Declining a Million Dollar Deal, and My Upcoming Sabbatical (You Won’t Want to Miss This One ;))

I don’t know what’s going to happen after I publish this (you really aren’t supposed to say what I’m about to say out loud!) but I’ve always kept things as real as possible with you guys, and I’m not about to change that now :) So hopefully this comes out okay and we’re still a big happy family in the end!


On August 8th, I started writing an article to you guys titled, “The Future of Budgets Are Sexy.”

In it I was to tell you why, after several months of soul searching, I had decided to accept an offer to sell both my sites, and, and in return receive a nice stack of cash and a cushy salary.

I still loved blogging, but the managing of the day-to-day had started burning me out, and the idea that I could keep all the fun parts while simultaneously offloading the frustrating parts (blog maintenance, marketing, monetization, SEO, making a billion little decisions) was incredibly appealing.

The vision was to merge both my sites, along with the one acquiring mine, into a “super site” – where I’d continue doing what I did best (blogging, building community) and they continued doing what they did best (growing a business, making money).

It seemed like the perfect pairing, and in theory meant I could go on blogging as usual just at a new web address. This snippet from that original draft summed it up perfectly:

“As I told my friend Nate the other day, “everything’s changing, and nothing’s changing.” You’ll still get me and all my thoughts/comments/community, it’ll just be at a different url going forward. And I hope you’ll stick with me!”

Now of course the unknown was whether you’d stick with me or not (would you have?? Be honest!! :)), but I was hopeful that you would, and therefore everything looked good on paper. And especially in my early retirement spreadsheet ;)

The deal that I got *this close* to signing?

I can’t tell you what site/company I was in talks with, but nothing’s stopping me from sharing the terms of the deal, so here they are below (I told you you’d want to read this one!).

It was a deal spanning two years, that broke down as follows:

  • $300,000 cash money up front for the purchase of the two sites
  • $120,000/year salary + 15% yearly bonus to continue writing/growing both areas
  • $400,000 in incentives if I chose to hustle more and hit outside goals/strategies

So in effect, almost $1,000,000 had I pushed myself through the two years – which of course I would have. And who knows what future opportunities could have come from it all as well… (Or the opposite – it could have exploded in our faces!)

I won’t go into the details of what my sites “are worth” because the numbers vary depending on who’s interested in them and what their goals are, but the only one that matters in the end is the one you accept. And after going back and forth in my mind for months on this one, I finally decided it was worth the shot and verbally agreed to the deal.

But this was actually the 2nd time I gave them a decision… The first answer was “NO.”

The truth of the matter was, upon first receiving this deal I politely told them “thanks, but no thanks” because my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t ready to hand over all my sites I’ve worked on for almost a decade, and I surely wasn’t ready to say that I was “J. Money who writes at”.

The fear of losing everything, and especially YOU GUYS – my online family! – just wasn’t worth the money to me. I still had to deal with my burn out and a dwindling savings account, but at the end of the day it just didn’t “feel right” so I politely thanked them, but told them I had to decline and would shout if anything changed later.

Well, something did change, because the second my heart was protected I couldn’t stop staring AT ALL THAT MONEY I HAD LEFT ON THE TABLE!

I instantly switched to “wallet mode” and began dreaming up all the things I could do if I had accepted it instead. I started fantasizing about paying off my car in one fell swoop. I started dreaming about not having to worry about money for quite some time (if ever?). I started breaking down how much I’d set aside for charity, and to my boys’ future, and especially filling back up our anemic emergency fund! And then I thought about how nice it would be to have a steady paycheck again, and a 401(k) plan, and even paid vacation days! (What are those?)

I even made a new set of pros and cons where mysteriously the pros had doubled in size:

pros cons selling blogs

The money had completely consumed me, and I had totally convinced myself that only an idiot would turn down such an amazing offer, and that I needed to call them back ASAP and do whatever it took to get the deal back on the table.

And so I did, and they were still all for it!, meaning all we had to do now was to sign the paperwork and make it official…

But (yet another) interesting thing happened at that point.

What was supposed to take just one week, turned into a waiting game of weeks, and then months, with the occasional “we’re working on it!” and “we’ll be back to it shortly!” messages few and far between.

And while I had made peace with my decision, deep down I was afraid I had let the money creep in way too far and I started doubting my decision yet again. My heart caught on too:

“What the hell are you doing, man??” – it screamed

“I thought we already went over this!”

“He’s making that $$$$!” – my Wallet piped in.

“It’s a million freakin’ dollars!”

“Well if everything explodes, he’s just lost the one thing he enjoys doing the most for a living – AND he leaves his community behind in its wake…”

“I have never lost to you, Wallet, and I don’t plan on doing so now!” – Heart threatened back

“Oh pipe down over there…” – Wallet grumbled, as he went back to taking a nap… (I don’t know why I picture my wallet being so grumpy, haha….)

The longer the waiting period went, the longer I regretted the decision (again) and secretly wanted the deal to just fall apart once and for all so I could move on.

Because the one main regret I had – more than any others – was not putting “my all” into my projects the last few years.

I had my moments here and there, and really did do my best as far as my articles were concerned, but I certainly turned it off from there and quit going after all those ideas of making my projects *better* as a whole. I felt I was only using a solid 60 or 70% of my potential, and while there was probably a million (semi-valid) reasons for it, the fact remained that I hadn’t fought for anything decent in a while.

And over these months of waiting, this loss of potential REALLY started to become a big deal to me.

Taking this deal would mean never building out a list of ideas I’ve always wanted to do, like building a platform for all of us to engage way more around money. Or my blogger directory I really wanted to get off the ground. Or even my philanthropy project I’ve been half-assing all year that I still very much want to blow out of the water w/ y’all!!

The strategy I once had of “just chillin’ and going with the flow” started to not work so well anymore. And here I was about to flush it down the toilet in order to fatten up my bank account more.

Which, again, certainly had its set of pros as I’ve clearly outlined above ;), but the question I started to consider more was “which life would make me happier?” Writing for someone else with a larger stack of cash, or following my dreams once and for all and taking a chance on the money? (And if all went well, making even *more so* down the road?)

Then FinCon hit, and everything became more clear.

Two days before our financial blogging conference, I got an explanation from the company as to why our talks had stalled out (wasn’t anything to do with me or our deal) and they were finally ready to get things moving again…

Only of course at this point I was all kinds of confused, and had to laugh out loud when they followed it with “unless you changed your mind again.” :) (Though because of the delayed talks, they stated they’d understand.)

So what I decided to do was to use this time at the conference to pretend I had turned down the deal and gone “all in” on myself, and then see how I felt when I came back.

Would I still be just as wishy-washy? Would all my fellow bloggers laugh at my ideas when I shared my vision with them? Would it convince me that I was better off just taking the money and continue blogging under new management?


  • I told my friends all the ideas I wanted to do for our community, and they loved it
  • I then told them all the ideas I had for us bloggers and our industry, and they loved that too
  • I even told them about that new philanthropy project I had started on the side, and everyone was “in” on that as well! In fact, one friend even took out a $50 bill right from his wallet and gave it to me on the spot (!!!).

To cap it all off, on the last night of the conference, I was then humbly honored with the “Lifetime Achievement” award at our industry award show.

lifetime achievement award


Only of course by this point it was obvious I couldn’t go down that route anymore, and that very next day I decided that I had to end the talks and bet it all on myself.

(It actually took three more weeks to officially do that as the company still wasn’t ready to chat, but we parted ways just last week and they were more than understanding about it all. In fact, they even offered to partner up in different ways down the line!)

So what does this mean for Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance? And what about this crazy sabbatical talk?

Well, it means that both Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance are both very much still alive and well right now, and also still very much owned by me :) Who knows what the future will hold, but for right now you’re stuck with me and it’s time to finally get all my ideas out the door! And I have a lot of them!

