Top 10 Most Popular Posts of The Year

Happy New Year, budgeters!

Y’all having a nice day off, or kicking it off with a little hustle? Anyone still hungover? ;) If you’re on the grind, avert your eyes and get back to it!, but if you’re chillin’ and ready to enjoy yourself a little, sit back, grab a cup of warm caffeine, and feast your eyes on our best hits from 2016…

But first, some nifty stats!

  • Total number of page views on the blog this year: 5,067,547
  • Total number of people who came to visit: 3,913,539
  • Total number of articles written: 141
  • Longest article written: 1,000,272 characters! One of my favorite, yet not-so-internet-friendly posts where I showed you exactly what $1 Million Dollars looks like in $ signs :) (Hint: there were over 1 million of them which WordPress, nor web browsers, nor cell phones liked. So if you click over, be prepared for your system to slow down and/or crash! Still, I pulled it off!)
  • Number of times I’ve said “like” “totally” or added a smiley: 1,373,917,132,001 :)
  • Lists I started but never finished: 1 (100 Things List)
  • Nerdy holidays we celebrated: 2 (National Spreadsheet Day, Be A Millionaire Day)
  • Games I made up and fake Trademarked: 1 (The Financial Empowerment Game™)

Also, some funny Google searches I’ve saved over the year (from people searching and then getting to my blog – maybe you were one of them? ;))

  • “is getn money d only way to win a girl”
  • “how many mustards can be purchased with one coupon”
  • “why do rich people look beautiful?”
  • “”
  • “cost of amish taxi in ky”
  • “are morticians rich”
  • “anyone need goodlooking bouncer”
  • “i want to sell my Virginia”
  • “does Walmart wash returned clothes”
  • “shel silverstein my dad gave me a dollar”
  • “if he has a gold amex is he rich”
  • “your income reflects your soul”

(Okay, I lied – these are only the funniest searches from the past 24 hours (!). I totally need to be keeping track of these better throughout the year though… they’re hilarious! Here are others we’ve shared over the years though: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2010, 2010, 2009)

The Most Popular Articles of 2016!

laptop glasses

Okay, to the meat! Here are the most popular articles from all of 2016 based on total number of page views (and written IN 2016). If you enjoy this today, I’ll do another post this week on my *favorite* posts from the year… mainly written by me as half of these are not – hah :) (Update: favorite posts made!)

#1) How a Spreadsheet Changed My Life — This is a story of how a reader here completely changed his finances around when he started building out a customized spreadsheet. He details out what all 12 tabs of it does for him (yes, 12!!), and then shares screenshots of his actual numbers too. It’s a good one if you’re into this sorta stuff ;)

#2) I’ve Made $20,000 Through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk –Another guest poster takes a top spot here with Side Hustle #65 on hustling “turks.” He shares tips on how he makes a few hundred dollars each month, as well as the ins and outs of it. HINT: You need lots of time and patience to get it up and going.

#3) WE SOLD OUR HOUSE! NO MORE MORTGAGES!! — Ooooh one I wrote! And BOY was it a good one – at least for our peace of mind :) We had been wanting to offload our house for yearrrs but never had the cajones to pull the trigger until one day our renters had to dip and we decided to JUST DO IT. Almost a year later we couldn’t be happier, and I’ve almost forgotten what a hassle maintaining a house used to be, or the gobs of cash we had sunk into it – even to just sell it! We’re now FREE, baby, FREEE!!

vibrant numbers

#4) Finally – The Magic Number You Need to Retire!! — This was one of my all-time favorites to write, just because I was sick and tired of all those “financial experts” out there rattling off nonsense about how everyone needs $X Million in their accounts to retire, as if they knew each and every one of our stories. How can you tell someone living off $20,000 a year that they’d need the same amount as someone going through $80,000 a year?? And then depress the $20,000 frugal one into thinking he needs to work for the next 60 years of his life or else HE’LL NEVER SURVIVE, AGHHHH! Please… It has nothing to do with your income or any other arbitrary numbers out there – it’s all about your lifestyle. Namely, spending.

#5) 29 Quick Money Tricks — This was a cool round up of tips that I got from my social media followers one day when I was bored :) I asked them the following question, and got a TON of juicy answers in return: “What’s a quick trick you do with money? To save, invest, or pay down debt, etc?”

