My 10 Most *Favorite* Posts of The Year

Happy Happy New Year! Again! Can never keep celebrating fresh starts, am I right? :)

Had a blast going down memory lane with our last post on the most popular articles here on the blog from last year, so thought we’d serve up another fresh batch today/ Only this time featuring *my own favorites*, either because I just really think personally they’re worth sharing again, or because they were really fun or entertaining, both of which we can never have too much of when talking finances ;)

So please to enjoy, my 10 favorite articles from 2016!

professor j money

#1) How to Make Money More Interesting — You know how everyone says that we need more financial education in schools, and that if we had that everyone would spend less and save more and live out the rest of their lives happily ever after?  Well, if I ever become a teacher, here’s how I’d get kids to actually CARE. Because if they don’t care, it’s not going to do diddly! (That’s right – diddly!!)

#2) There Are No Rules!We can all get caught up in trying to find the *right* path according to our friends or family or hell – even ourselves! – but it’s important to remember that at the end of the day there really are no rules. If you realize you’ve made a mistake with something, or the situation no longer makes as much sense as it used to, don’t be afraid to step back and change it up. Nothing’s ever permanent in life, and no one will care if you go a different route! And if they do, screw ’em.

#3) 8 Fails Over 8 Years of Blogging — Every year I like to go down the list of stuff I’ve learned while blogging, and this time instead of highlighting all the AMAZING stuff from over the years, I decided to share my failures instead. Mainly because you rarely hear about this stuff, yet it’s FAR more common than the successes we’re constantly so used to sharing. I learned a lot from these fails, and hopefully it helps you prevent some of your own throughout your journeys.

money drawers

#4) Remember That Each Dollar Serves a Purpose!Do you know one of the most popular questions I get asked in email is? How I got to be so sexy How to make the most money off your savings :) But here’s the thing – not every dollar of ours is meant to build wealth.  The *real* question you should be asking is, “What’s the mission of this dollar I have?” This post goes over the general guideline of where I put all my money, and why.

#5) 7 Awesome Perks Money Buys YouIt’s sometimes hard to remember all the small wins you get by being good with your money. Especially as you continue to move up the ladder and strive for bigger and better goals. So this is a tribute to some of those things we once dreamt about when we were still in the paycheck-to-paycheck stage, as well as good reminders of how far we’ve come.  If you’re currently in that stage now or just beginning your fiscal journey, use this to help motivate you even further! There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is glorious!

#6) Good Reasons to Quit Something vs Bad Reasons to Quit Something (And Why I’m Retiring from Podcasting) —  One of the goals on my list for years was podcasting. I love talking about money, and really just talking in general, haha, and since it was also a way to grow my “brand” I thought it would be a perfect match. Well, the show was a hit and joining up with Paula from Afford Anything helped make it even more so, but after recording 26 shows I just couldn’t do it anymore. This post here talks about why that was, and turned out to be one of the most raw articles I’ve ever written. It also serves as a great reminder of when it’s time to quit something, whether in life or money or entrepreneurship or whatever. So whether you remember this M.O.N.E.Y. show or not, I think you’ll enjoy the read! Or you can just listen to the episode we also did for a nice throwback as it ended up becoming one of my favorites :) –> Episode #26: The Last Episode with Jay.

money around the world

#7) How Money’s Handled Around The World — Ever wondered how people save money around the world? Or take out loans, mortgages, get credit scores, pay for college, or even invest in retirement? Well click on over and feast your eyes on these financial factoids spanning from Singapore to Denmark, Brazil, Guatemala, Germany, New Zealand, and all the way to France! You’ll be amazed for the better or the worse, haha…

#8) 8 Ways To Be More Minimalist With Your Money — If you’re tired of always being scatterbrained or feel like your money’s gotten way too complicated over the years, try giving a few of these a shot and see if it makes a difference. Chasing the hottest credit card rewards or highest yield savings certainly has its perks, but so does keeping things SIMPLE. And this is how I do it personally :)

