Elvis has left the building … but the show must go on!

One random Wednesday morning, I was checking my spam email folder and came across an interesting message. It was from a guy saying he worked at “Soapbox, a Motley Fool company.” He said that he checked out some of my writing, liked my positive vibe, and wanted to talk about an “opportunity to become the new face/voice of a blog they recently purchased.”

This didn’t seem like a typical spammy email, so I hit reply to see if it was legit. It turns out that one of my heroes, the legendary J. Money, had decided to start working on another project and recommended me as a candidate for taking over this blog.

Whoa! I was shocked. A million thoughts rushed to my head …

  • Why me? There are a thousand other people out there with more finance knowledge and better writing skills.
  • Who could ever replace J. Money? And what kind of idiot would even try?
  • Isn’t the Motley Fool a website that gives stock advice to already rich people?
  • *Note to self* I should check my spam folder more often … I wonder what other messages I’ve missed there over the years?!

I set up a call with J$ to chat about it more, and that’s when I stumbled down the rabbit hole. This was an opportunity I never saw coming.

The Budgets team, and my new “boss” at work

The guys who own this blog are hilarious. I can see why J. Money stuck around so long and is continuing to build new projects with them. They are a small team of smart, funny, and laid-back people. And the decision to bring me on as a new writer was long and well thought out.

I had a bunch of video calls with them before committing to this gig. And the more I learned about the people and their vision, the more excited I got.

Here are a few reasons I’m excited to be joining the Budgets team:

Reaching more people: This blog isn’t a “business” for them, it’s a community. Their mission is to help everyone become smarter, happier and richer. I’m 100% on board with this.

Drinking on the job is encouraged: My new “boss” recommended that I drink beer while writing blog posts. True story — he even sent me a care package of local craft beers and a Soapbox-branded pint glass to use! (photo below)

Freedom to be myself: I assumed the Budgets team would have a rule guide for what I write about, when to post, topics to avoid, etc. … Nope! They’ve given me complete freedom to figure it all out myself. I get to be me every day, and I’ve never had a job like that before.

J. Money is a phone call away: J$ may not be blogging here daily anymore, but he is lurking in the background of every post, making sure that I don’t screw up. He is (and forever will be) emotionally connected to this blog … Which means I get to use him as a free mentor and pick his brain any time I want!

Fun culture: I learned that the Motley Fool company has an average employee tenure of ~9 years! That’s how fun and happy the people are who work there, and I get to be a team member. (Even the most fun companies, like Google, only keep employees for an average of 3-4 years.)

Long-term approach: I’m impressed with the way everyone on the Budgets team solves problems. They approach projects and decisions with a long-term outlook, kind of like a mature investment strategy :)

pint glass with soapbox logo

Blog schedule going forward

I know you’re used to getting a post every weekday, but it’s gonna take a while for me to ramp up to that crazy level!

For now, new posts from me will come a few times a week … Mondays and Fridays to start with, and we’ll share a bunch of guest posts and other announcements when we have them. Also, J might be popping in later this month to talk about his withdrawal symptoms after leaving the blog and update us on his new projects.

If you’re a personal finance blogger or have a cool money story that you think will help others, please send it our way. Don’t be shy — everyone benefits when we share our stories! My new “work email” is joel (at) budgetsaresexy (dot) com. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Monday, and have a kickass week!

– Joel

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  1. Sn June 1, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Welcome to this blog Joe at 5 am. I will missed J$ and his posts but am also excited that you are the successor per se after J$ on this blog. I know about your 5 am morning positive daily notes from J$ and try to make a habit of reading it daily as reminders and inspiration. So when J$ announced he’ll have successor for this site and it’s you, I can’t wait to hear more of what you have to say …

    We will missed J$ but change is good. There’s no growth without change :)…

    Can’t wait to hear more of what’s gonna spill out of here …

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 11:38 AM

      Yeah, change is hard… but it’s a necessary part of progress. Thanks for the support and encouragement – exciting times ahead!

  2. martinus June 1, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Welcome Joel. I am hoping that this old dog can learn some new tricks from you. Even though the pile is getting high (north of $8.0 million) and I am a FAILEDFIRE (I just made up that term) there is a LOT that I can learn from someone younger than me. Good luck. I look forward to taking instruction from you.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 12:44 PM

      That is quite a pile! Love your attitude of constant learning (no matter your age or NW amount). Not sure what I can teach you, but I’ll do my best to share whatever I learn over time! Cheers- Joel

  3. Backpack Finance June 1, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    So, do you mind sharing with us how many beers you need for 1 blog post? Just asking for a friend.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 12:56 PM

      It depends on how long/fun the post is. Also, time of day is a factor… If I’m blogging around breakfast time then I’d say 1-2 beers is good. Lunch time blogging (or if I’m in the backyard enjoying the sun) probably 2-4 beers. And anything after 5pm… well, I shouldn’t be around a computer at that point.

      How about you?

