The Year of The Flow 🤙

Gooooood morning, my beautiful money lovers!

I’ve missed you! Y’all off to a great start this year? Lots of goals and excitement and energy crackin’ on?!

I gotta admit, I was having so much fun the past handful of weeks I almost didn’t come back, haha… But it’s not you, it’s me ;) I *finally* cracked the code on how to SLOW DOWN TIME once and for all: just don’t work! Lol…

Also: puzzles.

Popped one open over the holidays and haven’t stopped:

pokemon puzzle

(Pokémon FTW)

washington dc puzzle

(Missing puzzle pieces – the devil incarnate!)

paw patrol puzzle

(The hardest of the bunch ;))

superman puzzle

(Current one I’m working on… My first 1,000 piece’r!)

As you can see, only the important things going on here ;)

I also updated our Net Worth and paid some bills and moved some investments around during my break, but honestly finances were the last thing on my mind this holiday season…. It seems I keep thinking about it less and less over the years and finally getting some good balance with my obsessions which is great. I even went a couple weeks without checking social media if you can believe it! 😱😱

I’m also realizing that as much as I love this blog and our community here, it too has become less of an obsession over the years… Mainly because I don’t think about money as much now that things are on track, but also because I continue to treat it as a “job” instead of more of a hobby which I promised myself I wasn’t going to do when I bought it back! Particularly around maintaining a *schedule*. Which up until recently has served me well, but now it just feels constricting even if it’s all in my head (which it is – I only blog two times a week! lol…).

But after going this entire month+ without really having one I felt so *alive* and *in the moment* and it was fantastic. I woke up and just did whatever *moved* me right there on the spot (like puzzles!) and I didn’t have to feel guilty about any commitments lingering in the background. It was such a luxury just “going with the flow” that I don’t think I can give it up now that I’ve really tasted it!! :)

So all this to say, I’m nixing my schedule for the upcoming year and will only be writing whenever I’m dying to get my thoughts out. Which will probably be less than I’m writing now, but still more than I was the last few years when I was gone ;) In fact, my hope is that by going this new route I’ll be able to stay here with y’all for the long run since there’s no way I can get burned out again if I only blog when I feel like it! Haha…

So here’s to a more flowy, and FUN!, new year of sharing with y’all! I hope it’s a great year for all of us!!


$100 door mat

In other life updates…

Here are the things I got accomplished from my checklist last month:

  • I got my Xmas shopping done early! Amazing how much you can knock out when you don’t have a job getting in the way – hah.
  • I visited my friend’s coin shop AND the new brewery that opened up – that door mat up there comes from my friend’s shop – brilliant!
  • I tipped my baristas $100 on #BigTipTuesday! And it felt as great as you think it might :) Totally recommend if you can pull it off (and you don’t need to wait for a special event – people need some love any day of the week!!)
  • I read at the coffee shop instead of typing away on the laptop. OK this wasn’t on the list last month, but something I’ve always wanted to do as it just looks sooooo relaxing whenever I see anyone do it. So I grabbed a book, found a comfy chair in the corner, and got to reading amidst the hustle and bustle of everything. SO MAGICAL!! I thought it was a fitting book I selected for it too ;) How Starbucks Saved My Life (Amazon affiliate link)

how starbucks changed my life

(An excellent, light, read, btw – highly recommend!)

  • We started a Jumping Jacks Challenge for January! After a successful Push-Up Challenge in November, and a subsequent Squats Challenge in December, the mission continues and we move to Jumping Jacks for the rest of the month. 100/day – wanna join?
  • And lastly, I attended the Content Creator Happy Hour from Plutus Voices last month. As expected, it was a joy getting together with like-minded friends in real life. We talked money, life, entrepreneurship, and all those out of the blue *pivots* we sometimes need to make to keep the goals moving… It was great, and you can check here to see if they’ll be coming to your town next! –>

Things I didn’t end up getting done last month:

  • My tattoos – turns out the shop I want to get them at is SUPER popular and they have a 2-3 month waiting list to get inked! So it’ll still happen, I just have to wait a little longer which is fine – I’ve already waited 20 years :)
  • Try Crossfit – didn’t even cross my mind once, haha…
  • Create TikTok videos – nope! If anything, I learned this month I want to be on social *less* over time, not more. And I know if I join another platform I’ll only get sucked in as they’re all so addicting!!
  • Visit new museums or skateparks – not enough time with all those puzzles that needed to get done ;)

So that’s it for me!

