Today I am kicking off a series of Money Q&A posts – I know, exciting right! The way it will work is that I am inviting some great personal finance bloggers to answer questions about their experiences with money. I am wanting to do at least one of these money Q&A’s a month, so if you want to be included please let me know.
Today I have Mr J. Money – I love that I am starting off with J$, as his was one of the first personal finance websites that I came across when I first started blogging. He is also one of the most popular personal finance bloggers on the net, so I am absolutely both thrilled and humbled that he agreed to take part in this with me. I also want to quickly thank him for the time and effort he went to in providing the responses to my questions.
If you have somehow missed J$ on the web, he has quite a few websites where you can find him:
Money Q&A Time
Can you please tell me a bit about yourself, your website and why you started your blog?
Sure, I’m J. Money, have two little boys, addicted to personal finance, and I like long walks on the beach 😉 Started Budgets Are Sexy about 6 and a half years ago on a whim, and now here we are, self-employed with a whole new career doing what I love to do! Which is chatting about money with like-minded people and learning a ton of stuff along the way. It’s amazing how accountable you get when you start putting your finances online for anyone to see too. Not many people in the “real” world tend to talk so openly about their money and mistakes/tricks, so I’m glad I stumbled across this world online as it’s really had an impact in my life.
What is your #1 saving tip, and why?
Oh man, I’ve been on a real kick lately trying to explain how important it is to actually *put the money in the bank* whenever you come across savings. So many people talk about how they saved on this or that, and how they’re expenses are now lower/etc/etc, but unless you actually PUT THE MONEY SOMEWHERE it all just ends up getting spent on something else anyways. So you really have to close that loop in order for saving money to actually be saving money. If you tell me you saved $20 by mowing your own lawn, I’m going to ask you where it is in your savings account 😉 (or investment account,etc, etc – doesn’t matter where, just that you’re putting it somewhere).
What has been your biggest money mistake?
Buying my house at the peak of the housing bubble. And not so much because of the inflated price we paid (though that certainly stung), but more so for jumping into something that I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted in the first place. All my friends were picking up homes and getting married/having kids/etc, so I thought it was just the natural step you take as an adult and tried to suck it up and get used to it, but eventually realized home ownership isn’t for everyone. Especially those who like to feel “free” and move anytime they want without the stress of something breaking and needing repairs/etc. We were able to afford it financially (it’s now our rental house as we’ve moved and are back to being renters ourselves) but mentally it’s a whole other ballgame. I urge anyone looking to buy for the first time in their lives to really think about what ownership means and make sure it’s something you really want deep down and not just doing something because everyone else is. I’m probably in the minority here, but it’s still something to really marinate on before pulling the trigger.
How do you stay motivated to save money?
I’m constantly thinking about how beautiful financial independence is. The idea that you can do whatever you want in life without worrying about money is just so incredible sounding that I do my best to hustle my a$$ off now so I can hit that dream later and be free for the rest of my life… It’s not always the easiest thing to achieve – especially when life throws curve balls your way (we’re dealing with some of those personally ourselves right now) – but you do your best to brush yourself off and get back out there to keep working towards that ultimate lifestyle. No one wants to wait until they’re in their 60s to retire, and if you don’t pay attention now while time’s on your side you might not even be able to stop working once you get there.
What/who has been the biggest influence on your life when it comes to money?
I’d say all the personal finance bloggers out there influence me the most. Particularly the ones in the “early retirement” niche, since that’s the goal I’m really striving for these days. I learn much better through story-telling and real-life examples people share than anything else, and the blogging world is chalk full of that. Plus they’re written by regular people like you and me, making everything much easier to understand and relate to.
Do you have 3 personal finance blogs that you really like reading and would recommend to others?
Sure! Right now I’m really digging these three bloggers:
- AffordAnything.com, by Paula Pant
- MadFientist.com, by The Mad Fientist
- FirstQuarterFinance.com, by Will Lipovsky
Thanks for having me 🙂
I just want to thank J Money once again for taking part, and I hope everyone has enjoyed what he has contributed.