The Top 10 Most Popular Articles From 2015

Hey guys! How was your Christmas? Did Santa come to visit, or were you a naughty little budgeter this year? ;)

Not sure how many of you are back to the grind today, but thought I’d dig into our analytics and pull out the top 10 most popular articles from the blog this year to help keep you entertained throughout the day. I hear that taking a break every hour and reading one of these makes you more productive at work – you should try it out ;)

Before we get started though, here are some fun facts from the list:

  • 4 of the 10 articles I didn’t write myself! (They were guest posts)
  • 3 of the articles were about early retirement/financial freedom
  • 3 of them were posted up in the same week!
  • 2 of them were product reviews
  • And together all 10 garnered a total combination of 275,450 page views

If you’re wondering how many views the entire blog had for 2015 so far, that number would be 3,649,815 :) So these 10 articles alone accounted for 7.5% of all views – pretty neat!

But enough teasing…

The top 10 most popular posts of 2015!

amanda travis bruno blog
#1) How We Saved $1 Million Dollars and Became Financial Independent at 30 — An article by Amanda and Travis from – one of my favorite new blogs on traveling and early retirement. I asked them to share their story with us, and it blew up and went viral :) Yet again proof that this stuff works if we keep on hustling!

#2) The Early Retirement / Financial Freedom Spreadsheet! — I built this spreadsheet one day when trying to figure out how close I was to reaching that magical freedom date myself, and then wrote an article about it letting others download it too. It turns out I’m actually pretty far from retiring early (d’oh), but it’s really helped put things in perspective now knowing exactly where I stand and how much more I need to do if I’m serious about crossing that finish line. If you’ve never plugged in your own numbers into something like this, I highly recommend it. It’s a great exercise!

#3) Digit: The Easiest Way to Save Money? Ever? — Last year around this time I got a text from one of my entrepreneur friends who told me I “had to” check out this new app because it was about to change the way banking’s done, starting with savings. I tested it out, chatted with their CEO, and eventually fell in love with it and ended up coming on board as an advisor. To date I’ve saved $2,628.20 already by using them (the app automatically xfers out a few dollars fron your checking account every few days you won’t miss, and then drops it into a separate savings account for you), and I can’t wait for them to release the other game-changing ideas they have up their sleeves. I try not to talk about them too much cuz I’m sure it annoys long-time readers, but if you’re new to the site you totally need to check them out ;)

dollar meal budget

#4) How to Eat on Less Than $1.00/meal — This one was one of my favorites only because it was the 2nd half of a food battle we did here that freakin’ exploded on the site :) It started with a snarky email from one of my readers who wondered how in God’s name you can eat meals for under a dollar when a guest poster (Dan Miller) posted up his budget for his family of 8 the month before, and this was Dan’s rebuttal proving how he does it. I never knew how fired up people can get over food but I sure do now! Haha… good times, good times.

#5) Rounding Up Change + Investing It = Acorns App! — While Digit was my favorite app of the year to help you *save*, these guys (Acorns) were my favorite to help you *invest*. And the concept is simple: anytime you buy something it rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar and drops the difference into a pre-selected portfolio of investments for you. It’s easy, it’s automatic, and it adds up. Since signing up in February I’ve banked $313.42 so far and I’ve barely noticed it’s gone. You can adjust the settings to invest more or less if you want, or even make instant deposits whenever you wish, but I like just letting it go in the background and being an extra pot of money sitting there doing its thing for me. Check ’em out if you haven’t heard of them before.

#6) My Name is Jeremy, and This is How I Retired in My 30s — Another post on early retirement, and another not written by me! Haha.. But I gotta say – THIS is the story I wish I could have written myself :) Funny, entertaining, packed full of financial nuggets, and just downright inspiring. It comes from Jeremy of, and if you could only read one of these articles today I’d make this the one.

apple 2 computer blog

#7) 7 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Blogging About Money — This was one of my favorite articles to write this year just because soooo much has changed in the years since starting this blog, and it was a cool exercise to sit down and really flesh them all out. I also wrote one about my thoughts on self-employment after hitting the 5 year mark this year too, but was less sentimental and more feistier ;) Good nuggets in both, though!

#8) How I Paid off $46,500 of Student Loans in 2 years — Over the summer I got a note from fellow blogger Even Steven that he had just finished paying off his entire student loans, and wanted to know if I thought our audience here would like to learn how he did it. I thought y’all would, and now here it is in the most popular articles of the year :) I don’t write about student loans or massive debt much just because it (fortunately) doesn’t apply to my life anymore, but I do  need to feature it more since I know many of y’all are still working on crushing it, so I was pleased when Steve was willing to share his story with us. Give it a read if you haven’t already – hopefully it helps!

#9) 11 Tips From My New Millionaire Friend — This was an interesting post to put together because it literally came out of a single paragraph that a reader had left in the comments here :) It was packed with so much insight and knowledge that the tips in this article basically wrote themselves. In fact, full books have been written on such matters only with 3,000 more paragraphs!

