I’m Back! What Did I miss? :)


Well that was a fast month! Who’d you see? Where’d you go? Who’d ya meet? What’d ya know?’ (Sex & The City reference for the win – BOOM!)

I’ll answer first if you will next?

Who’d you see?

My wife, my kids, my laptop

Where’d you go

Starbucks and our money forums! Turns out both are pretty addicting, and even more so when combined :)

Who’d ya meet?

Over 400 of you who joined these forums! Which is why I didn’t even feel like I was “gone” – I just changed the place where I was hanging. And it’s been a blast so far getting to know y’all in a more personal way.

What’d ya know?

I’ve come to realize a handful of things over these weeks:

First, that it’s always better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb, than half way up one you don’t.

I stumbled across that line earlier in the year, and it’s amazing just how helpful it’s become over these past few months. Never has a quote affected me as much before, and I literally think about it anytime I’m trying to make a major decision now! As well as my second favorite quote lately by Derek Sivers“If it’s not a HELL YEAH, it’s a no.” (Helps prevent you from spending energy on all the so-so stuff instead of all the REALLY GOOD stuff that drives you!)

Second, it’s amazing how stuck we are in our routines.

If I hadn’t stopped blogging cold turkey like this – something I’ve been doing almost every single day for 9 years straight (!!) – I’m pretty sure I’d still be at it. Stuck in auto-pilot and too afraid to break out.

If there’s one thing I learned the most during this sabbatical, it was that life shouldn’t be run on auto-pilot. It’s much better to put yourself out there and FAIL HARD if you have to, than stay stuck doing stuff just ‘cuz it was “the right way” at one point in your life. Despite all your goals and dreams having changed. At least when you fail it means you’re fighting for something important!!

Third, when you’re working on something you care about, all other stuff disappears into the background :)

As crazy as it’ll sound coming from a money blogger, do you know the one thing I did NOT pay attention to at all during this break? My money.

I was so consumed with my projects and having fun and learning/trying to figure everything out, that the last thing on my mind was my personal finances. Of course I had to check in eventually when the new month arrived to update our net worth (coming back again to the site, woo!), but if I can set my life up like THAT going forward, I’d be one happy man.

It’s all pretty ironic if you think about it: needing to pay attention to our money for so long, only to finally be able NOT TO one day. Guess that’s life.

And finally, at the end of all this, I realized I’m just not cut out for early retirement. At least in the standard way of thinking.

Now do I want to be financially free? Oh yeah! But work-wise I had an entire *full month* off to relax and do whatever the hell I wanted, and all I wanted (and all I did!) was to keep hustling towards those projects. Perhaps a month isn’t quite long enough to forecast the future, but I doubt I’m going to become one of those TV binge watchers once I hit my millions :) It’s so addicting to see how the world interacts with your ideas once they’re pushed out into the open!

I’m always going to be around building stuff, and I’d imagine that once I stop thinking about money for the long term I’ll only start making even more of it. Not unlike other early retirees who still bring home gobs of money even though they’re not setting out to do so (Mr. Money Mustache being a perfect example – he’s making multiples of his old salary every year and his blog was only meant to be a passion project!)

So that’s the story of my life this past month :) As for those projects I was committed to getting out the door?


Well, I did work on all three of them (plus about 4 others), but technically only one of them is officially live. Here’s the quick updates:

Money forums – The only one that’s live! I already went over this one a couple times already so no need to go into more here, other than to say that if you still haven’t checked it out yet, and are looking for a good – safe – place to chat about money openly, you’ll probably get a lot out of it: forums.rockstarfinance.com

Blogger Directory – The good news is we now have data on *over 400* bloggers so far – without me adding to it myself at all! – but the bad news is it’s taking a lot longer to get out the door than expected. To my credit though, I’ve decided I wanted to build this out the *right* way vs the *fast* way (like I tend to do), so while there is a delay, in theory it should be much more robust and helpful than my original plan :) And considering we’ve gone without this for about 20+ years now (how long has the internet been around by this point?), I’m pretty sure another month or two isn’t going to kill anyone :) Estimated new launch date of Phase I: late January. (Add your blog here if you haven’t already!)

The “Community Fund” – This has been the most frustrating project of them. It turns out it’s not so easy to directly give money to people who need it, at least if you want to run it through a 501(c)3 for the write-off benefit – and – if you want complete freedom in doing so. Still, last week we had a major break through, and pending any new curve balls in the near future we’ll have something to show on Jan 1!

