Interview with J.Money: The mohawk-spotting cool dude from Budgets are Sexy!

They are fucking sexy indeed!

I just had the opportunity of interviewing one of the coolest bloggers ever. It’s none other than J.Money from Budgets are Sexy.

Why he is cool:

-Got fired from his job and turned his life around and became a full-time, self-employed blogger.

-Leads an awesome life as a dad, blogger and expert in finances.

-Spots a mohawk.-Is full of shit… Well not really, but definitely has a cool, no-bullshit tone, yet gives awesome advice on financial planning. 


Whether you’re a student, an employee struggling to make ends meet or a parent-to-be, I highly advise you to check out his blog to gain some insights on planning your finances in order to lead the lifestyle you want! 

Read on to be inspired by this guy!
Hey J. Money, tell us a little about yourself and Budgets Are Sexy.Sure! And thank for having me here by the way. Always love meeting new people. Budgets Are Sexy came out of me really wanting to motivate people to pay attention to their money, while at the same time holding MYSELF accountable at the same time. I had never been super bad with finances or anything, but 4-5 years ago I ended up buying a house when I probably shouldn’t have and it really propelled me into learning more about money and then sharing it with others. And to be honest I still learn more from those reading my blog than I feel I give out! Haha… but that’s the beauty of blogging, and why I’ve stuck around for so long (we just had our 4 year anniversary!) – the people here are great. And it’s that strong community in the PF niche that has really kept me motivated. 

It says on your blog you rock a Mohawk, you are hyperactive, you love Hip Hop music and you aren’t shy about the fact that you have a “kooky” tone. That’s pretty damn cool, but how do you balance this hip persona with such the serious subject matter of money?

I just say how it is yo! Haha… I literally just put things out there that I’d personally enjoy myself if I read it on another site. I think that’s the key with this money stuff – if you fall asleep at your own writing, how the hell can you expect someone else to enjoy what you’re there to say? The truth about money is that it IS boring when you’re forced to read about budgeting or investing or whatever – it’s inherently NOT fun. But it doesn’t mean that it *couldn’t* be. And that’s the main thing I try to focus on: Make this stuff interesting so that people WANT to learn more and do a great job getting financially free!
And one of the best ways I’ve found to do that well is to tell stories. Either on all the great stuff you’ve done to help motivate people, or all the stupid $hit you’ve gotten into in order to help them AVOID it all and learn from your crazy mistakes. In other words, make this stuff more “personable.” We all have issues with stuff, so why not relate it human to human? I find people tend to zone out when it sounds like a company or guru trying to teach you something, but if you share things as if everyone’s friends, I think people gravitate more to it and everyone has a much better time.

You mentioned on your blog you got fired from your job. How did it make you feel? And was it tough knowing that your imminent future then would be devoid of a stable income?

In one word: relieved.

I had been going back and forth for MONTHS trying to figure out when the best time to give blogging a full-time shot was, and so when that option of choosing was taken away from me, I knew I had to run with it right then and there. And I’m so glad I did! It’s definitely scary to jump into working for yourself and give up the one thing you were used to your entire professional lives (that of a 9-5 day job), but in the end I knew that even if I were to fail I’d at least have given it a total 100% chance. And since I had been saving for months and months, I knew I had a decent emergency fund set up so I could survive a worst case scenario. Which thankfully has yet to come 😉 In my mind it was all about smart planning and being ready for opportunities the second one’s presented to you on a silver platter. And that day I got let go was one of the most exciting times of my life and I pray to the high heavens above that it came.

Any advice for people who just got fired themselves or is in constant worry that they may be dismissed?

YES! Be proactive and start DOING SOMETHING about it!

I know it’s way more easier to say than to actually do it, but I’m telling you – creating that Plan B is SO empowering. Even if you never have to resort to it later, cuz believe me – no matter what job you have, or what profession you’re in – there is ALWAYS a chance of being let go or losing clients – even if you work for yourself. But as long as you have a solid PLAN in place for taking those next steps if the $hit hit the fan, you’ll be MUCH better off than the old you was w/out one. So imagine what you’d do if that dreadful day ever came, and start working backwards. Would you need more money saved up while you looked for another job? Would you finally make that move to a place you’ve always wanted to live? Or would you maybe even SWITCH careers and so something you’ve always dreamed of doing? Whatever it is, start taking incremental steps NOW before that decision ever comes. That way, you’ll be way ahead of the game and ready to roll for whenever the timing’s right… and maybe you’ll even bring it on yourself once you get all your ducks in a row?!

What do you think is the main problem people have when managing their finances?

