As it’s been a couple of years and we have a bunch of old and new friends here on the blog I haven’t had the pleasure to meet yet (👋👋 👋) I thought we should kick things off by re-introducing ourselves and getting the party started :)
I’ll go first, and then I hope you’ll drop a comment down in the comments below so we can get to know you more too!
Let’s do it!
I’m J. Money – real name, of course – and I created this blog in 2008 when I didn’t know much about $$$ except I liked it and really wanted more of it, haha… I was hungry and scrappy and ready to dive right into the world of finance, and my ultimate goal was to be able to call myself a Millionaire one day just because I thought it was cool (smh)…
I even created a club around it that had 200+ members strong :)
A few years later I realized I was a dummy and really what I was after was the *freedom* money gives you vs the money itself (plus – millionaires don’t spend millions, they save it! NOT AS INTERESTING!! lol…), so I started hustling and stashing and consuming everything I could about money, all the while accidentally becoming an entrepreneur and completely changing my life, friends, mindset, career (became a full-time blogger – who knew that was a thing?!), and of course catapulting my finances in the process.
Here’s an extended look at where we last left off on my net worth reporting:
[I used to track and share my net worth every month here for everyone to see for 12+ years… It won’t be coming back at least for now, but I do plan on being just as transparent everywhere else!]
Fast track 14 years later, I’m now a (multi) millionaire, semi-FIRE’d, a daddy of 3 beautiful boys, an online “influencer”, and basically just an overall lover of life. Especially so as I was just recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that attacks my face and tried killing me earlier this year!!!! Okay, well that may be a bit over dramatic, but it definitely woke me up even more to the fragility of things, and now I’m trying to take advantage of this 2nd Life as much as I can.
I’ll be blogging more about this over time to spread awareness, but it’s called Pemphigus Vulgaris and is a blistering disease that affects the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and even the genitals for some unfortunate folks. (Not me, yet – *gasp!*)
And just a quick PSA before we move on:
If you ever get spontaneous blisters, lesions, cuts, sores or anything else funky in your mouth, be sure to see a DERMATOLOGIST first!
I lived in hell for three months until a doctor finally recommended seeing a Derm, and within one month we not only STOPPED the nasty thing from spreading, but also got an official diagnosis AND treatment plan going as well. A true miracle!! I had no idea dermatologists go into your mouth (even my ENTs couldn’t help me), and had we started there first it would have saved gobs of time and pain and frustration. I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva for a good week and had to be hospitalized, so thank GOD we live in the times and technology we do when it comes to our health – we’d be done in by some of these things just a few decades ago!!
But that’s enough about that – you didn’t come here for blisters 😂
Here’s more about my financial life which I’m sure is of more interest:
- I work online and make anywhere from $20,000-$200,000 a year depending on the year and industry and amount of hustle I put in
- I house all our banking accounts at USAA, and all our investments at Vanguard
- We’re 100% debt-free, including home
- I invest 90%+ of our money in index funds (mainly VTSAX)
- I used to budget religiously, but once I got my cash flow on lock I switched to tracking Net Worth only which I find still holds me accountable and is a lot easier/fun to update ;)
- I’m a big fan of renting vs owning, even though I’m back to owning again
- I max out my IRAs every single year. (Just doing this *one thing* will eventually give you double commas over time!!)
- I’m a long practicing (and often failing) minimalist
- I have a love/hate relationship with Crypto (currently, hate)
- I gladly spend over $5/day on coffee – the true source of all happiness!!
- I’m a sucker for yard sales and thrift shops
- And I’m a believer we all have the power to make daily changes towards a better, healthier, lifestyle – without needing to be FIRE’d yet!! You can start by doing small acts of happiness each and every day for yourself!!
- Oh, and I’m also married and we share finances – with me being the one who manages it all as my wife hates money 🙃
Here’s a little more about my personal life:
- I’m 42 y/o
- A Capricorn
- Daddy of 3 little boys (9, 7, 4)
- Proudly live in the great commonwealth of Virginia
- Collect rare coins and books from my hometown (I’m obsessed with local history!!)
- Have created, sold, shut down, re-acquired dozens of online projects over the years
- Have FAILED a number of times too → Failure Resume
- Won 12 industry awards including Blog of The Year and Lifetime Achievement (hah!)
- Help coach people on money, blogging, fintech, as well as valuing coin collections
- Love blaring hip-hop and more recently bluegrass/folk
- Love mustard on my mac n’ cheese!!
- Have gotten into writing short – RAW – poems about stuff you usually only keep in your head. And it’s frightfully exhilarating! (So long as no one ever sees them!!)
- And last year, at 41, I started skateboarding out of nowhere and it completely amped my happiness… Such a great way to challenge yourself and get a good work out in the process, all the while immersing yourself into a whole new culture and friends and way of life! I don’t exaggerate when I say I feel 20 years younger when I hop on that board and all the stresses of life melt away… Just unbelievable. Though I will say my wallet is not as impressed with my constant overspending now on new Vans/skate gear, haha… But I gotta get my drip on!!!
[Hitting skate park on my 42nd bday!]
For more on me/my money/history of this blog, check out my “about” page: budgetsaresexy.com/about
Why come back to the blog all these years later?
It’s a funny thing, this life… Completely at peace with a decision one day, and then a little seed plants itself in your head and the more you water it the more it grows into something even more beautiful than you originally gave it credit for.
I wasn’t planning on buying back the blog, but one thing led to another and the opportunity was too good to pass up. Both in terms of financials (I bought it for much less than I sold it for), but also for the chance at another go of being creative again and maximizing my talents and joy.
And unlike the first time around, I’ve already capitalized on everything I originally set out to do, so now I can just chill and have fun and truly make this a side project without all the pressure to succeed!
I just gotta make sure I don’t get SUCKED into it all again!! :)
Here’s a list of all the reasons I sold the blog when I did, and then my thoughts on where we are with it today:
Freedom – In 2019 freedom was one of the most important things to me so I could reset and explore new ventures, and I’d say for the most part it worked. I built out a couple of new projects (All-Star Money, PF Swagger), schemed on a few others that remained in my head, and then after a year or so kinda got complacent and couldn’t find anything to work on that REALLY moved me. Which is typically the problem I have these days – lots of extra time but nothing worthy enough to spend it on! Until now!
