Sober and Ready to Talk Money :)

I’m back! Did you miss me? Do you want some more of Matt Becker? Did you even know I was gone? I didn’t know where I was half the time myself over the weekend so no hard feelings either way :)

But what I do know is that I’m back in action and sober now, and ready to get down to business… The business of money, that is! We’ll start with some of my favorite parts from our blogger conference, and then jump right into  other financial nuggets that are a brewin’… which unfort. are not for the best :(

I met and interviewed Craig Matters, managing editor of Money Magazine!

We were both guests on the Stacking Benjamins podcast, so I took the opportunity of asking him how long we’ve got until the magazine’s no longer in print ;) I did it in the most appropriate way I could muster, of course (I led with “I’m a big fan of print magazines and have the very 1st edition of Money Magazine in my office!” which, coincidentally, he does too!), but I’m sure it was a topic he didn’t really want to talk about, haha…

The podcast isn’t live yet, but spoiler alert – he said “10 years.” Whether that’s a political response or not, I’ll take it in the name of hope. We already lost Smart Money Mag the other year and I’m tired of reading everything online 24/7!

1st edition money magazine(PS: After the show he asked me how I make money blogging which I thought was pretty cool :) I then ran into him again at a bar later and we shared a drink and his love for music – so fun!)

(PPS: Randomly enough, I also had dinner with a journalist from Kiplinger magazine while there too, haha… Who would have guessed years ago that legit financial magazines would be hanging out with crazy financial bloggers?)

Rockstar Finance won the award for “Best Microblog!”

I.E. for our Twitter account: @RockstarFinance. Thanks for all the votes, everyone! Unfortunately I wasn’t there to receive it when announced (my son had gotten sick so I stepped out to call him), but I do appreciate all the bloggers who got my back and said I “must be in the bathroom” Haha… I wish that were the case :) Poor kid threw up for the first time and was scared because he didn’t know what was happening to him :( And it was his first night away from both mom & dad too – yikes… (he’s better now)blogger award microblog

(FYI: took home the award for the other category we were a finalist in – “Best New Blog” – which they definitely deserve, and then Mr. Money Mustache won “Blog of The Year” and we all celebrated on the dance floor afterwards ;) Who knew he could break it down so well?).

My credit card got hijacked for the SECOND TIME this year (!!)

In the middle of that same awards ceremony my phone was also going off for another reason: mysterious charges were showing up on my card and the quick-witted USAA was notifying me of it. Turns out I was in Bulgaria that night buying “fast computer service” for $14.95 – whatever that means.

So of course we had to cancel the card and get it re-issued all over again like the previous two times this year – once due to the Target hacking, and the other due to me letting Baby Penny fumble around with my wallet while not paying attention to him like a dummy… All rather annoying stuff.

But the good part this time around? I MADE A CREDIT CARD LIST!!! Which means I now know where all my cards are linked up to so it’s just a matter of swapping out the info as soon as my new card comes in – woo! I owe you a beer, Past J. Money!

(Speaking of “owing beers” – you know how people always say they owe you one but of course it never comes to fruition? Well, I blame part of the reason of my anti-sobriety this weekend to my fellow bloggers who actually followed through and reminded me of these beers I needed to cash in – so thanks, guys :) My favorite was the one I got at the Carousel Bar– pictured above and my new favorite bar because it spins while you sit!)

Here’s another idea to curb card thief annoyances as well – dropped by fellow reader Lucas:

“You just need to separate your auto bill payments from your point of sale/shopping useage. We got effected by the Target hack as well, but it really wasn’t a pain because I have one credit card (that I don’t carry in my wallet) that is used to pay all my bills (insurance, cell phone, ooma, some donations, . .. ). We have one other credit card that we carry around with us that we use on point of sale purchases and restaurants, etc… So that was the one that got hit in the target hack. All we had to do was replace it and just start using the new one.”