In the meantime, if you’re as antsy to start DOING GOOD as I am, head over to this forum thread here where we’ve taken a chunk of our own money to empower the community to give back in a fun – and meaningful – way this holiday season. It’ll give you a good idea of what we’re brewing up ;)

So all in all we’re 1 for 3 with my November goals, but as you can see we’re making strides and it will only be a matter of time until they’re all out into the real world finally.

I can’t wait!

rockstar finance new logo

I’ve also got 5 of my weekly series on Rockstar Finance out the door too, along with a freshened up logo (see above!) which wasn’t set to go live until January. So that’s a plus!

While this blog here is mainly MY thoughts on money, those of you who visit Rockstar Finance know it’s more of a “curation” site where we share the best tips by everyone else in the industry. It’s been working well so far, but the plan is to turn it into much MORE of a community where people are actually hanging out and engaging and then *taking action* – thus why the forums were the first thing built on it.

So while I’ll still be here rapping about money just like before (more on that in a bit), I’m simultaneously working on growing out Rockstar to be equally as powerful, just community-based vs everything centered on ME :)  Where my role is more of an “ideas” guy there vs “my words” which will remain here.

With that in mind, we launched our first handful of “weekly series,” where every day of the week is a new one like so:

  • Mondays: our weekly Money Challenges! Run by Derek of HowDoIMoney.com (The first one? Figuring out your “why,” of course!)
  • Tuesdays: our weekly Rockstar Reviews. Where every Tuesday we *ahem* review an app or product or service in the financial industry. So far we’ve covered Personal Capital, and next on the list for tomorrow are the beautiful “budgeting planners” made by fellow blogger Cait Flanders!
  • Wednesdays: our weekly Giveaways! Where I find something fun or helpful in my house to give away (or partner with a company to give away). We’ve only done one so far, and it was for an 1865 two-cent piece. Couple more days until it closes if anyone’s interested in it ;)
  • Thursdays: our weekly Rich Habit Series. Where I’ve tapped best-selling author, Tom Corley, of “Rich Habits” book fame to dive into one of the best habits the wealthy have based on his 5 years of research. You might remember him from previous posts on this blog – I’m obsessed with the habits of the successful!
  • Fridays: our weekly Book Reviews. Where Hélène from FreetoPursue.com shares her expert opinion on a new financial or entrepreneurial book each week. She’s on a mission to read 1,000 books (thoroughly), and loves and breathes this stuff! Check out her first review on The Millionaire Next Door. I learned stuff I didn’t even know before – and it’s one of my favorite books! : )

The (New) Future of Budgets Are Sexy

retro blog

Okay, so I’ve saved the best – or possibly most relevant? – part for last. What now happens to BudgetsAreSexy.com and all the fun we have here going forward? Will it all be the same? Different? Is J. Money going to burn out again and eventually disappear off the side of the internet Earth?

No, and Yes, and No :)

First off, I’m INCREDIBLY excited to get back to blogging again, and I’m most certainly in it for “the long haul.”

I’m not going anywhere, even if you tried to kick me out.

That being said, I also can’t continue writing here exactly how I used to or else I *will* be a hot mess again. So in that regard there will be some changes around here, but hopefully it won’t be too terribly noticeable, especially now that we have so many new areas to hang out online on top of this blog.

typing gif

Here’s the plan:

For the rest of December – To ease myself back into it again, as well as take advantage of family time around the holidays, I’ll be back to blogging every *Monday* for the rest of the month, and then we’ll publish one of our awesome guest posts I’ve been holding onto for *Thursdays*. This way we still get a healthy dosage of $$$ stuff to discuss, but it also doesn’t kill me. And I’m pretty sure you’re going to like these posts even more than my own as I’m pretty picky and they’re incredibly fascinating!!

So that’s the temporary schedule for December.

For 2017 – For the new year we’ll be back to publishing articles every Monday, Wednesday, Friday again – only I’m going to scale back to writing on Mondays and Wednesdays only, and then leaving that Friday spot open to more juicy guest posts provided y’all are actually enjoying them.

If that works out, we’ll leave it be and get right back to normal again :) If I find I’m starting to get burned out again, then I might switch back to writing on Mondays only, but we’ll play it by ear and see how it goes. Regardless, I’m back for good and you’ll always have something fresh from me to marinate on each week.

