dave Ramsey. I haven’t poked around it yet but it’s free to use and here’s a clip off their site (they also have a paid upgrade version too):

Budgeting should be easy and — dare we say it — FUN! Focus your money on what matters: day-to-day spending, knocking out those pesky debts, and building wealth… EveryDollar is based on a proven plan that’s helped millions of people take control of their money, get out of debt, and save so they can live and give like never before! Whatever your life goals may be, EveryDollar will help you get there.”

#2) — These guys rock reloadable prepaid Visa cards. Now, I’ve never actually used a prepaid card before, but if I did I’m pretty sure I’d be lured in by them as their marketing to the younger millennial crowd is spot on. They make prepaid cards look cool!! Or are prepaid cards already cool? I literally have no idea, haha… But check these things out:

kaiku prepaid cards

Anyways, since I’ve never used or researched one before, I emailed back a rep over there asking about fees and how they compare to others in their field. This is what they sent back: “Yes, most prepaid cards do have monthly fees, and our fee is among the lowest of our competitors. Here is a link on a couple of fees you may run into:” So if you’re looking for one, maybe they’re an option?

#3) — I was forwarded this by my friend Tom Corley who writes one of my favorite blogs on “rich habits” and author of the same name book. I signed up for a week but not a big video guy (I thought it would be text-based) so ended up unsubscribing. If you don’t mind video, or even prefer it, then it might be right up your alley. Here’s what he emailed:

“Darren Hardy is the publisher of SUCCESS Magazine. Every morning he posts short success tips and inspirational ideas that help kick-start my day. I like them so much I wanted to share his posts with my friends. I promise you’re going to find something that will help you. It’s free, but don’t think it’s not valuable. It is!”

And then a notice you might find handy from the IRS: “Free File offers free tax services to all taxpayers, providing a fast, safe and affordable option for anyone who still needs to file. Taxpayers can use Free File to e-file their tax return or an extension at any time, day or night. Filing with Free File is one of the quickest ways to file your taxes and to receive your refund. Visit today to find the tax software option you need.”

Lastly, new FINPONYMS!

Courtesy of those continuing to add to our FINancially Passionate acrONYM list, haha…

  • MINKY — “Multiple Income No Kids Yet”
  • TWERP – “Tightwad With Early Retirement Plans”
  • MILF – “Money Intense Loving Family”
  • WOBANOWA — “Won’t Buy Anything – Not Worth Advertising To”

Never a dull week over here, I’ll tell you that much :) What did you think about this wrap up? Useful? Boring? Want to see more of them overtime?

Have a happy (and safe) Easter weekend everyone! Thanks for reading the blog!

Monopoly money bags photo by Lord Jim

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  1. Mrs. Frugalwoods April 3, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    I like the rundown, J$! Congrats to your wife for finishing her dissertation–that’s awesome! I’m looking forward to this podcast of yours. And, I personally enjoyed the food fight quite a bit. People always get fired up over their vittles!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      Vittles! Haven’t heard that word in quite some time!

  2. Dee @ Color Me Frugal April 3, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    Congrats to your wife on being so close to finishing her PhD! Fingers crossed that the job search goes well!!

  3. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini April 3, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    Major achievement for you wife. Congrats to both of you for I’m sure you helped her out along the way. Love the FINPONYMS!

  4. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 3, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Good call on the short company features, I have this folder full of emails with rockstar resources I worry I’ll never have the time to review or feature. Ps. I can’t wait to hear the podcast!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Yeah, I used to just delete them but the more I talk with people the more I realize people appreciate them. Try it out and see how your audience likes it :)

  5. John @ Frugal Rules April 3, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Huge congrats to your wife being done with the defense of her dissertation – that’s awesome! We finally got our taxes finalized as well. Our result wasn’t quite as good – we owe about $2,000 BUT we also got to put another $3,500ish in our SEPs to max them out so that’s a cool tradeoff. Love the idea from Jason! Looks like I’ll have to check it out when he comes to Omaha. :)

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Do it! Make it a Frugal Rules co-branded pit stop! :)

  6. Robin @ The Thrifty Peach April 3, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    I got the email from republic and thought- hey, I know him! Well, not really, but you know what I mean!
    Congrats to your wife- I’m sure she is happy!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      “internet knowing” is pretty much the same as “in real life knowing” these days :) we hang out a lot more online than our real life friends! Which sounds pretty lame now that I think about it – hah.