Opportunity – This was also a biggie – finding the *right* company and *right* people and *right* terms to be able to hand over the blog. And the opportunity that The Motley Fool brought with its culture and vision aligned too perfectly to pass up… I never fully trusted other organizations during talks, and I knew it would be in good hands with them or at least not implode as so many do! And as I mentioned on Monday’s post, they were indeed great stewards 👍
Identity – What happens when the ONE MAIN THING everyone knows you from is your blog, and then you’re not there anymore and go away?! Do you fade into oblivion?? Do all your friends and experiences and street cred go out the window?! Of course not! But MAN is it a scary thing to test when you pull the trigger!!! Haha… I’ve spent literally more than 1/4th of my life with this blog so I didn’t know what would happen or how it would feel once I was away from it all… Obviously I survived and all was well in the world, but it was a good thing to test and know for sure.
Collaboration – After years running projects by yourself, you start missing other people and teams. And the Fool offered me a salaried gig to stay on to consult and help them build out All-Star Money, so I was able to easily transition into something else fun and new, while at the same time being part of a team again and it worked out nicely… Though I will admit there were a few times where it sucked not being The Boss and being able to make some of the bigger decisions you thought were right ;) But that’s the trade-off of working with others and being an “employee” again! Can’t have it all!
Capitalization – We kinda already hit on this, but I basically wanted to capture ALL the hard work I’ve spent on the blog over my life, especially as the stats were relatively high at the time in case it crashed later! lol, so selling towards the peak was the ultimate way to capitalize on everything while setting up my family better for the future as well. And since I constantly think about death and the point of life and blah blah blah, it was also nice to be able to take this off the plate of my family in case anything *did* ever happen to me as they’d have no idea how to keep the blog running or sell it, etc. So selling was basically a nice way to wrap everything up with a pretty red bow on top :)
Change – I was also getting burnt out back then, and honestly just tired of talking about myself all the time , haha… It was time to shake things up!
Financials – And then of course there was the $$$… And while I never did prioritize it over the content and mission of this site, I did do enough to at least make a living off it and get mid 6 figures out of the deal. Which I then turned around and invested, of course, so that the mid 6 would turn into higher 6 one day!! Something I very much considered when I was working through the deal :) “If I did NOTHING for years my money would double — orrr — I can keep blogging 40 hours a week and probably make the same amount of money?” – HAH! And as we now know looking back, those 2019-2021 years sure were good to us…
And then lastly, selling was the ultimate Minimalist Challenge – There’s a lot of things you can get rid of in life and be fine, but letting go of one of the most important things to you (at least at one time) is a whole other thing. And I REALLY wanted to see if I could do it! And true to the written word, it was perfectly fine and not nearly as big a deal as it looked peering in. In fact, it even reinforced the idea that you don’t need to *own* a thing in order to *enjoy* it! When I continued writing for the blog under the new management I experienced just as much joy as if it were mine! And possibly even more since I was getting paid more reliably and didn’t have to deal with any of the hassles of ownership! Lol… So definitely proud of myself for this one and glad I got to put it to the test :)
Now onto Round II and seeing what we learn!!
And that’s all about me, my money, and some blog background…
Share some fun facts about yourself – where you live, how long you’ve been reading the blog, how you manage your money, what stage of FIRE you’re in – and whatever else helps us get to know you more!
Even if we already know you, still share, as so much has changed in the past 14 years and we’re constantly evolving!
And to all new people here I haven’t personally met yet, I hope you’ll stick around and see if you enjoy my style or not :) Some say it’s an acquired taste, but I do like to have as much fun as 5am Joel does even if I’m not *as* cheery, haha… But I will curse more and get feisty, so buyer beware!
Alright, lots of fun things ahead… See you in the comments 👊
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Wanna say I joined around 2012 or 2013 right around being a senior in high school. I didn’t have or know much about money besides knowing it could lead to the type of freedom I wanted. I’ve started missing more emails than I’d like to admit, but have been along for the ride for a long time. Nice to see what you’ve turned this into and consider this a full circle moment of you leaving and coming back, J. Money! Congrats on working with the Fool and all of your success since starting the journey. One of the first blogs I could subscribe to about money that has always had great content i found interesting and relatable.
heyyy!! Cool man!! can’t believe you’ve been reading since HIGH SCHOOL! Or the fact you even *cared* in high school, haha… took me a solid 10 years after that to start paying attention – well done ;)
Welcome back J$!!!!
It’s great to have you back here, J. Your blog voice and infectious enthusiasm have been sorely missed! Also glad to hear that you seem to have that autoimmune disease under control.
I think I started reading your blog in 2017… As a family we finally started to get the feet back under us and I was looking for ways to grow our “freedom”. With your vision and advice we are now debt free (with mortgage tho) and have a great net worth. It’s great to have you back and look forward to what you have in store for us!
Rock on! Next up – wiping away that mortgage before my next retirement! :)
Makes me think of the Beatles…
“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a blogger of wealth and fame…”
Old friend, Fritz, here. Glad to have you back in the game, J$!
Hah! I was trying to channel Jay-Z, but The Beatles work too :)
Wow, just realized this was the Rolling Stones, can’t believe no one caught that! Rock on…
I caught it. I’m old.
I caught it, but didn’t want to be That Guy and call you on it. ;) Saw Sir Paul in concert in Baltimore last Sunday — 60+ years of rocking out and he’s still got enough in the tank for a three-hour show! Amazing.
Wow – that’s incredible! Love it when people go ALL IN when they find something they’re passionate about and great at… Such a blessing to come across it, especially earlier in life!
So stoked that Budgets Are Sexy has you back! Fantastic redesign, too — it’s exciting to see this new chapter. I have no idea when I started reading, but I’ve been updating a copy of one of your budget spreadsheets weekly since at least 2016. It’s great to have clear, stark numbers hit me square in the face whenever I start daydreaming about stupid expenditures.
Weekly budgeting – nice!! That’s a lot of data you can pour through whenever you need :) Has the budget gotten bigger or smaller over time?
It’s stayed the same! Super weird. We’ve added a three-year car note (because our interest rate was like 0.5%, and we like to keep a big fat cash cushion) but our travel expenses sank massively over the last two years. Telecommuting and not going out = less gas. Wife and I are still putting the same figure into joint checking to cover monthly expenses as we were in like 2013. We’re lucky AF.