#10) 20+ Triggers to Hack Your Life & Money — This is a great compilation of tips and tricks that a handful of y’all do to better manage your money or your life. It’s an extended version of the post we wrote about on physical triggers a year prior (with equal success). I guess people like quick tips!

sparkly fire cracker

So there you have it. The best of 2015! You could have just skipped the entire year and read only this one article, haha…

If you get through these fast and looking for more though, check out the best articles from 2014 or go wayyy back in time and hit up the most popular articles of 2009! Where there’s quite a difference in the *ahem* caliber of writing/ideas ;) And as always, you can also visit any day of the week and find the best articles from around the entire financial blogosphere – curated by yours truly and fellow blogger Cait Flanders.

best financial posts of 2009

Here’s to a great last week of the year! Still plenty of time to get on those finances and end w/ a bang! It’s gonna be a great new year, I can feel it in my bones…

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  1. Thias @It Pays Dividends December 28, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    That is amazing that 3 of your top posts all came in one week! You really killed it that week :)

    I loved all these posts. The early retirement/financial independence posts are always inspiring and motivate you to try a little harder in your own life. It was a great 2015 and I look forward to what you have for us next year J$!

    1. J. Money December 28, 2015 at 7:11 AM

      Thanks Thias!

      Always appreciate your support and chiming in every now and then :) Looking forward to another great year with everyone!

  2. The Saving Nerd December 28, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Congrats J. Money on the popularity of your blog. I am not surprised that number 8 made the list because many people are trying to get rid of their student loans.

    Student loans become part of some people’s budget. I remember not knowing what to do about mine.

    There is hope. If you are one of those unfortunate people. Hang in there and continue to make strides.

    I am sorry.

  3. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers December 28, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I read down the list and realized that I remembered reading all of those articles already. You should have a “Faithful Follower” certificate or something for us :).

    Congrats on another good year.

    1. J. Money December 28, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Hah! I shall conjure one up just for you ;) thanks for reading!!

  4. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor December 28, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    I like how you turn emails into blog topics! I also loved the two pieces you wrote about your mother and her financial principles.

    1. J. Money December 28, 2015 at 7:51 AM

      Thanks Kalie :)

      I was thinking of actually doing a “top 10” of my personal favorite posts from the year too, maybe for Wednesday… My mom’s initial article would def. land on it :) She’s loving her new life so far!

  5. Michelle December 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    I always love the early retirement and financial freedom posts that you have here. Love all of them, though! :)

  6. Noonan December 28, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    3.6 million plus views is AMAZING! Congrats on such a great year!!

    1. J. Money December 29, 2015 at 7:59 AM

      Thanks! Pretty incredible how much *time* helps you with blogging… Probably took me 5 years to hit 1 million views in total! Now I do the same thing more or less and get triple it in a year – love it.

  7. Even Steven December 28, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    We all know #8 is the new #1……………..Thanks for letting me share. I wouldn’t have done it any other way than sharing right here!

    1. J. Money December 29, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      Hah! indeed, good sir, indeed…

  8. Debtman December 28, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Holy, 3.6 mil views?! That’s awesome/sooooo effing inspiring! Be proud.

    Great list! I never read the first post the first time around, so it was cool being able to read it now. I’m turning 29 soon, and I def will not have $1 mil by 30, but that’s super inspiring! I’m totally hooked on the financial independence craze. Before, my focus was always getting “rich”, but now I realize that’s not what it’s about.

    1. J. Money December 29, 2015 at 8:08 AM

      YES! Exactly! Took me 6 years of reading finance blogs to finally “get” what it’s all about. Glad you are now too :) (And thanks for the kind words!)

  9. Tawcan December 28, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Wow over 3.6 million page views? What’s the average session time? This jut means lots and lots time were spent on this blog learning about personal finance. That’s awesome.

  10. Michelle December 29, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    Great articles! I don’t think I’m ready to trust Digit yet, because I tend to move my money around a lot. I never saw that Trigger post, I like it…I always set up calendar reminders too. I love everything about personal finance, and it helps to read other perspectives and share ideas, as there is always room for improvement! Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money December 29, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      Happy new year to you too :)

  11. BeSmartRich December 29, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    Had to click all the links to the articles to read again. What a great collection of articles. Amazing!



  12. Jay December 30, 2015 at 1:33 AM

    275k page views for 10 posts isn’t too shabby at all.

    I’m loving all these year end round up posts bloggers are putting up, and all the new year “new me” ones too, lol!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 9:28 AM

      It’s def. a cool way to recap the year. And much easier to do when you’ve documented the entire thing on your blog! :)

  13. Yasir Khan @ WealthKept December 30, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    Considering the title of #1, I’m not too surprised at all that it’s #1 – who doesn’t want to save $1 million and be financially independent at 30? ;)