Now these changes solve my *time* issue, but as I mentioned in my sabbatical post, I still very much do NOT enjoy all the background work that comes from maintaining a blog. Like dealing with the tech stuff, SEO, growth, monetization, fixing everything that breaks (you’d be amazed how often that is!), and pretty much anything else not relating to writing and talking to you guys ;)

It all comes with the territory of course as no job is “perfect,” but in the same spirit of wanting to come back BIGGER and BETTER than before, as well as to selfishly craft my ideal lifestyle, I’ve decided to make a bold move by partnering up with two of my blog friends in the game to do what they’re best at (all the maintaining/building/boring stuff), while I focus on what I’m best at – or at least have the most fun with, hah! – the writing and the community part.

These two friends? Nate and Han from InvestmentZen.com – a blog all about getting people to financial independence faster. And as part of this new partnership, I’ve sold them each a minority stake in the blog totaling $160k over the next year which gives us all skin in the game. And also pads my savings account again so I can continue on not thinking about money so much (see how it all ties together?? ;))

The other nice perk? Han is a killer developer which means I can finally get some of the upgrades and tools built here that I’ve never had the time (or knowledge) to do over the years. So while they’ll mostly be behind the scenes while I’m focusing on all the articles here as normal (I still call all the shots as it’s my baby, and again, they only own minority stakes as I’ve officially crossed off “selling out” once and for all!) hopefully some of the new features we want to start rolling out hit the stands sooner than later.

Either way, I feel like we finally have a great middle ground here, and having all this pressure off my shoulders now allows me to get back to the heart of what I truly love again: starting discussions around money and helping each other without a distracted mind! Just like it was those 9 fateful years ago when I published my very first (pretty silly) post :)

Needless to say, I’m damn excited for the future of this blog :)

Time will tell whether it all pans out, but going back to that one main takeaway last month – better to fail going after my dreams than be stuck on auto-pilot! At the end of the day there’s nothing much you can’t really fix or figure out either…

I honestly just can’t wait to get right back to it again and hit publish on this dang post. Stopping something you’ve been doing for almost a decade straight brought all kinds of emotions with it! And as many good days as I had last month, I had an equal amount of bad/uncertain/scared ones too.

If anyone ever tells you going for your dreams is easy – walk away from that liar right away, haha… The only easy part is committing to them!

As my friend Ty likes to say, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Gotta keep grinding!

Hope things have been well for you – what I miss? :)

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  1. Kate @ Cashville Skyline December 12, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    Wow, big news! Congratulations on all the exciting changes. Sounds like you were very busy during your sabbatical. I agree that maintaining a blog is way more work than most people realize. It’s part of why so many bloggers disappear within the first year or so! Sounds like the InvestmentZen partnership is a great fit. Best of luck with all of the things!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 6:49 AM

      Thanks Kate!! Congrats on all your moves over there too :) Someone pointed out your new blog when I launched our Blogger Gossip page, and the new direction you’re going down looks exciting as well! Here’s to a promising 2017!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Thanks bro! Feels good to be back :)

  2. Michael @ Financially Alert December 12, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    Welcome back, J$!!!

    Congrats on your new ventures with IZ. Han and Nate are awesome guys… so important in a business partnership!

    I’m looking forward to all the awesome content to come. And I’m loving the RSF forums!! You rock!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 9:59 AM

      So glad you’re enjoying them, man :) It’s been a blast seeing how the community interacts in it, and all the COOL STUFF people are coming up with!

  3. Band of Savers December 12, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Great to see you back again J. Sounds like the foundation is set, the plans are made, and you’re well on your way to building your PF empire that will eventually takeover the internet. Congrats man!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:01 AM

      I’ll be happy with just taking over my life and hitting my ideal lifestyle, haha… no more trying to take over the world for me – too stressful :)

  4. Apathy Ends December 12, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    Welcome back to the blog!

    The forums are awesome and if any one has some specific money questions head over and start a thread! There are a ton of great money minds hanging out.

    Looking forward to the changes coming!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks for passing on the word! We agree!

  5. Miss Mazuma December 12, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    I know you weren’t sitting back and sipping Pina coladas this whole time! With all the progress RSFF has made in the past month it would have been impossible!…and like your blog, you can’t resist commenting. :) That’s why we love you, J! You put your heart into everything you do….its natural to need a break to re energize. Glad to see you back here and looking forward to all the cool changes. Oh, and congrats again on the forums. Seriously the best place to money talk. :)

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:26 AM

      Thanks Miss Mazuma :) Especially for your encouragement (and donation!!) to our Community Fund! Means the world!!

  6. Mr Crazy Kicks December 12, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Great line right here: “once I stop thinking about money for the long term I’ll only start making even more of it.”