Nice!! ours expenses lowered a lot when we paid off the house, but been slowly creeping back up over the years as if it were trying to replace it, lol…. then again that’s what I get for not budgeting every dollar anymore, so I guess shame on me ;)
I’m probably more excited than I should be that you’ve made a comeback, even without the net worth updates lol. My last year hasn’t been the most financially successful. I’ve separated from my husband and moved out on my own. Luckily I was able to kick my frugality into high gear and continue keeping the end in mind and despite the recent stock market downturn I’m going to be alright. I have high hope of a brighter future filled with bags of money. Or I mean a live on a graph that keeps inclining haha. Anyway happy you are back, I look forward to reading all you have to say.
Congrats on your NEW LIFE too it looks like!! It seems (?) from your tone that the separation was a good thing?! :) Def. more empowering rocking it all on your own, regardless!
Hey first post but, I’ve been following since roughly 14’/15′ as I’m trying to stop the family cycle of living check to check & always being stressed about money. I too like you at first wanted to be “rich” for all the lavish stuff and as I got older also like you learned all I care about is the freedom it gives you. Reading you describe yourself sounds literally like me. 41 no kids & tired of working for someone else and always trying to prove your worthiness to get that cool . 25 raise. Worked for a big box retailer hard for 17yrs & they dumped me. I’ve saved, I’ve invested not nearly when I should have for always being afraid to loose it. I’m a minimalist as well & hate clutter & things that don’t mean anything or just collect dust. Huge sports fan. Also recently surprised with medical issues that came out of no where and again like you really want to take full advantage of this 2nd life as you said. I moved back home to NY in 2020 after being in AZ for roughly 17 yrs on & off. I really want to connect with like minded people because all my family is reckless with money. I really want help to grow it but, don’t trust the big financial companies to care about my small pennies. So I have to do it. Any help anyone within the community would share I’m very greatful for!!!
Wow we are similar!! So of course I like your style and Big Moves you’ve been making :) That can be hard to do, especially when the $hit starts hitting you all over…
Communities! Have you checked out any of these meetup places?? Bound to find one close by or at least online to connect with others:
So glad you are back!! ❤️ Chicky finance here you may remember!! Now known as Kids Money Academy. Are you coming to fincon this year? Are you going to be more active on social media Instagram etc.? I hope you do!!
YES YES AND YES!!!
Come find me online here, and then HUG ME at FinCon Please!!! Been so long!!!! :)
This blog will forever be awesome.
Thank you for coming back and welcome back.
(still trying to figure out how to get emojis to load right in the comments, lol…)
Hi. I’m new here, I must have followed you back in the day, and have read your recent posts with interest. Congratulations on having the kind of life you want and learning how to skateboard.
I got into NFTs in December 2021 and I’m trying to figure out crypto and earn enough money to feel safe going into retirement in 10ish years, so I’m reading and learning and having fun. Always looking for ways to help myself and others with education and support.
Nice to e-meet you!! You’ll have to look elsewhere for NFT/Crypto stuff (my record is not great there), though I do admittedly have fun trying my hand at it, so I will be sharing a little over time :) Hopefully you’re into other – more solid – investing routes too though that can serve as your base while you’re experimenting!
I just came to see what the URL slug for this page looked like
HAH!!! And now you know I’m not paying to all that cuz I didn’t even check it!! Boy is it ugly, haha..
That is one big, beefy slug for sure… :-)
Wait, you put mustard on Mac N Cheese? Man, all these years of friendship wasted – who knew you were such a freak? LOL
I went skiing for the first time ever this year – at age 54. Got to keep trying new things, right? My wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, 24 hours after I lost my job. She beat it, but fighting cancer on a COBRA health insurance plan combined with a 70% family pay cut decimated our savings. Also, staring into the abyss of death, or whatever, made us think about what is really important in life. So we sold our house (not really making anything on it) and moved to a rental in a new city, selling off or giving away a large amount of stuff in the process. We bought a small RV at the beginning of the the pandemic (paying cash!) and we now structure our life to travel as much as possible, even if it’s just a two hour drive to Shenandoah National Park for a weekend of hiking and staring at a campfire in the evening. I probably won’t be able to retire early, but the lesson of the cancer diagnosis was waiting to live until you retire is a bad idea anyway, because that “someday” may never come. You can follow along at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican – I’ve been blogging even longer than our esteemed host here!
oh $hit – I didn’t know that about your wife!! good for you all on CHANGING IT UP and upping your lifestyle like that!! I bet you have so much more free time (and less stress!) w/ the new arrangements…
and now of course I gotta look and see how long you’ve been blogging for ;)
(since 2001! WOW!!!)
Welcome back, J. Money! You’ve been missed!
So glad to have you back!
Life is so much more interesting with you around. ;)
Hope to see you at FinCon…
OMG, will you be at FinCon?? Because after all these years – since 2008 I think! – how cool would it be to meet the man, the myth, the mohawk legend!
I WILL BE THERE!
AND YOU BETTER COME FIND ME!!! :)
FinCon is still a thing? Man am I behind the times… :-/
Hi there J! Happy to see you back and hear about your adventures these past few years. I can’t remember when I started reading your site but I know it was a long time before I started mine :) You are such a positive force in the community & I’m looking forward to hearing more from you. One of my fondest early blogging memories is waking up to see I was featured on the amazing Rockstar Finance! I’ve suffered some nasty writers block the past few years but am trying to stumble my way back into blogging. Missed it & the community a lot! Best wishes
A hearty welcome back to you too then it looks like!! I hope you find your rhythm again – you’re on fire when the stars align :) If you want to send me some of the stuff you’re most proud of recently, I can consider it for my weekly roundup over at my personal newsletter? It’s no Rockstar Finance but there are a thousand or two who reads it :)
YES! that feeling when your stats go crazy and you realize you’ve been picked up by Rockstar is one of the best. Almost made all that time spent writing worth it!
I have been following you for years. I am so happy you are back!!
Glad to have you back, and for you to have the site back! Fun fact: I’m not good at following instructions :)
Not even with debt!! You just had to kill it all way ahead of time and pay no one any interest, lololol…
Welcome back J Money! I’m must admit, I was sad when you left – I enjoyed reading the blog and learning new tricks. I’m not young (65) but the information you share is still relevant.
