Unpolished Gems – Part II

What up, what up!

Another day, another hour spent clearing out my email drafts again ;) I think I’m up to three now, but fortunately we just passed the halfway mark and are now sitting pretty at 240 down from a whopping 602 – wowzers.

240 email drafts

Thankfully, just like the first round, there were some salvageable ideas up in there so I thought we’d continue the series and share some more. Some of you said they really helped, so hopefully it’ll spark even more good thinking today :)

And this time we started allllll the way in the back which proved to be much more entertaining for me as it was like teleporting 5 years into the past! In fact, the last draft (#602) was entered on May 19th, 2011, almost 5 years to this day exactly! Here’s what it said:

“Compounding interest trick — annoying!” — Blog about how you find this trick annoying ‘cuz you never get to enjoy spending any of your money! From reader:

“A Warren Buffett nugget from a biography I read: he used to protest when his wife wanted to spend, say, a hundred bucks on a dress because in his mind he would automatically compound that cost over 2 decades and would say something like, “is it really worth 1,800 bucks?!?” That’s just the way he always thinks.”

Haha yup! I feel pretty much the same now about it than I did back then – it would be exhausting analyzing all your expenses like that! I get it for the big ones – I do the same – but I’d go mental thinking about all the potential growth being thrown away on every day items… But perhaps that’s why he’s the billionaire and I’m only a thousandaire? ;)

Here are a bunch of other unpolished observations and ideas that never saw the light of day either… Until today :)

Hope it helps!

(Draft titles in bold, followed by quick thoughts)

“Where I’ve Been. Where I Am. Where I Want to Go.” — I saw an old blogger friend break down her bucket list this way and always thought it was a cool idea. Here were my answers at the time: Where I’ve been: Broke. Where I am: In limbo.  Where I want to go: At the end of the day, I just want to be happy. Whatever that happens to mean at the time. <– That’s the dream we’re all fighting for, right? And the paths are always changing?

“From now on, you must address me as Future Millionaire” — Haha… Someone once called me that and I thought it was perfect since we’re ALL future millionaires so long as we continue working hard and paying attention :) Sounds much sexier than anything else we might be called, eh?

“It’s okay to bitch when you need to.” — Have you ever been having a really horrible day and you say something about it, only to hear back something to the affect of, “You shouldn’t be complaining – people in _____ have it much worst than you”? Drives me crazy. Yes, there will ALWAYS be someone (or some nation) that has it way worse off than we do, but why does that mean we’re not allowed to vent? Are we not allowed to have our own problems while simultaneously appreciating others’?

“Edison $1.00 bill” — Check out this dollar bill that went up for auction a couple years ago – the first one collected from Edison Electric Light Company i.e. GE i.e. Thomas Edison’s company to purchase electricity! I don’t know how much it ended up going for, but it was estimated to be valued around $8,000-$12,000 at the time.

first dollar edison company

“Work Hard, Party Hard” — If there’s one thing I learned in college, it was that studying all the time was NOT the way for me to succeed. I studied my a$$ off, but more importantly I also partied my a$$ off :) And hung out with friends, interacted in my community, and pretty much did everything I could to enjoy those 4 glorious years before having to go into the real world. In comparison, I had friends that studied 24/7 and ended up not only with subpar grades, but also stressed and unhappy! You have to find that happy medium as going in either extreme can be bad for you.

“When do you have “enough?”” — The ultimate question right? Someone once left this in the comments and I’ve always liked it so I saved it: “The key is finding what is “enough”. You’ll never have all the money in the world, and anyone could live on beans and rice in a broken down RV on $7,000/yr. But figuring out exactly where in between those two extremes is “enough” for you is the secret to being and feeling wealthy. When you have “enough”, you are then wealthy.”

“Just start telling people!” — I’m constantly amazed at how simple some things become once you start telling people about them. Not only is there a better shot of you hitting your goals once they’re out into the world, but you get a host of new accountability partners as well! If there’s anything you REALLY want to do/get/achieve right now, start telling people as you never know how they might help!

“All the treasures I found while cleaning up my basement…” — For a month I had gone on a basement-cleaning binge and wanted to list everything I found and got rid of/donated. However it looks like I got sidetracked as the only thing I had listed was “my lost comic book collection” haha… Which only amounted to approximately $20 bucks after then researching it  – womp womp.

“Tupac quote” — I love this – he was so grounded despite his own rise to fame!