To do this, however, I’ll need to take a step back from writing for a bit so I can catch my breath and get re-energized again. These past few months have been emotionally draining, and after 9 years and writing 2,200 posts non-stop, it’s finally time to give myself a break :)

So for the next *month* I won’t be publishing anything new on this blog here, BUT, I’ll still very much be around and accessible online.

  • You can catch me on Twitter, Facebook any time
  • You can leave comments here still which I’ll continue to respond to (esp on this post! ;))
  • You can email me any time you want! (budgets are sexy @ gmail . com)
  • Or you can participate in any of the following projects I’ve decided to build on my “time off” :)

The three projects I’ll be building on my time off:

#1. Our new money forum!! In fact, this puppy is already live and just waiting for people to go in and start chatting :) I got it up last week so I’d have a place to “hang out” every day and still chat with y’all, and it’s the piece I’ve wanted most over the years. Come check it out!

(PS: I created a private blogging forum in there too if anyone wants to talk shop without annoying the non-bloggers, haha… Just drop me a message on this thread here once you’re logged in, and I’ll make sure you’re approved)

#2. The Personal Finance Blogger Directory! So we can all find other amazing blogs to follow! If you’re a $$$ blogger, fill out this form here and you’ll be one of the first to be featured once I publish it! (We’re going to capture a TON of great data for it, so it’s shaping up to be something cool):

#3. The Community Fund :) I don’t have anything to share with you on this part yet, but the essence here is to help give hope to all those struggling HARD with money in our community. Those deep in debt, barely able to keep up with the bills (or put food on the table), and just genuinely good-hearted people going through really tough patches. There’s still a lot to figure out, but if you’re into this sorta thing and want to be a part of it, shoot me a note and I’ll tap you as soon as we have more info.

And that’s the long and short of it :)

I had an offer to buy out my sites for almost a million dollars over two years, and declined it. Then got consumed by the money and changed my mind and accepted it! Then did some major soul searching as the deal miraculously got delayed for over 3 months, and ultimately ended up rejecting it again.

All to realize that I had to go balls to the wall on my dreams and finally use my full potential!

Time will tell if I ended up making the right decision in the end, but I guess it’s hard to fail all the way if you’re betting on yourself, right? And shouldn’t I have been a LOT more excited to take a deal than I was?? I don’t think it should be grueling, at least?

Anyways, as I started to write back in August, everything is changing, and nothing is changing.

Only this time heading in the right direction :)

See you guys in a month! Thank you SO MUCH for all your support over the years!!

j. money signature

UPDATE: I’m baaaaaaaack! What did I miss? :)

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  1. Free to Pursue November 7, 2016 at 5:31 AM

    You’re going to kill it J$. Glad you’re taking the time to hit the reset button and give your new projects a good head start. Can’t wait to see how you roll it all out. No doubt it will be EPIC!
    …and the new forum rocks!

    BTW: I keep thinking Sia’s “The Greatest” should be your theme song for November. :o)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 6:27 AM

      Thanks so much, friend! All our talks have really energized me and you were very much a part of me landing on this decision. So thank you for all the encouragement, and really just being a great sounding board! It helped calm the doubts :)

      1. Free to Pursue November 7, 2016 at 10:29 AM

        Happy to be a cheerleader. Plus, you know, when you start making decisions based on your gut and not based on stacks of cash, you’re technically on FIRE. Just sayin’…

        1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

          I think it would be more fun making these decisions while actually BEING financially free though, haha… I’m rocking the benefits without the backing!

  2. Jover November 7, 2016 at 5:51 AM

    You definitely made the right choice, but that net worth post (+$300,000) would have been a fun one to see!
    Enjoy your month! I know I’m in need of a vacation/time away from the daily grind. Hopefully going to sneak away to see family for the holidays, which is always great.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 6:35 AM

      I know!! I wanted to watch that net worth be updated too, haha… Only it wouldn’t be *as* exciting once taxes took their bite :(

      1. Dividend Growth Investor November 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

        Hi J$,

        I second Jover in that I think you made the right choice. It makes little sense to sell an income generating asset with an annual yield of roughly 25% – 33% ( 3 – 4 times profits), pay the high taxes on it, and then reinvest it into stocks that sell at an earnings yield of 4% – 5%. Plus, they want an ongoing time commitment from you, which is essentially the real moneymaker behind the J$ enterprise.

        You are better off hustling really hard for 2 – 3 years for your own account, and then just letting your intellectual property sit out there, than sell it.

        You made a smart choice by maintaining ownership of the J$ empire. This is a capital allocation decision that Warren Buffett would approve of.

        Best Regards,

        Dividend Growth Investor

        1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:49 AM

          Well if both Buffett and Dividend Growth Investor approves, I shall forget thinking about it once and for all :)

  3. Liz November 7, 2016 at 5:54 AM

    A well deserved sabbatical- good for you J Money. If that company thought your sites were worth that much of an investment, you know that they’ll be worth much more once you can give your all to your ideas. Remember – they would be expecting to make a profit over what they paid you. So if your sites were worth $1 million to them, they would expect to make much more than that over time. By going out on your own you do keep the risk, but you get all the reward. Enjoy the time off and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come back with!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 6:46 AM

      Thanks, Liz :) It already feels like a weight lifted off my shoulder just getting this post out… It hasn’t even hit me yet that there’s a whole free month around the corner!

  4. NGNEER November 7, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    Congrats on the decision and best of luck. Excited to see what the future holds.

  5. Jon @ Be Net Worthy November 7, 2016 at 6:03 AM

    Glad that everything is staying the same and looking forward to the future! You can always sell later, and it will probably be worth even more. If you sell now, what would the future have been?

    Great choice!

  6. Elle November 7, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    J, I’m just amazed you haven’t taken a sabbatical sooner. You’ve given so much to your projects and I’m so happy you’ve decided to stay. Go enjoy your break and have fun with the family !

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 6:48 AM

      Thanks, Elle :) I was always afraid I’d leave and never come back if I took a break, which is pretty ridiculous considering how much I love it all, haha… And with something more to shoot for now, there’s certainly no worries anymore!

  7. Bryan November 7, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Must have been a hard decision, but I firmly believe in following your gut. Happy I discovered your site a year or two back. Your advice and articles have been just as inspiring and helpful as learning about your personal path. It’s helped me learn more about my own financial situation and is one resource that has given me the courage and understanding to leave corporate behind and become self-employeed. I don’t know how it will turn out, but I’m following my gut too. Thanks for doing what you do!

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:02 AM

      Wowww – very cool man! Thanks so much for telling me all that – so nice to hear during this crazy phase! Keep fighting for your dreams!

  8. whiskey November 7, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Very tempting yes and understandable. There’s a saying that I really like, “LIve long enough and you’ll have regrets. Those that nag at you the most are the ones where you had a decision.” If in a month its not nagging at you then you know you’ve gone down the right path.
    Month long sabbatical…nice. Then enjoy your holidays…
    Looking forward to the forums, Ill check it out.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 6:48 AM

      Amen to that.

      Come find me in the forums and say hi!

  9. Biglaw Investor November 7, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    I’m happy that you decided to stay, but would not have blamed you for a minute had you sold everything. You’ve worked hard to build this, so if you ever decide to take money off the table, then that’s fine with me. You’ve got to do what’s best for you.

    Glad to hear you’re taking some time off (although, are you really taking time off? It sounds like you’re doubling down on work).

    Looking forward to future conversations in the forum.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 7:02 AM

      Haha, technically it’s more “work” yeah, but it’s really just more FUN :) This is exactly what I’d be doing in early retirement one day, so I’m just pretending I’ve already made it – and that my finances have too!

