Some life updates :)


Snagged that dollar up there at my local thrift last month – isn’t it cool? :)

Here’s a bunch of updates on things we’ve blogged about over the months in case you were wondering on any of ’em… If I missed anything, just holler!

honda odyssey

Minivan — Two months in now and still driving it! The newness has worn off and I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I was hoping to after hearing how much people love ’em, but I do my best to remember it’s for the greater good of my family and there are some things I do like… Like the hands-free calling and how much my kids and dog get out of it, etc… Just won’t be one of those proud Minivan Dads I guess, but oh well! We tried!

New puppy — Now this one was surprising in the OTHER direction! I had no idea how much love and joy a dog could bring to a family, and all my anxieties of having “more responsibility” have completely flown out the window… Everyone just ADORES her – especially the kids! – and it seems like she’s getting a lot out of us as well :) So a great call on this one for sure (And I’m now outside 3-4x more every day too! Another bonus!)

[Still not decided on the pet insurance stuff though… Just really can’t tell if it’s worth it or not so for now we’re just “not” and seeing what happens, haha… But I can still be convinced!!]

New couch — Worth every hour fighting those turds to get that dang ottoman in the end!! And turns out it makes for epic fort building too ;) You can actually catch a glimpse of it up there in that doggy pic.

owning a home again

Our new’ish home — That picture there pretty much sums it up still, lol…Though it hasn’t been all that horrible lately :) The yard is fantastic for the kids and the new pup, and logically I know it’ll be better financially in the end since we plan on staying put, but deep down I still crave renting and all the freedoms that come with it… I just wish we would have found a way to give us more *time* to look around vs settling for 2nd best like we did, but oh well… We made it back to my favorite state at least, so mission accomplished there!

agatha k

My friend Agatha! — Still battling her nasty disease, but got an update from her recently saying what a boost y’all gave her with all those donations!! Over $3,200 when all was said and done after a week! WAY TO GO GUYS!!!

Here was her message:

“Thank you to all of you and J for your donations and support. In late January, I felt so exhausted by therapy that I did not know how I would continue. Then all of a sudden I see a flood of donations and support in my fundraisers. It gave me such an incredible boost. I cannot thank you all enough! This week in therapy was more physically demanding than any other and my nervous system is able to handle it, which is wonderful news. I am doing everything I can in therapy to get to a full recovery <3”

Budgets Are Sexy — Last but not least – the selling of this blog! Which turned 12 YEARS last month if you can believe it! And while I technically don’t own it anymore, it still feels like I pretty much do since I’m still here day in and day out with y’all ;) Only with a lot more freedom and cash in the bank while doing it, haha…

But hopefully you haven’t noticed too much of a difference since the takeover? They’ve been great at letting me do my thing, and I actually just re-signed my contract to stay on for a bit longer since everything’s going so well… Though at some point I *will* have to transition out and let the site move into its next phase, but don’t worry – I’ll give you plenty of heads up so it doesn’t come out of nowhere like what usually happens! I’m always going to be around on other projects in the community anyways, so we’ll have plenty of chances to stay connected for whoever wants to.

Here’s my personal newsletter too if you’re not already on it –>

In the meantime, keep saving that money and have a blessed weekend out there! Let me know if you wanted an update on anything else!

Oh, one last one – my kids. Who are basically like mini adults now and get along great until they don’t ;) Here they are playing Ring Around the Rosie – one of the worst nursery rhymes ever, haha…

kids all grown up

Talk to you soon!

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  1. SWFL Financial Coaching March 6, 2020 at 6:54 AM

    My wife and I have found that of all the vehicles we have rented over the past few years, the minivan is the one that fits our double stroller the best.

    At least your kids have a bunch of leaves to rake! :)

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 9:37 AM

      True on both of those items, lol…

      And Yard Sale season has yet to begin, so it’s possibly the van might win me over there ;)

  2. Paul March 6, 2020 at 8:06 AM

    That’s how it starts with a minivan. You wont fully appreciate it till you have to all travel in something else… Conceptually, we all know that a van is not the hottest thing out there but from a convenience perspective minivan is king. IDK about you but I value convenience at this point of my life is more than a driving a Ferrari. Also, I’m 6’5 so I doubt I could even fit into one..

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 9:40 AM

      It will be 10x easier on road trips for sure…

      I think the hardest part is actually going back and forth between the Van and the SUV because it’s actually gotten me to appreciate the SUV even MORE over time now knowing the difference! Soooooo much smoother and quicker than the gargantuan van, and it doesn’t help that the SUV is more luxurious too…

      1. Paul March 6, 2020 at 1:24 PM

        we have a 2011 touring and a 2020 elite. I can imagine how much more luxurious a vehicle could actually be. the 2020 is ridiculous, heated steering wheel + side mirrors, heated and air conditioned from seats, wireless charging pad, literally every possible safety feature you can put in a car.

  3. Christine March 6, 2020 at 9:04 AM

    Your pup looks like she could be a cousin to my boy. So cute!

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 9:40 AM

      Cool! Feel free to send me 100 pics of him :)

  4. Francis March 6, 2020 at 9:43 AM

    Thanks for the update on Agatha.