“There’s no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way! There’s no way that these people should own planes and there people don’t have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you’re rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room?! It just don’t make sense to me. It don’t.” – Tupac Shakur

“Credit card + Charity” — Got a heads up from a reader about this card that allows you to accrue earnings for CHARITY vs travel rewards/cash back, etc. It’s called the Halo Card and is set up to automatically help you donate more! Anyone have one by chance?

“For some reason, the money I earn outside of work seems much more satisfying than my regular paycheck, even if it’s small in comparison.” — Do you feel the same way?? “Extra” money is always more exciting to me! Even if we’re supposed to treat all dollars the same!

“Paying for convenience…” — I thought this comment by Slackerjo was pretty interesting: “Today I returned a library book and then walked down the street to buy some milk. I saw a Ferrari parked illegally on the street. I guess the Royals thought is if you own a Ferrari, you don’t worry about an $85 parking ticket…” Probably true!

Reminds me of a daycare story I once heard where parents were always coming in late to pick up their kids, so the daycare thought they’d be smooth and charge them extra for every half an hour they were late… Only it backfired because people realized they could then just pay more for the convenience now and so they ended up being even later! D’oh!

“WISH LIST” — What I wanted four years ago apparently: Coin ring, Swear rings, Deer antlers (???)

swear rings wendy brandes(Cool, but not $380 cool…)

“I find it very inspiring that regular people can reach the millionaire mark.” — Email I once received in response to this post: Proof It’s Possible to Become a Millionaire. It’s so true!! “Regular” people are the best!

“Bought car on credit card” — Ever wonder how I financed Frankcaddy? I used one of those credit card checks – gasp! But of course I had a plan :) First, to lock in a low interest rate (landed on 3.4% w/ USAA), next, make sure to get a good deal on it (I bought it for only $3,100!), and lastly, pay it off sooner than later (I think I took 3-4 months to preserve some cash flow). Usually slapping a car on a credit card is a major no-no, but there are times where it may make sense! Provided you trust yourself in paying it back in time!

“People talking everywhere you go? There’s an app for that!”–  DownsideApp.com. “The object of the game is to keep your hands off your phone. Once everyone joins a game, you flip your phone over and the game begins. The first person to pick up their phone loses.”

“I Do Not want to be this guy…” — I pulled this clip from a NY Times article – so crazy! “In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.”

“Life insurance motivation – hah!” — Found this comment pretty good by an “Adam” on my blog :)

“Its morbid but I’ve always used my life insurance as my motivation. Every payment I make on my house is $XXX.XX amount that my wife and kids don’t have to use my life insurance proceeds for if something untimely should happen to me.  I just consider it a gift to them and it feels a little better each time.”

“That time we got a free bed!” — Years ago my wife was obsessed with getting a new – expensive – bed. Only she’s 10x more frugal than I am so she’d never pony up the money :) As luck would have it, however, during one of her searches she stumbled across the world of blog giveaways and after months of entering she actually won one! And now we sleep on a $1,000 Tempurpedic! Haha… I kept meaning to blog about this to y’all as there are a TON of blog giveaways going on at any time – particularly in the mom blogger niche – but I guess I eventually forgot. So going forward, always google “[item] giveaway” first and see if you might be able to get lucky too!

“The Unfortunate Death of Blogrolls.” — When I first started blogging 8 years ago EVERYONE had a blogroll which told you who they read and loved! Which was great for all their readers so we could learn about other awesome $$$ sites too, however once the “business” of blogging came around people started phasing them out because it was “bad for SEO” and they didn’t want people leaving their own blogs and yada yada yada… Thankfully some bloggers still do roundups which helps, but man – I miss them! Was such a great way to find other blogs in the world! Here’s my blogroll btw, if you want to see my favorites: Budgetsaresexy.com/blogroll.

“7 random things about me” — Looks like I only got to three of them :)

  1. I use beach towels instead of bath towels (they’re nice and big and more fun!)
  2. I put mustard on my macaroni and cheese (so tasty – try it!)
  3. I read magazines from the back to the front (I like to take my time getting to the *important* parts)

“Would you be willing to cut your salary by 10% if it meant saving another employee?” — And what if there was a randomized chance that the employee in question could be YOU? I had blogged about this yearrrrrs ago but had to take down when my old company and I went through a court battle… Always found the idea intriguing though – would you do it?? (I answered yes at the time)

“Excellent way to think about charity” — Great comment left by a reader: “When I give a buck to the homeless guy, I am tipping him for reminding me that life can be really hard and compassion is important and that money has real value and that I am in a place where I can afford to be a little generous.” YES!!