      (Appreciate you saying you what you did on selling everything too… It’s such a hard process to go through when so much of yourself (and your community) is intertwined in it, so it’s incredibly difficult to separate yourself from the “business” because it’s just so much more than that. At least to me… I don’t think blogging was ever set up to be all business-like!)

  10. Liz November 7, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    If I had any idea how to type out emojis on my computer, this would get so many, clapping hands especially. So happy that you’ll be sticking around on your own terms.

    On a more personal note, “I guess it’s hard to fail all the way if you’re betting on yourself, right?” just hit me right in the feels. I’m about to jump to self-employment next year and it’s nerve-racking to say the least, but what you just said has me feeling a whole lot better about it, I’m ready to start betting on myself. Thank you for your many words of wisdom over the years and I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable break. :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      Yayy!!! I’m so excited for you, Liz!!! You’re gonna have so many emotions throughout it all – even when you’ve “made it” and are stable – but it’s all a part of the game. For all the low points you’ll have, there will be equally reverse high points and they all power you through! Go get it!

  11. The Green Swan November 7, 2016 at 7:03 AM

    I bet it was challenging turning down the money, that’s a good chunk of change. I love the ideas for the new projects though. I think it’ll make your great sites even better and, like Jon said above, you’ll have the opportunity again in the future… Likely for even more.

    Keep up the great work J$ and I’ll keep following ya!

  12. Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions November 7, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    Wow – what a story! Glad it ends with you being in charge of you and your sites and taking charge of what you want your story to be! It’s only in the middle now – can’t wait for the next chapter! Hitting up the forum too!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      Thank you!! See you in there!!

  13. Jen @ Saving with Spunk November 7, 2016 at 7:18 AM

    Wow J. This is an awesome story and Budgets are Sexy & RF are going to grow so much because of it. We would’ve loved you either way but as someone who hasn’t met you (but already got my ticket to FinCon next year!) this just solidifies your character in my mind. Have a great sabbatical!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:12 AM

      Thanks Jen :) Make sure to stop me and say hi next year! I looooooove meeting everyone face-to-face like that. Strengthens our community even more!

  14. Band of Savers November 7, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Even if you had decided to sell it all I think that we would have understood. Don’t be afraid of what your readers might say, it seems like most of the time being sensitive to peer pressure makes people make dumb financial decisions. While we might love this site and the work you do I think that we will all get over it and understand when the time comes – I’ve actually been expecting the announcement for some time now, there was something that you said on one of the M.O.N.E.Y. show podcasts.

    I think that the opportunity to triple your net worth in 2 years would be very hard to turn down. But we’re glad to still have you here with us. I think this proves to everyone that you’ve achieved millionaire status at least. CONGRATS OF BREAKING INTO THE MILLIONAIRE CLUB!!!!

    Good luck Brother. And we will be anxiously awaiting your return. do you have a tentative date for that so we can set a reminder in our calendars? ;)

    Thanks for all of the work that you do.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:19 AM

      Haha, thanks friend…. yeah, the M.O.N.E.Y. show hit me smack in the middle of all my insecurities and not knowing what I wanted out of my projects anymore. I thought that podcasting could be the answer since I love talking about money – and that was literally just that! Haha… but def. wasn’t for me, at least at that time. What I’ve figured out since then is that I very much want to be a big part of this community, but it doesn’t necessarily need my face to be the center point. This is why I’m launching a lot of these new ideas over at Rockstar Finance which is for *everyone* with me just in the background running the show. I’ll still be blogging and chatting about money again – both over there, as well as here – but I need to find my happy medium which I’m hoping this time off will help.

      As for when I’ll be back, right now it’s 12/7 or whatever that Monday is in December, provided I don’t cave in and miss y’all too much :) (Another reason to get the forums up and running! I can’t stay away the entire time!)

  15. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials November 7, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Wowzas what a roller coaster! Personally I’m glad you said no. Enjoy your sabbatical and come back well rested! I’m excited for you to see what your future holds. See you on the forums :)

  16. Jared November 7, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    J$ enjoy your time off. We Americans work to damn hard. I’ve enjoyed following you over the past year or so. Whatever you decide I wish for you and your families happiness. Congrats on the award.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:22 AM

      That’s the truth, man…

      I used to think I was a bad ass for working 15-20 hour days before kids… Then I realized that was stupid because I was speeding through life!! Of course now that I work less than that my businesses/$$$ don’t grow as much, so I think the trick is working *better* than just working *more*. :)

  17. Derek November 7, 2016 at 7:40 AM


    Thanks for sharing the whole story. I can’t imagine what all this must feel like for you.

    Congrats man!!!

    Here’s to the big, bright future!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      It feels scary/awesome/chaotic/empowering and then scary about 10 more times :)

      I haven’t felt this hopeful in quite some time though as it’s the first time in YEARS I’ve decided to fight for something! Or really – KNOW WHAT I WANT to be fighting for.

      I totally get how you can have all the success or millions in the world, but still be miserable if you haven’t figured out your purpose… I certainly haven’t been miserable as I knew I belonged in this space here online, but going w/ the flow stopped working for me a while ago and I was too complacent to anything about it.

  18. Miss Mazuma November 7, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    Wow!! Thanks for pulling the curtaon on your past few months. No wonder you need a break – all of that back and forth would have driven me insane!! Then again, with all the things you’re still doing (can’t wait to check out the forum!) sounds like you’ll still be plenty busy!

    This post is EXACTLY why I have followed this site religiously since I first got interested in the FIRE movement. I didn’t comment until I started blogging but I was definitely lurking! In fact, last Friday I thanked you for your commitment to this community and for keepin it real.

    Remove link if it’s not ok. :) But truly, you have been a great inspiration to me as well as so many others. Thank you for all that you do and whatever it is (and even if you had taken the deal!!) have no doubt that many would follow your next project, me included. :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:47 AM

      Thank you so much for all of this – you are good to me :)

      I haven’t seen the post yet (or even responded to the comments from Friday since I’ve been working to get all this out), but I shall soon and will say hi!

      So glad you’ve been enjoying my projects and are now a blogger too! It’s so fun, right???

  19. Financial Samurai November 7, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    Phew! I was hoping you did not sell after I read the title, and I’m glad you did not. Can you do me a favor and ping me for some mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advice next time?! I spent my entire career looking at deals and I’ve seen so many people sell their sites for WAY LESS than what they should. Seriously man, I’ll get you more or walk you off the ledge much easier!

    Based on what I can guess on your revenue/traffic etc, this deal is a bargain for the buyer, especially depending on how the incentives are structred:

    $300,000 cash money up front for the purchase of the two sites
    $120,000/year salary + 15% yearly bonus to continue writing/growing both areas
    $400,000 in incentives if I chose to hustle more and hit outside goals/strategies

    We are in a low interest rate environment. You’ve got to HOLD ON and KISS YOUR CASH COWS every time before you go to bed! Take your revenue and operating profit each year and divided it by a real rate of return e.g. $200,000 / 3%. That’s $6.7 MILLION in capital you need to generate $200,000 a year.

    Glad you did not sell! And if you need a guest post over your break, let me know. I’ve got one!


    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:53 AM

      I know – your words always stick with me over the years we’ve known each other (6 or 7 now, yeah?) and I’ve always appreciated it. Even just last month chatting @ Fincon.

      So I promise :) The next time this comes around you’ll be one of the first to know. Thanks for the awesome offer. You’ll only charge me half for the services, right? ;)

  20. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor November 7, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing your soul-searching journey on this! I admire your decision and it sounds like you had to go through those various stages to realize what you really wanted to be doing. I’m excited to see these projects come to fruition, and I know they’ll be great. Your heart is a huge part of why people follow you. I wouldn’t have considered you a sell out for wanting that stability and the chance to focus on writing without the other distractions. But this sounds like the best decision for your creative, entrepreneurial, community-building strengths!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

      Indeed it is :) And I’ve realized I enjoy much more of the creative/building projects side than I do writing all the time. I’m soooooo slow at it! This post here probably took me 12 hours to do, haha… Thank goodness I don’t have to write another anytime soon :)

  21. maria@moneyprinciple November 7, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    Have fun and relax during your (mini)sabbatical, J. Once you’ve caught your breath and re-charged you’ll be stronger than ever; I know. And anything I can help with you just need to ask :).

