Dear Reader, How Can I Help?

Dear Reader,

I’ve been thinking about you. What brought you here? What were you searching for when you stumbled upon this site, and what are you hoping to find?

Are you looking for posts about minimalismfinancial independence, or voluntary simplicity? Are you trying to decide if you should become a stay-at-home parent or walk away from your high-paying job? Maybe you came here because you want to stop buying stuff or want to live simply with less.

Perhaps, you want to explore your relationship with money. Do you want to dig into your limiting beliefs and money blocks or explore the best ways to live a good life regardless of how much you’ve saved? Do you want to find ways to spend money without feeling guilty about it or focus on the joy of saving?

About Me

If you are new here, let me introduce myself. My name is Julie though I go by many nicknames, including Jewels, Ju-Ju-Bee, and Jewelsule.

I started this blog because I love to write. Without a pen or keyboard, my ideas get stuck inside my head. They churn around in circles with nowhere to go, and if I don’t write for a while, I begin to feel edgy and uncomfortable.

This blog is the story of my life and my relationship with money. I started writing as a twenty-seven-year-old newlywed in search of higher incomes and an upward trending net worth. Sixteen years later, I write as a stay-at-home mom and multi-millionaire who is no longer anxious, fearful, or emotionally attached to money.

The Result of My Journey

A fellow blogger once told me my blog felt very heavy and serious. She’s not wrong. Life is messy, and I don’t candy-coat my stories to make them easier to swallow.

You won’t find a pollyanna version of life here. I started this blog while facing chronic pain and illness. It was a dark time in my life, but sometimes darkness helps us see the light. Sometimes it takes difficulty and heartbreak to appreciate what we have rather than dwell on what we don’t.

At the beginning of my journey, I misunderstood the race for financial independence. I thought money was the prize for my hard work and determination. I was wrong. The real prize is time freedom and joy. I spend just as much time writing about money as I do about happiness.

Blogging helped make me a millionaire, but life is about so much more than money. Unfortunately, I had to build my wealth before I could recognize that truth.

Dear Reader, Why Are You Here?

If you’ve stumbled across my blog, I’d love to know how you got here.

Dear Reader, what are you searching for, and how can I help? Do you have a specific question I can address? Is there something you’d like me to write about more often? Please tell me in the comments below or send me an email. I’ve learned so much on my journey to financial independence and I’d love to help!

16 thoughts on “Dear Reader, How Can I Help?”

  1. I came to your site because of financial favoritism. I am a 68 yr old man now caring for a 88 year old father. Dad has provided money/resources to my 77 year old sister all of our life. I had to disconnect from the family for many years because of this. I just couldn’t handle it mentally.
    My sister (never married) has not worked in 30 years, has a sense of entitlement, etc.
    As I clean out my dad’s paperwork, he was successful to the tune of over 10m dollars I have come across docs where he has given her over 4m. That’s right 4 million dollars. She is now broke and chomping at the bit for him to pass to receive more money.
    Mentally I hope to recover but not sure how.
    Writing comments like this helps. It’s been my family’s little secret for over 40 years and now I see the extent of this favoritism.
    Please do not publish my email.

    • Thank you for letting me know how you stumbled upon my blog. Over the years, I’ve received hundreds of emails and comments about financial favoritism and the pain that it inflicts. If you’ve read my posts, you know that you are not alone in your frustration, sadness, and anger. I am sorry that you are facing this situation. If you need to express your thoughts feel free to comment anytime or email me directly. It won’t fix your relationship with your father or sister, but it might relieve the burden of keeping your secrets inside.

  2. I am 62 and retired after being laid off. My kids are grown. So we aren’t similar demographically, but I like reading your spin on things. What I’m struggling with now is making the rest of my life good and figuring out what that even means. Time freedom is very different when you have children and family at home versus when you live alone and are not working for money. I think it’s also different to be single. So if you have thoughts on those things, I’d love to read them in your columns. Otherwise, I still find your writing and thoughts very interesting.

