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#Overheard At The Coffee Shop: Volume IV

Welcome to another edition of me “accidentally” hearing other people’s conversations! And then them “mysteriously” landing on this blog here!

You know what they say – what happens at coffee houses does not stay at coffee houses ;)

And we’ve got a ton to offload on ya today too as they’ve been adding up over the year since our last one and cracks me up just revisiting some of these again, haha… It really does take all kinds to run this world of ours, and a few of these characters are certainly highlighted here.

Hope you enjoy, as you prob won’t learn anything! :)


Overheard At The Coffee Shop:


“Beaver Bucks! Everyone knows what they are… Beaver Bucks!”

Um… nope. Can’t say that everyone does, haha… And my “no interjecting” rule prevented me from jumping in unfortunately and asking!

“Windows aren’t sexy, but a guy’s gotta be comfortable.”

Haha… I’m assuming this was around home upgrades?

“I’m gonna sue them bro… And I have the money for it! As soon as I finish this term paper, I’m totally suing them bro.”

Not too often you hear “suing” and “term paper” in the same sentence :)

“How much do you think my thigh weighs?”

Not even touching that one…

Person #1: “The new Tesla car is only $35,000”
Person #2: “My father’s first house...

11 Money Lies To Watch Out For

Mornin’, mornin’!

Fellow blogger and $$$ personality, Ramit Sethi, tweeted out a request a few weeks ago, and now that my tiny brain has had time to think about it I’m ready to contribute to the conversation :)

He challenged us to come up with some money lies we tell ourselves (or worse – others!), and today we debunk some of them and add in a few of our own.

Here was his post:

YES YES YES!!! All nasty little lies there! Especially those first two, which I’m sure doesn’t come as much of a surprise to you ;)

  1. I love renting, and it really is the best!!!! (For me)
  2. I love buying expensive coffee because it also is the best!!! (For my tummy)

So either I’m a big fat idiot, or you can still thrive financially by doing things in your own way :) Namely, by prioritizing what’s truly important to YOU and then letting everyone else mind their own dang business… (Who usually don’t even know you well anyways)

I may spend $40.00 on coffee every month, but it’s the stuff that people *don’t* see that more than make up for it. Like the $20,000 invested every year, or the fact I eat...

How a Journal Completely Changed My Finances

[Oh do I have a good story for you guys today!! I hope you like long-form posts, because my man Ryland from stops by the blog today to pour his heart out to us… Amazing how much your life can change when you find something that *clicks*! And shockingly, it wasn’t a budget that did it for him ;) Take it away, Ryland!]


I was 23 and crying.

I had just graduated college after working my tail off.

I had received $100k in scholarships to pay for school, founded a nonprofit while there and won numerous awards for my work.

I thought I had done everything right.

But I missed one piece of the puzzle – my finances. And there I was, in my black 2007 Nissan Xterra, with tears in my eyes because of it.

This is where my financial life started, and I owe it all to a little journaling.

Here’s the story of how I went from broke to over $100,000 in my accounts and completely changing my life in the process.

Zilch Financial Knowledge and $7k of Debt

In 2007 I had just walked out of an accounting office.

I had been told I owed almost $7,000 in taxes – of which $7,000 I did not have, nor with any income to pay it back.

That $7k may sound small...

“A library is one of the few remaining places that cares more about you than your wallet.”

Truth nuggets dropping today, boy!

That library is a frugal man and woman’s best friend!

And that passage comes from a thoroughly fantastic article in itself linked below, as well as a handful of other great reads I’ve enjoyed over the months…

Lots of great writers and ideas out there, and hopefully these just add to the beauty of the weekend coming up :) Let me know if any of them shake you!


The Good Room by Frank Chimero — “I once heard that a library is one of the few remaining places that cares more about you than your wallet. It means that a person can be a person there: not a customer, not a user, not an economic agent, not a pair of eyes to monetize, but a citizen and community-member, a reader and a thinker, a mind and—God, I am going to say it—a soul.”

