My Top 10 *Favorite* Blog Posts of 2015

What up, what up!

I hope you really like my site because I’m about to drop another Top 10 list at your feet today ;) But at least it’s not the Worst Posts of 2015! That would keep you busy until at least the start of 2017 – hah.

Unlike the last list of the most popular articles from the year based on page views, this time around I hand plucked my personal faves from throughout the year. The posts that were not only fun to write, but also had some great takeaways that I had recently learned myself (and now form the way I think about money on the daily).

In a perfect world these are the ones you hope to take off and go viral as a blogger, but perhaps releasing them into the wild again might have some better luck? Go posts, go – you can do it! ;)

My 10 favorite posts I wrote in 2015

found pennies walk

#1) Being Happy = Being Happy — I think of this concept A LOT. Like, almost every single day. It’s something I feel like everyone should be aware of as it can drastically improve both your finances and your lifestyle once you understand how you work. It took me a good 30+ years to figure this out so hopefully you catch on quicker!

#2) My Answer to All Financial Debates — You know those heated debates in the finance world like whether to invest your money or pay off your mortgage? Or which is better for you – paying off your debt or starting an emergency fund? Well, this is my answer to all of them and it doesn’t always make me a popular guy ;) (Though it has served me well throughout my financial Renaissance!)

#3) I’d Rather Be Young — This is a new line I tell myself anytime I’m jealous of other people’s stuff. Like the Ranges they ride or millions/billions they have in the bank, or their gargantuan careers, etc. Almost every single one of them are much (much!) older than I since it usually takes people a while to accrue such awesomeness, so all I do when I catch myself salivating now is to ask myself if I’d rather have all that wealth or my relatively young age instead. And 10 times out of 10 I choose my youth :)

karate kicks

#4) Challenge Everything Complete! $5,484.07 Banked! — This was the culmination of one of my most popular series (and experiments) done here since the start of the blog. For 12 months straight I cut bills, sold stuff online, and banked every *extra* dollar that came my way eventually adding up to enough to max out a Roth IRA. This post here summarizes how it all went, and breaks down the savings by sections with sexy little graphs…. And the beautiful part is that the savings keeps on going without lifting a finger! We’re already up to $908.28 in round II!

#5) If This Were My Last Post on Money — This one sounds ominous, but it pretty much whittles everything I’ve learned about finances over the years into one simple – and short – blog post. Whenever the day comes to retire this blog I’m totally digging this back up and re-publishing it :)

#6) What I Learned Working Like Benjamin Franklin For a Week — What started out as a fun little experiment copying Benjamin Franklin’s schedule for a week, soon turned into a formidable habit that marks work day #103 in a row for me today :) In which I wake up around the 5 am mark and do some good thinking and “powerful goodness!” I was  never able to catch on to the rest of B. Frankin’s daily scheme  (cuz you know I *ahem* share in the responsibilities of managing our household and kids), but for all the parts to stick the morning routine has been quite impactful.


#7) What Haters Are Like — You ALL know people like this, haha…

#8) The Zero Waste Lifestyle — I stumbled across this movement one early morning rocking the B. Franklin routine, and it’s penetrated my life ever since (that’s right – I said penetrated!). It’s a pretty extreme take on minimalism/saving the Earth, but it really got me to STOP and think about why I do the things I do with our “stuff” and trash. Very similar to the process of consciously choosing how we spend and save our money too. Highly recommend reading this synopsis and seeing if anything clicks. (And if you’re more interested in seeing how it can apply directly to your finances, check out this post instead).

#9) Freedom > Money > Stuff — A good reminder of the point of money and how it affects our lives. Print out this pic and stick it to your fridge!

freedom money stuff

And lastly, #10) How Blogger J. Money Socked Away $400,000 In 7 Years — While not a post I wrote myself, this one had to be my all-time favorite as it’s every financial blogger’s dream: getting a story written up about you on Forbes! Even though you’re anonymous!! (Which would have never happened back in the day). It still feels so surreal as it sounds like a totally different person, but I guess that’s what good journalists are paid to do – make someone’s average sounding life look juicy! So I’ll take it any day of the week ;)

Runner up posts:

And there you have it – the last blog post I’ll write for the year! A blog talking about other blog posts – hah. We’ll be sure to return to our regularly scheduled postcasting from this point out – I promise :)

Happy new year everyone!! Watch those wallets this weekend!

*In case you’re wondering, I couldn’t choose the order of my favorite posts so I made them all #1 ;) Plus, didn’t want to hear the little guys bickering with each other all day long, haha…

[Karate pic by Jeffrey Rowland]

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  1. Kristi @ Femme Frugality December 30, 2015 at 6:02 AM

    Pretty much every single post you write is a fantastic, entertaining, and helpful post. Thanks for a great year or finance made fun, J. I look forward to 2016!

    1. J. Money December 30, 2015 at 6:52 AM

      awww, well thank you friend. A very merry new year to you and your fam too!

    2. Sandi February 8, 2016 at 3:26 AM

      I agree. I enjoy reading your posts. I like that you do a side hustle series too. I wrote an ebook about side hustles. I think thats a very popular topic.

      1. J. Money February 8, 2016 at 3:07 PM

        Thanks Sandi :)

  2. Thias @It Pays Dividends December 30, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    All are great but I especially like “Being Happy = Being Happy”! It is just a simple idea that everyone can implement in their lives. Happy New Year! Thanks for everything you have written and done in 2016. You definitely make personal finance entertaining!

    1. J. Money December 30, 2015 at 6:54 AM

      Thanks man :) We really can be happy on a lot less!

