All I Want For My Birthday :)

Happppppppy day after Christmas, y’all! AKA Return-Your-Presents Day! AKA my birthday! AKA Boxing Day for all you Canadians, eh?! :)

This is going to be a short and sweet one as I venture off into some unknown adventures today (what do 38 year olds like to do??) but had to pop in real quick to check on you, and then to ask you for a small favor… Which of course you have to accept, because you know – it’s my birthday.

So how are you?? Life good? Love? Business? Lots of happiness going on? Good good… nice talk…

Now onto the favor ;)

And it’s a really simple one. Are you ready? You have to do it! Pinky promise!

Okay, think of one area that you REALLY want to improve upon in the new year, and then go right this second and set up a monthly $20 automatic transfer to it. It can be around savings, debt, investing, charity, real estate, bitcoin – whatever you’ve really been feeling bad about not doing lately but want to be better about. Then – and this is the fun part – create a calendar item in gmail or wherever to pop up *1 year from now* and ask yourself how you’re now feeling. Bonus points for making it funny or telling yourself a joke – your future self will be amused by it ;)

And then that’s it! If you do this you’ll have over $200 towards this new goal, and then you can write me on my next birthday and tell me how awesome I am, haha…

Seriously, do it. Stop reading this right now and go make it happen!!

I’ll wait…

(I said stop reading this!! I can see you!!!!)



(Okay, done?)



(How about now?)


















(Who made up this game??)


Okay, I’m just going to have to trust you on this one… :)

Now I know $20 might not sound like much, or maybe it is – I dunno – but either way, almost every single one of you can survive without it. And honestly, while the $$$ being accrued over the year is nice, it’s actually not even the best part of this gift to yourself!

Nope, the best gift is the FEELING GOOD part about actually *making moves* towards these problem areas of yours!! You could literally apply $5.00/mo towards it and it would still do the trick, but $20 just makes it more fun and sting enough for it to feel more worth it to you.

So that’s what I want from you on this fine day of my birth… As well as my fellow birthday twins, Martin from, Chad from, and my twitter bud Josh Overmyer. They all called me up and told me that’s exactly what they want for their birthdays today too – True story :)

The best part is going to be in a year though when all those pop-ups start filling up your inboxes haha... It’s fun writing messages to your future self! You always forget about them, and then randomly one day you get a nice surprise in your inbox talking to yourself! Everyone’s doing it!!

So yeah, get those $20/mo xfers going and then tell us what area you chose to apply it too. I started doing the same thing myself this year and I can’t even tell you what a difference it’s made. You’ll love it – I promise.

Alright, off to go look for those fun adventures now… which will probably come down to taking lots of naps and reading lots of (physical) books like an old man, haha… Nothing good happens until after midnight anyways, right?

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  1. Debbie December 26, 2017 at 6:11 AM

    Okay I did it.
    “Dear Self. Here’s $20 x 12 & now you have no excuses. Buy that ugly sweater & win that darn contest in 2018….you’ll recoup $50 for winning it!”
    Happy bday J$$ ! Many happy returns! (I hope not today, stores are crazy busy, LOL)

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 6:38 AM

      Haha…. please tell me you really did that!!

  2. Mrs. Adventure Rich December 26, 2017 at 6:18 AM

    You got it!

    Happy birthday, J! I hope you enjoy the day with your family!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 6:38 AM

      Thank you! Hope you had a great holiday!

  3. Ms99to1percent December 26, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    Hahaha, that’s the best, selfless birthday present request ever. I might put that $20/mnth into crypto currency for our daughter. It’s not too much, we can afford to lose it :-)

    Happy Birthday J!!!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 6:39 AM

      Do it!! And mark the going rate for it in your email to yourself so you can compare easily in 12 months :)

  4. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance December 26, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    Happy birthday. Not sure what I can want for $200. My auto savings draw is just a little bit bigger than that.

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 7:21 AM

      It’s more about pushing yourself to do more over time :) most of us can accomplish a lot more than we think we can!

  5. Jody December 26, 2017 at 7:26 AM

    Done! I set up a Christmas 2018 gifts account in SmartyPig. It’s a twofer – they’re having a sweepstakes right now, so my name is in for that now, too! Now to set up the reminder….

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      Beautiful!! good job!

