My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money MohawkIt started as a joke… until it wasn’t.  This is the story of how I became a J. Money knockoff for the day.  It’s something a little different from my regular posts.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show…

I was at the FinCon expo for the first time this year.  If you’re unfamiliar with the event, it’s an annual convention filled with financial content for bloggers and other money nerds!

Philip Taylor (PT) started the event in 2011 and it’s been growing ever since.  Like-minded love to get together and this event is definitely no exception.

I’ll be talking about my FinCon experience in a later post… just know that I loved every minute of that expo.

I went to the conference not having ever met anyone that would be at the conference beforehand.

However, I’ve talked to plenty of other bloggers via comments and email over the years.  This made my time getting to know everyone much easier.


J. Money’s the Man

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - J. Money's the Man
Shhhhh… I blatantly stole this picture from his site and cropped it in hopes he thinks it’s one I took myself!

One of those bloggers who I had communicated briefly with beforehand is a guy who goes by the name J. Money (or J$).

He’s pretty easy to spot because he’s the guy sporting a Mohawk haircut.  That tends to be something that stands out slightly in the personal finance arena. 🙂

J. Money is considered a rock star in the community.  Besides his unusually-named popular blog, Budgets are Sexy, he’s started a number of other cool projects along the way.

A couple of those projects are the Rockstar Finance site and forums.  That’s also what led me to have a brief conversation with J$ over email regarding a small glitch I had spotted on a survey regarding the Rockstar site.

During our conversation, I let him know that I looked forward to meeting him at FinCon even though I had heard he always had a crowd gathering around him.  He told me it can sometimes get a little wild, but to still snag him if I could.

That’s right – he’s a rock star like that!

And with good reason.  When I finally met him at the conference, I learned he’s a social butterfly and one of the nicest people you could meet.  He’s got a ton of energy and project ideas are always popping in and out of his head.  Just a great guy to be around.

So why is this important to the story?


The Idea

Because FinCon was having a costume party for the last night of the event.  I joked with J. Money and with Steve (from that I should go as J$ to the party and shave my head with a Mohawk like his.

This became a running joke with a bunch of us at the conference.

I mean, seriously, what idiot would actually shave his head for some silly costume party?

Well, apparently this idiot would.

Look, I’m not an ultra-conservative guy by any means, but I’m also not the guy to go for something like this.  Still, the idea sure sounded intriguing and how funny would the whole thing be?  Besides, it’s just hair – it’ll grow back, right?

So I decided to pull the trigger on the plan.  But I needed to recruit some help to make this last-minute costume idea happen.


The Implementation

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Implementation
Poor Scott… I bet when he registered for FinCon, he didn’t think this is what it would come to! And, he’s stuck with an R2R logo over his face!

Scott from I Dream of Fire (who I had only met a couple days earlier) came up to my room to help get the ball rolling.

But here’s the thing… this was a last-minute idea and we didn’t really have the tools for the job (e.g. clippers!).

That turned this into a much bigger task than it should have been.  We were stuck using cuticle scissors, a small beard touch-up trimmer, and a cordless electric razor (with maybe a half-charge left).

Things started out pretty rough, but then it slowly began to take shape.

In the meantime, Kathryn from Making Your Money Matter went to work to create a shirt and badge to use.  With J. Money’s blog being “Budgets are Sexy”, we went with “My Budgets are Sexy Too!”

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Implementation
This is the most important work anyone did on this whole trip!
My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Implementation
Here’s a later pic of the shirt in all its glory…
My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Implementation
If I kept a full-time Mohawk, I would hire Amy to maintain it for me any day!













While Kathryn was working on this stuff, Amy from Life Zemplified helped do the touch-up and hair-pasting (I made that word up) of my Mohawk.

With Steve and Courtney in the room also watching this train wreck unfold, we had a full house.  None of us could have envisioned we’d be spending the last night of FinCon transforming me into a J. Money knockoff, but it was definitely a great bonding experience!

The good news is that it turned out pretty well.  I cut off the sleeves of an old flannel I had with me (for my original costume idea) and threw that on.

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Implementation
Courtney looking on in disgust and Steve had to turn away from this horrible costume idea…


The Finished Product

The team’s hard work paid off…

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Finished Product
Me trying to be as cool as J. Money… not happening!

Ok, I’m not J. Money, but for a costume idea that came together just a couple hours before the party, I think we did all right!


The Party

We headed to the party and, a bit to my surprise for some weird reason, it turned out to be a hit.

J. Money finally saw me after a short while and almost fell over laughing.  We then had our bonding moment…

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Party
I think we’re bonding here…

What I didn’t expect is that that wasn’t the end of it.  J. Money brought me everywhere with him around the party and we had a lot of fun with it.  People laughed and we took a lot of pictures together.  Here are a couple more for your viewing pleasure…

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Party
Look at these cool guys!
My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - The Party
Still cool… nothing’s changed.
