#6) The 7 Most Mind-Blowing Ways to Save Money E-V-E-R — This was another sarcastic post of mine (I’m sensing you guys like those? Haha…) in which I share a handful of the most ridiculous “tips” these same experts spout as if the only thing in life that mattered was money. Or that some of these were as easy to do as tying your shoes. Oh, never get a divorce?? Damn – I should have known that was going to happen 17 years from now, why didn’t I see that coming! (Ohhhh you know what? I’ll just stay with my abusive partner instead – that’ll def. save me some good cash over the next 5 decades…)

money ideas

#7) 11 Awesome Money Ideas — Another roundup of quick tips including starting a “financial notebook,” a clever way to charge your kids rent, how to better chart your net worth progress, tips on paying down debt and spending less, Financial Fasts, Giving Circles, and the opposite of “To Do” lists with the “To Done” list!

#8) How Angelina Jolie Budgets (It’s Good!) — This was both a surprise find, and a surprise hit, haha… A) I had no idea Mrs. Jolie was so good with her money! And B) I didn’t think it would turn into such a resource for budgeting ideas either. Something I ended up adding in the end right before publishing it. So if you’re on the hunt for a new budgeting plan, see if any of the ones here help!

#9) Declining a Million Dollar Deal, and My Upcoming Sabbatical — Most of y’all already know about this one, but for any (super) new people to the site, I went back and forth on accepting a pretty hefty offer for my blogs and I eventually turned it all down in order to go All In on myself… So far it’s been a blast and I’m launching stuff left and right, but time will tell whether my wallet ever forgives me ;) On the plus side, you would just be staring at a blank screen right now had I taken it! Haha…

#10) The First $100,000 Is The Hardest — People like to say that the first MILLION is the hardest, and that would be true, but the fact is you can’t make it anywhere near a million before first hitting 100 thousand! And this post gets into why that is, as well as how long it’s taken me to hit my first $100k, and then each additional $100k thereafter. Let’s just say the first one took decades slower than the others ;)

The most popular service we reviewed in 2016? YNAB (You Need A Budget). Where my boy Vic gave us an inside peek on the pros and cons, as well as screenshots of his own account and how it’s turned around his entire finances. The service has changed a little since the review, but we made sure to add an addendum to the end to still keep it helpful. And spoiler alert: it’s still just as awesome.

And here – the post that ruffled the most feathers, haha…. Bye Bye Frankencaddy, Hello Car Payments! I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger day of unsubscribes from this blog :) Apparently you’re never allowed to go in debt as a financial blogger and/or get a luxury vehicle, haha… I did learn that over a dozen of YOU also have a Lexus RX like me though! That was cool! And so far I haven’t gone bankrupt. *Fingers crossed*

There you have it! All you had to do was read this one post all year ;) Let me know if you’d like me to share my *favorite* 10 posts of the year too like I did last year and I shall serve ‘er right up for ya.

UPDATE: Here’s my list of favorite posts from 2016!

In the meantime, keep on keeping on! It’s going to be a damn good 2017 – I can feel it.

Want to see previous “Best Ofs”? Here you go:

(Don’t ask me what happened to the other years…)

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  1. The Green Swan January 2, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    Wow people have a pretty quick finger to unsubscribe just because you bought a Lexus!
    What a great year and here’s to an even better 2017!

  2. John C @ Action Economics January 2, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    Yeah, that’s amazing that people unsubscribed over you buying a car with payments, especially since you got a low interest rate, a short term, and a relatively low total price point. Congrats on 5 MILLION page views! Amazing! I broke 100,000 this year (136,316).

    1. J. Money January 2, 2017 at 8:58 AM

      Just like money, traffic starts compounding over time :) I pretty much do the same stuff as I had 8 years ago but time and consistency brings bigger effects with each passing year. And (hopefully) getting better at writing and what not too.

      1. DNN February 7, 2019 at 7:28 AM

        This is absolutely why I love the power of the internet to create wealth and earn a 100% online living. You can do all of this from anywhere or the comfort of your home without 0% real-world human interaction. Affiliate marketing, blogging, buying and selling is today’s new new of “stable employment.” :-)

        1. J. Money February 7, 2019 at 10:21 AM

          Hah! Not exactly, but if you have the passion (and patience!) for it, it could certainly open up opportunities for you.

  3. Liz January 2, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    Heck yes on sharing your favorite posts from the last year! I’d love to see how they’re different than the top posts here. And looks like those unsubscribes didn’t hurt you much at all in the long run. Congrats again on turning down the $1M offer and can’t wait to see what you have in store this year!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM

      Thanks Liz!