Fact about me – the pandemic has paid off for me financially! From a health perspective – it has been a global disaster, but I’m in healthcare and busier than ever. Thinking about retirement, but the money is so good that I’m holding out.
An excellent silver lining :) Plus I bet you’re HELPING so many people too, so a double win! Just don’t wait too long to enjoy your spoils!
Welcome Back! I’ve known you since the start of the Afford Anything podcast started. What year was that? Man I am excited to see what new things you come up with. It’s always fun listening to you and hope you will be making the podcast rounds.
2016 – the launch of the podcast :)
Actually just put this page together on alllll our old episodes, plus new ones I’ve been featured on lately if you want to see if any look interesting:
I gotta be better at keeping such things updated and in front of people as I know some much prefer audio vs articles :)
My day is absolutely ridiculously fabulous! J Money is back!!! I’m just gonna happy dance my way through the rest of the day and thank the karma goddess that you are back. I’ve followed you for years, learned a ton, and know I’ll still learn. And my daughter also tuned in just before you left so YAY for both of us. Welcome home. Here’s to continue good health and more fun.
Oh I hope your daughter enjoys it!! To be into finance at such a young age is fantastic!!! Appreciate all the kind words! :)
Welcome back! I look forward to hearing more.
Great to have you back in the saddle, J.! I really appreciate your adopting “Semi-FIRE” too… ;-)
I also got back to blogging after a two year hiatus. Something about that lock-down made personal finance less important than surviving a pandemic?!?
Look forward to plenty o’ gems, good sir.
Heyyyy that is great news!! I’ll have to start following you again as always enjoyed your stuff :) pretty crazy how the world’s changed in just two short years!
J$ is Back in the Houzzz!! Yessss
I can’t wait to hear about your new adventures (in babysitting?) and whatever you wanna talk about.
Autoimmune issues are not fun and I’ve had stuff for 43 years and counting, with more accumulating as I age. I feel your pain.
On a happier note, we purchased another rental property before prices went crazy and one of the kids is our tenant. We have him on a rent-to-own program so we got him out of the house and he doesn’t seem to hate us as much anymore.
Hah!! Adulting #win right there :)
Sorry you’ve dealt with crappy health stuff for so long :( I give you and everyone else out there mad credit for being long haulers as I almost wanted to give up within only a month!! I couldn’t even drink COFFEE so what was the point of life???!!! Lol… Sure do have an appreciate now of everything, and now that I know it can all be taken away fast at any point I’m in no mood to sit back and let life just creep buy… Time to make things happen!
Hey J Money,
It’s great to see the one of the OG finance bloggers back in action. I still hit up your blog while you were gone and chatted with 5 Am Joel a couple of times, but it definitely wasn’t the same. It’s great to see you back.
Like you, I burned out and took a hiatus a couple of years back and my blog traffic suffered quite a bit. But, I’m back at it and enjoying writing again. I’m getting close to being FIREd and I will likely semi-FIRE instead. I have a big bucket list and am starting to travel frequently from my base in Sunny So. Cal.
Bret @ Hope to Prosper
Excellent! A hearty welcome back to you too, then! Seems like a lot of us went away and then found our way back home :) Guess once the blogging is in our blood it’s always there!
Let me know if you are ever interested in selling that painting of Santa smoking a pipe. Or if you know where I can find one.
Ooooohhhhhh you’ve got good taste, my friend!!!
Did you know I tried to sell it a few years back in a fit of minimalism??! I’d consider it again, I suppose, but now it’s grown on my kids so you might have to fight them for it ;)
Here’s a pic of it for anyone interested in what the hell we’re talking about:
Didn’t realize you are in Virginia. I grew up in Richmond but currently live near the coast in NC!
I’ve been following the blog for a few years. We are debt free with the exception of our house but recently refinanced to get a lower interest rate and 15 year mortgage. 3 kids currently and just working hard to max out our IRAs this year and put a total of 20% of our income into retirement accounts.
You’ll have to let me know when you’re back in the Richmond area and we’ll see if we can connect IRL!
Great to have you back. Sorry about your health challenge(s). Glad that you found the right health professional (a dermatologist, wow!) who was able to get you on the appropriate treatment plan for you.
Extremely grateful that you shared that important part of your life and how the dermatologist is helping you. Because it’s giving me hope as I have been experiencing several health challenges for years (long before you sold the blog). I never ever thought of seeing a dermatologist; I am going to explore this route; maybe I, too will finally find someone who can help me to develop a treatment plan that works for me.
Do not recall when I first subscribed, but it was a few years before you sold the blog. In one of your responses to me (shortly before you sold the blog) you told me that if I decided to do a blog to let you know. Due to my health and other life challenges I put that on the back burner.
You don’t know how grateful I am to have found this article and you sharing about your health challenge. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am getting emotional just thinking about your thoughtfulness.
By the way, it’s been a very long time since I was on this blog (or any blog for that matter). At one point I considered unsubscribing because I so rarely read the blog, or use my gmail address. That is why I was so grateful to be led to your blog yesterday morning. As soon as I saw your name, I was like what, he’s back, I must read this. And, boy am I glad I did; I couldn’t wait to show my husband (who never reads blogs); he remembered me talking about you in the past.
Finally, I forgot how to make a comment on a blog. :) I thought I had to re-subscribe, so I did (sorry for any confusion this might have caused).
Once again, thank you, and welcome back.
Karlene!! Thanks for your thoughtful comment!
So glad this has helped you – 100% go see a dermatologist and see what happens!! And if it’s relating to inside your mouth or other mucous membrane areas, you can even *call first* and see if they specialize in it, and if not, keep calling around until you find a practice that does (I don’t think all practices do).
It really spend up not only my diagnosis, but then the *treatment* plan too which of course is instrumental. I HOPE THEY HELP!!! It’s the worst not knowing what’s going on or where to even turn to next!! I was running out of options so thank my lucky stars it ended up working okay w/ the Derm…
And congrats on leaving your first comment – you are a pro now ;)
Hello again J. Money, You just gave me another piece of info that I wasn’t aware of — that there are dermatologists who specialize in mucous membrane challenges.