  22. Retire Before Dad November 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    No shame in taking a buyout. But like Sam said, hold out for more! Glad we still have you around for the time being. Enjoy the month off getting things in order.

  23. Claudia @ Two Cup House November 7, 2016 at 8:10 AM

    Wow! It has been a real rollercoaster. I could only imagine. Kudos to you for going all in on yourself. I’m super excited about the future of your sites and I can’t wait to hear more about all these projects! :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 10:57 AM

      Yeah! You’ve seen a little about it all too from all those tech questions/scenarios I’ve been pinging you with over the year :) I’m sure we’ll be talking again soon!

  24. Mr Crazy Kicks November 7, 2016 at 8:12 AM

    Dude, nice move! A tempting offer, but I think it’s awesome you decided to double down on yourself. I dig the new ideas, and am looking forward to seeing the transformation. If anything it sounds like this experience was a great motivator for you to produce even more value.
    Best of luck and keep up the good work!

  25. Dan @ November 7, 2016 at 8:12 AM

    Congratulations on making a decision that you have been able to come to peace with! It’s flattering and reassuring to know how valuable others see you, but for what it’s worth J, I think you made the right decision. Enjoy your time off! We’ll see you back here in a month.

  26. Mrs Groovy November 7, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    I’m so happy you decided to go balls to the wall. You made the right choice for your heart. Two years in and “all that money” might have lost its appeal. Also, after all that stalling by the company and their “It’s not you, it’s me” talk, I would have started losing faith in them. And it would have annoyed me. Not enough to turn down the money, per se, but I would have suspected that if they can act so wishy-washy before the deal is done – what would they be like to work with?

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      Wasn’t entirely their fault once I heard what the reasoning was, but communication could have been stronger for sure… I should be thanking them for it though now! :) This post would have been completely different!

  27. Franklin November 7, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    Congrats executing a very tough but worthy decision. Keep in, that all that money does not belong to you as you will have a tax biill to contend with. Count on walking away with 51% and you’ll manage your expectations.
    It will also become the fuel for a “do-over” down the road. Just because you sell one business does not mean you can start another one after all of your T&Cs on this deal expire.
    Enjoy the moments that follow.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:03 AM

      Very true indeed – taxes were going to take out a chunk, although not as much as I was fearing after talking to my accountant (which reminds me – i need to let her know things have changed or else I’m going to get a bad surprise later! haha….)

  28. Justin November 7, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    My thoughts (in no particular order):

    1. Wow! (well that was actually the first thought)
    2. Holy crap that’s a lot of money
    3. I’d probably be a total sell out (seems like easy money and absent a non-compete I could always use my fame and notoriety (if I were you ;) ) to start Budgets are Sexy AF 2.0)
    4. Totally makes sense that you need a break. Enjoy. See you in a bit :)

    So folks, you heard it right here, if you want to give me $300k cash up front for Root of Good and a $700k earn out for 2 years, drop me a line :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:06 AM

      The cool part was that I *was* able to keep all my social media channels and contacts (of course) and all that good stuff, so in theory I could have just started another one from scratch and been okay, but time-wise I couldn’t manage it all so it was off the table :( At least until our 2 year contract was up – but then could I have walked away from it all and gone back in with myself?

      guess we’ll never find out :)

      1. Justin November 7, 2016 at 11:17 AM

        Never say never. :) I bet you will have a similar offer at some point in the future and you can always make the choice to sell at that point. Tough choice either way.

  29. Matt @ The Resume Gap November 7, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    The whole point of all this energy we put into personal finance and building toward financial independence is to have the freedom to do what we really want. I wouldn’t have faulted you for a second if you had decided to sell, but it sounds like that wouldn’t have been the right decision for you. Personally, I’m so glad you’re sticking it out yourself! Enjoy the sabbatical!

  30. Apathy Ends November 7, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    Quite the story and definitely a tempting amount of money to turn down

    Looking forward to these projects kicking off – will head over to the forum and check it out!

  31. Shannon @ Financially Blonde November 7, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    I am SO proud of you my friend. It’s easy to take money, it’s hard to follow your gut especially if you don’t know exactly where it’s going to lead you. With distance, though, I know you’ll regain the clarity you need. I’m not blogging as much as I used to because I’m empire building but if you need/want a guest post from me, I’d love to write one for you.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:10 AM

      Thanks friend :) I’m not going to publish anything new here on the blog even from others because it still comes with some extra work, but I may in the future! Or even for Rockstar Finance as I get things there situationed :)

      Hope your new business you’ve got off the ground is going well too!! Look at us making big moves!

  32. Brian @ Debt Discipline November 7, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    Quite the rollercoaster for you and the fam. Tough to walk away from the cash but have to trust your gut.

    Glad to know we’ll get to keep reading unfiltered stuff. Enjoy the break and time with the family!

  33. Stefanie OConnell November 7, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    Thank you for sharing this so openly. I’ve always been curious how those deals work, though I admit, I don’t know if I’d ever be able to follow through either – even for $1 million.

    This online family is a pretty special thing :) Sounds like your new projects are gonna be fab too! Looking forward!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:14 AM

      I probably wouldn’t use this example here as a “normal” buy out as I’ve never seen anyone merge a bunch of sites together before, haha, BUT you usually do get a chunk of cash up front and then some sort of salary to stay on board if that’s what you want to do (and it’s better for them of course!). Usually what happens though is that people get burned out and then just want to “sell and be done with it” and that’s when the sites usually turn to $hit :(

      Now that people are changing their blog names to their *own* names though, there won’t be much buying and selling there as it would be pretty weird on both ends :) So I’m glad you’re still happy to rock it too!

  34. Paul November 7, 2016 at 8:40 AM

    Glad you didn’t sell in a down time mentally. Seriously, 300K seems low for what you have here. I have a feeling if you go all in for a few years you’ll add a comma to that next time someone comes knocking….and at that point, honestly, who could blame you.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      Yes – there would be no thinking about it with that extra comma :)

  35. Fervent Finance November 7, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    Good for you J$. I probably would have sold out to be honest (but I also don’t know how much your sites are pulling in on an annual basis). That would put me basically at FI in 2 years or so. Excited to see what you have planned next.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:19 AM

      I wouldn’t have blamed you either :) It’s a lot of $$$!!!!!

  36. TheActuary November 7, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    You made the right choice to bet on yourself. We’re in this with you. Now enjoy your time off to recharge.

  37. Kate @ Cashville Skyline November 7, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Kudos for following your heart on this one! I have no doubt you’ll kill it on these upcoming projects and whatever the future holds for both sites. Enjoy your well-deserved break!

  38. rick November 7, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    I am glad you made were able to cash out. Unfortunately your incentives to budget so hard and work so hard to make it all work out is gone. Thus I no longer will be following you.

    Great Job

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:31 AM


      That wouldn’t actually change much for me, but I think you read the post wrong because I turned down the deal :)

      I went in to tweak it a bit more so that’s clearer though – so thx for chiming in.

  39. Mike November 7, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    I totally get the burden aspect. For me, running my blog went from a hobby to a job after a few years. It also became difficult to write new stuff once we got out of debt, so I can see that windfall of cash changing your subject matter drastically. You’re still one of the few money blogs I still follow, even if I’ve been out of the game for years!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:32 AM

      Dude!!!! Haven’t seen you around these parts in forever!! So nice to have you here, man :) It’s because of you and our early dealings that I’ve been to even make it this far financial-wise :) So I owe you some beers!! You still in the DC area?