And lastly… “MC Hammer Foreclosed” — Remember this ad?? :)

(Nationwide Insurance Superbowl commercial circa 2005)

And that’s it for Round II! Learn anything fun today?

I think we’ll pause the series here and take a break for a bit… Getting information overload myself and don’t think I can stomach another 240 drafts sorting for a while, haha… Though we’re so close!!!

Anyways, hope you enjoyed these last few random days here and we’ll get back to our normal scheduled programming on Friday :) Thanks for reading! Hope you’re well!

If you missed the first installment of this series, you can find it here: Unpolished Gems Round I

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  1. Financial Samurai May 18, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    Ah, nostalgia. It’s fun to see what’s gone on since then. The only thing I have are draft posts, but for some reason, I never look .

    It would be fun to rewind time and relieve our moments.

    I’m heading to Vienna from Prague on a train w/ full wifi now. So happy to be able to kill 4 hours of time catching up on all the good reads I’ve missed!


    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      Sounds fantastic, man! Don’t forget to blog about it so we can all have fun along with you :) Vienna/Prague is soooo beautiful too – I’m jealous!

  2. Brian @DebtDiscipline May 18, 2016 at 6:10 AM

    I like the future millionaires idea. I think I going to start calling my three kids that. I think it will help plant the idea in their minds even more, or just just give them more reason to think their dad is even more crazy.

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 7:28 AM

      Haha – you totally need to :)

    2. Keith Schindler May 19, 2016 at 6:52 PM

      That’s a great idea. Wish mine were young enough to do that for. I’ll keep feeding them stuff, though.

  3. David @ Thinking Thrifty May 18, 2016 at 7:17 AM

    “From now on, you must address me as Future Millionaire” Absolutely epic!!! I shall insist that all my friends refer to me as such from now on!

  4. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor May 18, 2016 at 7:18 AM

    I love the Warren Buffet and Tupac quotes! And I never knew about the Halo card. Cool idea.

  5. The Green Swan May 18, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    Haha funny story, I tried out the compounding interest on my wife once, didn’t work, never tried it again. I said, “Honey, you sure you want a diamond engagement ring that costs over $5K? If we invest it instead it will be worth so much more in 10 years.” …The look I got said it all…

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      Yeah – that only works with some things ;)

  6. Lisa O May 18, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Things that make you go hmmmm!

    – Tupac quote who would of thought he was so deep? I never knew it!
    -“Excellent Way to think about Charity” ~ Love It!
    – “When do you have “enough”” is my favorite! It really is all up to the person…what adds to
    their life to make it what the want/need!

  7. Paul May 18, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Last car I bought, which I just paid off 3 years early, I charged the max the dealership would let me. Which was only 7K but I had that to put down so it worked out to 0% interest. Needless to say my cash back on the card that month was pretty damn sweet.

    As an aside: Who reads magazines anymore? Do they still make those? lol…

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:10 PM

      Nice! I’m all about harnessing credit wherever it makes sense. Especially if you have the funds to pay it off at any point you want!

      RE: Magazines – DON’T GIVE UP ON THEM!!! Our eyes are going to explode from all the digitalness out there – we need our print!

      1. Paul May 19, 2016 at 8:42 AM

        I agree with you, but really from the perspective of books. I hate reading books on a screen. Just not a fan of kindle at all. Even excluding the money saving aspect of it, I’m still more of a Library guy myself.

  8. Money Beagle May 18, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    I wish I’d been so organized in my idea list. I’m currently in one of those ‘cannot find inspiration’ phases in my blog, and having this would probably at least allow me to scroll through and find something to get me going on a few posts.

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:12 PM

      Well, I don’t know how organized having 600+ drafts was, but def. try jotting any future ideas you have down wherever’s easiest so you have one main spot to check anytime you need inspiration! Or just come back to this post or the first one in the series and steal some of these! :)

  9. Apathy Ends May 18, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    I think I might start signing all my emails with “future millionaire” has a nice ring to it.

    I need to go through our basement, I have a feeling I will not be finding any cool shit, more than likely it will all be dumb crap we bought and never used

  10. John C @ Action Economics May 18, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    I always get more excited about my side money too. I had a day last week where I negotiated a $2/hr raise and I had an extra $50 in blog income come in and I was more excited about the blog income, even though the raise represents WAY more money over the coming year.

    200+ drafts wopuld still drive me crazy. I have 3 in my email right now. On wordpress I have 15 drafts, anytime I get over 20 I feel unorganized and get frustrated.