Re leaving comments: I have actually left comments on yours and other blogs before. But, I went blank for a while on writing the comments after yea5rs (or what feels like a lifetime) of not writing any…. :)
Once again, thank you. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
Congratulations on achieving your financial, family and other goals. Very happy for you and your family.
Helllllooooooooo again! Seriously looking forward to J$ in the morning again. Although poetry, I may just have to hit you up on email for a sneaky peek. There’s nothing like raw emotion to get the tears flowing. I am thrilled this site came back to you. Seriously. Thrilled!
I might be able to be tempted to send you a passage or two :)
But you’d probably have more of a shocked face than tears coming down it, lol…
This makes me happy. Welcome Back!
YAY J$! So glad to see you back in your space :) I was lucky enough to meet you at Fincon San Diego and you couldn’t have been kinder to this newbie blogger. I think I found you about 10 years ago and always loved your honest enthusiasm.
Retired for 6 years now – man, time flies. I taught financial wellness and helped out a bit with accounting stuff at my old company for a few years but haven’t done any work for a few years now. I stopped blogging in 2019-it started to feel like work.
I got really lucky with my timing on retirement and my financial picture is way better than I expected. I still budget and calculate my net worth monthly but money is rarely a big factor in my day to day decision making.
I’m a snowbird and chase the sun so I can play Pickleball, bike and hike year round. Life is good. Looking forward to following your journey again!!!
Hooray!! Sounds like life is Good over there!! You’re mastering it!! :)
And awfully nice to meet you in person too! Maybe you can come back to FinCon one of these years just to be around us again, even if you’re not blogging or doing $$ stuff really? We’d love to have you!! And then you can see how we’ve all aged after 10 years too – hah!
Welcome back J. Will start following along again
Welcome back…Followed you for a long time and even got inspired to start my own blog…my coworkers gave me the nickname…Mrlunchmoney…the blog didn’t last long… I enjoyed the writing part but not the website maintenance and formating frustrations. I’m 43 father of 2 (10,5) husband of 1 and Unemployed since covid and lots multiple friends to covid so been traveling the country with the family to National Parks for the last 3 years enjoying life outside of work. Investor in tesla stock.
oh gosh, Covid really F’d it up for you all – i’m sorry :( that has to be hard dealing with lost friends and job! Good for you for OWNING things and soaking up as much life and fun as you can with loved ones!! Certainly puts things in perspective!
if you’re ever in the mood to share your past writings I’d love to see them :) or maybe even consider re-sharing here or doing a guest post or something? Always looking for new ideas and thoughts around money… Plus MrLunchMoney is a fantastic blogger name, haha…
Welcome back! You were definitely missed. Really happy your health scare is under control. I remember when you stopped tracking your net worth (your wife didn’t think it was safe to do after you hit a Milly). However, you created a site where everyone gave net worth updates. That site was so motivating.
I think with the inflation /market destroying everyone’s net worth these days, it would be amazing to watch in real-time, people go through the downturn and come out on the other side wealthy, I still go back and look at your FIRE journey numbers from time to time.
Thanks again, for all your great work
Hey thanks, Trey! Yeah – she’s even MORE against sharing it now, but boy would I love to just to do exactly that – show how far down it goes at times but that it’s all a part of the process!! None of us are alone in this right now and it can sting, but gotta keep calm and invest on! There’s silver linings to all of it, and stocks sure are looking super cheap right now ;)
Why do you currently hate crypto? I’m 46 and I started investing waaay too late. My entire savings account $40,000 is in crypto right now (Solana, XRP, DOT, etc). Crypto (imho) is the fastest vehicle to multiply your networth. With prices this cheap (Solana at $30? It’s headed to $1000 eventually, XRP at .30? It’s headed to $100), one can’t go wrong. I’m going to cash out eventually and pay cash for a home and buy gold and silver.
I love that you found skateboarding. I need a hobby but I have no idea what that would be.
I only hate it as “an investment” cuz it’s too drastic and unpredicable :) You say it’s going to do this and that but you/no one really knows!! Or *how long* it will actually take… Not that you ever know for certain with stocks or funds or other investments – even real estate! – but much more predicable (and less volatile) than crypto…
But I really don’t have anything against it as a more fun “gambling” type play. I think it’s good and interesting to diversify and dabble in different areas, just with a smaller piece of the pie than the entire one. But hey – if you pull it off then you’ve earned every last dollar of it! It’s not for the faint of heart!
(And I do believe there will be one or two major ones who “make it” in the end, but which they are – or if they’re even created yet – is beyond me…)
One last thing, please find a functional medicine doctor. Functional medicine doctors are brilliant and reversing (or helping to reverse) all autoimmune conditions. Conventional, allopathic doctors are rarely helpful. Get on an anti-inflammatory Paleo diet (no gluten, pasteurized dairy, etc). Check out sanoviv.com. Sanoviv is one of the top holistic hospitals in the world. They’re infamous for reversing autoimmune issues, degenerative diseases, and advanced cancer.
Last, please tell me you didn’t get the Covid vaccine. If you did, your autoimmune issue was the result. Order the book Vaccines and Autoimmunity. There is a direct link. Praying for complete restoration of your health.
There’s no way you can know that re: covid, please don’t say that.
Of course I didn’t follow or know you before you sold the site, but I am pumped to see it back in your hands and having some fun. That is what life is all about right?
I love the journey you’ve been on and we have some parallels. Only I failed to buy back my company and ended up accidentally retired instead!
Anyways, cheers and welcome back!
HAH! Being accidentally retired is a pretty nice consolation prize :) And of course brilliant blog name! I remember clicking on it the second I saw it a cple years back and been enjoying it ever since.
Crazy to have you back, I’ve been following since whatever your big break was in 2010 or so, was that a shout out on Get Rich Slowly or something? A bit younger, but have followed a similar path, from no net worth at the time, no kids, driving a cheap car, to 3 kids, multiple millions, dream car :) Haha, that’s been our biggest splurge ever by far.
Whatcha driving now anyhow? Nothing near so fun as the Caddy I suppose. Don’t know what my life would have been like without finding these OG financial blogs. Good reminder I should get back into skating, definitely going too hard on the dad bod nowadays.
2010 – NICE!!
And interestingly JD sold and then bought back Get Rich Slowly too years ago!!