  40. Vee November 7, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    DUDE! Isn’t this the dream of bloggin’/self employment? Time off when it’s best for you? You do you! I’m thrilled you’re taking a break (even though my expectant little fingers will find it hard not to type in for a while). Have a blast! Get a massage! Be inspired!

  41. Physician On FIRE November 7, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Dang! That’s a lot of money and a testament to all that you have done here. Although, as Financial Samurai points out, what you’ve got here may be worth even more. How great is that?!?

    I wouldn’t blame you at all if you had jumped at the opportunity to potentially triple your net worth in a couple years, but I’m glad to see you are sticking with the status quo. The new projects sound exciting, and the sabbatical well deserved.

    Thanks for all that you do — including featuring my Financial Freedom post on RSF today. I love to wake up to a steady stream of new readers.


    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      Newer bloggers are always sooooo much more interesting to read cuz y’all keep it real and are so passionate!! So I’m happy to feature lots of good stuff from the newer crowd coming through :) Us veterans put out some gems too here and there, but after a while we get pretty stuck in our ways, haha…

  42. Pellrider November 7, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    That sounds like a great deal. congratulations! Looking forward to see how your future writings are.

  43. Kim November 7, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    J$, I haven’t commented in a while, but I always read. What an amazing journey you’re on. I think you’re doing the right thing by stepping back to have a chance to breathe. Looking forward to all of the great stuff in the future!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Thanks Kim! I hope you’re finding a $hit ton of change under your cushions :)

  44. Lisa O November 7, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Wow! You not only talk the talk but you walk the walk….Congrats!

    You do a great job at inspiring others with your words so I am glad that you will continue after your break. Everyone needs a break now and then. I just got back from a 2 week vacation to Ireland the first two week vacation I have ever had in 33 years of my working life. It gives you a new outlook on life to forget what day it is and have nothing but time.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:39 AM

      Wowwwww good for you!!

      And way to make it a GOOD vacation too like that :)

      Looks like we’re both figuring out how to be adults! Haha…

  45. ESI Money November 7, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    Wow. Good for you!

    Let me know if there’s any specific help you need along the way.


  46. Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. November 7, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Wow, what a surprise!

    Regardless of what you choose now or in the future, J, you’ll always have a place here with everyone! :)

    And THANK YOU for everything you’ve done to help me. I’ll never forget it! :)

  47. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes November 7, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Great post J. Money. You’ve been hinting at changes recently, so for awhile there I honestly did think you sold-out!

    Great story, and great inspiration to keep doing what we love!

    Enjoy the sabbatical!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM


      I got your email starred from the other day btw – my goal is to respond to everyone this week and get to inbox-zero!

      (but to give you the quick answer – nothing to do with your writing at all, just haven’t put you in my RSS feeder so I can watch articles flow through!)

  48. Debbie November 7, 2016 at 9:24 AM


    I can’t tell you how my heart dropped when I read that you were selling the site. I dropped my phone and almost didn’t finish reading the article in the email. So glad I did. I’m a daily reader of your budgetsaresexy site, and I just love it. So glad you didn’t sell out! ;)

    Thank you for all you do, and I hope you enjoy your sabbatical!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:43 AM


      Apparently some people DID stop reading because I’m getting comments about selling it all :) Def. no plans on that for quite a while, but it’s good to feel loved from everyone! Since my wallet isn’t showing me any right now!

  49. Ms. Montana November 7, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    I’m all kinds of happy for you! Happy you got a great offer. Happy it clarified your vision. Happy you are so excited about the new options. And super happy you are taking a month off!!! I can’t wait to see all the cool places you take these spaces. =)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:49 AM

      Thanks MM :) You’re quickly becoming one of my favorite new $$$ bloggers out there, so keep putting YOUR heart into things too!! It’s brilliant.

      1. Ms. Montana November 7, 2016 at 3:58 PM

        You are so kind. I’m going to start giving my baby a mohawk after my favorite blogger. =)

  50. Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Even though I knew 90% of those details, I loved reading the whole story in its entirety! And I know I’ve said this a dozen times before, but I really am so proud of you, friend. I would’ve supported your decision and followed you no matter where you went, but I am SO excited this is the route you’re going. Your energy is infectious, so I’m sure everyone can get a sense of how excited you are for what’s to come… but it REALLY IS going to be amazing. Your ideas are finally coming together. The future starts now. :) xoxo

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      The future starts now!!!

      And you’re gonna be a big part of it too! :)

  51. Tonya@Budget and the Beach November 7, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Although I’m sad it’s an end of an era (kind of) I think in the end you always have to do what is right for you. That’s a sweet mofo ass deal man! I just wrote about change and how we fear the uncertainty, but along with that comes the possibility of letting people down, which is sounds like that was part of your decision, or non-decion. But no one can walk in your shoes, and you’re too damn likable to get mad at anyway. :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:48 AM

      Awww, thanks friend :)

      Not going anywhere now – y’all are stuck with me for a while!

  52. Laura November 7, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Wow — what a post! I got a little sticker shock (or whatever the opposite of sticker shock is — check shock?) when I saw those numbers, so I can’t blame your wallet for arguing hard in favor of selling, but I’m glad you were able to follow your heart. Super excited to see where things go, and very interested in hearing more about the Community Fund as that develops!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:52 AM

      Putting your name/email on my list to ping once we’ve got something to show! :)

      Glad to have shocked you into something new today, haha… It’s still shocking to me that a blog about your thoughts could even amount to *any* money someone’s willing to part for to own it – hah!

  53. Logica @ The Land of Logic November 7, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Wow, so much going on in this post. Thanks for sharing all your thought processes and for staying with us all.

    I’ve enjoyed reading here for several years and finally got the nerve up to start my first blog. So I’ll have to make some time to check out your new forum :)

    Enjoy your time changing things up and we’ll look forward to hearing all about it later!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      Welcome to the community!! We’ll hook you up in the forums :)

  54. ChooseBetterLife November 7, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Congrats on your successes and the lives you’ve changed. Enjoy your well-deserved sabbatical–I can’t wait to see all your new projects come to fruition.

    Don’t forget to take a real vacation too. No technology, just you, your loved ones, and nature. That will really recharge your batteries :)

  55. Full Time Finance November 7, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Glad to hear you decided to stick with it. Also good on ya for taking a much deserved break. It’s probably the logical decision as if you’d accepted the offer you’d no longer be you own boss, which I would think is part of the allure of being an entrepreneur in the first place. Looking forward to the new stuff.

  56. Ms. Liz November 7, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    I’m so glad your heart won this argument! You are the hub in our wheel and the whole community would have missed your ownership. This is a great reminder that money matters but it isn’t the only thing that matters.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      Thanks Liz :) Loved reading your bio in the Forums this morning! Thanks for coming on over!

  57. Financial Panther November 7, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    You deserve a break man! Thanks for sharing all this info with us! Really appreciate all you do for the PF community!

  58. Josh November 7, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Oh man! What a journey! And I’m SO glad you didn’t sell the site. When Jason Fieber sold, that site just went straight to the gutter. I’m super glad to hear you’re sticking around, J. As per some of the other comments here, you’ve been a big inspiration. And we all love how much heart you have and how much you put into your projects. It’s what keeps us coming back for more. ;-)

    You definitely deserve the sabbatical. Enjoy the “time off”. And I’m definitely looking forward to the other upcoming projects. Seeya’ in the forum! :D

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 11:59 AM

      Haha… good video placement ;)

      And yes – THAT is the fear when you give up control! That everything you’ve built turns to $hit! Although it’s good you can come back and start your own as Jason finally has (YAY again!):

      1. Josh November 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

        YAY indeed! I’ve certainly been following his new blog as well, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

  59. Ty November 7, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Steve Stewart introduced me to you at FinCon this year and like I told you then, it was your support of my site in my earliest days that gave me confidence and energy to keep going. I’ll always be grateful for J$ and Rockstar Finance! Consider me in on your other projects; happy to help however I can. And if you do sell in the future – hold out for a lot more! :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Thank Ty! I will take you up on that as I’m going to need all the help I can to blow this thing up! (Was a pleasure meeting you as well last month :))

  60. Amanda @centsiblyrich November 7, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Thank you for your complete honesty! I can definitely see how the offer would pull you in two different directions, but I think things happen for a reason. If the offer had never been on the table at all and you didn’t go through the tough decision-making process, maybe you wouldn’t have moved forward with this new sense of direction and energy (I could feel the energy!).

