More proof this money stuff is possible!!

Good morning!

If you’re looking for some extra motivation today, hopefully these snippets I’m about to share from the community will do the trick!

So many people just killing it out there, which is proof yet again that every last step you take MATTERS with this $$$ stuff… Sometimes it’s quick, and other times it takes (much!) longer than desired, but if you keep at it good things DO end up coming!!

So if you’re in the mood to read some of these awesome things that are going down in peoples’ lives right now, keep reading, but if you’re not in the mood and it’ll only depress you, try your hand at this post instead –> Money jokes for impressing people!

We’ll get you to pep up somehow! ;)

Personally, I’ve been in heaven ever since this exchange with the one and only entrepreneur and model, Kathy Ireland, haha… Gotta love a business mogul who appreciates some good humor!

Here’s what started the fun:

j money kathy ireland tweetAnd here was her response I woke up to (!!!)

kathy ireland tweetOnly the most important convos on Twitter, y’all! You’re missing out if you’re not following me!! ;)

And now to the stuff that actually matters…


Here’s a bunch of accomplishments from the community lately that just proves once again that all that hustling eventually pays off… Don’t ever stop believing in yourself!


J! J! J! Guess what! This month, I became totally debt free!!!!!!!!! No credit card debt. No student loans. And no mortgage. (Never had that last one anyway. :p )…

So now all of my money is working for me one way or another via investments, savings, or even credit card rewards/points (don’t worry, always pay ’em in full these days). And I have a decent shot of joining the 6-figure club by the end of the year.

– Josh


Thank you for convincing me to start tracking my own net worth! I started back in August, and it has been completely life-changing.

(In fact, I wrote a whole blog all about it, giving you all the inspirational credit, of course: Why Tracking My Net Worth Has Been a Game-Changer (& Why I Think Everyone Should Do It)

I’ve always been pretty good with money, but actually tracking these numbers every month have made me think much more about the impact of all our daily financial choices a lot more. Now, rather than just considering if we have the money in our checking account to be able to “afford” something, I ask myself if I’d rather that money go towards our savings or investments instead… and as a result, our savings rate has definitely accelerated because of it!

– Torrie


I just passed my last huge project for student teaching last night at 8pm, so now everything is officially done! Not only does that feel really good in and of itself, I’m going to be the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree. Still feels a bit surreal and staggering–I’ve literally still been mulling it over and contemplating it for the last two hours!

– Rachael


Started reading your blog two years ago and made the decision to focus on getting my student debt paid off. Paid it off last week after two years of focused effort. Suddenly feel like I am working for myself instead of my creditors.

– George



How the hell are you man? First off, I’ve been meaning to email you as a “follow up” from our initial talks years ago. I decided to write this email now, and I absolutely swear…pure coincidence our first email was (4) years ago to the day!…

I’ve been in absolute beast mode. Absolute tunnel vision. FI above anything. Just crushing it at work and doing as many things possible to save and accumulate more. In every morning at 6am when it’s still dark out and working all day longgggggggggggggggg.

I attached my original snapshot you had me do before our coaching (tl;dr – net worth back then: $15k)

Here’s where I stand right now as of today (rounded amounts):

– Taxable account stocks: $285k
– 401k work retirement: $140k
– Roth IRA individual: $15k (above income limit to submit anymore)
– Savings: $140k cash

Total: $580k net worth? WTF?

– Andrew

net worth old andrew
[Click to enlarge]


So I’ve been reading your blog for the last 8 months or so, and I wanted to write to you in regards to your Side Hustle Series. I have been using them, picking and choosing which ones best suit me, and my geographical area, with that in mind I wanted to say THANK YOU! Between being a virtual assistant, mystery shopping, etsy selling, and eBay selling I have been doing pretty well for myself ($2,000 the last month alone)

– Brandon


As a single female who had never made enough money to save, I went into a panic at the age of 50 when I saw a woman even older than myself stocking shelves at a Walmart.

I had also just moved into my first home and had a 30-year mortgage looming ahead of me. After a 5-day depression and panicking like a big dog, I decided it was time to make some changes.