I’m mainly driving our Honda Oddessy minivan as Chief Shuttler of kids which is 100% NOT a Caddy, haha… Our other car is somewhat more fun to drive – Lexus RX suv – but def. want to go back old school again at some point…
What did you end up picking up??? Tesla??
Glad you’re spending some of that multi-millions!! That can be really hard for people to do!!
You know it! I’ll blame MMM and his argument that if you’re going to drop 50k on a car it should be a used Model S (back when that was their only model I think). Not even that much of a splurge compared to average car prices, but upgrading from a $3k Corolla was a change for us. Though, similarly, a minivan is our primary vehicle.
I don’t want to bash on any entrepreneur for trying, but buying blogs had strong “everything bubble” vibes. Not much different than trying to monetize on some Instagram influencer by buying their account. Not really how it works.
I did see he was back, but haven’t got back into following JD. Sort of a classic issue for these blogs, but the personal story from the bottom to the top is really the draw. Hearing about the normal lives of moderately rich folks is… generally less interesting.
No doubt I’ll keep popping by here from time to time though.
If I don’t hear from you again then I’ll know I’m too mediocre rich for you! lol… Enjoy that Tesla though! That’s riding in style for sure.
The comment section is my favorite part of this website. I have sorely missed it over the last few years. It just wasn’t the same without you here, I just didn’t feel compelled to participate.
Well a hearty welcome back to you too then! The comments have always been one of my favorite parts too – I learn so much from you guys and really just nice to have *conversations* around this stuff with like-minded people! I wish blogs did it a lot more, it def. seems to be dying over the years :(
Great having you back J Money! I’m not saving as much as I used to, I gave up on the Ben Franklin schedule, still scouring the internet for something as funny as the “Baby Tracker,” and still immersin’!! Welcome back!
Haha…. well, I’m sure there are other things that have stuck and have equally benefited you :) I recently blew up ALL my habits over the past 5 years to reset and see if they’re still needed (no working nights, weekends, 5am B Franklin schedule, etc), but I think very soon I will be going back to 100% of them only with some slight modifications, haha… They were definitely put in place for a reason i’m finding!
You never need to re-introduce yourself to me but this is a great update. Looking forward to reading Budgets are Sexy again and keeping in touch. And taking up skate boarding is great (I am considering doing something that goes agaist the grain again).
WHAT ARE YOU CONSIDERING??!!!
DON’T TEASE US!!!!!
Welcome back! How fun that you’re renewing your joy with skateboarding! If you’re ever in the Milwaukee area let me know so we can talk old houses and old cars. Our son just sold his classic 1990 Volvo as he wanted something more practical that got better gas mileage. Sad to see it go yet happy for the buyer who appreciates its uniqueness. It’s great to know you’re back.
Oh mean yeah – that’s a classic!
Would LOVE to talk old houses with you there – I do make it up every few years to see my biz partner/bestie Nate St. Pierre – will shout when I’m there next! :)
That would be fun! Please do.
It’s good to have you back. I hear you on minimalism as a father as well.
So many hours of work taken care of little ones every day! A lot of ups and downs, but at least we won’t regret doing our very best as fathers.
Regarding your question on where we are on our financial independence journey, I’m celebrating my 10 year anniversary this month of being a fake retiree and wrote about it.
It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I really wanna make the most out of every day possible.
Amen to that, brother…
I remember when you fake retired – hard to believe we’re all a decade older now! and wiser/better looking of course ;)
Welcome back! Kept BAS on my Feedly even as it went dormant in hopes that it would be revived and this is the happiest of developments. Missed your weekly missives! I think you help create a lot of community!
Been reading here since Rockstar days (RIP!). I think I found both at the same time.
Currently on a break/mini-retirement for the last 9 months. Left my corporate job last fall as I realized I was not happy working from home – at least doing that job from home. I might be able to do something else with more autonomy from home, but not what I was doing. Plus, I realized I needed more human interaction (other than Zoom meetings) to get me through more trying times. We paid off the house last year and may be set for full retirement, but I am not sure if I am completely ready to be done.
I do not miss corporate life though!!! – all the corporate terms that get thrown about (Dilbert-speak and worse!), performance plans, goals/feedback, meetings, weekly 1:1s, all-hands, freezing cold meetings rooms and offices, loud office mates, etc. It really didn’t improve much working from home – just became tons of web meetings. Plus we were a global company so routine meetings often at odd hours to accommodate other offices around the world. No thanks!!
Anyway, glad to see you back again!
maybe it’s time to work on your *own* project? a blog, podcast, business you always wanted to start, charity/volunteer work/etc?!
you’re in the perfect position to be able to take risks and chase dreams/ideas with no 9-5 holding your energy back! worse case you’re back to where you are, best case you make some money and do some good in the world! :)
funny you kept Budgets in your Feedly just in case… I would have told you not to hold your breath, but I would have been wrong! :)
So glad you’re back! Your blog was one of the very first personal finance blogs I stumbled across. And you got me hooked! That was back while you were still working at the start up and getting an incredible match to your retirement account, and I believe it was before your first son was born. It was because of you that I started tracking my net worth! I love you for it!
Yayy!! Awesome!!! And are you still tracking it?? :)
Those 401k matches were insane.. 100% of 100% I put in up to the legal limit! Fully vested too no matter how long you worked there (though if you recall we also had cash flow issues at that company and for a few months it looked like we may have been OUT that money! So I’m glad it worked out in the end and remained a positive story! :))
Thanks for stopping over and saying hi!
Yes, I’m still tracking the net worth! It has made all the difference. Seeing the progress is addicting. I have taught my young adult daughter to track hers as well.
Such a good thing to hear! Great job Super Mom!
Glad you’re back, sharing and writing. Some strange twists and turns life brings for sure!
A year into retirement from the alt universe that is corporate life. Financial freedom and making time my own has been the best. I’ve seen more of my kids’ soccer games this past year than the previous ten! People we meet no longer think my wife is a single parent, lol.
Just started blogging a couple of months ago. Thanks much for the words of wisdom and encouragement! I’m looking forward to reading and learning.
Very cool! Congrats!!!
Drop your link here so we can follow along your journey! :)
Too funny about the “single parent” syndrome… I feel like that was me when my wife was going into the office 5 days a week and I was the main shuttler arounder ;)
Welcome back! I’ll be very curious to see how or if blogging feels different for you after the hiatus.