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:13 PM

      Blog money is worth like 70x “work” money ;)

  11. PhysicianOnFIRE May 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I had some unpolished gems, too. Then I showered. :)

    I’ve actually polished a couple of the gems you’ve listed above. I’ve got a post titled “How Much is Enough?” I talk about Compound Interest in my Rule of 72 post and how it can talk you out of a big purchase. I built a compound interest calculator, too. I frequently talk about charitable giving, and have a pretty extensive blogroll. I want my readers to discover other blogs. It’s all about enlightenment.


    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:14 PM

      And THANK YOU for doing that! Please tell all the other blogs you read to start blogrolls too! :)

  12. Free to Pursue May 18, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    This series is so much fun! It feels like reading through the mishmash of Readers Digest snippets. A few snippets about the snippets:

    Quotes = LOVE!; bucket list & future millionaire combo: future millionaire, millionaire and multi-millionaire (thanks to the J$ millionaire’s club); unpolished gems = feels familiar as I just found posts I wrote two years ago that I thought I’d lost in the ether and it’s SO much fun to read what our past selves were thinking/writing about!

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:16 PM

      Carry on the tradition and post up your own Readers Digest gems, please! I love reading smatterings of thoughts! Haha…

  13. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar May 18, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    ” DownsideApp.com. “The object of the game is to keep your hands off your phone. Once everyone joins a game, you flip your phone over and the game begins. The first person to pick up their phone loses.”

    We do this with friends during dinner. Everyone stacks their phones. If you pick yours up you have to foot the bill for EVERYONE. Helps in big groups too!

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:16 PM


      And much easier than an app ;)

  14. The Millennial Budget May 18, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    You had so many great ideas in your drafts! I like the comment about regular people can become millionaires. Actually reading the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” and it is exactly about this. All about being frugal and not purchasing those deer antlers :p

  15. Mike B. May 18, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Free bed…. score! Def a nice win there, just shows that a little determination can go a long way. I can’t believe that there’s only twenty or so viable ideas from 200+ drafts! Maybe then for every ten “bad” ideas we have, there sprouts a “good” one? Great post. :)

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:18 PM

      Haha, yup…. I mean, the REALLY good ones I already blogged about over the years of course, so these are kinda like the B team ideas that I thought deserved plucking before they made it to the C team which were met with the trash can :)

  16. Amy May 18, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    I would love to see the “Where I’ve Been. Where I Am. Where I Want to Go” post!

    1. J. Money May 18, 2016 at 4:19 PM

      I wish I could link to the original one that inspired me to want to do it, but sadly it made its way to the Blog Cemetery at some point over the years :(

  17. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 18, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    I’m gonna sign my emails “Millionaire Extraordinaire” and see how far that gets me. :D

    Just another reason to love Tupac, I wonder what he would have gone with his money if he’d lived longer. And you know me, I’m always excited about our side money.

    “It’s okay to bitch when you need to.” – This is like my boiling pot theory. It’s fine to let off some screechy steam once in a while so you don’t explode from too much repressed frustration. Just because everyone has their boiling point doesn’t mean you don’t get to let off your own steam. But if you don’t think about WHY you’re boiling over, things are gonna get a lot worse than some kvetching.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:29 PM

      Good one!

  18. FinanceSuperhero May 18, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    The most poignant of all of these nuggets is the NY Times article. While I want to be very rich someday, I hope I never develop such a horrible attitude towards money.

  19. Our Frugal Escapades May 18, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    I agree with Tupac! Who really needs 52 rooms? All I keep thinking is that I wouldn’t want to be the person that had to clean 52 rooms. The horror!

  20. Alyssa May 18, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    “Just start telling people!”

    That is one of the best pieces of advice I ever received awhile back. I agree that it’s amazing to see who will be able to help, and who will want to! I think we’re all afraid of judgement, someone taking our ideas, or not accomplishing them. Fear is just needy. None of that bad stuff will happen! And if it does, lose the people who judge, do better than those who steal, and realize that failure is a lesson.

    Love the idea of going back into your drafts! I never delete anything for this reason haha.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:31 PM

      I think the fear of not ever accomplishing ideas is greater than giving them away and watching someone else do it too! In fact, at least if someone else does it you know for sure it was a damn good idea! Haha.. better to hand them off and root for them than keep buried in our brains if we know we’re never going to do them.

  21. Rachelle May 18, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    JMoney I really love your “persona”. Not sure if it’s real or just entertainment but despite the age difference I can related to your less rigid style of finance.