    Looking forward to checking out the forums. Enjoy your break! :)

  61. Shelly Seward November 7, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    One word… WTF… okay I NEVER swear but I think I need more coffee in me to digest what I just read. LOL I think you need to take off all the time you need after what you’ve been through the last few months. You definitely made the right decision for YOU! If they were offering you that much money then you know what a great thing you’ve got going here. It gave you the push you needed to get your own ideas out there that you had been putting on the back burner. Wow, that was a lot of zeros! BUT, you said yourself you weren’t 100% happy about selling. Money isn’t everything. Well you know that… Where would the world be without Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance?! Now go enjoy your sabbatical…

  62. Done by Forty November 7, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I remember that one time a guest blogger offered me $100 to write a post I wasn’t totally comfortable with. So, you and I are really two peas in the same pod: we’ve both given up the big payday to keep true to ourselves.

    I think you’re doing the right thing, for what it’s worth. We can always make more money, and undoubtedly will. But you only create so many cool things in a lifetime.

  63. JayP November 7, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Thanks for the honesty! I noticed that you seemed to have lost some of your enthusiasm over the past couple of months. I started to see more guest posts and the podcast separation – I had started to wonder.

    Selling the sites doesn’t always work out. There was a guy who built a following of younger investors at DividendMantra. After he sold the site it was met with a lot of anger, and the audience just kind of imploded. Think about it this way. You know how much you currently make. If someone buys it for $1M the only way to recoup that investment is to really monitize it(and quick). If you lose the personal connection and add a lot of BS credit card offers, I would stop reading. I’ll definitely keep reading now, and your projects sound awesome!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:03 PM

      Yup, for sure :)

      This deal was a bit different in that we were going to merge and i’d still be the voice at the new place, however, once I signed on the line it was out of my control and who knows what they would have done, so I’m glad we don’t have to find out now haha…

  64. Linda @ Brooklyn Bread November 7, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    In our crazy-monetized world, it’s actually pretty thrilling to see a person turn down any amount of money for whatever reason, even if only temporarily. I’m always amazed at how you manage to crank out so many posts and still manage to keep it interesting. I can only imagine how draining and time consuming it is — a break seems very well deserved. Excited for all your news and to see what comes next…

  65. Mrs. Picky Pincher November 7, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Hey J$, I love your honesty! I hope the time away is good for you. :) Sometimes you just need to rest to have the mojo come back.

    Honestly, if you wanted to sell the sites, we would all support you. I still love The Simple Dollar; in fact, because a company manages it, the site has a lot of frequent, high quality content.

    But hey, the sites are your babies and you gotta do you. As long as you’re the writer, we’ll all follow you to the ends of the Earth. ;)

  66. geckovision November 7, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    We’ll support you with whatever you decisions are in the future! Have a good break J. Money!!!

    ps…how did you not buy “”?! ;)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:04 PM


      I think you need it so that YOU FINALLY START YOUR BLOG!!

  67. Money Beagle November 7, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Glad to see where your heart led you. Good luck moving forward. Still hoping to be picked up by Rockstar Finance one of these days. I must be a terrible writer or something :)

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM

      *Makes a note to spend extra special attention to*

  68. Maggie @ Northern Expenditure November 7, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Congrats J! A solid offer like that is enough to show you how much you are really worth, until you realize (which, luckily you did) that you are worth SO MUCH MORE. Your ideas for the future are amazing. The things you’ve done already for this community and continue to do are the reasons why this community is so amazing. I can’t wait to see how you emerge from this sabbatical! And I’m *very* excited to shake your hand at FinCon17!

  69. Chris @ Mindful Explorer November 7, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    DUDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is some serious dedication and passion all wrapped into this baby of yours, I am not sure I could have stuck with it.

    Also, I barely finished reading this post as I got sucked into the new forum rabbit hole and barely got back out :) Look forward to spending more time there.

    Cheers Brother ~ keep it real

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:08 PM

      Haha… You def. win the “Best Bio” award so far :) Thanks for taking the time to check it out and join!

  70. G November 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    You’re still going to do the net worth update at the end of the month right? You wouldn’t want a gap.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:11 PM

      I’ll still be tracking it for sure, but at least for now no new publishing until I’m back in December :)

      1. G November 7, 2016 at 12:49 PM

        You can still post your end of November numbers in December when you get back.

        1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:52 AM

          True, true…

  71. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life November 7, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    I have to admit that I’m super relieved that you didn’t sell. Not that it’s selling out, but all our original PF bloggers from back in the day who did sell have drifted pretty far from the things I loved about them and I would miss you too much if you did too! <3

    But burnout is such a real thing, I'm glad that you're taking sabbatical, I hope you rest, enjoy your family and your time, and come back a renewed man.

    Now we just have to figure out a way you can keep your blog babies AND bring home a mil, right? Also I love how I can be mulling over an idea and find out that you'd already been working on it – I was pondering putting together a directory when I crawl out from under the holiday Job work, and here you are, already putting it together. *fistbump*

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 12:19 PM

      I know!! There’s only a few of us originals left – so crazy!

      though I guess when you consider it’s been almost a decade it isn’t that crazy?

      Either way – appreciate all the kind words and glad you like the PF Directory idea!! we’re going to have a lot of fun with it – i’m excited :) (esp to see all the sub groups based on ages, sex, race, etc! stats nerds are going to love it)

  72. superbien November 7, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Wow! Roller coaster for you!

    I’ll admit, I wish you took the cash. I like the idea of you having a big nest egg for your family, and getting a good salary and benefits. I want good things for you.

    I’m also unclear on how selling the site would keep you from doing those other things. Wouldn’t it free up time and money to do them?

    You mentioned 4 things:
    1) giving your all to your projects instead of half-assing them* (more time to work on them bc not doing all the blog dog’s body work, check)

    2) building a platform for all of us to engage way more around money (wouldn’t the company let you do this? I would if I were them, more engagement = mo better! You could build it into the contract.)

    3) Blogger directory (dunno what that means, but again, more time to work on it, check)

    4) Philanthropy project (more time, check)

    If you’d still write content and commented a bit if you sold the site, I’m still happy. I feel like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar went downhill as soon as it was all (GRS) or mostly (TSD) paid writers, especially as they have the same writers. If you’re still writing, I’m still reading.

    I guess this is a big old “we love you dude, take the money, you’ve earned it!”

    *Dude, this is you half-assing?! I thought _I_ had a massive ass, but you apparently got me beat!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 1:03 PM


      yeah – they would have TOTALLY let me do some of my ideas, and in fact some of them were already on their list – but it was mainly a *time* thing, as well as a *drive* thing. If I didn’t own it anymore, would I have gone out of my way to make it all happen? I’d like to think i would have, but in the emotional funk I was who knows… And time-wise it’s been taking all my energy to pump out 3 articles a week here + curate and manage Rockstar, so I was getting close to burn out without anything major changing. (Of course offloading the operational angle would have helped for sure)

      Now that I know my “why” though, my hustle meter is off the hook and now it’s time to go after it all! and it feels great!

      1. superbien November 10, 2016 at 12:04 PM

        Well, whatever makes you excited and happy. All the best to you.