    Funny you should mention noticing the difference in the blog since the “takeover”. It may be me being in FAT FIRE and watching my own blog and interest in the FIRE community wane or that the FIRE community has matured.
    Perhaps we’re all just settling down a bit in our new gigs and encore jobs as I’ve noticed in several other blogs.

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:01 PM

      I think a lot more people are on social media more chatting about this stuff too since it’s so much faster and built for communication vs blogs… Sometimes I’ll be writing about something and then hours later when I’m finished the world changed and my point isn’t as strong anymore, haha… And then I have to re-write the thing and it still won’t get published until the morning! :)

  5. sn March 6, 2020 at 11:18 AM

    Hi J$,

    Thank you so much for re-signing the contract again. We could enjoy another year or more (?) with you on the site. Knowing this makes a great start to a Friday and great way to end the week :).

    Keep it ROCKIN!!

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:03 PM

      Haha awesome :) I don’t know if it’ll be another *year*, but we’re def. still a ways off from the big send off so the party continues!

  6. BuddMann March 6, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    I’ve got that same sign in my office because….

    Mine is not as boss as your’s though…no $$$

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:05 PM

      It’s just a sign of the buck stops here without an actual buck?

      I might have to send you one to tack on it as that’s just bush league! :)

  7. Scott March 6, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Your new puppy looks just like one of ours! Except the one that looks like that is the male dog in our house. Ours is a beagle mix. Yours?

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:06 PM

      I don’t even know! Rescued her from a shelter who rescued her from a KILL shelter (day before she was set to fly into the heavens!) and they really couldn’t tell us much on her background :( All I know is she had a few marks from being in a dog fight so now is scared of other dogs, but she ADORES children and people so we have to help get her used to dogs again.. Some others have mentioned beagle so that could surely be it, but I just don’t know :(

      1. Scott March 6, 2020 at 5:04 PM

        Ours is such a sweet dog and very good with our kids. We also rescued from a shelter along with his sister. The shelter was out of Radford, VA I believe and all they could definitively tell us was that it was a beagle mix. We’re thinking the other half comes from some sort of hound. Either way, we’ve had them since 2010 and love them both so much.

        1. J. Money March 9, 2020 at 6:43 AM

          That’s awesome :)

  8. Caroline March 6, 2020 at 12:28 PM

    Awesome updates! too looked at pet insurance, I am a huge fan of envelopes and I went with a dog envelope, $100.00 monthly, we have a now 5yr. old German Shepherd/Shedder! So far so good!

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:07 PM

      That envelope must be nice and thick by now! :)

      1. Lory March 6, 2020 at 2:17 PM

        We discovered that shopping around for a vet was a much bigger value than the pet insurance. Sick visits with antibiotics where we go seem to be around 1/2 the cost of other nearby places and the vet is fantastic so it doesn’t seem to be related to quality. So we too are setting money aside, but the vet bills are pretty small so far (less than one months of pet insurance for a visit).

  9. steveark March 6, 2020 at 12:31 PM

    I can remember driving a minivan when we had three little kids. Trust me, nothing is worse to drive if you have even the tiniest dormant sliver of a car guy in you. But this will pass. We only had the one and we were so happy to eventually sell it and get a real car. Just consider it an awkward driving phase that will pass.

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:08 PM

      A “real” car haha…. I honestly was 100% okay with it there for the first week and thought it was going to be awesome, but now with each passing week my enthusiasm has dwindled :)

  10. Caro March 6, 2020 at 12:49 PM

    My minivan was a rocket. Fastest car I ever drove. I was still young enough to enjoy the facial expressions of frustration in my rearview mirror when I blew away muscle cars at red lights.

    1. J. Money March 6, 2020 at 2:09 PM

      STOP!! What type did you have?!

  11. Lee March 6, 2020 at 5:12 PM

    Love your new puppy :) :) :) We got a rescue a few years ago named Yoda (who is a Yorkie/Mini-schnauzer mix). A shelter rescued him from a kill-shelter :( I still can’t believe the previous owners of such a sweet 5 mo. old puppy could do that.

    Your dog will bring you and your family so much joy! So we actually have pet insurance for Yoda just because he suffers from allergies and goes to the vet every 4-6 weeks for a shot so for us it is worth it and makes financial sense.

    1. J. Money March 9, 2020 at 6:45 AM

      Give Yoda a squeeze for me!! Awesome name for a dog, haha…

  12. Gordon March 7, 2020 at 3:12 AM

    Not sure how it works in the US, but here in the UK we could NOT do without Pet Insurance for our two fur babies.

    One developed seizures and is now on daily medication, the other has had two hip operations (she was a rescue dog) both of which were in the 5k region.

    I hope your dog never ever needs anything like that (what a gorgeous wee thing!) but then that’s what insurance is based on.

    1. J. Money March 9, 2020 at 6:45 AM


  13. Deanna @ Recovering Women Wealth March 8, 2020 at 12:31 AM

    Heyyy! Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve been on your blog so I missed the fundraiser for Agatha. I can and will pray for her though.

    Puppy & kids are adorable:). And yes ring around the rosey is awful! Let’s make up a new one for the coronavirus ;)

    Noooooo, on your eventually not being on here. I know it’s coming and you’ll still be around but :(

    1. J. Money March 9, 2020 at 6:45 AM