First change I stopped spending – for real I stopped spending unless it was absolutely critical to my survival.

Second I cut food cost down to $3 a day. I’m from the south I can cook/eat well on almost no money. I was shocked at how much I saved just from cutting mindless spending out of boredom at the grocery store, department stores and malls.

I sold everything I had that was of any value regardless of what it was and put that money toward paying off my 30-year mortgage.

I was absolutely shocked at how much money I had if I didn’t spend it mindlessly.

10 years later my mortgage was paid off and I have zero debt to my name!

Retirement, AKA not working to have to survive is amazing!

– Gina


Hey J –

Although I didn’t follow your path by getting rid of 1 thing every day, I was able to unload a lot of things in one weekend!

Since the beginning of the year, I have been procrastinating about cleaning up my home in an effort to become a minimalist!

This past weekend I got hubby on board and we did a quick cleanse of the garage, a couple of closets and the attic. Although there are still more spaces we could cover this was a great start and helped to get us in the mindset that less is more! Rather than go through the work of setting up our own garage sale we are giving the items to a friend holding a sale of her own.

What doesn’t sell will be donated to the local Salvation Army. I already feel lighter! Thanks again for your great content and the push to become a better person!

– Toni

P.S. Just so you know, the flat screen in the pic is going to my brother, and hubby is not quite ready to give up the free weights yet…

P.P.S. Sent the pic of the CASSETTES (they still exist!) because you seem like you might have been or are still a metal guy? Some classics from the 80’s LOL!

declutter junk

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m actually more of a rap guy, but I have been known to jam out to some good rock before, especially in the 80’s! ;)]


So within about a year and a half, just by logging in to Verizon and updating our plan twice, we have saved $47+ per month AND gained new features to prevent overages. That’s $564+ per year that can be used for investing or debt repayment or whatever! The first $20+ went to mortgage repayment. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll put the $27 towards that or investments. I have about a month until our first updated bill hits, so I’ll make the call at that point.

– Cory


My husband (retired at 47) handles all the money and investing and though he keeps me in the loop about what he’s doing I haven’t made the effort (yet) to totally understand the ins and outs of investing.

I turned 50 this year and all I asked for my birthday was a homemade version of the ICE binder. I now have a folder with all of our accounts – passwords are in an encrypted folder on the computer and detailed instructions on the hows and whys for each investment. Every minute detail he could add is in this folder. While it won’t replace him if he dies, it will be a huge help to me and the kids if something should happen. It was absolutely the best present he could have given me.



Just read your 60+ Side Hustle list. Checked out some “gigs” on Craigslist, and sent out 5 or 6 applications for quick, temporary or weekend jobs. Think I’ll open a special savings account just for the hustles, and see how big I can make it!

***6 months later***

I started this endeavor in March. Since then I have earned or saved over $5,000 in side gigs, deals, surveys and other weird money making ideas. That’s about an extra grand a month!! Thanks again for the ideas!!


Hey, just a short note to let you know that, apparently writing down my experience on your blog served as a therapy :-) One or two days after my post, I decided to stop this silly behaviour, I prayed for help and my craving stopped, which is more than cool. I waited a few days to see if it was for real and it was the case. Of course, my ex-mistress is pissed off but I can live with that. Now, I just want to thank you for your unvoluntary help. Cheers mate!

– Harry

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This was in response to one of the most taboo topics we’ve ever covered on the blog before – Financial Domination! A *real* thing that’s apparently wide spread and pretty hard to break!]


J. Money,

My financial journey started approximately four years ago when I was an interior designer and negative $200 every month (without even paying myself first). I remember sitting at my desk and having this moment realizing I was yet again in the negatives and I got turned down for a raise.

Something just clicked in me, I decided to choose not to live as if this life and situation is uncontrollable. I needed change and I wanted to be in control of how my life was/is turning out, and what better way than to deep-dive into my finances! My parents did not instill good financial knowledge in me, so I had to teach myself and start from scratch.