  6. Amy @ Life Zemplified December 26, 2017 at 7:40 AM

    Happy Birthday J$! Challenge accepted. :) $20 more per month to #killthemortgage

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      Nice call :)

  7. Mike @ Balanced Dividends December 26, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    Happy Birthday!

    Going to return a $20 Costco-bought “all-weather” monitor that sit outside and tells you a bunch of weather details.

    Instead, I’m just going to ask Alexa: “what’s the temperature?”

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:32 AM

      Haha there you go… (as long as you got that Alexa for a gift :))

  8. PaulM December 26, 2017 at 8:06 AM

    I’ll take the $20 month challenge and raise you $20 spavings each month for the next year. . Enjoy your birthday and remember you’re still young!

    Just think where you’ll be at 60 if you double your net worth every seven or eight years?

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:35 AM

      maybe we should all set calendar items every 7 years then too to see how it’s feeling? :)

  9. Lynda December 26, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    Job Done!
    I’ve named the payment Texas, as that’s my next holiday. Also adding cash presents, money from selling stuff and spavings :D
    Have a splendid birthday!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:36 AM

      BOOM! Naming the accounts is even better – makes it that much more fun :)

  10. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies December 26, 2017 at 8:20 AM

    $20 auto transfer to the new 529. Done! Up until this point, we’ve only done manual transfers. Ask and you shall receive, J. ;) Happy birthday!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:36 AM

      Ooooooh okay now set up another one then to the account of J. Money please! :)

  11. Adam December 26, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Done: $25 into savings every first of the month. There isn’t much left over after maxing out the ol’ 401k and putting my share into household maintenance (my wife brings home the majority of the bacon, it’s awesome) and my personal savings account is kinda pathetic, so it’ll sting — and help — just enough to make me chuckle each month.

    My wife’s birthday was Sunday; we threw a party for her and our young nephew, born 12/24/16. Thirty people concentrated in the 700 square feet of our first floor. Good, good times. Hope you have a fantastic birthday!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      Hah – love it!

      Way to up the $20 to $25 too for even more effect :)

  12. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance December 26, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    Happy birthday, J! One of our big goals for 2018 is to pay off as much mortgage as possible. It will be where most of our disposable income will go :D

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      Can’t ever go wrong with that! Someone was just saying last week that he was going to surprise his wife with a completely paid off house for Xmas :) Best gift ever!!

  13. fin$avvy panda @ December 26, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    ok done!! $25 guilt free spending for next year’s Boxing Day shopping! We never go for the boxing week “specials” but this will give us the option for next year without feeling guilty. Who knows, maybe there will be something we like and we’ll have the option to buy it from the “Boxing Day” fund without feeling bad haha… and noticed I said “option” so that means we can choose to do it if there is something we find is useful and worth buying… if not, the category will be renamed to “savings”

    Happy 21st birthday!! (You always be forever 21,right??)

    1. J. Money December 26, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      You’re officially my new favorite person of the day :)

  14. David T December 26, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Happy Birthday! My 38th (21st?) birthday is in Feb! $20 extra month extra on that nasty roof bill (so LOVE owning a house,NOT, but my wife really does love it so what are you going to do?) and raising the 401k% for 2018!

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:24 AM

      Haha I hear ya man… My wife has started talking about owning again and I’m like “HOOOOOOLD UP! Not quite ready to give up that freedom just yet!” We all know who will prevail in the end though ;)

  15. Buckowens December 26, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Happy Birthday!!

    My birthday is tomorrow…the big 50!!…and I won a fantasy football league yesterday $250.00 which is going towards some Thursday boots.

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:25 AM

      Nice!! Happy birthday, my friend – 50 is the new 30! :)

  16. Miguel (The Rich Miser) December 26, 2017 at 12:25 PM

    Happy Birthday J. Money!

    The auto transfer is set! It’s for our house furniture and decoration fund, but the catch is that only my wife gets to see and administer it…some things, I’d rather not know, or handle :-)

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:26 AM

      HEYYY!!! Very good idea actually, haha… I like that :) You know yourself well! (And I’m sure your wife will love it too…. I want pics at the end of the year of what she got with it!)

  17. Cathlene December 26, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Happy Birthday, J! Challenge coincidentally already executed a few days ago. I now (finally) own 0.005% of a Bitcoin!

