Budgets are Sexy: Can J. Money make you love personal finance? [REVIEW]


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Published October 14, 2015|5 min read

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We're reviewing the most popular personal finance blogs on the web to figure out what they do best, and who we think will get the most out of them. If you don't already have a favorite personal finance blog, we'll help you find one!

Summary for Budgets are Sexy, www.budgetsaresexy.com. J. Money’s own adventures with income, debt, and savings make personal finance fun, especially if you’re just starting out. The site’s casual vibe and enthusiastic commenters help take the stress out of money management, and blog sections like Side Hustles and the Million Dollar Club keep things from getting dull. Best for: saving and budgeting tips, frugal living advice, how to get out of debt, early retirement strategies.

Budgets are Sexywww.budgetsaresexy.comOnline since: 2008Budgets are Sexy is sort of like that extroverted friend of yours who’s always an optimist and who makes friends with strangers seconds after meeting them. But does that mean it’s the right blog for you?So you're starting a personal finance blog, and lot of what you focus on is how to pay off debt and grow from a debt-ridden ignoramus into a fiscally savvy adult. But how do you get a reader's attention in the first place so you can share your great advice with them?First, call budgets sexy. Then wear a mohawk.Of course, the real reason why Budgets are Sexy is so popular is because the mohawked guy behind the blog, J. Money, approaches topics like debt, investment, and savings with a level of excitement and "you can do it" enthusiasm that draws in readers--especially beginners who are just starting to take control of their financial situation and need some support now and then.

Who will get the most out of Budgets are Sexy?

J. Money writes, "My goal with this blog is to get people to stop and pay attention to their money. Especially you youngin's."That tells you a lot about the kind of content and community you’re going to find here, and if you’re already responsible with your money and are looking for more sophisticated advice from seasoned pros, look elsewhere. Budgets are Sexy wants to get you up on your feet immediately so that you can then start thinking about the long term.

Another sign of which audience the blog is for: J. Money admits that he's not a banker, CPA, or any other sort of official licensed finance professional. He's a regular person--not counting the mohawk--who likes to share practical ways to manage your finances.

Popular posts from Budgets are Sexy

Is there a sense of community? How engaged is the blogger?

Budgets are Sexy has an active community of readers who participate on a post-by-post basis in the comments section. No, come back! These are good comments, the kind of enthusiastic participation that might you hear internet old-timers talk about but rarely see in the wild anymore.If you're looking for a forum where hundreds of questions are asked and answered in multi-page response threads, Budget are Sexy isn't the place. But if you visit the comments, you'll find candid stories from fellow readers who have tried J.Money’s advice and want to share the results with the rest of us--which may inspire you to try out J. Money’s advice yourself. (And then leave a comment about the results.)As you can imagine for a blog that’s built on the idea of speaking plainly and being straightforward, J. Money will sometimes jump into the comments to participate in the conversation, or to answer questions. (When he's not texting Warren Buffet.)

Does it offer any tools?

Budgets are Sexy has its own budgeting template free to download, but where the blog really excels is that it offers a hand-selected list of links to third-party tools. Don't like J. Money's template? How about one of these 17 other ones? Looking for a solution that fits on your phone? Here's a list of services that J. Money has found personally useful or has heard great things about.The active community of readers we mentioned above also comment on these lists to offer dozens of other suggestions and personal reviews.

Its unique strengths

Creativity. You can learn what it's like to have a "side hustle" as a phone sex operator. Or a food truck worker. Or a human guinea pig. Or 57 other ways J. Money's readers have found to bring in a little extra cash, along with some cautionary tales and general side hustle advice.In a similar vein, J. Money creates and runs his own "money experiments" to discover new ways to improve your financial health.But one of its best tools is actually another related website that you can reach from the menu bar. It’s called Rockstar Finance and it’s a list of the best personal finance content that J. Money and Cait Flanders of BlondeonaBudget.ca find around the web. Even if you don’t think Budgets are Sexy is the right blog for you, you should check out Rockstar Finance.

What we'd like to see more of

J. Money has something called The Million Dollar Club, where readers participate by creating a list of financial goals, and then pledge to meet them over the coming year, with the intention of one day becoming a millionaire.

It's a great idea and there are at least 160 participants, if you count only the ones who have publicly joined the list. But a lot of what makes the Million Dollar Club great happens offsite on each participant's personal website or blog. We'd love to see this idea expanded on the Budgets are Sexy site and given more structure, so that everyone can come together--in a different format than comment chains--to share their own tips, successes, and failures.We’d also like to see Retirement and Insurance brought out as top-level categories instead of blended in with the rest of the site’s content. We think readers would benefit from being introduced to them more explicitly early on, even if they’re topics that will become more important as a Budgets are Sexy reader starts to reach that "financially savvy adult" status.Want to know more about Budgets are Sexy? See for yourself at www.budgetsaresexy.com.