My situation was a tricky one – I inherited a house from my mother in 2010 when I was 22, who then didn’t have a Last Will & Testament which meant I had to get an estate lawyer, STAT. Because I had no direction in life when she passed I hadn’t finished college, but still I couldn’t seem to let the house go emotionally.

It was the last material thing I have of her (and at the lowest of my low I had to sell her beloved silverware that had been brought down from generations in order to pay a property tax one year) and I couldn’t give it up. I had multiple years of education left in which I didn’t have the money for, the estate lawyer was going to be costly, and I needed to make my part-time job into full-time. I decided to turn the house into a rental property which meant taking all of my cash (and one racked up a credit card – EEK!) to make the house ready to rent out.

I then pushed my ego aside and asked for help for myself – my best friend’s parents were able to house me for TWO YEARS without rent, and for that I’m forever grateful. I eventually worked my way up (no longer a designer but still in the design field, just in sales) and am now able to eat more than just beans, rice, and oatmeal for every meal (seriously though… gotta do what you gotta do).

Just an idea of what I’ve spent:

— $12,500-ish on lawyer fees because my mother didn’t have a Last Will & Testament
— $35,000 in educational loans
— $20,000 in credit card debt – making my house tenant-ready, fixing plumbing, roof, and window issues, property taxes, and other house-related expenses that it needed because it was so old and desperately in need of repairs (talk about great decision to keep the house, no?! HA!)
— $5,500 in medical fees for the anxiety that associated with all of these levels of trauma I was experiencing (I worked 12-hour days at my design job, had multiple family members pass away, and was living off the “fight-or-flight” instincts which left me riddled with panic and anxiety attacks)

Actions I did to make this financial change four years ago:

— I eliminated all unnecessary items from my budget including but not limited to: gym membership, cable, Netflix or Hulu, clothes, food, cell phone bill (went to the cheapest version)
— Sold clothes/furniture/items not necessary to my living situation
— Minimized my diet (rice, beans, oatmeal, local fruits and vegetable on sale ONLY, water only from a water bottle I carried around religiously, chicken, etc.)
— Told all my friends and family I’m unable to go out to eat or drink and unfortunately missing out on social events/trips so they are aware of this lifestyle change, etc. (this was absolutely brutal for a 20-something!)

In result, this is (so far) what I’ve paid off:

— Credit card
— My lawyer fees
— All medical fees
— A small portion (but still a portion!) of my educational loans – full disclosure $3,400
— Built an emergency savings of 3 months

Looking back, I cannot believe I kept the house for this long. It’s been 8 years since my mom died, and I’m now married and about to have children of my own (plot twist: we live in the house because it’s cheaper than living elsewhere AND we are able to live on 55% of our salary!)

Here are the main takeaways from my journey:

— Recognize when you’re being mistreated at work in regards to what you’re being paid and what you’re truly worth
— It’s always possible to remove unnecessary expenses from your budget – gym membership, cable, Netflix or Hulu, clothes, food, cell phone bill, etc.
— Pay yourself first
— Maintaining mental health is so crucial to living a life worthwhile

I don’t know if this means anything, but I wanted to let you know your blog has kept a fire lit for me on not only continuing paying off debt, but also doing some self-care (paying myself first and building an emergency fund) and focusing on building wealth (10% to retirement every check). I appreciate your blog and look forward to more of your newsletters! THANKS FOR KEEPING IT REAL!

– Jackie


And that’s what it’s all about, my friends….

Keeping it real, with both yourself and others in your life!! None of us are perfect, but as long as we KNOW IT and continue striving to be the best we can, that’s all we can ask for… No way our lives – and wallets – won’t be better for it!

So keep on striving out there!! Every win matters and it can never be taken away from you! :)

j. money signature

For even more proof…

// Money cats photo by edenpictures

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  1. Jim April 26, 2019 at 6:12 AM

    Thanks for the inspiration! Lots of great stories.