    • Hi Susan,

      First, let me tell you how much I love your comments and how much joy they bring to my day. Second, time freedom changes with our circumstances and age. Thank you for pointing that out. If we were chatting with one another about the subject I would ask, “What do you love to do? What brings you joy? How do you want to spend your time?” You can also dabble in new activities, especially creative ones. Try drawing, painting, writing, completing puzzles, etc. See how it feels to try out new things and which ones spark joy. If you want to talk more about this I would be happy to chat!

  3. I was brought to your blog because over the last year, my family has had very dramatic changes in our life. My husband left his very high paying job of 21 years. I have been a SAHM for 15 of those 21. After his departure, no income was coming in at all. We have a sophomore in college and a 6th grader. We ended up selling our home, our cabin and our car that we still owned money on. We had to return my husband’s company issued vehicle. We were used to living a very comfortable lifestyle and now we both have PT jobs that net less than 10% of the income we were living on previously. Our insurance costs are out of sight. We are spending money out of our savings every month. On a positive note, after we did all of the above things, we were able to put a good amount of money in the bank and have a healthy retirement account. We are currently renting and bought two reliable used cars. As you would imagine, our life looks very different now. I use your blog and others to try to capture advice, tips and methods to help our family along on this new adventure.

    • Elizabeth, thank you for leaving this comment. It sounds like you have been through a lot! I love that you are reading and learning to better your circumstances. If you would like specific advice or guidance please email me directly.

  4. Hi Julie,

    I throughly enjoy your write and I’m glad it’s straight to the point not a sugar coated, Pollyanna version. I found your blog will looking at a list of top FIRE blogs and I agree with that.

    I’d like to read more of your writing on financial independence and minimalism, as well as how you are helping with your parents business. I think this is very relevant for a lot of people or will be in the short future as more and more people need to start helping their parents.

    I also like you stealth wealth writing. Society doesn’t seem to look very nicely on young people who no longer need to work a paid job in order to support their lifestyle.

    You have done a great job of writing until now, so please just continue with what comes to mind. You always have interesting information and a different perspective.

    Thanks for your blog and I look forward to continue reading whatever you write about.

    • Hi TS, Thank you for this beautiful comment! I can certainly write more about financial independence and minimalism. Those are two of my favorite topics. Do you want to see anything in particular? Do you have any specific questions about helping elderly parents? I can write a lot more about this topic as well.

  5. I found your blog from the MMM app, and I am glad I did. In some sense, you a step ahead (fire, minimalism, SAHM), but I appreciate your writing style to reveal the journey you’ve been on. It feels like having a cup of tea with a dear friend. We live in a smaller house (1600 sq ft) with 3 young kids (6, 4, 2), so I appreciate more on minimalism. It seems we always have too much stuff for our space, but there is such an emotional element in reducing. I also would love to be SAHM but currently am the sole income provider. We are working to change that but seems impossible some days. I desire time freedom more than anything. And lately my job has made me more anxious.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Perhaps I should set up a Zoom call to meet my readers for a cup of tea. How fun would that be! The emotional side of minimalism has been a decade-long journey for me. When I struggle to get rid of something I usually set it aside for awhile. Sometimes the passage of time makes it easier to give away. I put items in a box, seal them up, and stow them away. If I haven’t used it for a while or yearned to see it, I probably don’t need it. I still struggle to let go of my children’s toys. But even that has gotten easier with time and patience.

      I’m sorry that your job is making you anxious. Can you find a few minutes a day to relax and settle your mind? Do you have a boss you can talk with openly about your situation? I struggled through chronic pain and illness on the job. Some of my managers were understanding when I approached them. Others were downright awful. Over time I learned when I could speak up and when I had to remain quiet despite my pain. If you need to vent, leave comments here or email me.

      I do wish you the best in your journey. Thank you for following along with me!

  6. Hi Jewels!

    I found your job because of your post about quitting your high paying job and becoming a SAHM. It’s something I’m working towards and I’d love to hear more about how amazing and challenging life is staying home with the kids and having the time and energy to really BE with your loved ones.

    God bless you and more power to your blog!

  7. First thanks for your blog! Your efforts are greatly appreciated! Since 2022 began I feel like all of bills have gone up: utilities, food, gasoline are the most significant. Helpful suggestions comparing inflation would be greatly appreciated.


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