Meet ‘The Good Cemeterian’ Who Spends His Only Day Off Cleaning Vets’ Gravestones by Task and Purpose — “For the last two and a half years, Andrew Lumish has spent every Sunday cleaning the gravestones of veterans in three different cemeteries in Tampa, Florida where he lives. The owner...

46 Tips To Save You Time, Money, and Trouble (From The 1950’s!)

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a pamphlet from 1958 giving you over 300 tips “to save you time, money and trouble!”

Found it on Ebay for $3.00 and just had to pick it up for the blog :) (You’re welcome)

There’s a ton of stuff that’s no longer applicable (sewing machine tips, typewriter hacks, and a bunch of not-so PC comments around house wives), but by and large it’s actually a pretty solid brochure even in these days. Our parents would be so proud seeing us talk about them today ;)

In fact, why don’t you *email them* this and get some good bonding in? I’ll wait…

Alright, so here are my favorites from the batch…

If you feel like frugality has been lost in your lives, hopefully this will bring it back for good. And then you can pass it along to your future generations in another 60 years too ;)

If we don’t save frugality, who will??

My Favorite Frugality Tips:

#1. To remove water marks from furniture, use several drops of spirits of camphor on damp cloth and rub over mark.

#6. An emergency ice bag can be made by folding a wet towel and freezing in an ice cube tray....

[Click here to read this on the web: Net Worth Voyeur Time: $811,570.54 (-$28,673.45) ]

Aaaaaand just like that we take a tumble, haha…

Our first loss since August of last year, but the first major loss since January of 2016.  In fact, it clocks in at #3 on the Greatest Losses of All Time – a new record! Haha… And probably much needed to put things in better perspective again ;)

Here’s a list of the major losses over the 10 years I’ve been tracking this:

  • January, 2016: -$51,000 (sold house + market crash)
  • August, 2015: -$23,000 (market crash)
  • June, 2013: -$40,000 (perfect storm of moving/renovating/losing an income)
  • June, 2012: -$16,000 (house value ↓, Loss of 2nd income)
  • May, 2012: -$14,000 (market swings)
  • September, 2011: -$15,000 (market spiraling!)
  • August, 2011: -$14,000 (market crashin’)
  • January, 2009: -$13,000 (house value ↓)

Spot any themes? ;)

Always at the mercy of the markets if stocks are your strategy of choice! But luckily none of these “losses” ever matter until the day you cash out, so if you’re in it for the long haul you just keep grin and bearing it and doing your best to stay the course… (while snatching up as much extra as you can too, of course, while everything’s...

[To read the web version of this, click here: March’s Student Loan Debt Movement + A New Debt App! ]

Hey hey – what’s good everybody?

Got a couple cool things to share with ya today around nasty student loan debt stuff, so if that’s something you’re currently struggling with, read on, and if not – here’s a different article for you to feast your eyes upon instead –> 9 Awesome Money Jokes!

One of these is much more fun than the other ;)

But if you are dealing with student loans, don’t worry – we got your back! But I do have one simple question to throw your way: what are you doing about it right now?

Are you paying off extra every month? Sending in just the minimum payments? Pretending it doesn’t exist and video gaming away your worries hoping it solves all your problems? (Actually – how awesome would that be?? “Congrats on making it level 10! We just paid off $1,000 for you – now get back to kicking a$$!” Haha…)

Whatever stage you’re in though, a bunch of us bloggers are getting together for a new initiative this month, and we’re hoping you’ll join us to help pay off a total of $1,000,000 collectively as a community :) It’s the brain child of veteran blogger Robert Farrington...

So my wife the other day sent me a text that looked something like this:

“Hey honey! Just picked up a bunch of security stickers off Amazon… gonna put them all over our new house so we don’t have to spend $200 on a security system!”

To which I replied,


And then quickly polled my Twitter friends to see if this was “a thing,” haha…

And as you can see from the # of responses there, apparently it is! Who knew?? (Besides everyone who responded? ;))

Here were some of my favorite replies:

It’s a thing, but not complete till you put the yard signs near windows and doors as well – @GetRichQuickish


Our old landlord made us keep a sign in our window that said, “This property is monitored by the neighborhood watch.” There was no neighborhood watch.