What have you guys been getting into?? Any great resolutions or goals you’re fired up about for 2023? Anyone want to join me in the “go with the flow” plan?

I think it’s going to be my mantra for *everything* I get into this year… I’ll still be productive and get everything done that I need to, but the hope is to make it all happen in a more peaceful and flowy way :) And if it blows up in my face, well, you know I’ll be here to blog about it, lol…

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!! I’ll see you when I see you 💙

j. money signature

PS: I’ll still be sending out my Friday personal newsletters every now and then too. You can sign up to those here if you’re interested (I share more personal stuff, along with my favorite financial reads from around the community):

PPS: My favorite Xmas present this year:

dad bucks

(Dad Bucks!! Where I can pay my kids to do whatever I want, muah ha ha…)

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  1. Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto January 10, 2023 at 10:44 AM

    Less writing, less social media, more living. Sounds like a great recipe for a great life! Congrats on breaking that (self-imposed) burden of maintaining a writing schedule. I did the same in March 2022 and haven’t regretted it for a second. Welcome the the “IWWIWT” (I Write When I Want To) Club!

    1. J. Money January 10, 2023 at 2:47 PM

      Haha… thanks for the warm welcome! I hope I do the club proud! 😂

  2. Scott January 10, 2023 at 11:08 AM

    Welcome back J Money! Just to be clear, when you say “I’m nixxing my schedule for the upcoming year,” you are just talking about your writing schedule for this blog, correct? Surely, your month+ off from blog posting hasn’t motivated you to abandon the life-changing goodness of the Ben Franklin Schedule. I think you need more than a month of thought before you do something that drastic.

    1. J. Money January 10, 2023 at 2:49 PM

      Oh, of course. The puzzles haven’t melted my brain that much! The Benny F schedule is here to stay 👍👍

  3. Zach January 10, 2023 at 1:04 PM

    It really comes through that you reached FI years ago, but that it is finally sinking in now. I am not sure if that’s what you intended, but I find the article motivating. I know if will not be easy leaving the work schedule behind when that time comes. I can only hope to enjoy it as much as you are.

    1. J. Money January 10, 2023 at 2:58 PM

      Hey, thanks! Interesting take indeed, but you’re not wrong… The more I slow down the more it sinks in for sure :) I think “when it’s time” you’ll be ready for it too. And if not, nothing saying you can’t keep going!

      That’s the beauty I’m coming to realize throughout all this – you can change your mind and do whatever you want at any time. There are no real rules! You just keep doing your thing until it doesn’t make sense anymore – either financially or mentally or passion-ately – and then you change the course and try to make it better. I think the only way you can go wrong is to stay stuck and *not* do something about it when things don’t align anymore… That’s where you fail in life.

  4. Financial Fives January 10, 2023 at 1:44 PM

    Ah J Money we think alike! I did a post on my blog last month too how I was switching to once a month to make better content and so it didn’t feel like a “job”.

    I have to say I was excited to see your post this month, and bummed we won’t get to read them as often but I guess it’ll make them that much more exciting when you do.

    Side note, you should def read at a coffee shop, it’s mindfulness as it’s best as you take in the music, scent, people watching, etc. I do work there, but when I just have my book people tend to want to make conversation lol.

    1. J. Money January 10, 2023 at 3:07 PM

      YES! I’m finding that too! And since you’re not so *focused* and in your own little world you actually have the energy (and time) to have a conversation :)

      That’s been one of the best feelings so far – not being *rushed* so much and being able to soak in life’s moments throughout the WHOLE day instead of just at night when you’re done with everything.