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 7:45 AM

      Glad you enjoyed, my friend :)

  2. Ken April 26, 2019 at 7:31 AM

    Thanks for sharing! I love success stories. They are what brings me back to focus when I lose sight of my ultimate goal.

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 7:44 AM

      Excellent!! So glad to hear!

  3. Jim @ Route To Retire April 26, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    That really was awesome to hear Kathy Ireland chime in on the Twitter post… she’s a legend for sure! Admit that you’re trying to convince your wife to let you hang up that poster now! :-P

    — Jim

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 2:40 PM


      No comment.

  4. Gentleman's Family Finances April 26, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    Reading these stories, I can’t believe how privileged I have been in life.
    maybe it’s a matter of choice or circumstance but living in huge debt, spending all that you earn and not making positive changes until your 30s/40s/50s – but great to hear people making that change themselves!

  5. Joe April 26, 2019 at 10:19 AM

    Ok, Kathy Ireland was impressive, but the stories are even more so. Great job everyone.
    It’s pretty amazing what you can do if you focus. Personal finance isn’t that hard if you work on it.

  6. Life Outside The Maze April 26, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Wow, budgets have never been sexier! Inspiring stories and congrats on your role in helping people as well J Money

  7. Kate April 26, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    I’m so happy to see all these positive stories! My finances turned around when I got YNAB. It got me started on reading personal finance blogs because I wanted to see some serious changes in my numbers. And I have! :))

    Thanks to Jackie for the best comment of all:

    “Maintaining mental health is so crucial to living a life worthwhile.”

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 2:42 PM

      Good job!!! Amazing what can spiral into other great habits once you get going :) YNAB has been an incredible force in the community this past decade – such a great company and even greater product.

  8. Sarala S. Sarah April 26, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Cassettes!!! What a blast from the past! When we moved to America we couldn’t afford cassettes, so I used to take blank ones and sit in front of the radio and record my favorite songs for hours. Wow forgot about that memory… First time I read the get rid of one thing a day post, great read I’m going to give it a go. Perk of 528 sq ft apartment though it keeps you from collecting too much stuff. :P

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 2:44 PM

      Wowwww super fascinating!!! And now you can probably pick up 100 tapes for the price of one back then! (But you’d have to find a recorder for them now which would probably cost a lot of time and money to find ;))

  9. Brian April 26, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    I don’t know about the cassettes they have, but some cassettes sell for pretty decent amounts on money. Metal people love classic metal and love getting cassettes.

  10. Minimal Millionaire Mom April 26, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    I think Kathy Ireland has the highest net worth of all super models.

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 2:47 PM

      Per Google she’s actually at #3!

      But the only one in the top list there from the U.S. :)

      Following her is Gisele Bundchen and then Kim Kardashian – if you can call her a super model?!

      (Best google search of the month, btw, thank you…)

  11. Torrie @ To Love and To Learn April 26, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    Thanks for the shout-out! Such inspiring stories–I always love reading these because they help me to keep on going even when I’d rather blow my extra money on discounted Easter chocolate and new books :)

    1. J. Money April 26, 2019 at 2:47 PM

      haha… It’s hard to say no to PEEPS!

  12. LeeAnne April 26, 2019 at 2:58 PM

    Thanks J for sharing – and congrats to everyone on their achievements! I enjoy reading these – keeps me motivated, even when life makes me feel like I’m bleeding money. Anything is possible- sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and then keep moving forward.

  13. G.E. Miller April 26, 2019 at 4:05 PM

    Kathy Ireland?


  14. Slug April 26, 2019 at 4:37 PM

    First, love that the cassettes are alphabetized. Second, so stoked to see so many great albums. I have the KIX and King Diamond albums. Would’ve liked to see some Maiden and Sabbath, but perhaps those are in a special archive :-) Keep rockin’!

  15. Paying for private school April 26, 2019 at 8:13 PM

    These are inspiring success – and awesome response on twitter – woah. I will admit seeing tape cassettes still in existing was a bit disturbing – I need to lie down now.

  16. Jackson D July 19, 2021 at 2:48 AM

    @J Money Remarkable! I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I’ll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future.