Well this is The Day, my friends!!
12 years, 3 months and 17 days since writing my first post here, and now it’s time to say farewell! Eek!
We sure had fun though, didn’t we??? And got a lot OLDER in the process? Lol… I started this blog in my 20s and ended in my 40s! With kids and a mortgage and a dog! :)
But what a ride… and I’ve subtly changed in a number of other ways too throughout the years. Since starting this blog, I’ve:
- Started tracking my net worth, now going on 146 months in a row!
- Started waking up at 5 am for a better start to each day
- Stopped working nights and weekends for a better work/life balance!
- Stopped mindless shopping whenever I’m bored
- Stopped complaining so much
- Stopped cursing like a sailor
- Became a minimalist
- Became a daddy (!!!)
- Became a millionaire
- Became a podcaster (and then not a podcaster 😂)
- Became an experimenter
- Became an indexer
- Became a curator
- Became a consultant
- Became an eager learner
- Became an eager giver
- Became much more *aware* of things
- Became much more confident in things!
- Became extremely THANKFUL
- And overall just became much more content and happy with what I’ve got
All this from starting a blog!!
And that makes no mention of how drastically it’s changed my career, and even more so, my overall circle of friends here too – the best outcome of all :)
So first and foremost – if you’ve ever wanted to start a project you’re passionate about, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF POSSIBILITIES – START IT TODAY!! You just never know how it can go on to transform your life!
And secondly, I have to send y’all a HUGE THANKS again for not only supporting me throughout the years, but for also TEACHING me along the way as half the things I learned (and wrote about) came directly from you.
SO THANK YOU! And if you’ll allow me to be cheeky one last time, I’d love to re-offer you this gift circa 2008 for all your patronage over the years! Lol… I heard it looks great on fridges! ;)
Needless to say my life has improved exponentially because of y’all, and it’s been fun to watch the growth of this blog more specifically too.
From the first day it was featured in a major media outlet (MSN Money! After telling me they can only share my stuff if I start punctuating properly and stop all my swearing! Haha…) to the time where being anonymous was finally “accepted” and landed me in the pages of Forbes ;)
It hasn’t always been rainbows, but I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome! Here are some fun facts as it stands today:
- Total number of posts published: 2,829 (full archives here)
- Total number of comments left: 129,338!!
- Total number of page views: 30,000,000+
- Total number of industry awards won: 12
- Total number of times we switched writing schedules: 6
- Total number of time I *missed* writing on one of those writing schedules: 0!!!
- Number of *other* projects that spawned from this site: 10+
Here were some of my favorite projects, if you’re curious ;)
- Rockstar Finance
- Love Drop
- Take Our Stuff (remember that one? Haha…)
- Coin Thrill
And this doesn’t account for all the opportunities we’ve *turned down* over the years as well. Such as speaking gigs, or TV roles or even book offers! Perhaps one day we’ll take advantage of them, but from day one I’ve been perfectly fine “just” being a blogger and enjoying our community here, so no regrets whatsoever :) Even if it meant less clout or $$$.
And then of course there’s everything I learned about MONEY over the decade! Which as you can imagine is a lot!
I never came across that magical bullet, but what a difference changing your mindset can make in the end… Here are my biggest takeaways from writing and thinking about this money stuff non-stop:
#1. Once you learn this stuff it stays with you forever! You might fall down every now and then and need to brush yourself off, but once you know this stuff it sticks with you.
#2. You have to really WANT IT bad enough though. Saving money isn’t that complicated, but getting motivated to do so is a whole other story… If you don’t care enough to make it a priority you won’t make it far!
#3. Work on the parts that EXCITE you first. Doesn’t matter if it’s paying off debt or investing more, or trying to ramp up your income exponentially. If it increases your net worth and keeps you interested, roll with it!! You do your best work when you’re excited!
#4. Don’t be afraid to change your mind though. You have to adapt when things no longer make sense as the world – and your dreams – are constantly changing. If you don’t change along with it you get stuck in a past version of yourself.
#5. Don’t worry about maximizing every single dollar either. Each one serves its own purpose and it’s okay to let some work harder than others. They’re each bringing something to the table whether it’s more income or better peace of mind!
#6. Get a good grasp on your expenses! The less you spend now, the less you need to save later. It also helps you get better at being mindful.
#7. Realize that everything takes TIME! And it’ll get boring along the way! But that’s okay! Let compounding work its magic and derive your joy from elsewhere as you wait! ;)
#8. The first $100,000 is the hardest. After that, the $$$ snowballs with much less effort 👍
#9. Allow yourself to splurge every now and then! All saving and no spending makes Jack a dull boy!!!
#10. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have our obstacles to cross, but the difference between you and everyone else is that you’re not HIDING from them :) You know what they are and are actively confronting them!
#11. Don’t forget to LIVE along the way. There were so many years I was consumed with hustling and making *more* that I ended up ignoring most other areas of my life. There’s a time for ramping things up but there’s also a time for LIVING YOUR LIFE and not becoming obsessive. It takes a while to balance, but don’t ever forget that there’s more to life than just money :)
#12. And lastly, and probably the biggest change for me over the past 12 years, I realized the point of all this stuff is *FREEDOM*! Not becoming a millionaire! Which is ironic as I’ve finally become one when I no longer care as much, lol… Of course you’ll still need a decent chunk of change to live your best life, but the end goal with all this stuff is to craft your ideal *lifestyle* – not see how much you can amass before you die. There are loads of people with tons of money in this world, but if you look closely they’re not all that happy! Or content! So the challenge is to convert this money you earn into peace and happiness without constantly wanting “more” all the time.
And that’s 12 years of living and breathing this stuff! It all comes down to a handful of bullet points! Haha…
But what a ride it’s been :) And I’m so SO happy to have shared this experience with you.
If you’ve learned even just one thing from me over the years, I hope you’ll pass it forward so others can find their epiphanies too! There’s a sea of starfish out there but even just helping *one* changes a life for the better!
Remember the Starfish Story by Loren Eisley? I’m gonna re-post it here just because it’s so damn good ;) Cheesy, but good!!
The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…
“I made a difference for that one.”
And that’s really the best part about blogs here. One by one we share our ideas and collectively we get better for it :)
I love all y’all so very much, and I thank you for everything you’ve done for me over the years. PLEASE STAY IN TOUCH, OKAY??
Here’s everywhere you can reach me:
- Twitter: @BudgetsAreSexy
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Newsletter: jmoney.biz/newsletter
- Next project I’m working on: Soapbox.com (set to go live on July 6th)
And don’t forget – this blog continues on without me! 5 AM Joel‘s got the torch and excited to keep the good word flowing!
Yours in finance forever,
PS: Here’s the “why” behind it all if you’re a newer reader to the site: New Beginnings, and The Future of Budgets Are Sexy
PPS: Additional fun facts you might not know about the blog ;)
- It was almost called SavingIsSexy.com, but it was taken!
- For the first 6 months I blogged under “J. Savings”
- I didn’t even have a budget when I started the blog, lol…
- We have a theme song – which of course is a rap! ;)
- There was only one blog post I ever regretted publishing and quickly took it down (it was a guest post that caused personal attacks)
- And then lastly, here’s what the blog looked like in 2008… Really not that different from today ;)