  7. Brian @ Debt Discipline April 3, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    Nice recap! Lots O Information! A Sexy Podcast? Sounds interesting, looking forward to hear more about this project.

  8. andy April 3, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    happy to say that we paid of my g/f’s car yesterday! now for the house!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:57 AM

      BAD ASS!

      A life without a mortgage is a life full of freedom :) Or so they tell me…

  9. Gretchen April 3, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Well it’s only April, and you’ve already maxed out your SEP IRA, so that’s basically amazing! Now that I’ve congratulated you, I need to go back and finish the rest of the article, hah!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      well, it’s not a sexy when you realize it was 2014’s maxing of the IRA haha… not 2015’s, my rockstar level isn’t nearly as high as it used to be once my mini money eaters, I mean kids, joined the picture ;)

  10. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar April 3, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    That’s great about your wife! My wife is in the exact same boat! Just needs to schedule the date for defending. I told her I can come and bring an airhorn. Anytime that someone starts to challenge her I’ll blow it really loud. She did not approve of this action and asked that I just watch our daughter. :-P

    Remember, behind every married PhD there’s an understanding husband/wife. I’m just pissed that now she’ll out rank me (I only have a masters).

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:02 AM

      Hah! I have a masters too… in financial bad ass! (ZING!)

      1. Donna Freedman April 6, 2015 at 2:19 AM

        I thought yours was a financial MASTER-y degree….?

        1. J. Money April 6, 2015 at 1:04 PM

          That’s too conservative for me ;)

  11. Hannah April 3, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Major props to your wife! Since she’s now Dr. Money, do you think we’ll get a guest post?

  12. Will April 3, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Awesome! I say make this into a series!!!

  13. Hannah April 3, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    And can your podcast be called sexy money?

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:05 AM

      That is actually on the list of ideas, yes :)

  14. connie kolita April 3, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    HOLY CRAP: Dr. and Mr. J Money~~ now THAT has a ring to it !!! Congrats to you both!

    Plus, I love anything you write, so yeah, I’m in for the new feature :)

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      Awww, thx – you’re sweet :)

  15. Prudence Debtfree April 3, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    I’m looking forward to updates on your podcast idea : ) Also, I just learned of the Every Dollar tool from Dave Ramsey, and your endorsement makes me want to give it a try. Thanks.

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:06 AM

      Let me know what you think of it if you do! I honestly don’t know anything about it outside of minimal perusing, so perhaps we’ll do an in-depth look later if it seems people are loving ’em!

  16. Lil' VEE April 3, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Hot DAWG, J$! I really like this new series! Long term goals and projects aside, so much magic happens in the day to day that we may not realize it until looking back in quiet, peaceful, zen reflection. We breathe in, breathe out, and then Pop-POP!! You realize you’re a bad mother trucker! Rock on!

    Really, REALLY like the idea of a podcast. Kindle author guru Steve Scott recently started a podcast and you can read about his show format here: I think this would work well for BAS, especially addressing questions from listeners. It’s a cool way for your fan fam to reach out and let you know what’s on their mind and, moreover, what they’re interested in learning about from you.

    And mad props on the dissertation! Not everyone gets a Doctorate in Mad Beats. Has she picked her rapper name yet? How lucky for Baby Nickel to have a rockin’ mama. Can’t wait to hear more!

    Lil’ VEE

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:08 AM

      There she is!