      In fact, my goal was to publish this post *yesterday* but then I was asked to help babysit another boy during the day, and then 30 mins later if I could volunteer at my son’s school for a bit, and instead of being stressed and/or saying “no” to both requests, I was able to happily – and freely – say “yes” and help out everyone without any anxiety whatsoever :) And it’s what I truly wanted to do too, which this new “go with the flow” plan has allowed for! So yay!! I think it’s boding well so far!

  5. Matt K January 10, 2023 at 2:06 PM

    Go with the flow sounds great! I always look forward to your post but I can understand how it could be stressful always feeling like ya have to have something to put up on a regular bases. Also agree with social media, sometimes it takes a long break to realize how toxic it can become. Take care and I’ll be watching for your next post. :-)

    1. J. Money January 10, 2023 at 3:31 PM

      Thanks Dude! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting! 👊

  6. Victoria Michalczyk January 10, 2023 at 4:42 PM

    Loved the “Dad Bucks” – those are hilarious. You will have to post if they actually work!.

  7. Donna Freedman January 10, 2023 at 8:00 PM

    Same dog bit me, my friend! I took a few days away from the grind and realized that I really *like* the way it feels to goof off, read all day, hang out with my beloved partner without checking emails, go to the movies with my bestie, visit my niece and throw sticks for her dog….

    Not saying that I’m going to quit writing. But I think 2023 will be the year I seriously contemplate cutting waaaay back.

    Any chance you’ll break away to FinCon in New Orleans this year? Let’s have an iced tea and talk about work/life balance.

    1. J. Money January 11, 2023 at 9:44 AM

      Deal!! But only if we meet at that rotating bar in that hotel :) We stumbled across it last time FinCon was there and is one of my all-time favorite places! We’ll order Long Island Iced Teas, but hold the Long Island 😂

  8. Liz January 11, 2023 at 1:42 AM

    I’m still in the post holiday, what day is it…Tuesday post but I figured it out. Got home from work and no one else had out the Wednesday night recycling. Because it’s still Tuesday!

    Enjoy! I’d rather have your insights and inspiration when it’s right, than you feeling the 2 posts a week ‘obligation ‘.

    1. J. Money January 11, 2023 at 9:46 AM

      Thanks, Liz :)

      And always better to be EARLY to life than LATE! Lol… I remember for the first half of last year I thought I was 43 only to realize later that I was actually only 42!!! Felt like I was given a free year!!!! :)

  9. NZ Muse January 11, 2023 at 4:07 AM

    yesss! I was off last week and it was wonderful (aside from car getting stolen). Flow is a constant key word in my affirmations and love that you’re embracing it.

    1. J. Money January 11, 2023 at 9:47 AM


      Except for the car – what the hell happened there?! People are so sad :(

  10. Lisa O January 11, 2023 at 7:35 AM

    Enjoy Your Life! Backing of social media is a great way to take your life back. While I love your writing, I don’t read weekly because I have also backed off social media. Enjoy the “Dad” bucks because that is true happiness right there!!

    1. J. Money January 11, 2023 at 9:54 AM

      Thanks Lisa!! Glad you found the joy of less screen time too :)

    1. J. Money January 11, 2023 at 9:54 AM

      Thank you, sir! You good over there?? Doubling your wine budget for the year? :)

  11. Rita January 11, 2023 at 8:11 PM

    I’m so glad to see you back. I’ve been checking on you every day since Jan. 1.

    Two things going on here. I’m taking the Dr. Dean Ornish heart health program. It’s a very low fat, plant-based food plan, so that’s making big changes here.

    Another thing, the archivist at Washington State University who said she’d take my newspaper clips (and copies of my prize-winning blog articles) is leaving Feb. 10. I hired someone to help me get it done last fall, but, now I’ll need to work on it, too.