Great idea if you don’t mind having multiple cards! I tend to keep my banking super simple with as few accounts as possible, but the downsides are you miss nifty little tricks like this one…

Two major problems brewing at our rental property :(

Our property manager called us the other day (never a good sign) and mentioned our renters noticed a small water stain on one of the ceilings, and then that our AC unit wasn’t functioning as well anymore either. Now I’m hoping and praying these are *minor* fixes here to come, but I always brace for the worse when it comes to home ownership as you just never really know.

And I say this on purpose today for all you looking to pick up your first home. There are tons of benefits to ownership, but don’t brush aside all the pitfalls too! Namely, the maintenance. There are 101 things that can go wrong w/ a home so really make sure you’re ready to deal with this stuff from both a mental and financial standpoint. Homes are no joke – there’s always something to be worked on and there’s no shame in renting AT ALL. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Lastly, check out this new book by author Tom Corley:

rich kids quoteYou might remember him from our posts here on rich habits which I’m obsessed with, and he just came out with a new book to help parents raise financially awesome kids. And look who’s at the top for his first ever book recommendation quote! How neat-o! It really is an entertaining book based on story-telling vs “here’s how to blah blah blah” like a lot of them are. You can find it on Amazon here if you’re interested in checking it out: Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life

So that was my weekend! How about you? Are your credit cards (and liver) nice and safe? :) Does this make you want to start a blog yourself? I will say that it’s moments like these when you realize chasing your passions can really lead to some amazing opportunities in life. You often have to go through some $hit to get there (it’s been a lot of ups and downs over the past 7 years), but it’s well worth pushing through if you’re doing what you enjoy at the end of the day.

If I can ever help any of you guys out with this type stuff (business/career/blogging/etc) do shoot me a note. I love this stuff and can talk about it all day long. Most people just need a little push!

[Awesome carousel bar shot by dansilvers]

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  1. debt debs September 24, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    So sorry your little one got sick while you were away. I still cry when i throw up too. Congrats on your Plutus! Where are you going to put it? It’s like the Oscars of the PF world so I’m allowed to ask that question.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Haha… It’s in my “Blogger Lair” with some of its trophy friends ;)

      1. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy September 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Please tell me you plan to remodel this Blogger Lair like the Batcave.

        1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM

          Hey, I’m cool but not *that* cool!

  2. Glen @ How To Save Money September 24, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    What a massive weekend! I pretty much had the weekend off – feeling pretty slack after reading everything you got up to.

    Also, i’m pretty bummed that I still haven’t been to a fincon yet. One day I will take the plunge and fly halfway around the world to finally get to meet everyone in person.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Yeah no excuses – people came in as far as from Australia! :)

  3. Mr. Frugalwoods September 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    Congrats on the wins, well deserved!

    Good luck with the rental potential problems. Maybe they are related? I’ve seen AC blower units in the attic… if your evaporator coil is frozen it could lead both to a reduced cooling output and a potential condensation leak. And the good news is that a frozen coil isn’t usually an expensive fix!

    I could also have no idea what I’m talking about :-)

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      you sound like you know way more than me :)

  4. Aldo September 24, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Congratulations on the Plutus and on the book mention!

    I also try to keep my banking as simple as possible, but haven’t really thought about making a credit card list. That’s a great idea and it will stop me from running around trying to find which account is linked to what.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done :) My replacement card literally just came in an hour ago and 15 mins later I was all updated and back to normal again. 1-time work for forever benefit!

  5. Alicia @Financial Diffraction September 24, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I love the freedom of renting and having someone to call (and pay!) when something goes wrong. Now obviously since we have a rental property back home (we had a quick move and were underwater, similar to your situation, so we rent it) so sometimes we’re on the receiving end of those phone calls, but so far nothing major has happened. Knock on wood.