My public library had security gates that weren’t connected to anything for about 5 years and found that the rate of stolen items was about the same as when they were paying for security… – @JaxsBeachLife


There are people that put up fake cameras. They...

So we just had an exciting week!

After multiple confirmations over the months that we can continue to rent our house until the end of the school year, our landlords decided to kick us out anyways, despite how pregnant my wife is or the slew of promises that we had planned our life around.

And let me tell you – if you ever wondered how to piss off a pregnant lady, this is how to do it ;)

What changed? Their realtor said they have a better shot of selling it for more money if they list it in the Spring vs the Summer (we knew they wanted to sell, but only after we moved out in June), and hours later we got the boot without much room for negotiation whatsoever. And because we were on a month-to-month lease (oops), they had every legal right to do so.

Now ethics wise it’s a whole other story, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but the GOOD news is that we miraculously found a new place within days of looking – even with a slow rental market and it being in the middle of winter!! So crisis averted for now, but what a whirlwind of emotions, wow.

And I know you home owners right now are just shaking your heads thinking this is exactly why you own, haha…, and rightfully...

I have a weird new habit guys, and I’m going to tell you all about it because my wife can’t stand hearing about it anymore :)


<<< There, I said it! >>


  1. They’re so peaceful! Thousands of people there and no one talking!!
  2. They make you appreciate the crap out of living. Because spoiler alert: everyone in the cemetery is dead, and YOU are not. (Yayy!)
  3. They make you realize just how insignificant you (and your problems) really are.  Everyone there had their own dreams and goals and challenges, all to still end up under ground no matter what they did or didn’t do (and all of which is lost to memory too, unless recorded somewhere!)
  4. They give you an emotional cleanse: sadness, happiness, thankfulness, wonder, anxiousness, inquisitiveness – it all hits you as you stroll through taking it all in.
  5. They’re rich in HISTORY and culture. The Wealthy Accountant summed this up pretty nicely in one of his own posts: “Cemeteries are a wealth of information, history and pride… I am humbled when I walk past faded gravestones of children who died after only a few days or years of life. At those moments I reflect on how lucky I am and how easy life is today.” Yes!! Parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders, inventors, justice fighters – all kinds of ancestors sleeping there, and...

What’s up, fiscal friends! Been answering a lot of $$$ questions lately in emails, and thought I’d pass some of them along here in case anyone else is wondering about ’em too…

Most of it’s on investing, but there’s also some questions on paying off debt, buying a first home, taking on school loans, tax refunds, and then a smattering on blogging as well.

Always fun to answer these, and always available to answer *your* questions too whenever you have any… I might not have all the answers, but I can promise you I will always have an opinion, haha…

Here we go!

(And shout out to the Financial and Technology Literacy class over at C. Milton Wright High School for some of these questions – y’all’s class seems cool! As does your teacher, so try not to give him too much $hit, okay? ;) Also – all the gifs here are for you.)


Have you ever went on a spending binge?

Hell yeah!! ALLL the time back in the day… and still go a bit too far sometimes these days when I’m super excited about something (reading books, collecting coins, etc), But I guess it’s all subjective as “spending binge” to me is spending a couple of hundred of dollars on a spot, whereas for others it could be thousands :) Which I’ve never done, unless you count buying...

What up what uuuuuuup!

Got another idea for y’all today: a mixture between a Depth Year that we fell in love with last month, and a No Spend Challenge which we fall in love with pretty much every other month, haha…

It’s called the #YearofNo, and a blogging friend of mine just completed her 2nd year of it, paying off over $24,000 of debt now (!!) and completely changing her spending habits in the process.

All with 5 kids, too!

One day her husband sarcastically wrote it next to a bunch of goals on their wipey board, and the next minute they were going around the house saying “hashtag Year Of No” to each other haha…

So what is a #YearofNo? It’s when all decisions to spend money starts with a strong “NO”, and then you have to convince yourself otherwise, instead of the other way around like most of us tend to do… There are no “Maybes”, no “We’ll See’s”, and especially no automatic “Yes’s”. If it doesn’t hit a list of the acceptable areas you put forth *before* taking the challenge, it remains a NO and you move on.