      1. Backpack Finance June 1, 2020 at 4:53 PM

        Holy moly! You know that I’m going to try to guess from now when the posts have been written, right? I have a feeling I’ll catch the evening ones pretty easily I’m more of a wine guy but never tried writing and drinking at the same time. Now I will!

        1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:12 PM

          haha let me know how it goes :)

  4. steveark June 1, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    J Money who? Sounds pretty cool being you right now! Look forward to continued great content going forward. I’m already slightly early retired and just enjoy hanging around and reading stuff smart and focused or beer addled people have to say.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 1:32 PM

      Semi-retired and reading a lot… Sounds pretty cool to be YOU right now! Thanks for reading and sharing good FI advice on your blog too, Steve. Cheers!

    2. J. Money June 1, 2020 at 3:35 PM

      (I heard that Steve!!)

  5. Vinncent June 1, 2020 at 1:16 PM

    Good luck Joel. You inspired me to get up at 5 am back in january. 5:30 to be honest. I love your writing. I was already trying to become FI before that, so you writing for this blog is very logical to me.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:14 PM

      Hey Vinncent, that’s awesome! Rise early, Retire early!

  6. Dragon Guy June 1, 2020 at 2:57 PM

    Congrats on starting the new role Joel. Looking forward to now getting a double dose of your positiveness from your emails and your weekly posts here.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:16 PM

      Thanks DGuy! I love reading what you and the Mrs are up to also! Stay safe!

  7. JoshDoesFatFIRE June 1, 2020 at 3:34 PM

    Welcome to the blog Joel.
    Look forward to your posts. Been a longtime follower of Budgets!

    All the best!
    Stay safe.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:26 PM

      Cheers Josh! And cheers to the goal of FatFIRE!

  8. Lisa O June 1, 2020 at 4:45 PM

    Welcome and looking forward to you keeping this community going.

    I have been a long time reader of J$ and loved his mad skills in keeping it interesting.

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:29 PM

      Thanks Lisa! My plan is to hang around J long enough so that some of his coolness starts to rub off on me hopefully. He is the best.

  9. Susan June 1, 2020 at 8:50 PM

    Welcome Joel and good luck J$!!!

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:30 PM

      Thanks Susan

      1. J. Money June 2, 2020 at 6:15 AM

        Thank you Susan!

  10. Pete McPherson June 1, 2020 at 9:03 PM

    Woooo welcome, officially!

    Excited to see what you bring here, Joel. Always enjoyed your stuff :)

    1. Joel June 1, 2020 at 9:31 PM

      That means a lot coming from you Pete. Thanks for the support!
      Cheers. Joel

  11. Liz @ Splurging on Freedom June 2, 2020 at 4:58 AM

    Congrats on the new role and the great post, Joel! Thanks for giving us a peek into what it’s like working with the Budgets team :) Looking forward to more posts from you!

    1. Joel June 2, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      Thanks Liz! And congrats to you on your new book! Looking forward to reading that too!

  12. Matt June 2, 2020 at 8:51 AM

    Welcome to the blog Joel!! I’m sure you’ll do a great job, J$ had to have a lot of confidence in you if he was willing to give up his baby to you. Looking forward to reading your posts.

    1. Joel June 2, 2020 at 9:47 AM

      Thanks Matt. I still feel like it’s his baby. I’m just the foster dad taking care of it until he changes his mind and wants the baby back! :)

  13. Alicia June 2, 2020 at 11:22 AM

    Omg dreams really do come true!! I’ve found a couple gems in my spam too! Nothing quite this awesome, but still looking forward to reading more :) congrats and welcome! Ps which craft beers did you get?

    1. Joel June 2, 2020 at 12:17 PM

      My problem now is I’m addicted to looking through my spam folder every day… And slightly disappointed every time I don’t find anything :(.
      Beers were from Firestone Walker, a brewery just north of LA – actually located in a pretty cool wine region my wife and I visit a lot. Types were “805” (which is mass-produced now – it blew up over the last few years and is available everywhere) and “Union Jack IPA” which is gaining popularity and is one of the more basic west coast ipas they make. I enjoyed them both :)

  14. Michelle @ FrugalityandFreedom June 3, 2020 at 4:01 AM

    What a lucky find in your spam folder! Meanwhile, the best I’ve had in there this year was a company offering to send me free icecream to promote on my Instagram. Shame it wouldn’t make it in the mail from US to Australia. I’ll continue to dream.

    1. Joel June 3, 2020 at 10:02 AM

      You could give them my address!? :)

  15. Tracy June 3, 2020 at 11:40 AM

    Welcome Joel! I look forward to your time here on the B@S platform. And I love beers from Firestone, you are definitely lucky! (Used to live in the 805 area code…)

    1. Joel June 3, 2020 at 12:54 PM

      Cheers Tracy! I’ve visited their tap room a couple of times – it’s beautiful country up there :)

  16. Juhani June 5, 2020 at 3:43 AM

    Welcome Joel! I love your way to write. Go on with that!

    1. Joel June 5, 2020 at 11:39 AM

      Why thank you, Juhani! Have an awesome weekend!