    Gosh, it sounds like there’s a tonne of booze at this conference! And I feel like pairing a bar with a circular moving carousel would cause the spins to come on early. But I haven’t REALLY drank in about 5 years, so I guess I might be remembering incorrectly :)

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Haha… I was afraid of the spinning to not be good either, but it was actually pretty relaxing! And barely noticable unless you happen to be paying real close attention (or standing on half the moving side and half the static side like I was initially which threw me for a loop! No pun intended!)

      1. bobebob September 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        Wait, dont all bars spin?

        Maybe, I gotta cut back.


  6. Marty September 24, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    Banana for scale? Congrats, J Money!

    I just finished “I will teach you to be rich” and I can see why it’s one of your favorites. I can say it’s on my list of books to recommend to people asking me about finances and of course!

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      Glad you agree!

  7. Holly@ClubThrifty September 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    My “check liver light” definitely came on this weekend. Our plane ride Sunday morning was straight out of hell!

    Sorry your credit card was fraudulently charged- it happens to me from time to time. I really have to watch things since we have like 50 credit cards =/

    1. Darrell September 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      “Check liver light” is going in my bank of phrases. 1 point for Holly.

      1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Haha yeah – that was a good one :)

  8. jestjack September 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Welcome back and congrats on your awards. Couple of things….I’d get these things checked out ASAP. First the leak…sounds like a drain to me because there is no water dripping. Get it fixed and make sure the repairman “mitigates” the area for mold. HOT BUTTON topic for landlords. As for the AC sounds like might need a filter change….when these are clogged performance is a big problem. If this isn’t it maybe blockage at the “a-coil” and if that’s not it….control issue….never good. Please make sure you have a “paper trail” for these problems and how they were dealt with. Recently, in Baltimore a landlord was sued for lead paint even though they were properly registered and complied with the law, jury awarded $2.1M. This was a grandmother’s house and g-child wasn’t listed as a resident AND this supposedly happened 15 years ago. You can’t make it up… Like you, I’m a fan of Money and Kiplinger but they seem to have lost their way. Let’s hope they get their “mojo” back.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Such scary stuff!!! Freaks the hell out of me too – we’re def. on it now so fingers crossed it’s nothing too major. And well, I should say my property manager is on it as that’s what we pay them for! :)

  9. Dee @ Color Me Frugal September 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Congrats on the Plutus award! Your poor son, I hope he is feeling better now. We have rental properties and we’ve had a lot of expenses this summer when our tenants moved out without notice and left the place a mess. They had also had the water service to the home shut off, which was super annoying because we had to pay all the startup fees to get it turned back on. We then figured out (the hard way) that the reason they’d had it turned off was probably because the toilet was broken and ran constantly. We are NOT looking forward to the next water bill!

  10. Brian @ Debt Discipline September 24, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Eventful weekend for you. Hope you son is feeling better. Congrats on your award. Not much going on in my world, just became debt free, that all. :)

    1. cndnrose September 24, 2014 at 10:10 AM


    2. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      WOW!!! Way to go!!!! Way to put my wins to shame! Haha…

  11. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money September 24, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    It was pretty cool to have met you J. and sorry to hear that the little was throw-up sick. I can only imagine how freaked out he might have been since it was his first experience. We do keep more than one credit card for the very same reason you mentioned, cc fraud and do what your reader Lucas does. As for the home/rental debate, home ownership is definitely expensive. We currently rent and really don’t mind it. DH would prefer to buy a property at some point but until we know when we will relocate, it ain’t gonna happen.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      No need to rush at all – I think you’re playing it the right way :) Owning a home is no joke – you really have to be prepared for the whole shebang.

  12. Christa@ObjectWealth September 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Congrats on the award! That really sucks about your credit card and your kiddo though. It is so sad when the little ones are sick :(

    My credit cards are safe and my liver is making a full recovery. It was awesome meeting you. I can’t wait for FinCon15!!!