#9) Sometimes a Job is Just a Job — This is one of my favorite posts, recently re-edited and shared here, because it’s a solid reminder that there’s nothing wrong taking a job purely for the money. Whether you love it or not. We talk a lot about pursuing your passions here and going “all in” on yourselves, but the reality is there’s also no shame in just clocking in and out and then getting on with your lives. And truth be told, all of us who may be following our dreams right now have all taken jobs just for $$$ too! And some of us still do! (There’s a handful of things I’d stop doing if I were financially free, but you know – that’s life). So anytime you get down on yourself for not having that “dream job,” read this :)

#10) Dear Wife, Here’s How to Spend My Life Insurance Money When I’m Gone :) — You know what’s awesome? Dreaming about all the things you’d do if you won the lottery. You know what’s kinda-sorta-but-not-really ALSO awesome? Dreaming up all the things your family can do when you die and leave them all that life insurance money ;) In this post I share a letter to my wife of how to handle our money once I’m gone, as well as what I think heaven is made up of… Hopefully I don’t find out soon!

And then here are the runner up posts, because apparently 10 articles wasn’t enough:

And that wraps up the crazy year of 2016… Back again soon for all things present and beyond! Happy Happy New Year New Year! ;)

Missed the top 10 most *popular* articles of the year? Click here.

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  1. The Green Swan January 4, 2017 at 5:47 AM

    Happy New Year, J$! There are some good posts there, I particularly liked #5. There are definitely things to strive for to earn more money!

    1. J. Money January 4, 2017 at 6:24 AM

      Thanks man! Happy new year to you too :)

  2. Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions January 4, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    I definitely connected with #3 (being a new blogger!) and with #6! I loved listening to you and Paula together. But I SOOOO respected you for giving that up because it didn’t end up aligning with your goals. That right there taught me a ton about you – and it is something I aspire to. Thanks for sharing your list – lots of others I could have added ;)

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      Thanks Vicki :) Was a hard decision but had to be done! Crazy to look back at them all over the years… And fortunately w/ blogging we have records of it all!

  3. Mrs. Mad Money Monster January 4, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    I keep referencing the new year in my conversations and writing – not sure when it’s “over” but I’d like to keep doing it since every day is technically the start of a new year :P I’m a fairly avid reader and look forward to every M, W, and F, and I think even I missed a few of the blogs you posted. I love that you posted your 8 failures in 8 years. You blog is a definite inspiration to the rest of us. Keep it up and…HAPPY NEW YEAR, J!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 9:53 AM

      Thank you!! Happy new year to you too (let’s just never stop saying it, okay? :))

  4. Mrs. Picky Pincher January 4, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    THANK YOU for dedicating a post just for fails. I go through so, so many fails that I could almost have my own sitcom. I think bloggers always want to portray an image of competence and success, but the reality is that we’re just normal people trying to achieve FI.

    I think mistakes are a healthy part of life. How else would we grow and learn anything? It’s okay to make mistakes and we shouldn’t kick ourselves for failing. Failure = Learning

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 9:55 AM

      100% agree.

      Now time for you to list all your epic ones in a post so they make me feel better :)

  5. Amanda @centsiblyrich January 4, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    The most memorable one for me was #2! There is no one “right” path with anything in life. AND we can change things up – it’s pointless to continue down a path that’s not working! Great post.

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:01 AM

      it’s so beautiful, isn’t it? :)

  6. Tonya January 4, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Happy New Year! My husband and I don’t really go out on NYE anymore since we have a 3 year-old and babysitters charge $30/hour on NYE! We do something even better…we put our son to bed at his normal time because he’s 3 and we aren’t totally stupid, then we review our past financial year (hint: it was awesome) and we plan our finances for 2017! I think we are nerds…? I usually calculate our net worth on the first of the month but I was too excited and we were already talking money. You inspired me to start tracking ours back in March 2016 (it was -$59,860.80-yikes!) and now we are starting 2017 at -$18,291.80! I could not believe the difference! One financial goal for 2017 is to hit even $0 in net worth. This is also the year we pay off our last credit card, car, increase my 403b to 10%, and increase our savings.