For my friend Jamie and her family, it was saying NO to all the “extras” in their life:

“Our family refused to buy any extras at all for an entire year. That meant no book...

[Hey guys! Welcome Rob Andersen from Mustard Seed Money to the site today, who shares his journey to his first million without having any fancy jobs or skills. It might surprise you how he and his wife got to this point (no it won’t), but it’s testament again and again just how attainable it all is so long as you put in the time and make it a priority. Hope you enjoy!]


I’m 36. I’m a government employee. And, I’m a self-made millionaire.

There I said it.

I’ve never publicly shared that before, not even on my own blog, but since J. Money provided a mountaintop here I might as well shout something exciting from it!

Here is the obligatory screenshot from Personal Capital to prove it:

[I use Personal Capital to track all my money and highly recommend. And for those wondering, yes, this figure does include my house’s value.]

How Did I Do It?

Well, the answer will blow your mind…

Are you ready? Here they are:

  1. I lived below my means
  2. I was resourceful
  3. I saved and invested
  4. I was patient

Incredibly sexy stuff, huh?

My Background

Let me give a little background on how I reached this point.

When I graduated from college, I was broke....

I caught that on the radio this morning and almost swerved my car off the road, haha..

We’ve talked about financial STDs here in the past, but I always thought it was just a made up thing that someone more clever than me conjured up – but no, it’s apparently “a thing!”

I missed the full discussion on air because it cut to commercials like a big ol’ tease, but a quick Google search shortly thereafter cured the itch no problem (pardon the pun):

Sexually Transmitted Debt is where one person in a relationship becomes responsible for their partner’s financial debts usually after being convinced or misled into taking on debt in their own name, sharing the responsibility, or taking on more risk than they knew about.

Yikes… Gotta own up on that stuff and take care of your biz, come on now! Can’t be pawning off your problems to those who love you!

So that’s the first thing to watch out for tonight. If your Valentine tries sweet talking you into cosigning a car loan under the candlelight dinner, grab your food and run :)

If they behave and keep their loans to themselves, I’ve come up with a handful of other great questions to ask them tonight so you know exactly what you’re dealing with… No jumping into bed with each others’...

Here’s something crazy – as of today, I’ve been blogging for over 25% of my life!

10 years of blogging, building, experimenting, community, friends, exploration, growth, loss, and just general happiness that we’re all still together here doing our thing and having fun :)

How lucky are we?? And how awesome that someone invented the internet for us?! Haha…

I couldn’t have guessed this a decade ago, but boy am I thankful for this crazy twist of fate and I’m so curious to see what’ll happen next.

Here are the Cliffs Notes version of how we got to this place so far:

  • In 2007 went looking for a 2 bedroom apartment to rent
  • Got lost and ended up buying a $350,000 house on a whim, 48 hours later, and with no money down or any idea what the heck I was doing
  • Went online searching for a budget as I didn’t have one (*blasphemy!*)
  • Came across the blogging world and fell in love with the transparency of everyone
  • Started my own personal finance blog to have fun and be held more accountable!
  • It unexpectedly took off, reaching 25 Million views in total over the years
  • Went on to become a full-time, self-employed blogger/entrepreneur
  • Increased personal net worth from $50,000 to $800,000+
  • Won 12 industry awards, including Blog of The Year and Lifetime Achievement
  • Became a Blogging Coach, Money Coach, Podcaster, FinTech advisor, FinTech Judge, Builder, Seller,...

[Hey guys! Another Friday, another great post by a fine blogger out there! Up today is nomad friend of mine, Laura Grace Tarpley, who blogs about travel hacking over at and shares her experience lying/not lying to her husband ;) Perhaps you have found yourself in this situation as well over the years? Let us know how you cope with it in the comments!]


Should I lie to my husband?

Whenever faced with this question in the past, the answer was always a clear “no.”

But what if it’s for his own good?