    One if the best ways to approach life whether you’ve reached financial independence or not. We only have a tiny flash of time on this planet, better spend it doing what you love regardless of how much it pays out.

    Here’s to your future success :)

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:27 AM

      Coming from someone who’s already financially free just solidifies it even more, thank you sir :)

  7. Steve @ Think Save Retire December 12, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Welcome back to the Partay! Excited about all the new Rockstar developments and, well, watching it take the personal finance community by storm. Lots going on, but all good stuff indeed.

    Happy holidays, my friend!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:28 AM

      Thanks for helping grow it all man – gotta love this community.

  8. The Green Swan December 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    Welcome back, J$! I was actually thinking this morning about you and wondering when you’d be back…low and behold you hit publish on this post!

    Glad you had time to hit the refresh button and also work on all these new features and developments. Love what you’re doing for the space, a true leader for our blogging community! Keep it up!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      Thanks so much :) We all learn from those before us, just like I have and just like future bloggers will with you! Keep pouring your heart into your articles – been really enjoying them.

  9. Josh @MoneyBuffalo December 12, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    It’s awesome that you have the opportunity to step back and take a sabbatical and refocus. As a teacher, that’s one reason I like Christmas break. Love the example of rather being at the bottom of the ladder. One of my mentors once used the ladder analogy, except he said to make sure your ladder was on the correct wall so you didn’t climb into the wrong window.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      Haha – that’s a lot more entertaining actually, I like that ;)

  10. superbien December 12, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    So glad to have you back! But I’m glad you got the break. I’ll go check out the forum!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:37 AM

      I’m excited to get back into the rhythm again :)

  11. Michelle December 12, 2016 at 8:33 AM

    Yay! Glad to hear you’re back and rested. Lots of exciting news! Looking forward to the projects that are coming. And now I’m off to check out the new money forums :D

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:40 AM

      Hope you find it helpful!

  12. Claudia @ Two Cup House December 12, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Congrats on the partnership! I had a great chat with Han about SEO–I’m sure he can help you on that front. ;)

    Best of luck with the plans for the new year! Let us know how we can help you.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:44 AM

      Yeah! Him and Nate are pretty damn impressive with it. Hoping to learn a lot too, and then just sit back and let them do the heavy lifting, haha…

  13. Michelle December 12, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Welcome back! I’ve been checking back over bad over again here to see if you had come back yet, haha. Sounds like a great partnership for you and the business.

    I need to dive into those money forums too!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:45 AM

      There’s some fellow RV’ers in there ;)

  14. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor December 12, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    Glad to hear from you, and hear how excited you are and what a good decision this was for you. Sounds like your creativity is really flowing and benefiting others in lots of ways.

    Your point about getting too stuck in our routines is great. I’m such a creature of habit, yet I’ve found myself wanting to rebel against that because I can get way too uptight about sticking to the same old ways. Habits are great in the proper place but being flexible is also really valuable and can foster creativity.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      I agree :) It usually takes some BIG event to knock you one way or the other too. This is the first time in a long time that I actually had to go out of my own way to *cause* the event to happen which is the hardest… I should have done it three years ago! Haha….

  15. Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. December 12, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Awesome to hear back from you again! I was getting sad after not hearing anything on the site for so long.

    I just went over and registered for the forums, BTW. :)

    Take it easy!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      FUN!! I’ll see you over there!

  16. Ramona @ Personal Finance Today December 12, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Heading to the forums right now. I’m a forum addict myself, will be pretty nice :)
    Welcome back

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:50 AM

      Haha… I can only handle one forum – it’s already too consuming! :)

  17. ESI Money December 12, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    It’s hard to come back after a break (I took two weeks in November) but once you get into the writing grove the juices come back.

    Hey, didn’t the Redskins win more when you stopped blogging?

    Just something to think about… :)

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      Haha this is true!

      (But the day after I left Trump won, so….)

  18. DEC1 December 12, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Welcome back J$. I’ve missed your posts and will look forward to the new and revitalized version.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 9:55 AM

      Thanks DEC1 – it’s good to be back :)

  19. Joe December 12, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Welcome back! I think it was great that you took a step back to figure out what to do. Cutting back to writing twice per week is really good too. 3x per week is too much. You don’t have time to think. I cut back to 2x per week earlier this year and it’s so much better.
    Good luck with your new partnership!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:51 AM

      Thanks Joe :) It’s hard to believe I was once writing 5x a week!! For over 5 years too!

  20. Brian @ debt discipline December 12, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Sabbatical? Sounds like you’ve been busier than ever. Good to have you back and have so many good things cooking.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      Thanks man :) Hope things are well on your end!

