Interview: J. Money of Budgets are Sexy!
February 19, 2009
Q: First up, taxes! Are you still worried about doing your own taxes and getting arrested? Is it back to the CPA for you this year?
A: Oh yes! I’m not *as* worried as I was last year at this time (the process is starting to sink in a bit more now), but I still don’t trust myself enough yet – esp. now that I also have to account for the Mrs.’ taxes! In a perfect world I’d just man up and force myself to learn, but unfortunately it’s gonna have to wait ’til next year as I’ve already sent them on over. 😉
Q: I’m going to side with you on the taxes thing: the circumstances have changed with adding the Mrs. so I can see why you’re not quite there yet. That’s just to justify the fact that I’m using a CPA again this year. 😉 And if we’re gonna be lazy, at least we got the info out early!
So tell me, your blog is relatively new (almost a year old!) and you’ve already achieved MSN Money fame, as well as popularity in the pf blogosphere. Does this change your perspective of what you want to do on your blog? Or was this part of the journey you had hoped to take? You started out anonymously, do you think you’ll keep hold of that anonymity harder than ever now that people know the name “J Money” or would you ever consider taking a step towards revealing your secret identity?
A: Oh man, how SWEET is that! All this blogging’s actually being read by people – I love it. But as for my perspective – Nah, it’ll remain the same. I’ve always been in it for the fun and learning aspect of it, so until both of those stop, I’ll keep doing my thang. 😉 And actually, between you and me and your readers, MSN said if it weren’t for all my colorful words, they’d probably link back more! So if that doesn’t change me, not sure what will…although I have noticed I stayed away from “Hooker” and “bitch” in my post today (although not on Twitter!).
Q: I did notice a migration of “hooker” and “bitch” from the posts to Twitter, actually. It’s a happy way to greet Mondays 🙂 [If you’re not already following: J. Money, or me!]
Speaking of greeting Mondays, are you a morning person or a night owl? Coffee or tea? Motivated or lazy?
And haters? Real life haters or bloggy ones? It’s sad but you do have to be careful of them. I wonder if the big names who aren’t anonymous (like Jim from Bargaineering) have much of a problem. But it’s so easy to confuse your secret identity with your real one; there are times I’ve nearly slipped with a “dude, [insert blog name here] just posted the most hi-lar-ious … uh …. oh .. never mind …” I nearly did that last night talking to a retired friend who thought that all high earning 20-year-olds were high rollers – have you encountered that attitude since reforming your blingy ways?
Q: LOL, I’m nowhere near famous and there are times I have a hard time keeping mum so I don’t even know how you keep the MSN fame to yourself.
I have no idea if my friends would respond the same way because I’ve only shared a few financial details with them – good or bad – but they know that I’ve had an… interesting… journey so far. I agree with you, though, you should respect a person’s approach to their money if it works for him/her. If they’re idiots like my brother, though, flame away! 😛
Alright, little birdie tells me your tax returns are in. 😉 What delicious little plans do you have for it?
If you were crazy enough to splurge on whatever you wanted, what would it have been a year ago, and what would it be now?
And if you had to use it all on food, what would you be eating/drinking?
A: Yup, soon enough I shall have my grubby little hands on a cool $6k! I know people like to edit their stuff throughout the year to “not give the gov. a loan” and all, but the joy of getting a big chunk like this is SOOO worth it to me 🙂
So, what will we be doing with it? Whelp, the Mrs. and I will probably take around $2k each to do as we please with, and then the remainder will go into our “House Savings” account for who knows what down the line. And more than likely the Mrs. will hoard hers until needed for Grad school and/or her portion of our mortgages (we divide it up a bit to track better and allow for us both to keep extra “side accounts” where we can do whatever we wish, no questions asked), I’ll pay off the remainder of my car loans ($1400ish) with it, and then save the rest for some extra padding. It’s crazy out there these days, gotta make sure I’m fully equipped and ready!