I entered the world of J. Money and spent hours with him (trying) to mimic his smooth moves on the dance floor and spent some time talking to his peeps.

I learned I definitely don’t have all the energy he does!

It made for a great party and PT (the founder of FinCon) later awarded me a free pass for next year’s event!  Score!  Although I wasn’t thinking about that when I did it, I definitely appreciate the gesture.

Throwing this one in because, well, how often do you get your picture next to the Mad Fientist?!


Now What?

Here’s the thing – the joke was fun and proved to be really entertaining, but then the party ended.  Ok, I decided to go to bed… but eventually it was over.

So now what?

I have a Mohawk and I’m going back to work with my boss and coworkers.  On top of that, I remembered that I’m going to a parent-teacher conference for my daughter this week!

Hmmm, this could be interesting.

So, I figured I have three options…

  1. Shave off the rest of my hair at the hotel and start from scratch with a bald head.
  2. Leave it be until the rest of my hair catches up and clean it up over time.
  3. Just rock the Mohawk like J$ for the long haul!

Let’s knock option 3 off the list right off the bat.  I’m just not cool enough to make the Mohawk part of my regular style.

Option 1 seems to make sense and it’s probably a little more “socially accepted” to be bald instead of having a Mohawk… but that seems too easy.  Plus, shouldn’t my wife and daughter get a chance to be surprised and see this hot mess when they pick me up from the airport?

I decided option 2 was the way to go.  I got to continue being J. Money for the next day.  It was almost like a personal experiment to see how the world treats someone who looks different – even if a simple haircut was the only difference in me.


Heading Home

My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk - Heading Home
This isn’t my plane, but it was still a cool enough picture to put in here!

Scott and I were taking the train back to DFW airport the morning after the party.  I decided against wearing a hat and waited for him in the lobby for about 20 minutes (because I was early, not because he was late).

A lot of folks were passing by and most of them were staring when they didn’t think I could see them… I could.

It was kind of a weird feeling like if you were wearing shorts and a t-shirt at a formal event.

While I was with Scott for the train ride and in the line for security at the airport I didn’t notice that slight discomfort.  Maybe that was because I was tied up in conversation or because I was no longer alone.

Is it less awkward for people to see you have a Mohawk when you have company with you?

Scott and I went our separate ways and I waited for my flight at my terminal.  Back to the same noticeable stares going on.

I’m not sure how J. Money deals with this… maybe he doesn’t notice or enjoys it.  Either way, it was a weird feeling.

Here’s where it gets interesting.  I think I have a pretty good balance of knowing when to be an extrovert and when to just blend in.  I have no problems striking up conversations and making small talk with folks wherever that might be… and that includes being on an airplane.

However, this time around, I couldn’t get more than a “hi” out of people before they quickly put on their headphones or picked up a book or magazine.

Funny, right?  Not one thing changed about me except for my haircut, but that alone made all the difference in how people reacted to me.

The only person that talked to me at all was a woman with bleached white hair and long black fingernails… notice the commonality?  I bet she’s used to the same ways of being treated.

So I learned a little bit of what J$ must go through.  Granted, he carries himself a little different and people tend to easily draw to him, but I’m sure he gets a lot of stares on a regular basis.

Now for the fun…


Welcome Home!

While I was waiting for my suitcase to come out of the chute, I put on a cowboy hat that I had gotten as some free swag at the conference.  I wanted to make sure to surprise my daughter and wife when they picked me up.

I knew Mrs. R2R would just look at me and say, “You look like an idiot.” while my seven-year-old daughter would love it.

Except I was wrong.

When I got in the car, my daughter made me take off my hat and just stared at me with her jaw dropped open and kept saying “What… what???!!”.  When she finally got past that bout of surprise, she yelled, “You look like an idiot!”

I wish you could see my daughter’s whole face, but hopefully her snarled mouth of disgust gives you an idea of her feelings…

All the while, my wife just couldn’t stop laughing.  After a few minutes, she finally said “I kind of like it.  If you cleaned it up a little bit, it might not be too bad.”

So now we know how well I know my family.

The good news is that tomorrow is Halloween and the day I go back to work.  Considering I’m the only person at my office who dresses up every year, they might not be too surprised by it… well, ok, maybe a little!

But at least I’ll be able to use that as an excuse as to why I did it because I can’t point to the J$ pics and risk losing my anonymity in the blogosphere.

I also know that I’m just going to keep it as is and let it grow out slowly.  I’m not a Mohawk guy, but if people want to talk and stare in the meantime, let ’em!  If J. Money can roll with it for years, I’m sure I can do it for a few weeks!!


