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2018-01-16T15:16:13.025Z
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Taking a break from all the heart pouring lately, and moving on to some financial sexiness today… With special attention on the latter ;)

Check out this clip I was emailed from Sam over at Honeyfi (who you might remember from our FinTech competition and apps review the other month). The truth finally comes out!!

We just conducted a survey of 500 committed couples, and I thought you’d be particularly interested in the results. Among other things, we found that couples who regularly track and discuss a household budget are (i) 50% more likely to report being “extremely happy” in their relationship, and (ii) over 33% more likely to report having a great sex life. In other words, science has finally proven what you’ve known for a long time: budgets truly are sexy.

Thank you, thank you – *takes a bow*. But we can do better, folks. 33% is a great start, but I want to see us at 100% budgeting and having even greater sex!!! And then greater budgeting with greater-er-er sex, all at the same time! Haha… Wait, that doesn’t work…

But it is better than this other stat I recently came across, from Varo Money:

“35% of people say they would rather vomit than make a spreadsheet of their finances”

Come...

Remember when that “CV of Failures” went viral last year? Where a Princeton professor (Johannes Haushofer) decided to share all his scholastic fails to better “balance the record and provide some perspective” around his successes?

I’ve always thought that was incredibly raw and beautiful. Not only for such great personal reflection, but then to throw it out there for the world to ingest too! Cajones!

Here’s a clip from it:

“Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective”

(You can download it here (PDF))

So so true… Most of what’s “known” out there are all things that people have chosen to place into the world consciously, while conveniently ignoring the not-so-great things. A very popular technique, and one that’s rampant on social media like Facebook and Instagram, and even here in our financial blogging community!

But shocker: we all fail. And typically the more successful you are, the harder you’ve fallen.

Check out this list of...

Welcome to week #2 of the new year! Woop woop!

My apologies for being a bit late publishing this net worth here, but honestly I’ve been kinda nervous to share it, just because there really isn’t a good way of doing it without coming across as an asshat, haha… Who gets an increase of $90,000 in a month and then broadcasts it to the world??

But hopefully y’all know by now that boasting isn’t my style, and we share both the goods and the bads here no matter what goes down in my financial world as part of our super-transparency mission here at the site. So while I am proud of how far we’ve come over the 10 years doing this, please know this is all for informational purposes and to hopefully inspire others to keep on hustling their hearts out too as it really does pay off in the long run!

So with that, let’s get started! But first, a look at how the past 12 months have gone overall to put things in perspective more:

And then here’s a breakdown per month, along with links to each report if you want to dive into any further. All of which shows just how powerful consistency (and a great market run!) can be towards the growth of your...

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

Goooooood morning hustlers and budgeters! And budgeters who hustle!

If you love pen and paper, you’re going to love today’s giveaways :) Two of my friends recently put out some pretty epic products, and both were kind enough to give me a free copy to pass out to you fine folks today:

  1. Cait Flanders’ Mindful Budgeting 2018 Planner
  2. Ryan Helms’ Side Hustle Journal

Info on them below, as well as how to enter, but even if you don’t win one today, don’t let it stop you from carrying forward! Or even making your own budgeting/hustling journals! ;) (Though prob best to just save the time and buy these, haha…. and I’m not getting paid to say that, btw, nor will I make any commissions off it… I just genuinely love these and think they can amplify your mission!)

Giveaway #1: Mindful Budgeting 2018 Planner

Cait’s wildly popular budgeting planner is back and improved for the 2018 year! It’s her third run of these since practically selling out of all previous versions,...

Remember when I joked the other day about creating a “List Out All Your Accomplishments” Day in order to counteract all the New Years Resolution #fails most of us end up getting? So we feel better about ourselves and actually give ourselves credit for achieving stuff?

Well, I was going to just leave it at that, but then I came across an old journal of mine while cleaning up this week and found a page of exactly that – all my accomplishments from the year! 2013 to be exact. And it made me feel SO STUPIDLY HAPPY to see!!!

Here’s a snapshot of it:

It’s as cool as it is random, right??? Learning how to juggle? Moving somewhere new? Growing my first handlebar mustache?? Haha… Pic or it didn’t happen, right?

All things I’ve wanted to do over the years, but none of which ever landed in my official New Year’s Resolutions. You know what my resolution was for 2013? “Keep stuff simple” I.e. streamlining all my financial accounts and projects more and “condensing, condensing, condensing.” A valiant goal, but none of which as specific (or fun) as the list...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!!!

Time for the obligatory post on New Year’s Resolutions, haha…Which I still very much love despite all the hate they garner ;) Why NOT start a Big Hairy Goal as they say, while you’re motivated and roaring to go? You could have done it any other day as well, but you didn’t – so today’s the day!