  73. Fiscally Free November 7, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Whoa. Lots to digest.
    I’m very glad you are staying independent. Money is good, but being free is better. I definitely think you would have lost some street cred if you took the deal.

    I’m going to miss your posts here, but the new projects sound pretty cool. Good luck!

    It seems to me like you should look into automating or farming out some of the work you don’t enjoy on the sites. It’s amazing how economically you can have a lot of things done.

  74. Susan November 7, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you so much for all you do for us! I’m happy you didn’t sell out! Happy Sabbatical and try to do something just for yourself everyday! See you in 30!

  75. Primal Prosperity November 7, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Wow, good for you for turning down a huge chunk of cash and focusing more on purpose and meaning in your life. That is a good position to be in. I’m personally glad you didn’t sell, because there are very few money blogs that I find unique, like yours.

    Einstein says “Don’t try to be a man of success, try to be a man of value.” Which is what you are choosing. Although, he said that when traditionally success was thought in dollars alone. But for me and many others, you already embody the ideal definition of success where you are doing what you love and living life on your terms (while building a nice net worth). You’re living the NEW American dream!

    When you said Sabbatical, I was thinking much longer than a month. Have you seen She built a wildly successful site and then decided she wanted to take a break from blogging, so now she publishes ‘Real Life Minimalists’ every Monday from readers. Occasionally she will chime in with a thought or an update. Have you thought about something like that, to at least slow down the rate that you have to post in the long term? Three times a week must get hard. You could always use the summaries on the applications from your blogger directory to alleviate yourself of at least one post a week. Just a thought!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 1:09 PM

      Thanks, PP!

      (Oh wow that doesn’t sound good saying out loud! :))

      Interesting idea for sure with Miss Minimalist – I’ve been there here and there, but wasn’t following too closely. I think the big challenge anytime you take a break is how easy it is to get back into things again. Once I give myself wiggle room I tend to not go back to the older way of doing things, so I have to make sure the newer way is even BETTER or else its a slipper slope :) Although, I guess if you’re happy with the new way then it’s all good?

      We’ll see how I feel in a month!

  76. Michelle November 7, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    You definitely deserve this break! I definitely would have supported you either way and still have followed along :)

  77. Chelsea November 7, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    So happy you chose to bet on yourself, given everything that you described! Enjoy the time to re-charge and create and your loyal readers will be here to support you when you get back :)

  78. Steven November 7, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    WOW!!! I’m not so sure I don’t take the money. You essentially create an early retirement in 2 years. Anything after that you could rebuild if you choose to.

    It’s interesting that you chose to work more and go “all-in”, I think you will enjoy the experience in any direction you go. As always just an opinion from a guy sitting in a cubicle writing every once in awhile for fun hoping to retire early. I’ll like you either way my good man!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2016 at 1:10 PM

      I like you too either way, good sir :)

  79. theFIREstarter November 7, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Great to see you finally betting on yourself. Not sure I’d be able to resist all the $$$ if put into the same situation! However I’ve only been blogging part time for a few years as a hobby so it’s hard for me to imagine how attached to your sites you are :)

  80. Donna Freedman November 7, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Glad you’re still in the game, buddy. Let me know what I can do to help.

  81. Tawcan November 7, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    So glad to see that you decided to stay. Just take a look at Dividend Mantra and where it end up after the sale of the site. Don’t want budgetsaresexy and rockstarfinance to end up like that. :(

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:54 AM

      That is always the fear :(

  82. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply November 7, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Wow…I was waiting with bated breath after you tweeted that you had a bombshell post. When I first started reading…I wasn’t thinking you sold it…and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, selfishly as a reader, we see how sites usually turn out when they are sold, even when the blogger stays on for sometime. Thank you for your transparency and good luck with your future projects. If anyone deserves a sabbatical, it is you my friend. Also, decisions like these are definitely very tough, but I think everyone knows themselves and knows what the right decision is.

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      Thanks man :) Been a tough/weird/interesting ride, and now glad to unwind a bit and gather my thoughts… Today was the first day I missed a scheduled post in almost 9 years so it’s certainly strange! Though a good path towards new changes.

  83. Taylor November 7, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    I know I already told you this in person, so I’ll try not to get too mUsHy but you are a huge inspiration to me and so many others <3 Your honesty, transparency and overall kickass personality are what make the PF community what it is. Thank you for all you do :) I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE WHAT YOU CREATE GOING FORWARD.

    (Also, if you DO ever decide to sell or make any other changes, I'll still be in your corner cheering you on!)

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      You are so good to me, Taylor. I could go on and on about how much I love YOUR spirit too, as you know :) I’m so glad the internets have connected us and hope we remain in each others’ lives for quite a while!

  84. Gary @ Super Saving Tips November 7, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Staying with your heart when your wallet is talking so loudly can be tough, but I believe you made the right decision. The new projects sound amazing. Enjoy your sabbatical and recharge those batteries!

  85. Rebecca November 7, 2016 at 3:21 PM

    J, Love that picture of you with your Plutus Award — a much deserved honor!!
    I’m excited to see what you have up your sleeve.

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      Thanks Rebecca :) Was nice chatting with you the other week btw – what did you end up doing?? (email me!)

  86. Brian November 7, 2016 at 3:58 PM

    Man that would be a tough call to make. Glad you think we are worth more than $1M.

    Enjoy the time off.

  87. Mr Defined Sight November 7, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Wow man I bet that was a really hard decision. I’ve seen these type of deals go south before but I’m sure a good amount of them work out really well too. At the end of the day, it’s best to go with your heart. Enjoy the time off sir!

  88. Dividends Down Under November 7, 2016 at 4:29 PM

    Glad to hear you’re sticking around J. You may not earn quite as much, but you are doing far more good in the financial world by keeping your big sites focused on what they were built for :)

    Sounds good about the forum, we will probably sign up soon.


    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      Thanks Tristan!

      Hope to see you in there – we’re having some good fun already :)

  89. Jason B November 7, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    It seems like it was a tough decision. I believe you did the correct thing. If a company valued your sites at that amount of money right now, imagine what the price will be in a few years. Enjoy your time away. I can’t wait to see the updates about your other projects.

  90. DailyGrindFree November 7, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Enjoy your well deserved time off. Your blogs were one of the first ones I started following a few months back. I am glad you are sticking around. I am sure you made the right decision. ;-) You know how I know? Because you didn’t let your wallet or someone else make the decision for you.

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:01 AM

      Appreciate that :) And glad you’ve been enjoying the blog lately! You came at a pretty interesting time, haha…

  91. Matt @ Distilled Dollar November 7, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Awesome analysis and I’m glad it become crystal clear at the end. As other’s have said, this site and rockstar are a reflection of the value you bring to the world. Keep up the great work!!

  92. Michael @ Financially Alert November 7, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    J$, I’m so glad you decided to keep your sites! I can certainly understand your mentality of wanting to sell. One of the main reasons I sold my business after a decade was burnout and wanting transition into something more fulfilling. With your businesses, however, you get to touch so many people positively each and every day. And, your personality shines through each of them brightly!

    I’m so glad we were able to meet this year at FinCon. Now I fully understand our conversation when you were alluding to “burnout”. ;) Wishing you all the best wherever fate may take you. Trust your heart and you can’t go wrong. Enjoy the sabbatical and take more in the future to recharge yourself. Rock on, bro!!

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:03 AM

      Thanks Michael – was great connecting in real life with you too :)

      What type of company was it that you sold?

        1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:37 AM

          Oh nice – going over right now!

  93. Derek Sall November 7, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Very cool dude. I can’t wait to see what happens in the future!

  94. SavvyFinancialLatina November 7, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Wow and wow. Go get some rest. I rather not hear from you for three weeks, if it means I will keep hearing from you!