  3. Hannah December 30, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    I liked “My Answer to All Financial Debates” because let’s be real… math is helpful for about 6% of the population.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:22 AM


  4. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor December 30, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    I really liked “Being Happy = Being Happy” because contentment is such a struggle for me, but also something I know transcends all circumstances. And I got a real kick out of “What Haters Are Like” too. I missed the Forbes feature so I’m excited to check it out!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:30 AM

      I’m glad you liked them, Kalie :) Was so great getting to know you this year! Big fan of what you’re doing over on your blog.

  5. Brian @DebtDiscipline December 30, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Another great year J$. I think your “If This Were My Last Post on Money” post had a number of us worried. Keep hustling! Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:25 AM

      Haha, I still have some more in me :)

  6. Brad December 30, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Your blog has been so helpful to our family! Happy New Year and I hope 2016 is an incredible year of continued growth!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:27 AM

      I’m so glad, man! Here’s to a killer new year for you guys too!

  7. Nicola @ The Frugal Cottage December 30, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    I think my favourite is ‘Being Happy = Being Happy’ out of that list. Happy new year and here’s to 2016 being great!

  8. The Saving Nerd December 30, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    J. Money I like #3 because youth is petty important I remember when I was too young to get in a club, now I never get carded. :)

    Although, I had a good time being young the wisdom I have gained is invaluable.

    Great list. Happy New Year.

  9. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich December 30, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    The Benjamin Franklin posts you wrote were among my favorite I read this year! Getting up super early really sucks, but, (un?)fortunately seems to work wonders.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:32 AM

      Haha yeah – the getting up part itself actually sucks balls, but thankfully the shot of productivity and deep thought makes up for it :)

  10. AmandaBK December 30, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I just started reading your blog and love it! I follow MMM and RetireBy40 and I have added you to my favorites. Can you or your readers help me with ideas? I am want to generate passive (or nearly passive income) and I have about $20K to invest. I have been researching rental property deals but I live north of Boston and the profit margins are not great (especially since I don’t have enough cash to flip.)

    I am leaning toward a laundromat but after searching and reaching out to several owners I can’t find any for sale within 15/20 miles of my house. (I currently commute 3 hours/day to my corporate gig so cutting back on that is huge to me.)

    So, what are my options? Any all realistic thoughts are welcome. Again, I have about 20K to invest and my husband and I are high(er) income earners living beneath our means. We also have jobs so I don’t need something to support me, just get me on the track to passive income sources.


    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:40 AM

      Oh man, I’m not the right one to ask on that as I’m pretty biased towards investing all my $$$ into index funds and letting it ride there. The idea of owning or managing property/businesses gives me the heebie jeebies so I stick to the stuff that is truly passive and am cool with getting average returns vs trying to make a killing (which can also have the opposite effect – hah). Also, always hard to give advance without knowing someone’s dreams and personalities – which play huge factors in things like this (at least in my opinion).

      You’re definitely on the right track looking around finance blogs though! Keep searching and see what you find :) In fact, I literally just read an article that talks about what to do with $20,000 – let me see if I can find it real quick…


      See if that helps :) Here’s a list of my favorite blogs too across investing, maybe you’ll find something good here as well:

      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Steve Miller December 30, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    The one I liked best: If This Were My Last Post on Money…

    Short and simple.

  12. Cathlene December 30, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    The Forbes article is what brought me to your blog and now I am hooked. It’s been a year now – can’t believe it! Looking forward to another entertaining and insightful year.

    Happy New Year to all!

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:41 AM

      Well that’s pretty cool! I guess I haven’t scared you off yet! :)

  13. Debtman December 30, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    I always loved your “I’d Rather be Young” post! I get way too caught up in the future and wanting to be financially independent, so when I first read it, something clicked! Plus, having a recent passing in the family taught me I need to focus on today and be grateful for where I’m at and where I’ve come from.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:42 AM

      I’m so glad man :) The more we can remind ourselves of this each day, the better.

  14. Martin December 30, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    I love the 5am wake up. I go to sleep at 5am lol. I’m inspired to do an early riser experiment for a week.

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:43 AM

      I always think of you as my inner rockstar :) Especially since we have the same birthdays! (Of which I’m pretty sure you did a wee more partying on it than I did – hah) But yes – give it a shot, bro!

  15. Vicki December 30, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Happy New Year from the Aussie House Sitter ( now this is a good way to save a few $ while sitting by other peoples pools ). Have a good one J Money. Thanks for a year of awesome posts. I want to say your blog is one of my favourites for sure * because you are humble, funny and can laugh at yourself. You love your family and it shows, you do not SHOULD me with what I should be doing with my money, you do not act like retiring at 30 is just so easy especially when I am no where close to 30 and you take the time to respond to personal emails. May 2016 continue to be awesome for you and yours.

    * I am not an affiliate of this blog, I just like it

    1. J. Money December 31, 2015 at 6:49 AM

      Thanks so much Vicki, I always love hearing from you (and not just because you fill my ear with sweet nothings ;)).

  16. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank December 30, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Hi J Money, thanks for sharing your top 10 favorite posts. I find each one of them really interesting and informative especially the The Zero Waste Lifestyle. Happy New Year!

  17. Free to Pursue December 31, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Being Happy = Being Happy: definitely my favourite.

    A 2015 favourite post recap is a great idea! I borrowed it, hope you don’t mind. :-P

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:46 PM

      Good! A lot of our gems get buried over time and not everyone ever sees them anyways. The roundups help spread the love more :)

  18. DC @ Young Adult Money January 2, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    I love the concept behind your post “I’d Rather Be Young.” It’s easy to be jealous of others, but most of the people I know are in their 20s or 30s. I’d rather be young than rich! Though young AND rich would be good too…. ;)