  21. Ty December 12, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Although I love what you’ve been going, I’m glad to see you out from behind the curtains again! Welcome back from the well-deserved break and congrats on all the progress.

    Thanks for the link love (can I officially tell people that we’re link lovers? Did that just get awkward? :)) Keep grinding!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:53 AM

      (you know what turns me on!)

  22. JayP December 12, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Love that quote man! I think the most important thing is cadence and quality of posts versus quantity. Some of my favorite bloggers don’t actually post all that often – but when they do I know they really have something exciting to say(thinking Raptitude or MMM). Good luck.

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:53 AM

      Oh yeah…

      Don’t put THAT pressure on me though haha… I’ll never end up writing again :)

  23. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies December 12, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Literally dreamt about the Rockstar forums last night. I was so sad I didn’t have more time to check them out this weekend. I popped by last week, and I totally see why they’re so addicting! :) So glad you’re back. And it sounds like you had the busiest break ever. Cheers to everything that’s coming your way!

    1. J. Money December 12, 2016 at 10:55 AM

      Haha that’s awesome.

      I dreamt about Rosie ODonnell supporting Trump and was sooo confused!!! Would much rather have dreamt about forums ;)

  24. Mrs. Picky Pincher December 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Welcome back to the blogosphere, J$!

    I think it’s great that you took the time to step back and came up with a healthier writing schedule. I know how tough it can be to come up with fresh content, so kudos for taking a much-needed break!

    I can’t wait to see where your blog goes as well. :)

    I’ve gotten way more into blogging this year than I thought I would. I’ve been writing for just under a year and hoooly crap has it been awesome. I can’t imagine doing it for 9 years like you!

    As far as what’s going on in the Picky Pincher realm, we just started our kickass debt repayment plan. We’re tackling $65,000 of student loan debt in 18 months–if all goes according to plan. I’m incredibly excited to get that monkey off our back and start building positive net worth.

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      NICE!!! You tell that debt who’s boss :)

  25. Maggie @ Northern Expenditure December 12, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Welcome back, J! Those are all REALLY EXCITING changes ahead! Congrats on figuring out what works for you.

  26. Fiscally Free December 12, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Welcome back!
    Sounds like you’ve implemented some good changes. I’m excited to see where things go from here.

  27. Paul December 12, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    I’ve been super bored with the internet for the last month. Coincidence, I think not. Next time sabbatical beers are on me, if you are still in MD that is… love this part of the post: “At least when you fail it means you’re fighting for something important!!” this is the whole reason I stepped out on my old company to work for myself. Not only was it an immediate 65% increase in pay, my new ceiling is the height that I make it. We control our own destiny. The irony is by being afraid to fail you will never succeed.

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 9:59 AM

      Haha… I’ll leave a cooler outside my house and you’re welcome to fill it up anytime you wish :)

      1. Paul Burckhardt December 13, 2016 at 3:23 PM

        I’ll fill it up but you might dissapointed with whats inside…lol.

  28. Primal Prosperity December 12, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Yay, your back!!! I’m with you… I can’t do the whole ‘retirement’ thing. I financially freed myself from the corporate world before I found any of the FIRE blogs, but I would never really consider the word retire. Does a successful musician or writer stop their craft when they become financially free? Not usually.

    On my website, I refer to being FIRE’d up in a different sense: Freedom, Intellect, Resourcefulness, Enough:

    Freedom: This is more than just financial freedom. This is freedom from physical attachments and emotional limitations. Freedom from societal expectations. Freedom from needing external rewards and validation. Freedom from needing titles and labels. Freedom to be authentic.

    Intellect: Most people who have high intellects crave autonomy and creative freedom. Intellects never “retire”, but rather they want the option to reduce the “busy-ness” of their careers and be able to have time to amuse their curiosities and ponder… which is essential to create meaningful outcomes.

    Resourcefulness: Resourceful people are creative. They get more satisfaction out of what they have done, rather than what they bought. This is not really being frugal, but rather this is being self-reliant…. resilient…. sustainable…. self-actualized.

    Enough: This story sums it up…  At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller said, “Yes, but I have something he will never have: Enough.”

  29. Amanda @centsiblyrich December 12, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    So great to see you back! I’m loving the forums and everything you are doing!

    I’m so happy you decided to take the leap with the Community Fund, despite the frustrations! You are doing a WONDERFUL thing and I’ll always be happy to help in whatever way I can.