Now, if this were a year ago? A good portion still would have gone to paying bills, but the rest would definitely have gone to Best Buy, TJ Maxx, and a number of other places. Maybe even on some new blingy diamonds for the ear – who knows. 😉 And I couldn’t even tell you what I’d splurge on today if forced to – my brain is too messed up with frugalness lately.
As for food, drinks, etc – it would go to eating out more often and drinking an unlimited amount of alcohol w/out worrying about the cost! I’m thinking Long Island Iced Teas, beers, whatever my heart desired at the time 🙂
Q: I love that you’ll be able to close out a car loan – all about paying in full! That was a little bit of a test to see if you could still easily revert to your spendy ways. I want to start documenting how our brain chemistry alters when we’re full on frugal. 🙂 (But I just remembered that you haven’t even managed to spend your birthday money yet!)
Does your House Savings account include your house maintenance money, or is that a separate account entirely? Are you gravitating towards breaking out more savings categories as your savings grows, or do you feel like keeping it all in one enormous pot?
On less responsible matters: what do you do for fun around the house? Are you a gadgets and doodads kind of guy, a go out and party sort of dude, or a world-wise traveler? Or any combination of the above with some other dash of ingredient for good measure? Is the Mrs. the yin to your yang, or are you two peas in a pod?
A: Haha, yes ma’am – I’ve been stuck on the Frugal roller coaster for months now and unfortunately (or fortunately?) I can’t seem to get off! It does get sad when all I wanna do is blow through a little money.
Our House accounts cover it all – mortgages, maintenance, condo fees, groceries, you name it. We then both have our own separate accounts for all leftover money. I don’t think we’d break it up any more than we already have or else it would get too complicated. We have 1 house checking, 1 house savings, and then 1 house credit card. So yeah, it would all build up in each specific account. 🙂
When I’m not blogging or salivating over finance (half-way a joke), you’ll catch me glued to reality tv shows and all you can view Comcast OnDemand movies! It seriously gets to the point sometimes that I have to remind myself to walk outside or take a break, or else I’d be there for hours on end…which is really sad if you think about it. At least that’s what I do on the weekdays. On the weekends, I like to stay up late either hanging with friends, going to bars, or just chillin’ inside catching up on the shows I missed during the week! haha…and lately, it’s been more of the later – hard to go outside when so butt-cold. I do like to travel and take random road trips as well, but definitely not a gadgets kinda guy. Although you won’t catch me w/out my cell! Addicted to text messaging.
Yup – the Mrs. is probably more my Yin than my little pea. 🙂 We’re pretty much the complete opposite when it comes down to a lot of stuff, but then almost like “one” when it comes to family, religion, all the big things. So it works out well. Except when I want to talk during a movie or go on walks – the Mrs. can’t stand either! Which is kinda weird right? At least the walking one – never met anyone who doesn’t like that….but guess that’s what makes us unique. 🙂
Q: Ok, J.Money, before we ramble our way right off the blog, is there anything you’d like to share with my readers?
Advice? Questions of your own? Recommendations for shows? Deuces? 😀
A: Hum…something to share, something to share….okay, how about this.
A) Always go “ALL IN” if you’re holding a pair of Queens in Texas Hold ’em and
B) Never gamble all your money away 😉
Also, make sure you save enough money so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of your life! (Sorry, had to throw something legit in here).
And yeah, I’d love to ask your readers something! Let’s do a “would you rather” shall we? Okay, here’s the question: “Would you rather be attractive as hell BUT you never make more than $30k a year for the rest of your life? Orrrrrrr, you’re pretty damn ugly BUT you’re as rich as Oprah Winfrey?” Ooooh, looking forward to these answers!
As am I, J. Money! I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did.
If anyone else wants to strike up an email conversation/interview, you know where to find me! Er…. you know, right here. Or at myname(dot)gs(@)gmail(dot)com.