    I don’t want to miss this opportunity. The Evergreen State College said they’d take all my working, including newsletters and publications I edited when I worked for state government. However, when I called to get details on how to archive the materials, they said they’re no longer taking items from outside sources.

    These projects are taking time away from working on my book. However, they’re important, so I’m not going to stress about it.

    A friend of mine passed away Dec. 4. I just put my photos of her on Facebook to cheer myself up. It’s a reminder to attend to what’s important. My last photo of her was taken in May. She looked so good; it’s incredible that she had a stroke and passed away about a week later.

    Best wishes with your new blogging plan. We fans will appreciate any words of wisdom you can share.

    1. J. Money January 12, 2023 at 10:51 AM

      Hi Rita!

      So sorry to hear about your friend, gosh… What a reminder indeed to slow down life and soak things up! And glad you’re experimenting with some new food plans too to help extend stuff :)

      Good luck, w/ the archiving! I’ll be here whenever you need some good motivation or brain dumping! You know I’m a big fan of yours too 💙

      1. Rita January 12, 2023 at 8:45 PM

        Yes, you’re in my plan to redo my blog when my book draft is finalized.

        It sure was nice to have two Christmas celebrations — one with both of my daughters at my house and a second one with my daughter who lives in California on a farm. Sheep, lambs, big guardian dogs, and a few chickens. A really different lifestyle, but a good reminder of where food comes from. I grew up on an apple ranch myself.

        It makes me glad I figured out I don’t have to work all the time and can take time for fun stuff.

        Jig saw puzzles? I’m not sure. I have some friends in their 80s who really like them. ;-)

        1. J. Money January 13, 2023 at 10:45 AM

          Hah! I’m an old soul, what can I say ;)

          That farm Xmas sounds magnificent… I’d love to own some chickens one day and have fresh eggs, yum.

  12. Adam January 13, 2023 at 11:14 AM

    > Mainly because I don’t think about money as much now that things are on track, but also because I continue to treat it as a “job” instead of more of a hobby.

    I can for sure feel that, even my “job” never really “paid”. It’s easier to tell when someone’s writing an article because they feel they have to, versus having something inside you just can’t wait to get out.

    I haven’t been thinking about money either, which has meant less money blogging.

    When you write do you have an audience in mind? Or is it more based on what you think is interesting and being exciting to share (that’s the vibe I’ve always gotten from you)?

    1. J. Money January 13, 2023 at 11:26 AM

      the latter, of course!

      i decided a long time ago to just write about whatever’s bubbling on my mind, and then whatever type of audience that brings is the right audience for me :) not as good for “business” probably, but much more fun and authentic 👍

      (and i miss your blog posts man, they were great!)

  13. Jim January 15, 2023 at 4:51 PM

    Welcome back J, or at least, welcome back on your “you make the choice when” part-time basis. Whatever you got and whenever you wanna share it, we’ll be sure to be here. Sounds like you had a relaxing holiday, thats fantastic!

    1. J. Money January 17, 2023 at 10:08 AM

      Thanks dude! Always appreciate your support 👊

  14. Frogdancer Jones January 15, 2023 at 6:09 PM

    My friend does jigsaws. She’s currently addicted to the ones that DON’T have the photo of the finished jigsaw on the box, but are of the same scene at night/back or forwards in time/of the point of view of someone looking at the scene on the box from another angle etc.
    Sounds way too hard to me!

    1. J. Money January 17, 2023 at 10:10 AM

      ok now that is just torture, lol… Or perhaps Next Level Status when the plebian puzzles are too easy for you 😂

  15. RebornGeek February 11, 2023 at 1:19 PM

    Great post! I love how you have found a balance between your interests and personal finance. Your approach to only writing when you feel like it is a refreshing change. Best of luck with your resolutions, especially the Jumping Jacks Challenge.

  16. Haydn March 17, 2023 at 5:11 AM

    Important to know when to take the foot off the accelerator. We have to learn to listen to what *feels* right.

    P.S. love the emphasis on giving back :)


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