    Thank you for all you do. Your excitement about the future and your projects is contagious! :)

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:15 AM

      Thank you Amanda :) You’re always so encouraging to me and my projects and that really means a lot. Especially during those times I’m wondering what the F I’m doing!! I always think the general *idea* i have is decent, but sometimes (most times) it relies on the executing which I’m not always decent at haha… But as we chatted about yesterday, sometimes you also just have to get stuff out the door the best way you can, and I’m so SO happy we did that with the Community Fund idea this month. Thank you for being a part of it!!

  30. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes December 12, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Ah, welcome back J$. Not having you around was like not taking a shower for a month — Filthy and uncool!

    Seems like you had a very productive sabbatical! I still haven’t signed up for the rockstar finance forums yet, but I’ve been lurking (and meaning to finally sign up).

    The new schedule sounds great, can’t wait to see it in action!

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:18 AM

      Haha… compliment of the day (year?) right there ;)

      Thank you sir.

  31. Bill @ Wealth Well Done December 12, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    I liked these two comments so much that I stopped to print them half way through the article so I wouldn’t forget: “It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb, rather than half way up the one you don’t.” And, “If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a no!”

    The most successful people in the world say no to almost everything. I have found, if it doesn’t help me find my ultimate purpose in life, and bring me joy in being alive, I just don’t want or need the experience. These are the decisions that inspire the best stories when I write at Wealth Well Done. Because that’s ultimately what life is about: pursuing the adventures to find happiness and meaning, so we can find our purpose and live our dreams. Thanks for the quotes that will help me continue on the journey I am on.

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:21 AM


      I’m typically not much of a quote person (I mean, I like them and read/share them often), but something about those two there SUNK IN and actually started changing my behavior. Which is a pretty powerful thing.

      So I’m glad it looks like it’ll affect you the same too :) Even just printing them off caused you to take action – yay!

  32. Mr. PIE December 12, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Welcome back dude!

    Fully understand why we all need to take a step back now and again ,reflect what is important to us and then march relentlessly forward with a cool plan. Sounds like you have a number of things figured out and are itching to get at it again !!

    Keep on doin what ya doin!!

  33. Paul @ ABL December 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Sounds like the time off built a broader and stronger foundation. Looking forward to seeing the same passion but one a larger scale and with more leverage. Good to have you back!

  34. Gary @ Super Saving Tips December 12, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Welcome back! So many exciting updates…glad you’ve got a plan to handle them all plus have a life at the same time. Can’t wait to see more!

  35. Kim December 12, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    My have you been busy! That’s some juicy, awesome stuff you’re doing. I was almost overwhelmed reading it. One thing I love, love, LOVE, is how you’re reaching OUT instead of in. The expansion is palpable, but in a really, really good way. So glad you’re back…and staying. P.S. I’m a clown (yes, I was reading) :)

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:23 AM

      Thanks friend :) It didn’t even dawn on me *just how much* I had accomplished during my break until I started writing it all out here. Which is crazy cuz I could have done most of this ANY MONTH I wanted, yet always had an excuse not to.

      But not anymore! Time to follow those dreams and go all in, baby! And I so SO hope you’re doing the same too! You got so much soul over there – gotta let it shine to everyone! :)

  36. Mrs. BITA December 12, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    Glad you’re back!

    Oh and nice work getting other folks to do the blog stuff you don’t enjoy. Well done. When everyone gets to play to their strengths magical things occur.

  37. Done by Forty December 12, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Lots of big changes! Those are always good signs, in my opinion. It’s when you look up and realize things have been the same forever that you need to worry.

    One thing to add to your list: help me sell out my blog. :)

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:24 AM

      HAH! As you can already see, I’m not that good at selling out my stuff :) Only *portions* now, haha…

  38. Stefanie O'Connell December 12, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    SO many exciting updates. I love the ladder quote too, and I think it draws attention to one of the biggest problems of traditional SMART goal setting – lack of greater vision.

    It’s all well and good to set measurable, attainable goals, but if they’re not ultimately bringing you where you want to go, who cares? I don’t want to pay for house in cash only to realize I actually want to be a digital nomad for the rest of my life, much like I don’t want build a business characterized by tasks I don’t love doing.

    Stopping to create space and consider the bigger dreams and goals is something I don’t think we do often enough and I’m glad you’ve carved out the time to make room for that. It’s so game changing.

    Congrats again my friend. Love following along!

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks Stefanie! Been enjoying your journey over the years too – and even more so since you’ve been making appearances at FinCon so we can see you in person :)

      Congrats on all your successes lately!