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      It was awesome meeting you too – you’re so full of life and smiles! Love it! :)

  13. Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 24, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Congrats on Rockstar’s Plutus win!!! Stinks that you couldn’t collect it on stage, but at least you were there to pick it up at some point, AND celebrate on the dance floor afterward. :-) And you are welcome on the promised beer, I am glad that other people proved to be men and women of their words. We need a lot more of that these days.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      I agree – you guys are mighty fine Americans :)

  14. John @ Frugal Rules September 24, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Congrats on the win again sir, it’s much deserved! Sorry to hear that your son wasn’t doing well, though glad he’s doing better. It’s never fun to see them get sick, especially when they don’t know what on earth going on. Our credit cards are good now, but have had the same thing happen to us a number of times.

  15. Even Steven September 24, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Based on your anti-sobriety talk I am sincerely surprised it was your son who was throwing up, I joke of course. Congrats on the award, Rockstar Finance is a great site you deserve it. 3 Cheers for you Hip Hip Hooray…….

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Haha… well, I ended up joining him too at some point I’m not gonna lie ;) Though it made him feel a lot better knowing he wasn’t alone! I just left out the reasoning behind our misfortunes, haha…

  16. Derek Olsen September 24, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    The carousel bar gives new meaning to the phrase “another round”.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Hah. And “another round” we most certainly took part in over the night!

  17. Will @ First Quarter Finance September 24, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    So many comments inside my head! Must limit the number!

    1. Dang, how about next post you open up that first copy of Money. Decades later, those stories still look interesting.

    2. Rockstar, FTW

    3. MMM dancing! Oh someone needs to make a clever GIF. Was anyone recording?? Who would of thought he’d be such a great dancer?!

    4. That ‘credit card list’ is brilliant.

    5. I’m even more excited for FinCon15!

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      You know, I would actually like to see how I – and the rest of us – dance in the daylight. We seem SO GREAT at it while up there after some libations! I swear I was channeling some Michael Jackson, or at *least* some Usher ;)

      And PS: I opened up and blogged about the insides of that magazine here:

      All topics pretty much the same now as it was all those decades ago!

  18. Cait Flanders September 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    I have a credit card list tooooooo! Twins. But for realz, that sucks yours was compromised again. I’ve only had my credit card compromised once. My bank was all over it, but it was still a sketchy feeling. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about your rental property!

    And it can’t go without saying, already miss you, friend! Let’s Skype soon.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      I would love to – we didn’t get to chat much :( And you’re one of my favorite people online!

  19. Natalie @ Financegirl September 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    I cannot believe someone was using your credit card – again! Sheesh. At least you have that list, so it should be pretty easy. Congrats on your win!! woop woop – you rock. And glad your son is feeling better. Sounds like your weekend was super eventful; mine was not – hope to be part of the fun next year! :)

  20. writing2reality September 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Congratulations on the award, and being a published testimonial. J Money… makin’ it big!

    I really like the separate cards for automated bill payments versus daily use. I would imagine most folks have at least two credit cards, so this seems like it wouldn’t take too much time to set up and protect yourself in the event of a stolen or lost card.

    Hope you son is feeling better and the rental property issues aren’t too severe!

  21. Christine @ The Pursuit of Green September 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Welcome back from a crazy weekend! Lots of updates, lots of fun, poor little kid getting sick and your liver is recovering. Hopefully he’s all better now.

  22. Jon @ Money Smart Guides September 24, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Wow…you hit up New Orleans and Bulgaria in the same weekend?? I feel your pain with the rental. I just got notice that my tenant needs to break the lease. I’m hoping the whole process goes smoothly, but we shall see.

    I also second the idea that new homeowners take into account repairs and maintenance, as well as upgrading. When I first bought my house, the A/C unit went within the first year. Luckily it was only the compressor (if I remember correctly) but it still cost me a few hundred bucks. At the same time, I had an empty patio that needed furnishing. I waited until fall to get some deals but getting some furniture and a grill still cost a pretty penny.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Yikes! I hope you can get a new tenant in there pretty smoothly – I hate that waiting around period where no rent is coming in :( I’m not cut out for landlord stuff at all, haha…

  23. Erin @ Journey to Saving September 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Congrats on the Plutus Award! Sorry to hear the real reason for you not being in the room was your son, but hopefully he is doing better now! And ouch, double whammy on the credit card fraud, but I’m sure FinCon more than made up for it! In any case, having a credit card list is pretty genius, and I’ll be keeping that in mind if I signup for another.