      Yeah – the posts will be a lot different as usually the ones you like the most as a blogger don’t take off as well as random ones you post, haha… I’m sure that happens to you too, yeah?

  4. Amanda January 2, 2017 at 7:58 AM

    Hi J, great round up …. I just went back and reread a few of my favorites and was motivated all over again. Thanks for what you are doing and very happy new year to you and your family. BTW, yes, please post YOUR favorites of the year, I’d love to know which you are most proud of. I am a fledgling PF blogger and of the 4 posts I’ve put up and the 15 plus I’ve written, there are stand outs to me. They may never get traction with my readers but they were cathartic to put on paper. Best wishes in 2017!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2017 at 9:01 AM

      Awesome! okay, well now two of you have asked so probably good to do w/ the faves then :) And agree 100% – sometimes it just feels great getting stuff out of your head and down on paper (electrons?). Then it’s even more satisfying if it does happen to take off!

  5. Full Time Finance January 2, 2017 at 7:59 AM

    It’s amazing you’d have that much of a reaction to buying a car. If you can afford it without massive impacts on your savings and you value it more then what the money can be used for elsewhere, then why not?

    5 million views is beyond my comprehension at this time. That’s a fantastic achievement. Anyway best to you in 2017.

  6. Michael Naab January 2, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Wow, I was not expecting to see my article, let alone at #2, when I opened up this post. As a quick follow up, I’m up over $31,000 on side income from Amazon Mechanical Turk now in addition to my normal work and other side gigs. The patience has definitely been paying off so far.

    Congrats on the success of your website! Looking forward to everything to come in 2017!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2017 at 9:03 AM

      Nice!!! Ballin’ over there – I love it.

      (And really appreciate your post even more, now that I too realize how popular it is haha… I rarely dive deep into my stats so we were both surprised :))

  7. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor January 2, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    You had a lot of great posts this year! I loved the sarcasm of #6. And what personal finance nerd doesn’t love a post about spreadsheets?! It was also very exciting to hear your life updates about selling the house, moving, and your blog changes. What a year!

  8. Mrs. Picky Pincher January 2, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Hahaha, oh my god, those Google searches. It sounds like 2016 was a bangin’ year for BAS! Those pageviews are nothing to scoff at, either! I remember that the Mechanical Turk article was actually how I found this site in the first place.

    Great job with everything, J$!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:42 AM

      Oh, really?? That’s cool! It was all worth it, then :)

  9. Freedom 40 Guy January 2, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Hi J – Been a long time reader (since 2009 or 2010) and it’s amazing to see you’re pulling down over 5 million page views now! Certainly a testament to your “stick-to-it-ness”! you’re blog has definitely given me lots of great tips along the way and even inspired me to start my own blog. Keep it up!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:45 AM

      Dude! Thanks for reading for so long – wow. We’re both so much older now, haha… Love that you’ve started your own journey too now – and even more so that you’re so close to early retirement!! You’re absolutely killing it over there.

  10. Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions January 2, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    I loved #3 personally! Selling that house was key and not an easy thing to do! Definitely cue up your favorites! After a year of reading tons of blogs, it’s great to go back to the ones that really rose to the top! Happy 2017 to you and your family J$ ;)

  11. FI Warrior January 2, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Congrats on all the page views! I really appreciate your consistency and longevity. I always get a kick out of them when they hit my Inbox. After a couple years of reading, I finally decided to start my own blog for my enjoyment and to teach family and friends. I think it’s awesome you got a Lexus. Everyone has different priorities and the Lexus buy just keeps it real.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:46 AM

      Nice! Been enjoying our email convos this week – congrats again on getting the blog out the door, and great name for it too :)

  12. Go Finance Yourself! January 2, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Love the search terms! It’s hilarious to see what people actually type into the search bar. Thanks for rounding up all these great articles. Love the Angelina Jolie budget one. Congrats on the continued success of your blog!

  13. Amanda @centsiblyrich January 2, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Love the stats! Amazing traffic. And, seriously, those google searches are the best…in just 24 hours?!

    I love article #4!!! It all comes down to spending…Someone needed to say it!

  14. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes January 2, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Great list of blog posts J$. Many of those were among my favorites for the year!