Do you ever have this internal crisis? When you know you shouldn’t lie to your spouse, but if it’ll benefit them in the long run you feel like it’s maybe okay?

In my case, the temptation to lie came from a simple cultural norm: setting a budget.

I started thinking about revamping my budget around the end of December as New Years was approaching. My love for NY’s could be attributed to the fact that I am straight-up addicted to making goals and bettering myself, and I love having an excuse to make resolutions.

I suffer from serious anxiety, and despite the medication I’m taking, the best way for me to reduce stress is to make daily, weekly, monthly, and annual to-do lists. The...

Okay, so I’m sitting next to someone at Starbucks right now that just inspired the crap out of me.

She asked me if I worked online because she always sees me typing away, and when I told her I did, she immediately jumped into her life story, wondering if it was worth sharing as well on a blog or something.

45 minutes later I gave her an emphatic “YES GIRL!!! GET THAT $HIT OUT THERE!!” as I picked my jaw off the floor, and then promptly scurried back to my laptop to pump this article out to y’all ;)

I’ll refrain from naming names or specifics so I don’t steal her thunder, but in a nutshell here’s her story over the past couple of years which I hope motivates you to go after your OWN dreams and take action as well. You just never really know what can come of it until you put yourself out there!!

Two years ago…

Happy Net Worth Day!

As I was updating our numbers this month, it dawned on me that I have now tracked my net worth every single month for 10 years straight now. TEN YEARS!!! That’s 120 net worth reports in a row – crazy!

And in fact, a week from today is actually this blog’s 10 year anniversary too, which is a whole other win for someone who could barely hold down a job for 10 months no less 10 years, haha…

We’ll get to all that next week, but today we celebrate our *Net Worth Anniversary* by going back in time and pulling out the very first report we ever published!

Back when I was a nubile 28 year old with no kids, no wife (I was engaged), no responsibilities outside of our too-big-for-us mortgage, and when I was pretty much doing the bare minimum at my 9-5 while doing the absolute maximum out at the bar scene ;)

Here’s what past J$’s finances looked like a decade ago:

Not too bad, all things considering? Some hefty debts there with the car loan and credit card, but at least there’s some investments that help make up for it! Haha… And I see some pretty creative tracking there as well with the “condo investment” listing (i.e. a loan I gave...

[Hey guys! Caught this article on a newer blog on the scene,, and just HAD to re-share it because it’s so thought-provoking! Really makes you challenge how we perceive ourselves and the overall purpose in our lives, particularly around what we do for a living… Great stuff to marinate on over the weekend, thanks Dan!]


On October 18, 2016, I walked into a board room as the CEO of a multi-million dollar business with responsibility of over 200 employees.

The business was my first-born, grown from an idea hatched in 2008. Minutes later, I walked out of that board room no longer a business owner nor a CEO. It was on this date when I was fired by my former partners and stripped of the business I had worked so hard to create.

As I stormed out of that room, the first thought that went through my head was of my team. I would no longer be there by their side, working to achieve our goals. Today, a year later, I don’t miss the power of running a company or the money or the excitement – I miss my friends.

Immediately after getting fired, I went through one of the most disorienting periods of my life. A period that has taken the better part of a year to come out of.

For so long, my present...

I know I know, taxes – ugh.

But I might have something for you that could save you hundreds of dollars this tax season, both in filing fees, as well as getting back the maximum refunds owed to you.

It’s a tool called, and despite its somewhat spammy name I guarantee it’s legit ;)

Not only do I have a good friend who recently switched careers to work for its parent organization, but its parent organization is none other than mega charity United Way! I.e. the largest privately-funded charity in the entire world! (#TrueFact). MyFreeTaxes is one of their initiatives in fighting for “the financial stability of every person in our community,” and they’ve already helped close to 1 million people since launching in 2009, saving them $180+ million in fees in the process.

They also happen to be the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit, and is powered by H&R Block’s premium software making it even more robust and easy to file.

See – legit!

But of course, there is a catch, however it’s a good one whichever way you look at it ;)

In order to qualify to use MyFreeTaxes, your total household income must not exceed $66,000 for the 2017...