My husband and I retired when we were both 43 and have been traveling for six years full-time (minus a seven-month stint in one place where I decided to take a non-profit job till COVID settled down).
43 – nice!!
Did you enjoy the stint working for a little bit? I’ve been having a blast back so far – just trying not to get sucked into it all again and consume my time/mind :)
But I do already feel different and way more relaxed than the first time around… It feels like all of this is “extra” so whatever happens in the end is fine! Much less pressure to “succeed” though of course I don’t want to suck either, haha…
Thx for stopping by – I remember connecting with you over the years.
Exciting to see you’re back, J!
I think I first read the blog in like 2009? Before or shortly after graduating college.
Not much new with me, besides bigger net worth.
Living in Arizona and just working away until I find somebody to FIRE with or something I’d rather do instead of work, I don’t have any interest at all in FIREing alone. Hope I don’t turn into the 70 year old co worker who still comes to work because she needs a reason to wake up in the morning.
Hey man! Long time!!
I hear ya on wanting to FIRE with someone or to do something more exciting than work… Great thing to know about yourself so you don’t do something crazy and pull the trigger only to be depressed after!
It’s actually partially the reason I was interested in re-acquiring the blog again – haven’t found anything else that excites me more or that I’m decent at so figured why not? Better to be happy now than to wait for something better to come along that may or may not – can always change your mind at any point and make a move!
Been following you forever. I saw you were coming back and thought “Yes, my fellow cemetery freak is back!” So I was delighted and not surprised when one of the first things I saw was that you bought a plot…hahaha! My update, we sold the house next to the cemetery but I’ll be visiting the Catacombs in Rome and Pompeii this October so that’ll hold me for awhile. Glad to see you back!
Ahhhhhhhh jealous!! I want pics please!!!! :)
I think cemeteries mean even more to me now than they did back then… I very much still don’t want to reside in one anytime soon, haha, but I do appreciate their history and peace that emanates from them so much.
Woot woot – welcome back J Money!! I’d been following BAS for a few years faithfully but stopped for a while. With you back at the helm, I’m sure I’ll be checking out the blog faithfully again. All is going well here – just chugging along. I haven’t been paying close attention and routinely checking my accounts – mostly because I don’t want to start ugly crying!! . Just trying to roll through this downturn period and waiting (maybe not so patiently) for the market to eventually start going back up again. Sorry to hear about the autoimmune but glad you found some relief and a path forward. I know firsthand how frustrating it can be (and how one tends to lead to more), but a positive attitude and not letting it lead your life makes a huge difference. Welcome back and can’t wait to see what else I learn from the blog and the amazing BAS community!!
Thank you LeeAnne!! I hope you’re able to check up on those accounts soon so they don’t miss their mama too much!! They need you most when the ugly crying is happening!! Lol…
I am so glad you are BAAAACK!!! Hooray!
YAY!! This post makes me happy.
I found you in 2008 when I was pregnant with my now-13-year-old son. I had horrible insomnia and just found blogs to follow. This was my favorite! I started tracking my net worth back then too and looked forward to your updates every month.
Funny enough – you are also the first “internet friend” I met in real life. You may not remember but my husband and I met you and some friends in San Francisco and went for thai food and ended up in a speakeasy. It’s still a fun story.
We still live in the same suburban city in Northern California and I still love it here. I am so thankful we bought when we did. My house that I bought at 340k is now worth double that. Rent around here is twice my mortgage. Even 1 room apts are insane here and so many friends are having to leave the area.
Glad to see you doing well and that you have a diagnosis now! Be well!
Holy crap – I DO remember you!! And your husband who came with, right?! I cannot believe your son is now 13 that is just insane… (back then I had ZERO kids and not the slightest clue about them either haha… And look at us now! :))
That was a fun trip.. I got to have lunch at Google while there too and also check out some of the Y Combinator events. Really opened up my eyes on other worlds out there, and little did I know a few months later I would be a full-time blogger/entrepreneur!!
Thx for the trip down memory lane… So very nice to hear from you again and glad things are well :)
Yep! You didn’t have kids yet, I think your wife was in school still at that time.
We only ended up having the one kid, but it was the right decision for us. I still feel like I don’t understand parenting, tbh! Teenagers are an interesting breed though. It’s been fun, he’s a very good kid.
Haha I bet… I swear they change every year too – right when you’ve figured them out, and then BAM – new version of your child right there and have to start all over again!! :) Such a trip to experience though – def. makes life interesting.
Hi! I started following this blog probably about a month before Joel stepped away. I found it through a book I was reading. So less then a few months. I’m excited to see what I can learn! I’m just starting to get serious about learning more than just the “throw money at it” and call it a budget. Lol I’m fortunate to have to teach myself about money since it was a taboo subject growing up. Literally learning the hardest way possible. Just hoping I’ve managed to learn some things the right way. Thank you so much for sharing with the rest of us.
Rock on! Money blogs are the perfect place to stay motivated! We all love this stuff! :) Here’s a list of some of my favorites I read too if you want to poke around and see if any other resonates – lots of great writers and idea sharers out there!
I’ve been reading BAS at least since 2016. It’s always been a comfort blog for me, whether you or Joel were writing!
I am still paying off debt (only $19K of student loans left), but I still invest throughout this journey. I finally reached a positive net worth in December 2021, now I’m over $10K!
I was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disease last year (Crohns). 2021 was awful for me health wise, but now I’m on Humira and things have greatly improved :)
Lastly, I love mustard…but I’m not so sure on mac & cheese lol.
Ahhhh good job getting the diagnosis down!! Crohns was on our list too for a short while until it was crossed off – not fun as I was reading up on it, i’m sorry you have to deal with that :(
Excellent job on the debt paying off AND investing too at same time!! Smart!! And more exciting too usually than just going all in in one direction over the other :) Esp with debt paying off as sometimes it’ s just nice to see accounts moving in the POSITIVE direction lol, esp as it compounds while you sleep!!
I do hope you’ll try mustard on your mac n/ cheese one day though so you can tell me how much of a genius I am.. you are really missing out ;)
Looking forward to having you back! Found you in 2019 on instagram, and have been using your budget spreadsheet monthly ever since – “cocktails and conversation” with the husband to review/discuss how we’re doing – tweak goals, celebrate achievements. Lots of Fun with this! 54, nurse, wife, mom, daughter, nana and working less and less…but struggling with purpose/identity…sounds like your blog will touch on this – so looking forward to that!