  39. Linda at Brooklyn Bread December 12, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Kind of laughing because there’s a lot of talk about taking it a little easy and enjoying the fruits of your labor and then multitudes of plans and projects in the works! lol, but seriously it sounds all good and like you have figured out how to run your life and not let it run you. Very cool trick. Forums are awesome!

  40. Go Finance Yourself! December 12, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Welcome back! I recently stumbled across your website and have enjoyed reading it as well as Rockstar Finance. Glad you’re going to be back posting on a regular schedule!

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:27 AM

      Dude – your blog name is HILARIOUS! Love that!

      1. Go Finance Yourself! December 14, 2016 at 7:59 PM

        Thanks! Yours is great too!

  41. Andrew December 13, 2016 at 1:08 AM

    Welcome back! Can’t wait to see the blog directory as I’m already loving the forums!

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:27 AM

      Soon my friend, soon!

  42. Chris @ Mindful Explorer December 13, 2016 at 2:45 AM

    and have some fun

    I think you have it all figured out and will be just fine.
    Well done J.Money , very happy for you taking the time to step back and do what makes sense.

  43. Lisa Hoashi December 13, 2016 at 4:12 AM

    Congrats on taking a sabbatical! You know I’m a fan. Excited to see what you’ll do with this new energy. My only recommendation for next time is to take a longer one, and do something totally random that interests you but you never have time for. :)

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      Yes, you are 100% correct. The one thing I would have changed would have been to carry it over into December too and the holidays and come back in the new year.

      But I was too much of a wussy :)

      On the plus side, i did work on all the stuff that interests me but didn’t have time for before! (or, didn’t *make* time for before I should say). There’s nothing random on my list currently, so either that makes me really boring OR really good since it means I’m knocking them off now? :)

  44. Liz @ Chief Mom Officer December 13, 2016 at 6:23 AM

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a very productive sabbatical from the site (and anyone that hasn’t stopped by the RSF forums yet-make sure to hop on over). Looking forward to the new schedule and the guest posts!

  45. Jason December 13, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    Good to see you back and writing. Going to head over to the forums now and do some more in-depth checking. We need more forums. MMM’s blog and yours are some of the only spots out there that have them.

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:34 AM

      Yeah, there used to be a lot more back int he day but they kinda fizzled out… i can’t go into MMM’s or else I’ll get sucked in and/or feel bad about not being so damn frugal haha…

  46. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials December 13, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Welcomeeeeeeeeeeee back J! I would say we missed your smiling face, but I think we interacted MORE whilst you were on your sabbatical :P

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:41 AM

      Truth :)

      And I want it to remain that way FOREVER.

  47. Chris December 13, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    I’m really happy for you that you were able to take some time to think about all of this. I always go back to the Ferris Beuller quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once-in-a-while, you could miss it.”
    I am certainly inspired by your ability to take stock in everything and really think about what it is you want in life.
    In Tim Ferriss’s new book Tools of Titans, he talks about 17 questions that changed his life. One of the questions is, “If you had $10 million, what would you do?” In other words, if you had enough money to do anything, what would you do? If we can spend time thinking about that question, we can eventually get the answer to what will truly motivate us, maximize our potential, and make us happiest. You got to think about/answer this question with real-life implications! It’s easy for me to say from here, but how lucky are you!!!
    Anyway, I sincerely appreciate you bearing your soul and sharing your thought process. You always keep things authentic, and I find it extremely refreshing.
    Cheers to you on the next steps on your journey!

    1. J. Money December 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM

      Thanks Chris – truly appreciate that.

      And truthfully, having such an outlet like I have here has PUSHED me to think and learn more about all this stuff. I had always been floating through life towards no particular goal and not taking ownership in anything, so all this stuff is relatively new to ME too. And it helps being somewhat anonymous too as you tend to bare more :)

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

  48. Rachel December 13, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    I’m so glad that you got some much needed time off to recoup and recharge your project batteries! But…I’m also really glad that you’re back! I missed your 2-3 weekly posts sooo much! I didn’t realize just how much I had come to enjoy reading your blog and “listening” to your fun, upbeat, and inspirational self! I should have checked out the forums, so I will definitely do that now!

  49. Ms. Montana December 13, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    I love SO much of this! Now that we have wrapped up our year off, it’s been a process of saying: What work do we love the most? How much do we want to work? How do we want to spend our time? What kind of impact do we want to have?

    What is FI good for if you can’t custom pick the very best for our short time on this hunk of dirt? We never had much interest in “retiring” as there are just too many cool things we want to do. We want to build and create and make a difference. We just don’t want to worry about paying our bills!