And I have a bunch of ideas for you to choose from if you’re lacking in the creativity department :) I was just going to list out all my *own* resolutions here for you today, but realized I’ve already pretty much done that and really don’t want to bore you all over again. I only have one main one anyways!

My New Year’s Resolution: be a stay-at-home daddy blogger!

(Not to be confused with “a blogger who stays at home writing about being a daddy”, btw, although depending on how wild it gets, I may just have enough material for that too ;))

On a more silly note, here’s a list of the past 17 resolutions of mine over the years since I’ve been tracking… See if you can catch the one I suck at:

  • 2000: Have better handwriting (F)
  • 2001: Have better handwriting (F)
  • 2002: Have better handwriting (F)
  • 2003: Have better handwriting (F)
  • 2004: Have...

Welcome to the last official business day of 2017!! That went fast, huh?

As promised, here’s a list of my all-time favorite posts from the year, to compliment the most popular posts we just featured on Wednesday.

You read all of these and not only will your wealth grow exponentially, but your standing here on BudgtsAreSexy will rise to the tippy top too! And there will be a quiz at the end of this – so make sure to pay attention and take notes!!! (Okay, no there won’t, but still smart to take notes :))

Here are my favorite posts from the year, sprinkled in with a few extras…

(Instead of taking a couple of hours to summarize them all like I did the last one, I’m just going to copy & paste my favorite clips from them here :) Why re-work the brilliant words that got these posts on this list in the first place?? Also, I’m lazy. #SorryNotSorry)

#1. If You’re Smart Enough to Retire Early, You’re Smart Enough to Figure Out The Future — “Here’s the thing: if you’re smart enough to retire early, you’re smart enough to figure out how to live for the rest of your life. You’ve already done...

Heyo! Thanks for all my birthday wishes yesterday – still time to get me a gift if you’d like! ;)

Time for our yearly round up of the most popular articles from the year… A great way to speed read if you’re new to the site and/or have forgotten all about it :)

And boy did we cover a lot! From pensions to prison to poop, escorts, milkmaids, fidget spinners, mayonnaise jars,  bill comas, tooth fairies, magic thread, cults, crack, donuts, graveyards, the Titanic, and – wait for it – STDs (Sexually Transmitted Debt)!

When I say we get around, we really get around, haha…

And it may or may not be the reason* our stats took a hit for the first time in a decade ;)

But here are the numbers in all its non-scandalous glory:

  • Total posts published: 155 (2,369 total!)
  • Total page views for the year: 3,727,921 (21,634,547 total)
  • Total visitors for the year: 2,908,453 (16,068,193 total)
  • Total number of sites sold: one
  • Total new additions to the family: .5 (and growing!)

*The drop probably has more to do with me spending less attention to the blog this year, as well as bringing on way too many writers and confusing the crap out of...

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!...

Happy almost-holidays, everyone!!!

Came across an interesting article on how stupid we can get with our money at night, and wanted to hurry up and pass it over to help save your wallet in the new year ;)

Here’s the post –> The Scientific Reason You Shouldn’t Make a Money Decision After 6pm

And then here’s a clip from it mentioning a new study that came out around this “decision fatigue”:

A new study reveals how this phenomenon can affect our financial lives. The authors discovered that participants who engaged in challenging cognitive tasks experienced mental fatigue that “enhanced the propensity to make impulsive [economic] choices [and] favor immediate rewards.” Translation: After spending hours churning away at work, we’re more likely to binge shop online, “overspend when going out late at night or take short-cuts when completing tax returns.”

Sounds about right! Ain’t nobody wants to use their brain come evening-time! We got hanging out to do and beers to down! Which incidentally can also impair our financial decisions, haha…

So basically, MAKE SURE TO HIDE YOUR WALLET after sundown! And also perhaps your COMPUTERS and iPHONES and literally EVERY OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE in your home because pretty much *everything* is designed to take away all your hard-earned money…

Or you can just go right to bed, which is the only time you’re guaranteed not to spend a thing :)

Reminds me of...

So I just came to a pretty shocking realization this morning: This is the first time in my life where I’ve been 100% completely debt-free since I was a kid (!!!).

No credit card debt, no car loans, personal loans, Bank of Mom and Dad loans, no mortgages*, nada. Pretty wild to think about, and even more so considering it took 20 years to get back to that point!

But before we get into all that, just have to take a quick moment to thank you guys again for all your support and encouragement from the Big News we dropped on Monday! You never really know how any of it will play out in the real world (even after weeks of thinking and obsessing and planning!!), but to say I was overwhelmed by all the responses would be a huge understatement…

YOU GUYS WERE SO POSITIVE AND UPLIFTING!!!
THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL SO GOOD!