      You better tell us as soon as that new site has dropped! :)

      And good idea w/ the questions too – def. on our list of segment ideas. My partner in crime gets asked a TON as well so we’re hoping it makes or some juicy/helpful shows. Now just to do the work and get it out the door!

  17. CashCollector April 3, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Signed up for “Digit” this week and already up to $11.34. Also new Vanguard accounts. Great info! Keep it up.

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      Look at you go! Trying to beat my wealth I see :)

  18. Kim @ Money Under the Cushions April 3, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Congrats on your wife’s dissertation and good luck with the defense! I am sure she is glad this is almost over. Look out for post dissertation blues. Not to be a downer, but it’s common, even in those who don’t trend towards that. There’s this high of being called “Dr.” the first time and then after graduation and what not all of that pent up energy and adrenaline is gone and you’re like…”That’s it?” lol With two little ones though, she may be too busy for it to sneak up on her though. High five Dr. $. :)

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      Haha… We do keep joking that now that she’ll have a PHD people will just be handing her suitcases of cash ;) As if it worked like that!

  19. Kayla @ Femme Frugality April 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I didn’t know Jason was doing a road trip. Thanks for sharing that info. I’m headed over there to find out more now. :)

    1. Jason @ Phroogal April 4, 2015 at 12:18 AM

      Kayla, yea I haven’t publicly announced it but been slowly reaching out to my fellow blogger friends. I love how excited J is about this and it will be epic. I can’t sleep (but I should) cause June 1st will be here soon.

  20. Jacquelyn April 3, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    I have mixed feelings about Dave Ramsey… he is epic in his following that’s for sure and he had taught me a lot.

    EveryDollar is insane though! I didn’t try the upgraded version BUT it’s AWESOME because you can literally assign Every single transaction to a type of bill, making usre your budget is on point. I think it might be worth the $99/year to get me in the hang of budgeting until I knew I was sticking to it.

    I love the idea of that and you can tell it was a long 3 years for them to create it but it’s super innovative. However, the app version has a lot less capability (to me) because it’s virtually impossible to change/edit things. Maybe it would be different with the paid version, I don’t know.

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      Thank you so much for dropping this! Good to see a real life mini-review of it – the first I’ve seen now :)

  21. Michelle April 3, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    You sound super excited and energized in this post. I hope the podcast happens! Can’t wait to hear more. WOBANOWA

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      WOBANOWA, all the way!

  22. Fervent Finance April 3, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    I need to find myself a sugar momma, lucky you! I bet that is a weight lifted off her shoulders (and yours). You’ll be in the million dollar club in no time!

  23. Richard Anthony April 3, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    Congratulations to Mrs. J$–soon to be Dr.$. What a terrific accomplishment on top of being a Supermom! Re: your $500,999 “loss” in the value of your time. Many a year I’ve wished that I could “write off” the value of my time when preparing my income tax return. IRS doesn’t buy it. Nice try but it won’t fly;)

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that :)

  24. Adam @ April 3, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Congrats on the dissertation. Post-undergrad work is such a drag. I did the CFA while working and it pretty much ruined Jan-June for 3 years.

    Looking forward to the podcast.

  25. Retire Before Dad April 3, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Enjoyed this post. Lots of quick bits to absorb. Count me in for the DC Phroogal tour stop!

    I’d listen to the podcast for sure. So easy now with phones and 1.5x speed playback.

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:55 PM

      wait, really? you can speed up podcasts like that?

      that’s kinda cool!! I rarely listen to podcasts myself (even the ones I’m on – hah) so I literally have no idea about any of this. been fun picking up stuff here and there though :)

  26. Mark@BareBudgetGuy April 3, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    You showed up in the republic newsletter in my inbox! Pretty sweet man!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      Is it naughty if I say I always want to be in your inbox? ;)

  27. diane @smartmoneysimplelife April 3, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    Love the round up and “overall bad-assery”.

    Congrats to your wife. That’s a HUGE effort with two little ones at your feet.