  24. Den September 24, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Long time reader, first time commenter….

    Just want to thank you for your enthusiasm and energy – I love reading your posts and am so happy for you that you won! Well deserved!!

    1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      Thanks so much Den! What a great way to start out my morning – so glad you’re enjoying the site :)

  25. Michelle September 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Wow sounds like you have a lot going on right now! Congrats on the Plutus Award – definitely well deserved :)

    I’m sad we couldn’t talk more. It was great saying the quick hello though!

  26. Done by Forty September 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    SO GLAD that Matt Becker guy is gone. :)

    Congrats on the microblog award. Personally, I didn’t think you had much competition. Rockstar Finance is a fantastic site that always points me towards good, new writers. Keep it up, friend.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I’m so glad to hear that – it’s exactly what I set out to do: Promote all the awesome bloggers out there and their ideas w/ money. So I’m glad it’s working :)

  27. Michelle September 24, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Congratulations on the win! Sorry your little dude was ill. I love Money magazine and think it’s great that you got to connect with the editor. Am looking forward to that interview.

  28. Asset-Grinder September 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    grats on the microblog award!!. I always read money magazine was happy when I saw u in there!

    1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      You saw me in there? I don’t remember being in there but man, if I was I need to go find a copy! :)

  29. Prudence Debtfree September 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    No credit card problems for me this week-end. I cut my card a few months ago : )
    I don’t know about a carousel bar that spins while you drink. My stomach gets woozy just thinking about it.

  30. Cat@BudgetBlonde September 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    That carousel bar was awesome wasn’t it? Glad your little man is feeling better and congrats again on the award!

  31. Amy September 24, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Congrats on the Plutus!

    I love that tip about keeping a separate credit card for auto-payments!

  32. Myles Money September 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Sorry to hear about the credit card and the property problems, but as you say, there’s always work to be done. I’m interested in getting into property investment. What kind of return do you get on yours (if it’s not too cheeky a question)?

    1. J. Money September 25, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      A negative one :) I literally lose $300-$400 a month. But keep in mind we purchased it as our residence initially – we weren’t thinking about renting it out and turning it into an investment property. Thinking about that stuff first would have led to totally different results – like, not buying the one we did. But such is life…. On the plus side this blog and my entire life changed because of that decision :)

  33. Zee @ Work To Not Work September 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    a bar that spins while you sit and drink….. Isn’t that enticing people that are too drunk to throw up. That would be like giving me a samurai sword in a pumpkin patch and not expecting me to try out my new hattori hanzo steel.

  34. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet September 25, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    FinCon sounds like a lot of fun! I wasn’t able to make it but maybe next year. I had a credit card that was also fraudulently used earlier this year. I am not sure where it happened exactly but I think it was at a restaurant (apparently they’re bad for that)

  35. Camille @ Challenge Mantra September 25, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    All my credit cards are starting to get replaced by ones with these funny little microchips in it. I heard it’s supposed to be more secure, but I haven’t really looked into it yet.

    I definitely have too many credit cards at the moment… thinking of scaling back to 2 or 3, and I really like that advice about bills on one and expenses on another. That’s good stuff!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      You’re good stuff! :)

  36. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way September 26, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Oh, sorry to hear that your son was sick! Btw, congrats on your award and you really do deserve it!

  37. Lauren September 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    So sorry about the Credit Card issue….I was wondering why you left mid Plutus Awards. It was so great to meet you at FinCon. Looking forward to next year already!

    1. J. Money October 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Awesome meeting you too – let’s do again some time :)