On a final, completely irrelevant note, did you know that the keywords for J. Money” (“j money”) only has a suggested bid of 11¢ in the Google Keyword Planner for ads as of this writing?  I feel bamboozled!  I think he’s worth at least double that in the ad world!  Try to optimize your content for that one, baby!!


So what do you think – how’s it look?  Ever done anything fun (or stupid) like this that you want to admit to?


Thanks for reading!!

— Jim

You know you wanna share this!!

62 thoughts on “My First 24 Hours with the J. Money Mohawk”

  1. Man that’s some extreme dedication to a costume right there. The question everyone wants to know though… is your wife going to style it for you every day or is it going to be like a comb over in a few days 😉

    1. Haha… I think I’ll be on my own with the styling! I have a feeling it’s going to look pretty shoddy within the next week or so when it starts growing back in, but at least it’ll give people something to laugh at – I mean, more than my Mohawk! 😉

      — Jim

  2. Dude, I had no idea this was a last-minute thing! I didn’t know your shirt was Sharpie-d on; I thought you had it specially made or something. Well bravo for your clever costume! I had to do a double-take to realize you weren’t J$ lol.

    1. Haha, well, if you had to do a double-take, we did the job well! 🙂 I didn’t actually commit to doing this until about and hour or an hour and a half before the party started… not too shabby for the limited amount of time and lack of clippers!

      — Jim

  3. Wow. It sounds like you had an awsome time. You have more guts than I do. I don’t know how I would be able to explain that hairstyle at work. I hope that I will be able to attend next year.

    1. I got lucky that my first day back to work was Halloween so I played it up that I did it for Halloween (Taxi Driver anyone?). I hope you can make it next year – it was a great time!

      — Jim

  4. This was an awesome idea and came to a happy ending. I used to have a mohawk (oh, those good ol’ teenage punk years) and looking forward to a later date to have another one again. Just for now skipping the idea, because of work and people around. Not that I care much about the looks, but I would be tired of the neverending questions.

    Also, there is a chance you started a tradition. Let’s guess how many J$s will be on the next FinCon? Or who will the next with a doppelgänger?

    1. That’s cool – I know only one other guy that rocked a Mohawk (other than J$). He wants to go back to it as well.

      That would be pretty funny if everyone went with it next year, but I’m pretty sure I was the only idiot there who decided not to take going back to work into consideration! 🙂

      — Jim

  5. That was a pretty epic costume! Let me know if you want me to delete my tweet/pic… Yipes, didn’t realize about the anonymity aspect. D’oh!

    Had a blast hanging out with you and can’t wait until next year!

    1. Thanks, Mr. SSC – I already hit you up, but just in case anyone is wondering the same thing, I’m not worried about the social media (my coworkers would probably never see that). However, the pics on websites are a little stickier and easier to stumble on, so I’d prefer to be blurred if possible.

      It was great hanging out with you as well… definitely good times!

      — Jim

    1. I’m sorry that’s an image that’s ingrained in your brain… drink more beer and maybe you’ll forget that horribleness. 🙂

      Can’t keep it – I’m just not the right guy for it…. maybe one day I’ll be as cool as J$, but that time isn’t today!

      — Jim

  6. That is indeed some dedication! The last minute ideas usually turn out the best, especially when you commit. Seems like you pulled it off well, and they say imitation is the highest form of flattery right? He’s a great role model to have, too.

  7. MAD props to you, my friend. The hair was only part of the project, you went full on with the outfit as well! It was awesome getting to hang out with you and pub crawl our way through Deep Ellum. I’m exited to see what shenanigans we will get into next year!!

    1. You and my wife sound like you’re thinking maybe I should consider keeping this “do”… I think J$’s one of the few to rock this style. It was awesome making it happen though!

      — Jim

  8. I thought for sure you were going to change your mind between dinner and the party. When you opened the hotel door with half your head already hacked up, I knew there was no going back.

    Shaving a man’s head was not on my FinCon to-do list, but it was a great story and one that will be hard to top next year!

    1. You might have found yourself a side hustle as a barber. As my grandfather used to say, “You do good work!”

      Why does everyone keep talking about topping this? Is that something we have to consider? 🙂

      — Jim

  9. I love how this ended! When you and I talked at FinCon, your wife and daughter’s reactions were at the top of my mind.

    Nobody doubts your dedication but you’ve got a high bar to clear for next year’s halloween costume. How can you top this? 🙂

    It was awesome meeting you in Dallas – glad to hear you got home safely!

    1. I really wish I could show the unedited photo of my daughter – her face was hilarious!

      I don’t think this could be topped. The idea was too spontaneous and just came together with such grace. This isn’t something you can plan for! 🙂

      You’re the man, Chris – hope to see you in Orlando next year!