  18. Lily | The Frugal Gene December 26, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    Happy 38th birthday J$, you need to get off the computer now and enjoy it ;)

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:31 AM

      I sure did! Well, I did “work” a little bit, but let’s all be honest here – blogging and playing on social media isn’t really that taxing ;)

  19. OMGF December 26, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    But I’m like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way. Maybe I’ll put it toward improving what I think is wrong with someone else. Or maybe I’ll put it toward a therapy session. Either way, your birthday wish is my command. Happy birthday J. Money!

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:32 AM

      Haha… I’d like to see your list of what’s wrong with someone else :)

  20. OMGF December 26, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    This post title has Two Chains’ birthday song on repeat in my head. However, I’m sure his birthday wishes are not yours.

  21. Steve December 26, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Happy Birthday J !!

  22. Mrs. Mad Money Monster December 26, 2017 at 4:26 PM

    Haha…Bitcoin! That’s it. :) Hope you have a great birthday, J!! Woot woot!

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:33 AM

      Or Ether. Whatever that means :)

  23. FrugalMoneyMan @ December 26, 2017 at 5:11 PM

    Welcome back and Happy Birthday!

    This is a great challenge and my fiancee and I have already set up a similar challenge! We are doing an envelope system every month starting in January, and funding it until December 2018. At that point we’re going to take that “Holidays Miracle Fund” and give ALL the money away! We aren’t sure how/when/where/who were going to give the money to, but we are pumped to start it!

    I wish you a Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:35 AM

      Wowwwwww I like that!! And will be especially cool to see *how* you end up giving it all away at the end :) I always find doing things in-person, and on the spot, when you see someone you can help is the most thrilling… Whether it’s helping them buy something or literally just giving them cash. The small acts of kindness are always more valuable than the dollar amount as it shows someone *cares* for them. Which is as beautiful as it gets :)

  24. Mrs. Kiwi @ December 26, 2017 at 9:52 PM

    Okay, $20/month now set aside for making our ugly home a little less ugly! Thanks for the encouragement! (Is it bad, I’m good at giving my money away and investing it, not so good at spending on renovations!)

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:40 AM

      Haha… I think out of all the problems to have that would rank high on the “good” ones :) Now be sure to snap a “before” picture so in a year we can see the “after”!

  25. Chris @ Mindful Explorer December 28, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    The $20 will amount to an awesome $240 that if you set the reminder to beginning of December instead becomes an amazing $$$ charity pool. Think then if everyone decided this would go towards a regional humanitarian project or charity that supports others in the coming holiday season. Then think out of that $240, $20 of it from each person that participated went to a B.A.S. National Charity pool administered by you. That would be $2000 that Budgets Are Sexy could put to a worthy cause.

    We need to look out for ourselves, get smarter with our money of course. But I think the very first thing we should do once we are on stable ground with our budgets and finances is to help others.

    1. J. Money December 29, 2017 at 7:03 AM

      I like the way you think!!

      In fact, interesting that you point out $2,000 around a worthy cause as we literally JUST gave away exactly that this month – $2,000 – to do exactly that again – worthy causes!

      We gave 20 bloggers $100 a piece to wrap up our Community Fund project over at Rockstar Finance, and these wonderful bloggers (plus a handful of others that ended up jumping in on their own accord) turned this money into over $5,000 and made a nice little splash in their communities :)

      You can see the results of it here at the top of this page (look for “2017 Year-End Celebration!”):

      We spanned the globe from Canada to Dubai to South Africa too – all in a matter of days… Pretty amazing what lighting a little spark can do :)

      1. Chris @ Mindful Explorer December 29, 2017 at 11:37 AM

        I completely forgot that when I replied :) Well done on helping others.

  26. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 2, 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Happy belated birthday! I’m going to dedicate maxing out our second IRA this year to you ;)

    1. J. Money January 3, 2018 at 6:26 AM

      WOO!!!! That’s a nice birthday gift! :)

  27. Adam December 26, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    My calendar popped up today!

    …and I’d cancelled the $25 auto-transfer back in, like, February. Because my budgeting doesn’t work well that way. Oh well. On the bright side, my Election Judge side hustle pulled in $550 this year, so that’s somethin’.

    Happy Birthday, J$! Go pick up some fire sale VTSAX to celebrate!

    1. J. Money December 26, 2018 at 10:01 AM

      Hey!!! Haha… Totally forgot about this!! I’m wondering how many others are popping up now too for people :) Too funny… Glad you’re still here reading the blog!