  28. Sukina April 3, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    I love the new acronyms the post is awesome too! I need a shirt that says I’m MINKY the BOSS!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      Yeah you do!

  29. Tawcan April 3, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Congrats to your wife! Getting a PhD is a major accomplishment and it will be great for your household to get back to dual income once again.

  30. Dina April 4, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    Hi J,
    You and your wife are intelligent people…why don’t you consider having one of you stay home with your baby? Wouldn’t you want mom or dad raising you in your most formative years? These years go by quickly. Plus the poor little thing has reflux, my daughter had it, too….no one is going to care for or love your baby all day like you two.
    No $$ will replace that bonding time and all the cool 1sts you two will miss. We made it work for the years prior to kindergarten with twins, and I never have regretted the choice to raise my children with my love , our morals and values. I know you are great with $$, and you guys could swing it ,too!! Do you think a daycare worker can replace you?
    I highly doubt that .
    Please know this comment is in kindness and caring, not contempt. You help me to think about $$, and you’ve given me great advice that I’ve followed & appreciate , thank you.

    1. J. Money April 6, 2015 at 1:11 PM

      That’s something we go back and forth on, yes. However, we started our family in the middle of my wife getting her Masters and PHD and we wanted to make sure she graduated and reach those milestones which are highly important to her (as is starting a career). We tried taking turns for a while, then her staying home with our 1st for a while, but as you know being a stay at home mom does not leave much time to work on such things :) So we spend a lot of time with them in the mornings (we don’t drop them off until 10:30 every day!) and then every evenings from 5:30 and on as well as the weekends. It’s been a great balance for us and allowed my wife to finish up and hopefully get her PHD in two weeks. At which point we’ll be plucking them out of daycare and bringing them home until she finds he first job or decides to remain at home with them. Lots of pros and cons either way you go, but as long as you weigh them and then make decisions off those I think it’s good :)

  31. RICARDO April 4, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    Hey J$
    COngrats to the wife on the PHD progreaa.
    If you think you need more help withthe defense maybe we could trip down there to help you guys out. If we get a couple of dozen of us we should be able to keep them in line.

  32. jestjack April 4, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Speaking of “tax prep”…How about touching base on the pro’s and cons of doing your own taxes and what it cost to have them done professionally. I have had an accountant do mine for quite a few years but I just got invoiced just this side of $1K for the privilege this year….Sooo thinking it may be time to put batteries in the calculator and do it myself next year…This is crazy!!!

    1. J. Money April 6, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      oh wow – that’s a big #!

      I think mine has gone from $100 to $200 to now $350 over time… But I’ve given them 10x amount of work as the years have gone by too, haha…

      So I think YOU need to do a side by side comparison for your site! :)

  33. Aaron Myers April 4, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    That prepaid card mobile deposits can take up to 10 days. Yikes. I’m always looking for a better bank, but I simply haven’t found one better than EverBank (I even like them more than USAA!)

    1. J. Money April 6, 2015 at 1:16 PM

      Blasphemy! :)

      (I’ve been hearing good things about these guys btw:

  34. Shannon @ Financially Blonde April 6, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Congrats to your wife!!! That is SO huge and such a major accomplishment!!! I am not sure what I would be more excited about, her working full-time again or not paying daycare bills, those are painful. So excited to hear you are thinking about a podcast!!! I think it would be awesome, but as a podcaster, I have to say that they are WAY more work than you expect them to be but a cool side bonus of doing one is that you access an entirely new community of people. I get more feedback and emails from my podcast listeners than my blog readers.

    1. J. Money April 6, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      I already know what you mean! My partner in crime has been researching and emailing me stuff for us to do/look into and it makes me want to quit before we even get started, haha… Just trying to get over the hump of info overload and *do our first one* and then I think it’ll get smoother… at least I hope so :)

      And speaking of your podcast, just BCC’d you on an email I got from someone who signed up to my site after hearing me on yours. So hooray!

  35. Nick Loper April 7, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Woohoo for the J$ podcast! You’re gonna love it.