So glad you’re finding it helpful!!! Cocktails def. helps lubricate the numbers, lol…
And I wholeheartedly hear you on the whole purpose/identity thing too… I’ve struggled with that a number of times in the past 15 years and it does get better – at least for a few years – but somehow ends up circling back around again I suppose for good measure, haha…
Currently feeling back on track now though so I guess I’m good for a few years until it creeps its ugly head back :) But you know I’ll be blogging about it for sure! Thanks for still being here with us, Cindy!
So happy to have you back, J$! After this blogged stopped and All-Star stopped, it was pretty glum for awhile. Was going to delete this shortcut and whoa, there’s a post! And here you are! Can’t wait to catch up on all your adventures in money and life. Welcome back to steering the FIRE crew straight. Lol.
Thanks Cindy!!! Glad you looked one last time before skeetering away! I think you should play the lottery next ;)
Can’t believe I missed this last week but going through emails and saw this sucker waiting for me. Just wanted to leave an official HELL YEAH. Sounds like the timing of the blog sale–personally, professionally, financially–could not have been better. It’s a rare opportunity to get to sell high and buy low(er) on something you created!
I started blogging as a sort of financial diary for myself, with the goal of also generating some side income. While the beer money that I earn is minimal, I’ve learned a lot and have read a lot of great stuff on corners of the internet I never knew existed. I’m sure I could dive in deeper on SEO optimization and all of that, but anything but the reading/writing element only serves to turn what is otherwise a fun hobby into real work.
Always appreciate the detail you include in your finances, and I hear you on net worth sharing hesitancy, even if you were one of the OGs of net worth sharing. That said, I absolutely loved the extended graphic.
Thank you, sir!! And glad you’re still at it too as have always enjoyed reading yours as well :) And I of course think it’s great you’re keeping it as a *hobby* vs going the work-route… Not that it’s bad or anything, just so easy to get sucked in and lose the fire! (no pun intended)
That’s the one main thing I need to be careful of myself with this new comeback – that I remember it’s a fun SIDE GIG and not make it my #1 J-O-B again… I can already feel the hustle burning inside of me but I am doing my best to hold it back!! Lol… Even though it makes me feel a little lazy!! :)
Welcome back!! I learned about your sites in 2017. I walked down a convention center hallway with you, Vicki, and Amy at FinCon18 but was (stupidly) too shy to interrupt the conversation to introduce myself. My blog has been dormant for three years but lots has changed! I need to resume blogging. Wish I could write as naturally as your posts read.
My husband left his company (his baby) for a nonprofit ministry and now gets to raise his own salary support. My part-time job now provides our primary paycheck. It’s all good though! We both love what we do, and we saved for years to have this financial flexibility and freedom.
Love that you make time for your kids. Take care!!
Carol!! Next time you better say hi!
I think it’s fantastic your husband was able to go for his dream like that – takes big courage AND financial foundation to make that happen, you guys have figured it out! Now come to FinCon this year and we’ll have a do – over ;)
It’s great to have you back Dad! ;)
Can’t let you have all the dad jokes to yourself!
J Money, good to have you back.
Good to have another J$ in the house!
Hi J. Money, I hope returning to this blog gives you joy and peace. I am a first time reader from Baltimore, I learned about Budgets Are Sexy from the ChooseFi newsletter. I’m in the clean up your early twenties stage of the FI journey and successfully maxed my 457 for the first time in 2021. Please be careful on the skateboard, my husband began learning last year at 29 and he spent the spring/summer on a knee scooter after misjuding a drop.
FI motivation: Guilt free runcations
Glad you’ve seen the light now! Maybe your husband can rest in a pile of all that 457 cash to help him feel better? :)
Glad to see the burst of energy that is YOU is back in the picture. Make it happen!
Hi! I found you through Brad and his FI Weekly newsletter. Just reading this one post tells me you are my kind of person! Except for that mustard on the mac and cheese thing, but I’ll try and get over it. I’m late to the money game cause, you know, life. But making strides now, and find I may also be a fan of renting over buying. I look forward to reading and using your ideas!
rock on! glad to have you here, even if your taste of mac n’ cheese is off ;)
I am so happy to see this blog back up and running! I have missed it. I am also really enjoying the new look, much cleaner, focused.
I would say that I started reading somewhere around 2014. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and I am working towards FI rather than FIRE. I want to work not because I have to but because I choose to, to be able to quit if I am needed elsewhere more, for friends and family.
I manage my money pretty simply. I am focused on topping up my TFSA (similar to a Roth IRA) first, then moving on to my RRSP, and so on.
I have recently gotten back into school for some professional development that has helped me feel less stagnant and more engaged personally, as well as professionally. Any kind of learning is a big motivator for me.
Excellent!! Nice to see you back here, Fushia :) A lot has changed for the both of us since 2014! Here’s to more learning and growing!
Awe man, it is good to have you back! This website just isn’t the same without your energy in it.
Glad you’re back here with me! :)
Thanks for coming back J! It may be coincidental but the world started to head south when you left. Can your rerturn mean an upturn? I certainly hope so.
I still remember the book on coins you sent me. I added my initials to yours and passed it forward once I read it. I hope it’s still out there gathering even more initials.
Ahh soo cool!! I forgot we did that with some books – thx for playing along with that :) I certainly hope my comeback means greater world peace too! Lol… It’s been a wild few years, boy…
Well, well, well! Welcome back Dude! I kinda of stopped reading because you just really cannot be replaced. Something about your infectious way of writing and I love your realness. I followed you before you had kids during your mohawk days. Ha…forgot the name of what you did before – fundraising and surprising people in need. Anyways…I’ve got some reading to catch up on and look forward to reading and learning what you have to share! Also, I look forward to your eavesdropping stories!
-the Deaf gal ;-)
heyyy!!! thanks for coming back!! the Love Drop project – that was so fun :) and over 10 years ago now – crazy… Hopefully the decade has treated you well!
I’ve been reading the blog since 2015. I guess I took a bit of a hiatus when the ownership shifted, because I loved the J. Money vibe. Not sure why, but I wanted to check back in today, and I’m stoked to see that you own the site again!
Welcome back, sir! Funny how life goes :)