    Happy New Year! Hope to hear from you again in 2017!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:48 AM

      Very cool! happy new year (and blogging) to you too :)

  15. Fiscally Free January 2, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    We bought a *GASP* brand new car last year (there were a lot of extenuating circumstances), so don’t feel bad about your used Lexus, which should last pretty much forever.

    Congrats on a solid 2016, and good luck in 2017.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:47 AM

      Uh oh – better not blog about it! Haha… I think you actually get more hate for buying *new* in our circles than you would luxury haha…

  16. Mustard Seed Money January 2, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    I laughed out loud when I read “how many mustards can be purchased with one coupon.” Please tell me that one of your posts answers this mysterious question :)

    Thanks for sharing your top 10 posts and I look forward to reading more from you in 2017!!!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:49 AM

      Yeah, I have nooooo idea how that actually hit my site, haha… Just so random!

  17. Gary @ Super Saving Tips January 2, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Those search terms are great. Sometimes I look at mine and wonder how they got from there to here. But I can’t believe that people unsubscribed because you bought a car. Well ok, a Lexus with payments. Still, that’s where the personal part of personal finance comes in. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!

  18. ESI Money January 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    I still think the first $1 million is hardest! ;)

    Here’s to a great 2017 for us all!

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:49 AM

      Yeah yeah ;)

  19. Derek January 2, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    The searches, THE SEARCHES!!!!!

  20. Vic @ Dad is Cheap January 2, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    Thanks for the mention J$!

    It took awhile for the new YNAB to get up and running like the old version, but I can confidently say it’s better than ever! And no, YNAB doesn’t pay me to say that, although one day working for them would be my dream job ;). Being able to access YNAB on any computer and the ability to import transactions is a game changer over the previous version! I’ll happily spend $50/year until eternity for YNAB.

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:52 AM

      Haha… from what I hear they have CRAZYYYY benefits too. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about it before (or someone has blogged about it before???) let me go check…

      Ahhh it was a post by JL Collins!

      Either way, yeah dude – that would be a perfect match for y’all :)

  21. Mrs. Mad Money Monster | @madmoneymonster January 2, 2017 at 6:12 PM

    Happy New Year to you, too, J. Money! Today was my final day “off”even though I worked from home for 4 hours and spent quite a few additional hours developing a 2017 plan for my blog. Thanks for the insight into your stats! Gives me something to strive for ;)

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  22. Primal Prosperity January 2, 2017 at 9:08 PM

    I’m not sure if you know this, but Angelina Jolie is also a licensed pilot. As a female licensed pilot myself, I think it is pretty cool. :)

    1. J. Money January 3, 2017 at 6:53 AM

      You are like an unraveling mystery over there, haha… The things we keep learning about you!

  23. Lindy January 3, 2017 at 4:55 PM

    I wait patiently for YOUR top favorite posts. I love the insights…

  24. Robert@OUR FINANCIAL JOURNEY January 4, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    Just a awesome bog J. Money and the traffic to validate that! Thanks for all the great information…

  25. Jody N January 4, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Love these, didn’t see a couple of them before even though I’ve been scouring your site.

    Hit my first $100,000 this month (net worth). A little late to the party, but better late than never, I guess. I’ve been putting $ in my 401k since I was able to, and I have coworkers my age or older who’ve never contributed, and I don’t know what they’re thinking. But I still feel like *I’m* not doing enough!

    Thanks for all you do! I found your blog simply looking for reviews of Acorns, and now I’m investing more and tracking everything. You help people, man, and that’s so awesome!

  26. ZJ Thorne January 5, 2017 at 11:51 PM

    I hadn’t even considered how mobile unfriendly your million dollar post was. Perks of reading at home computer???

    Keep up the smileys, man!

    1. J. Money January 6, 2017 at 7:12 AM

      Haha yeah – it crashed so much stuff!! Even knocked my entire email newsletter off, for not only that day, but others too because it couldn’t get past it to pull newer items in the feed, ugh… Learned how to avoid in future though, so at least that’s good (maybe for the “this is what a BILLION dollars looks like post? Haha…)

  27. Rich Growth Tips January 6, 2017 at 5:04 PM

    I read through the No.1 “How a Spreadsheet Changed My Life”. I suppose quite many people tried to track their money, but most of them failed. The success depends on how serious we take it. The author broke down his money into 12 categories with short term and long term aims. At the same time, he also invests to keep his wealth growing.