I’m not sure if anyone was holding back the hate, but we literally didn’t get a single piece of negativity across the entire board (Budgets Are Sexy, Rockstar Finance, ESI Money) which just blew me away..

So thank you! And if you’ve been waiting to tell me how you really think, now’s your chance while I’m feeling strong...

What if you woke up this morning to the following:

  • 1/2 the emails to respond to in your inbox
  • 1/2 the decisions to make for the day
  • 1/2 the time you need to spend even working today
  • and 1/2 the added stress and pressure

And then let’s say someone paid you in the 6 figures to receive all of this.

Would you take it? :)

Now let’s say you had to give up OWNERSHIP of a project for it that was relatively successful and a huge part of your life and business for the past 4 years, of which still has oodles of potential for growth and helping everyone in your community, thereby possibly going down as one of the biggest blunders of your entrepreneurial life where everyone from that point forward points and laughs at you every day for the rest of your life.

Would that change anything? :)

Well, either way, we’re about to find out as I officially sold the 2nd best website in the world this morning, RockstarFinance.com – a museum of personal finance articles and resources – effectively FIRE’ing myself from President and CEO down to humble little “Advisor.”

And I cannot wait to see what the future now holds!!!

(I put “FIRE’ing” there btw, because this move will not only open up 50% more freedom *time* wise, but also pushes us a tad bit closer to the epic freedom that...

I don’t know how you and your family celebrates Christmas or birthdays, but does your other half ever just tell you not to buy them anything ‘cuz they’re perfectly content?

And do you believe them?? ;)

My wife’s on year #8 now of doing this to me, and I think I’m finally catching on…

  • Year #1: “Don’t buy you anything?? Yeah right!! Not falling for THAT trick!!” *Goes out and buys double the stuff just to be doubly sure*
  • Year #2: “Don’t buy you anything?? But if I’m going to just ignore you, at least cap it at $50 total?” *Goes out and buys $100 worth of stuff and lies saying it was only $50*
  • Year #3: “Don’t buy you anything? But if I’m going to ignore you AND not take your cap seriously, just fill your stockings with (small) gifts only?” *Fills her stocking with gifts only, but not small ones*
  • Year #4: “Don’t buy you anything? But if I’m going to ignore you AND not take your cap seriously OR fill your stocking with small gifts, take you somewhere for a day of relaxing?” *Books a bed and breakfast and buys nothing and wins the Husband of The Year award*
  • Year #5: Listens to his wife
  • Year #6: Listens to his wife
  • Year #7 (this year): Will listen to wife…

What can I say, men are slow :)

But also – SOMETIMES IT IS A TRICK AND...

According to my 5 y/o, the last two weeks have been the best of his life :)

First, he learns of the epic phrase, “Liar liar pants on fire” and cannot get over at how hilarious it is (if only it were true too! The entire DC area here would be a huge ball of flames!), and then this week he loses his very first tooth which of course meant, THE TOOTH FAIRY IS COMING!!!! OMG!!!!!!!! Make way, make way!!

Never in my life have I ever seen someone so excited to lose a tooth, haha… And it was a front one too! Biggest smile in the world on that guy’s face, wow… the little things.

And of course within seconds he was rattling off all the things he might be getting from Miss TF (Is the Tooth Fairy married or single? She does travel the world every night and never in one place for very long… I bet it would take someone like Peter Pan to put a ring on that finger, haha…)

“Chocolate bars! I want chocolate bars like Joseph got!”

“Chocolate Bars? The Tooth Fairy does NOT give out chocolate bars – they are so bad for your teeth!” – my wife quips back.

“Okay, maybe $10.00 like Sarah got!”

“$10.00??? What do you think we...

When I started this blog 9 years ago, all I wanted to be was rich and famous so I could buy whatever I wanted and drive my fancy cars to all my fancy houses.

I was 27, not married (yet), no kids, and quite honestly had no idea of what true wealth meant :)

These days I still very much want to buy and do whatever my heart pleases, but thankfully I’ve wised up and realized that the only person I want to be impressing now is MYSELF. And the best way to do that is to achieve FREEDOM. Much sexier than money, and a lot more attainable without the fame!

To get to this freedom though, you have to be really good at staying out of the “one up” game. And to do that you have to be really good at hiding your “ups” so no one wants to play with you ;)

We call this “stealth wealth.” And the stealthier you are, the wealthier you become!

You probably do a lot of things already without even realizing it, but today I thought we’d go around the room highlighting them so we can all laugh and revel in our sneakery. And if you are broke, well, tell us what you’ll continue doing once you HIT your wealth! It’s all a state of mind anyways, and once you’ve had...

‘Sup sup!