      — Jim

  10. I still can’t get over all of this man – you are too much!

    Definite highlight of my weekend though – I can’t believe you went through with it 🙂

    Enjoy adding the spice to your life for a while! It most def. makes for an interesting experience and I wouldn’t blame you if you ended keeping it around for years… I surely didn’t intend to rock one for the past 15 years myself!

    Super nice to meet you and hang out this weekend – will catch you down in Orlando!

    1. Wow, 15 year, huh – you’re definitely the rock star! I think I’ll leave the Mohawk-rocking to you – it suits your personality more than mine.

      However, it was fun to be a J$ knockoff for the night! You’re a fun guy and a good sport – awesome hanging with you!

      — Jim

  11. Dude, sweet costume! I saw the pics rolling on my Twitter feed, and while I wasn’t there, it was pretty obvious you had the best getup!

    I also enjoyed your insight on the social aspects. I’ve been thinking a lot about how people should make small experiments like this in their life. We all have a tendency to fall into one haircut or lifestyle that we stick with. Like the guys you’ll never see in their lifetime without thier stache.

    I think it’s a worthwhile experiment for everyone to try something different. I had cop hair for decades. When I was almost done working, I grew it out. I felt like an idiot as I let the mess grow. And I still look like an idiot, but I feel like this looks better represents this idiots personality. You never know where you might end up, if you stick with the same thing everyday. Whether it’s with hairstyle or lifestyle 🙂

    Don’t let your kid same you out of being you!

    1. Thanks, Mr. Crazy Kicks – my new posse did a nice job making it happen!

      Yeah, the social experiment was not originally the intent, but I’m glad I kept it instead of shaving it off. It’s been interesting so far, but it’s funny how those slight differences in looks can make that big of difference in the perception people have in you.

      Great point about trying new and different things. As a side note, I had to look up “cop hair” – never heard that one before! 🙂

      — Jim

  12. It was great to meet you, Jim. You’re so much taller than I would have guessed.

    Was Mr. Money Mustache the originally intended costume? That would have been good, but your J. Money was outstanding. I hope there’s a costume party at the next FinCon. Who says you can’t play dress-up in September?


    1. Love the sarcasm! I feel like most everyone at this conference was unusually tall… like someone slipped the “Drink Me” potion from Alice in Wonderland into my beer at some point!

      It was awesome to meet you as well… and not just because you gave me a beer koozie… but that didn’t hurt either! 😉

      — Jim

  13. Ha! Love the picture and reaction of your daughter!

    Congrats on the free passes for next year. You should really get a lifetime pass for that one, b/c that costume will be talked about for a long time.

    Great getting to meet and talk to you on the bus ride to the Rustic as well. See you in Orlando.

    1. Thanks, Chris! Haha, the agony of my coworkers who still seem to be in shock with seeing this the past couple of days at work would probably think a lifetime pass would be the only reward worth it! 😉

      It was great to meet you too… hope we get a little more time to hang out in the near future or in Orlando!

      — Jim

  14. Shame we didn’t actually connect at FinCon, but I still vividly remember seeing you the first time in J$ get up. Was hands down the best costumen.

    2017 was my first FinCon adventure, too and I didn’t know what to expect. The best part? All the great people that I got to meet and interact with.

    J$, JD Roth, PT, Paula Pant, just too name a few. SO MANY great folks and the energy and information.

    I’ve already booked my room and have my ticket for 2018.

    Hope we can actually visit this time.

    Great website, BTW! Looking forward to following it.

    1. I’m starting to think shaving your head is a great way to get noticed at an event… I might have to start doing this at the conferences I go to for work as well! 😉

      Totally agree that the people was what made the event great. Totally awesome folks and not enough time to chat with everyone.

      Looking forward to meeting you for the 2018 trip, Keith!

      — Jim

  15. Ha ha, this post made me chuckle. I remember seeing you at the party and thinking, how did he get a head wig/dressing that looks so realistic…I had no idea you’d actually shaved your head!! Fair play to you.

    Was great to meet you after the opening party, and will now be following your blog with interest.

    Oh – and will you be giving us updates on how long it takes to grow back to normal?! 😉


    1. Yeah, nobody pushed me into it, but the “team” was very excited to be a part of it regardless… what the heck is wrong with me?!

      It was great to meet you as well. All I know is that it needs to be back to normal by the end of November for my next conference for work! 🙂

      — Jim

  16. Having my hair short (pixie cut), I can do a faux hawk for a short amount of time. I slick down the sides, and spike up the top. I’m usually self conscious for the first while at work, but if I stop at a store after I’ll have forgotten and realize people are doing a double take. It’s fun & temporary.
    I’m glad you had fun with it and enjoyed fin con,

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