    Late starter – Current Net worth $21,700 and some change :) Here’s to hitting at least 1/2 a million before I retire in 19 years.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:32 PM

      Hey thanks, Rachelle! While there are parts to my “personal” that are fake (ie my name), the rest is all real, baby ;) For the good or for the bad! Haha…

  22. Vicki May 18, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Hi J,
    I am enjoying these reads very much. Very cathartic for you I imagine, getting your ideas out there.

    I am someone who likes to see blog rolls and take note of who other people with similar interests are reading. When I see someone has a blog roll and promotes other blogs and people I know I want to read more of both.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:32 PM

      Agreed :)

      And glad you’re liking these! I’m down to 48 drafts now – woo! I DID IT!!

  23. ZJ Thorne May 18, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    Mustard is my favorite condiment. It belongs in so many places. It cannot be proven that I stayed longer in a relationship than I should have because she had a tempurpedic mattress and the sleep was amazing.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:37 PM


  24. Jason B May 19, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    That 2pac quote is a classic. He was a great artist that wanted to do a lot of good. Too bad that night in Vegas happened. This post has a few more ideas that I could use for topics. I”m seriously thinking about doing a post on “where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to go”.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:40 PM

      Please do!!! And then let us know about it!

  25. Sarah @ Couple of Sense May 19, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Side money feels super rewarding, kind of like garage sale money. I have the same morbid motivation with my life insurance as well. Glad I’m not the only one.
    Love the idea about donating your rewards to charity. I’m going to look into that. Thanks for sharing.

  26. theFIREstarter May 20, 2016 at 3:53 AM

    I love the charity credit card idea. However I’ve just researched it and in the UK they’re not much cop, apparently you are better off just using a normal cashback card (which I already do) and donating the money you make on that.

    However it does ring a bell with one of my business ideas which is to start up a bookmaker website called “CharityBet.com” or something like that where the majority of profit goes directly to charity. It’s a bit like how the lottery works I guess but for all kinds of sports betting. There are loads of online bookmakers in the UK but none I know of have that as a business model.

    It would be good to know that every time you lost a bet at least some of that money was going to a good cause and not into some fatcat CEO or shareholder’s pocket… wouldn’t it? :)

    P.s. If someone wants to steal this idea for themselves and save me the bother of running the company please go ahead!!! :)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:43 PM

      Haha…. at first I thought you meant Book maker as in “making books!” But the idea got a lot more exciting when I realized you were talking about gambling :)

      And +1 on someone else running the business. I’ve learned long ago that running a company is not for me – I much prefer a “lifestyle” biz.

  27. Kathryn @ Making Your Money Matter May 20, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    I can never get enough posts about what it means to have “enough”. I’m obsessed with the idea of spreading the idea that personal finance is indeed personal and “wealth” doesn’t mean anything. If you’re fulfilled in life working at a low-stress, but low-paying job that pays your bills because you don’t need a ton of stuff to make you happy and are able to spend more time with your family you’re wealthy! If you’re working 80 hours a week to get the bigger house and the fancier car at the expense of relationships and your own health, you’re poor because you’ll never have everything you want. Totally goes with the example of the guy that only got a $3.6 million dollar bonus.
    Love the random thoughts-I have a similar very random list of all the personal finance-related things that swirl around in my head.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:44 PM

      Post them up for all to see! :)

  28. Outbreak May 22, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    I totally identify with the Buffet “annoyance.” Once my wife (also my more frugal half) and I set our FI goal, I started to see most expenditures over $100 in terms of compound interest, and what it could be in 20 years when we plan to reach our goal. “I could buy this hobby toy, OR I could put it in the brokerage account and make 6 or 8 percent…” It’s really helped me stay on track, and kept me from buying things we don’t need. On the flip side, things I said I was saving for (I swore my Digit money was going to be strictly for fun) end up staying at the store and the money I set aside for them goes into the “fun money” brokerage account, where I buy individual company stocks [gasp!].

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:46 PM

      Hey, at least you’re still having fun w/ the stock purchasing! I always considered that money “throwaway money” anyways while hedging my bets…. And which is exactly why I moved the bulk of my money over to index funds instead. It WAS all betting when I didn’t know anything about the particular stocks! Haha…

  29. Elle @ New Graduate Finance May 23, 2016 at 12:17 AM

    I love it!!!
    Your drafts are way better than mine are! I always look my over and think “Now what was I thinking here…”