I think people genuinely don’t care or try as hard as they may let on. Which isn’t a total bash – not everyone prioritizes financial freedom as others may – but it only becomes a problem when their money starts wreaking havoc in their lives. The GOOD thing here, though, is that we all have the power to do something about it any time we want! It may not be the easiest thing to accomplish, but there’s always a way out of a financial jam – even if it means taking on more hustles (aka side jobs) or downgrading your lifestyle a bit. The key to it all is first realizing that something REALLY needs to change, and then actually putting the plan of fixing it into motion. And unfortunately that latter part doesn’t get done as much as people would like – even with myself sometimes. 🙁

Credit cards, good or bad?

Both 😉 They are GREAT for those who can master them and reap all the rewards they have to offer, but they are the devil to those who can’t stay away from overcharging and never paying off their balances in full. Credit cards get a bad rap out there, but only because soooo many people are in debt these days – and most of that came from bad credit use. But if you can manage them well and put them to YOUR advantage to suck out all those rewards (like cash back, miles, or even for budgeting!), they can do wonders for your finances. I’ve actually just started a list of the best credit cards out there, so if you or anyone reading this ever needs a good starting point, I’d suggest heading over there first. But stay way of course if you know they’re not for you! 🙂

So I read that you’ll be having a baby boy soon, congrats! What would you as a dad advise to people who are planning to start a family?

Thanks! I’m so excited & scared! Haha… but with everything in life, I think a little planning and paying attention can go a long way down the line – so that’s what I’m focusing on right now really. Asking tons of questions to all my parent friends and family out there, and in the background getting my finances and career as sturdy as I possibly can. The one thing I’m really scared about is continuing my workaholic ways once he comes out, so I’m doing my best to cut out “work hours” every week to slowly get them down so that I’ll be OK once he makes an appearance. I get really sucked into things when I’m passionate, so my hope is that our baby becomes that “thing” and my body knows how to prioritize better 🙂 But we’ll see! It’s all a learning experience, and I just pray I can do my all-time best in making sure our family is well protected and loved. I really can’t wait!

What about to aspiring entrepreneurs? What is the most important thing people who want to start a business need to take note of?

Be SUPER passionate, and be ready to put in a ton of time. But make sure you WANT to put in a lot of time as well, because you really have to live and breathe whatever it is you’re building if you want it to be successful. And the truth is a lot of people *think* they can do it, but it’s a whole other ballgame once you’re in the trenches and your livelihood depends on it. So the main thing I always recommend is to start all these projects on the side, parallel to your day job, and then work your way up until you can jump into your dreams head first. It’s not as fun as going all-in from the beginning, but you’ll have a lot more experience and confidence going into it than you would the other route. And a hefty savings account too if you were raking in the money at BOTH your day job and your new side gig! 

To end off, give us your best tip for anyone who is struggling with their finances. 

Oh man, this is a hard one cuz there’s never a “one size fits all” when it comes to managing money – and most people already KNOW how to manage it all they just don’t actually do it 😉

It’s like losing weight or quitting smoking – you KNOW what the answer is here (eat healthier and stop putting cigs in your mouth!), but you need something to click to really take action. So I guess my “tip” here would be to figure out what motivates you, and then do your damn best to stay on it. Whether it’s saving more money, or cutting out debt, or whatever your financial goals currently happen to be. They’re all attainable – no doubt about it – but you have to truly WANT IT if you ever want to see results. There’s nothing more to it. And once you’re moving on the right track, I think the momentum and confidence you have will continue to push you the rest of the way. You just have to figure out how to get started, and then run with it. (I know that’s a fluffy answer, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true).

Awesome insights and advice, if I must say so myself. Hope it helps!

And that’d be J.Money, the man himself signing out!

Peace be with y’all.

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  1. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca - April 9, 2012 12:24 pm

    This guy has an awesome vibe, and awesome story.

    “Everyone already KNOWS what to do, they don’t actually do it” haha.

    I took the “all-in” route – ended up homeless (twice), live the high-life, arrested, betrayed, lost all possessions and more and I can kinda recommend it.

    It might not be for you, but..It’s adrenaline-filled roller-coaster, and to me, a great life 🙂

    • alden - April 10, 2012 7:23 am

      For real man! All the basics and clichés in life really do work. It’s applying them that’s important.

      Your all-in route is super hardcore! But I guess the more hardcore it is, the more you learn!

  2. Kathryn C - April 10, 2012 3:53 pm

    Love J.Money, he’s the best. Love the pic at the end, that man on his blackberry is all business. J. Money, is not.

    • alden - April 10, 2012 6:26 pm

      Haha I got that off Google. Yeah I love how he’s real and full of fun too.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Roundup: Regrets, Google and Mail-Order Brides | Budgets Are Sexy

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