J. Money Claus here to spread the wealth, both literally and figuratively! ;)

Just spent three solid hours reading and responding to all the great entries from last week’s Christmas Stimulus giveaway (over 800+ comments!), and WOW was it fascinating! You guys are so freakin’ creative!! We had the usual “I’d pay down debts” or “I’d bank it/invest it” or “I’d give it all away to charity” responses of course, but I was blown away by the level of thought that a lot of you put into this too.

You’re good :)

But since I can’t give $100 to *everyone* who made me smile today (and also because I made this a *randomized* drawing vs hand-picking the winners), I wanted to showcase a lot of these gems I came across in case they help you with your OWN ideas for the upcoming holidays, but also just to show these commenters some love too. Perhaps the fame you get off it today will amount to more than $100 over time? I mean, this IS the most fantastic blog in the world, you know!

Before we get to all that though, let me announce the 5 people who DID win the contest so you’re not biting off all your nails and annoying your co-workers.

So drum roll...

Heyo! That time again to check in with your money and see where you’re standing! AKA the best time of the month – NET WORTH DAY! Who’s with me?? :)

We personally hit a brand new milestone over here crossing into the $700’s for the first time, but what’s even more exciting if I’m being completely honest, is the rapid growth of our new Spavings Account! Haha… I haven’t done jack to make the stock market rise as it’s been doing every crazy month, but I have been working hard paying attention to all those spavings up in here! They’re beautiful! :)

(Okay, it wasn’t that hard keeping track of it all, but still – it’s shiny and new! Ooh look, a squirrel!)

Here’s a current snapshot of our account:

If you recall, last month I was inspired by The Lady in Black to start keeping track of all these “savings” you get in life that really aren’t savings, but more so “spavings” (a mixture of “saving” and “spending” i.e. fake savings! Like when you save money by spending money!), and in an attempt to try and see how much I can save over the months, I’ve decided to physically bank it in hopes of maxing out a Roth IRA.

After...

5 months ago I was on the verge of burning out again.

I got sucked right back into all my projects and had my head down grinding away as we do, when one day I look up and my son was there asking if I’d like to go on a “hike” with him. (And by “hike” he meant a “walk” down by the “river” which was really a “creek” :))

I told him sure thing and planned to be back within the hour.

Four hours later we came home and it was like the heavens shining down with harps and all!

For the first time all year I not only completely forgot about my work altogether, but I got to see the world through the eyes of a 5 year old for four hours straight and WOW was that a beautiful thing! No talking about goals or emails or the internet, or really anything “adult” related whatsoever. It was literally just him and me in the serenity of nature discussing every little curiosity a boy of that age wonders about.

IT WAS PURE LIVING!

And we’d probably still be on that walk too if his poor little legs didn’t fail him midway through, haha… He told me he didn’t want to stop “until we reached another country!” :)

But those few hours were enough for me to assess what the hell I was doing again with my...

[Happy Friday!! Got a special guest to the site today, Bob Lai from Tawcan.com, who talks about what it’s like growing up in a family with FIRE in their veins. You can’t always help who your family is or how they manage their money, of course, but when you find someone rockin’ it (family, friend, colleague) be sure to latch on and learn from them! It’s all about who you surround yourself with!]

********

At FinCon17, I was invited to a FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) beer tasting party by Carl from 1500days. At one point of the night, and many beers in, I joined Carl and a few bloggers on discussing what his life has been like since retiring from his job…

“FIRE is not a foreign concept for me at all, it runs in my family!” I blurted out at some point in the conversation. J. Money later heard of this, and asked if I’d share how impactful this has been, both in my life and my personal finances.

Below is a little about each of these family members of mine, followed by the lessons learned growing up around them. I hope you find it useful.

Cousin #1: We Work Because We Love To

One of my cousins, let’s call her Cousin #1, and her husband met at medical school and...

Mornin’, y’all!

Lots of great comments going on with our $500 Christmas Stimulus so far – if you haven’t entered yet there’s still a few days left! Five of you sexy readers will win $100 to play with!

Today I want to pose a different question to marinate on though, and one that according to my friend Derek from Life and My Finances will tell you exactly how wealthy you are ;) No fancy calculators or formulas needed!

If I want to know if you’re wealthy, I’m not going to ask where you live or what you drive, and I won’t even ask about your job or your income. All I have to do is ask this one simple question: “If you lost your job tomorrow, how long could you survive?”

BOOM! Ever thought in terms like that before? How long do you think you could go off the top of your head before running the numbers?

A freaky exercise for sure, but a good one to take on. Especially because it hits at the heart of two main factors in finance:

  1. Our expenses
  2. Our assets (savings, investments, etc)

All the income in the world is great, but if you don’t ever KEEP any of it what does it matter? Similar to spavings, what’s important is what’s banked – not what’s earned. And in...