    I’m so excited for your new direction! And both of those quotes are in my “favorite list!” Along with: “Take great care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.” George Bernard Shaw
    Lifestyle design at it’s best. =) And I am super happy you are back to blogging. Your absence left a noticeable gap!

    1. J. Money December 14, 2016 at 9:54 AM

      OOOh – now I’m adding that quote to my list! good one!

  50. LIsa O December 13, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Welcome back J$! I was so happy to see that you are back, rested but full of ideas. I missed your writing & take on life while you were out! I did creep around on other bloggers but no one compares to you my friend!!!

    Looking forward to seeing all the new stuff!

    1. J. Money December 14, 2016 at 9:46 AM

      Thanks for making a guy blush over here ;)

  51. Jeff | VTX Capital December 13, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Welcome back, J Money. Your voice was missed around here and I’m glad to hear you have some interesting things in store for 2017.

  52. Full Time Finance December 13, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    Welcome back. The new schedule sounds like a good idea. While I have a plethora of ideas now I can’t imagine how I’d find new ideas after 9 years. I really like he new forum by the way, very entertaining.

    1. J. Money December 14, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      Rock on – thx! Yeah, its rough sometimes getting excited about stuff to write about (I can only write when I’m excited – another hard hurdle! haha…), but fortunately taking a month off created a bit of an idea back log :)

  53. Fruclassity (Ruth) December 13, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    I love your solution of partnering with the Nate and Han. So smart to arrange your lifestyle “selfishly” as you call it. Ironically, it will allow you to help others more than ever. Here’s to putting yourself out there and succeeding wildly! All the best : )

    1. J. Money December 14, 2016 at 9:36 AM

      Thanks the plan! :)

  54. Natalie @ NatalieBacon.com December 14, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Glad you’re back, Jay! Can’t wait to read more of what you have coming up! Sounds like your soul searching has certainly paid off!

  55. EL December 14, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    I thought the sabbatical was going to last until the new year, but I guess your back. (Maybe from the future who knows-Ha) So you sold minority stake nice, need help investing the dough? I only charge .5% -less than vanguard. Stay pimping J.

    1. J. Money December 14, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      I SHOULD have extended it to the new year! haha…. The new cash will be going straight to our anemic savings – no extra investing for a while! It’s safety time as we build out stuff and take on more risks! :)

  56. Free to Pursue December 15, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Gah! I don’t know how I missed this post! Yeah for sabbaticals. I highly recommend them for the exact reasons you stated. Each one I’ve taken has paid off big time in both life satisfaction and considering/pursuing new directions.

    Reading the top of this article, I couldn’t stop grinning. I’m SO HAPPY for your four epiphanies. THAT’s why successful people are successful. Pivot in the directions you want and the rest comes together. LOVE IT! You be you J$…U2U (good idea for a T-shirt, eh? ;)

    1. J. Money December 19, 2016 at 6:17 AM

      Thank you Helene!!! So glad to have you as part of our team too – you’re KILLING those book reviews!!!

  57. Financial Samurai December 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Welcome back! That’s a pretty cool deal by partnering up, selling, and getting some development expertise. Yakezie.com is broken since it hasn’t been up updated since 2009! Can’t even upload an image haha. But, I just keep publishing there every so often, collecting some passive income, and building some links.

    Man, I’m afraid to launch my forums. Feels like so much work. Don’t wanna do it as I’ve been sitting on it for months now!


    1. J. Money December 19, 2016 at 6:13 AM

      I hear you on both accounts! Haha…

      I will say this though, once the forums get going you can tell who the super fans are and they make great moderators helping the convos flow better. So while it can be a lot of work to get going/maintain, over time your users can help out a lot with it as well. In fact, if I recall Mr Money Mustache didn’t even start – or manage – his own forums! His fans offered to create it for him and he let them at it… And you can see how smart of a call that one was :)

  58. ZJ Thorne December 15, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Welcome back! I’m excited for your re-focused efforts. I think stuff is about to get really interesting around here.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      That’s the plan!

  59. Mr. RIP December 21, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Welcome back Jay, we were all so scared :)
    I second your plans and as your doctor secretly told me “be sure he takes his pills…” wait, no, wait, delete last sentence!

    long live to the (rock)star!

    1. J. Money December 21, 2016 at 1:53 PM

      hahahha…. can never have too much humor in life :)

  60. Millennial Money January 10, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    Good vibes all around. So much positive energy in this post. Very motivating. Keep grinding.