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:04 AM

      And what one helluva goal that is! Love it!!

      But not as much as you guys tracking your $$$ on NYE haha….

      That. Is. Sexy.

      Nicely done :)

  7. G January 4, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    It’s Wednesday. Are you backsliding? Monday and Thursday only. Stay strong.

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      That was just for December – now we go back to M, W, F and see how it goes :) But not going to feel ashamed if I have to go back to writing on only Mondays w/ the others being guest posts!

  8. Mrs Money January 4, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Thanks for sharing the info about blogging. I can’t believe you lost $80,000 and aren’t freaking out about it!

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:06 AM

      I have my moments :)

      But as it’s happened over the long term and not all at once, it hasn’t been *as* scary? Except that I’m a personal finance blogger and it surely doesn’t look good – hah. (Though of course there are reasons for it all)

  9. Fiscally Free January 4, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    Those are some great posts. Keep them coming in 2017!

  10. Piggy Bank Hank January 4, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Happy new year, and thanks for sharing your favorite posts! I definitely appreciate #8. There are so many financial gadgets and gizmos out there, so it’s nice to be able to simplify my finances.

  11. Go Finance Yourself! January 4, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    Thanks for compiling these. I love the one about how to make money more interesting! I would have definitely signed up for a class called “How to become a millionaire, son!” A teacher that combines cursing with making money is up there in my book!

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:13 AM

      Right?? That school would be producing so many all-stars and entrepreneurs, haha… And then we syndicate the course across the nation and get this whole country’s money right!! :)

  12. Primal Prosperity January 4, 2017 at 11:27 PM

    I loved #1… definitely going to use these concepts!

    Selfishly, I’m glad you are not spending all your time podcasting, because I don’t listen to podcasts. I prefer blogs, so I’m glad you are here!

    1. J. Money January 5, 2017 at 10:16 AM

      Haha yeah me neither! Making it even weirder cuz I’m not even sure how they’re supposed to sound or be made, etc, etc… I don’t even listen to the ones that I’m interviewed on :) But boy… they sure have taken off, and I did get a lot of comments and emails from those who DO prefer it so it was nice for a while hitting all angles like that… I remember we had to curb the cursing though cuz people would be listening in the cars as their kids were in the back seat – hah!

  13. Full Time Finance January 5, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    Most of the prior posts list I was familiar with, but most of these I don’t remember reading. Thanks for bringing hem to the top again. I really liked how money is handled around the world, it gets you thinking about opportunities and adjustments we could make. Happy New Year.

  14. Mustard Seed Money January 5, 2017 at 9:46 PM

    My favorite post was #3. Although #9 was close behind. I’ve worked as an accountant and financial analyst for over 15 years now and I still feel like an impostor and the label of expert is somewhat terrifying to me. My wife and I were talking about this last night and she thought I was being too hard on myself. I know Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become world class but I feel like there is always more to learn. Anyway thanks for sharing!!!

    1. J. Money January 6, 2017 at 7:14 AM

      Yeah, and from what I hear even the mega-successful feel like impostors too. I remember talking to a NY Times columnist and author (and speaker), and he asked me if I ever felt like a fraud cuz he does. And I was like “whaa????? you??” so it def. made me feel better :)

  15. ZJ Thorne January 5, 2017 at 11:53 PM

    Your Dear Wife post was probably my favorite this year, too. Such a fun insight into your mindset this year.

    1. J. Money January 6, 2017 at 7:10 AM

      Thanks ZJ :)

  16. Ten Factorial Rocks January 7, 2017 at 2:06 AM

    Happy New Year J$! This is an awesome collection of posts. Keep rocking the way you do in 2017 and beyond.