  95. Crystal November 8, 2016 at 1:05 AM

    That’s some tough decision-making right there! When you’re driven, you’ll kick the $1 million mark out of the dang solar system. I created a sign in for your forum and put both of my main sites in your directory. Way too cool, really. And good luck on accomplishing everything left on your plans in the next month, but try to work at least some free time into your sabbatical, lol). :-)

    I started in Feb 2010, have been suffering a little burnout from trying to grow two businesses at once and family loss, but your actions are an extra kick in the butt to get moving again. :-)

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:05 AM

      Awwww I hope you do get things moving again – you’re one of the originals along with me :) So cool we’re still around throughout all the changes in our life, eh?

  96. weenie November 8, 2016 at 4:50 AM

    Wow, what a tough decision to make! I’m not sure that I would have been able to turn down such a big sum. Selfishly, I’m glad that you haven’t sold as I was saddened to see what happened to Dividend Mantra.

    Anyway, good luck in your future projects and hope you enjoy your well-earned sabbatical.

  97. Team CF November 8, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    Always follow your heart, money can never compete!

  98. FBIV November 8, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Do what you love and just keep swimming!

  99. Dave @ November 8, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Congrats bro. The success comes when you have options, although I know making this decision had to have been draining lol. You are what us smaller bloggers inspire to be like. Do you feel you made the best long term decision?

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:08 AM

      Draining is putting it lightly :)

      I do feel like it was the best decision in the end. The amount of relief I felt as soon as I posted this was huge. Even if to just get the ‘secret’ out there and out of my mind. It’s now been three days in and my brain is on fire with ideas without the pressures of having to write every day (something that doesnt come naturally to me, if you can believe it).

      So thanks for asking :) And I hope you and everyone else DOES make it this far in your own blogging journeys as well! I was right where you are now almost 9 years ago and still think of myself as a “new” blogger deep down. We’re all trying to figure it out no matter what stage we’re in. Keep going!

  100. STEPHANIE GRAHAM November 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    I think you are the!!! Great story and I’m glad that you are still doing what you love! Trust me as a mogul on the uprise all the little shit is annoying but in the end its worth it!
    Thanks for inspiring me and being there for me!


    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:10 AM

      Hey friend!! Was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how things are going. Hope you’re on the up and up and getting that $$$ settled! Hit me on email sometime and let me know :)

  101. Syed November 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Thanks for sharing this J this was an epic story. Looks like there will be a lot of good stuff coming from you in the future!

  102. Lindsee November 8, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    Enjoy your month off! You deserve it and we will all be here when you get back :)

  103. Tonya November 8, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    So glad you’re keeping the sites. Best of luck on your new projects. I definitely hope your first post when you’re back in a month is your next net worth. You’re the reason I started tracking mine and I find your net worth posts motivating.

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:17 AM

      Haha okay :) I’ll make sure it’s one of the first ones if not the very first one.

      Good job on tracking yours!!

  104. Cassie November 8, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Have a fantastic time playing with the munchkins during your sabbatical. I’ll be here and ready to read more when you get back! *thumbs up*

  105. Shin November 9, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    Dude! This is a great read. Congrats on everything. Totally understand why you need some time off. Thanks for setting up the resources that we can tap into.

    You rock, J. Money!

    1. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:19 AM

      And you do too! Thanks for coming over and being one of the first members of our forum! You can say you were there when we cross 1,000,000 members later ;)

      1. Shin November 9, 2016 at 9:04 PM

        Thanks, Dude. Hadn’t thought about being in on the “Ground Floor.” :-D

  106. Krystal November 9, 2016 at 6:09 AM

    I’m glad you decided to stay. I wouldn’t have branded you a sell out, as we’re all aiming for financial independence. You’d get to cash in and still do what you love. with that being said, I live for updates on here and It’s the perfect start to my day (sorry coffee:( ). I will miss you during your sabbatical. Enjoy the break though, you deserve it.

  107. J. Money November 9, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    I’m so tweeting that out on our Rockstar channel, haha…

    “I live for updates on here and It’s the perfect start to my day (sorry coffee:( )”

    Best. Compliment. Ever.

  108. Josh @MoneyBuffalo November 9, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    What a tough decision. I don’t blame you for not wanting to at least offload the “business” side of blogging and only focus on writing and thinking new ideas.

    I am looking forward to your new forums & other ideas that you will be coming up with. Have fun during the sabbatical.

  109. Femme @ Femme Frugality November 9, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Kudos, J. Those heart/wallet debates are always hard… especially when you’ve got a family. I wouldn’t have judged either way.

    But I know you have so many plans to do so many great things. Glad that you’re taking the time off to get things set for the long-term, and excited to see what happens next! You know I’m definitely interested in helping along the way.

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:39 AM

      Thanks Femme – you’re always so supportive of my projects, and I can’t tell you how much that helps me to keep going. Will hit you as soon as I have something to show/share around our Community Fund! That’s going to be the side that’ll need the most TLC, but also the one that will also be giving the most hope to those who need it too :)

  110. Michael November 9, 2016 at 5:48 PM

    Congratulations on the “Lifetime Achievement” award! You certainly need a break, enjoy your time off. Thank you for sharing this level of detail.


  111. Personal Funance November 9, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Thanks for the honest post J. Excited for you and what the future brings. Enjoy your time away. We will be here waiting for you when you come back!

  112. DC @ Young Adult Money November 10, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    Well your blog was definitely one of the first that I read all the way back when I was working for James at DINKs Finance and was just a clueless college student. Some would say I’m still pretty clueless : )

    I’ve seen a lot of bloggers exit and honestly I love that there has been a more viable exit strategy for a lot of bloggers and it’s becoming more common to sell your site when you’re ready to cash out. I would have had a very hard time not taking the cash if I were you, especially considering how close you were to selling! Looking forward to seeing where your projects go.

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:44 AM

      Yeah dude – we both started around the same time!

      And while the market to sell blogs were REALLY hot back in the day, you’re right that there’s still good activity these days as well. I help people sell at least one or two blogs a month through my private group and otherwise, and while they’re not big deals like this one and the others we know about, it’s still good to know there are options once the time has come for you.

      I’m excited to start tracking all the blogs out there to see what the *averages* are of how long they stay alive and then go offline/sell/etc. I feel like it’s around the 2 year mark, with many petering out within the first one, but will be nice to have stats to back it up :)

  113. EL November 11, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Hey J. Good luck on the mini sabbatical as we all need it. I am taking a short break too, as I lost a parent. I don’t have the readership you have, but I truly understand a semi burnout feeling. Looking forward to all the fun things you will come up with. Keep rocking on J.

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:46 AM

      Oh damn man, I’m so sorry to hear :( My thoughts are with you guys!

  114. Paulie November 11, 2016 at 5:46 PM

    Hi J.,
    Fantastic post, what a fascinating read! It is really interesting to hear the inside terms of such a deal from a successful blogger.

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:48 AM

      Thanks, Paulie :) I’d say this particular deal is quite different than the typical ones that go down (most just sell off and then move on vs merging sites and continuing to write), but it’s still an interesting one, I’d agree! Wouldn’t have guessed I’d be going through it all a year ago.

  115. Jeff | VTX Capital November 11, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Enjoy your break, J Money. Sometimes we all could use a little one of those! So excited to hear about your projects too! They are definitely needed!

  116. Dividend Diplomats November 12, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    J Money,

    Holy freaking cow. I can’t believe the story I just read. You definitely deserve a break after going through all of that. A lot of heavy, heavy stuff going on there.

    You were right, that was a lot of money on the table. But I’m glad that you were able to make the decision about more than money. You went with what you thought was right and are betting on yourself and your future successes. Sure, working for a company would have had its pros and you definitely listed the majority of them. But there is also a reason why you chose to go down this path in the first place. There was something about owning and building your own site that pulled you away from the traditional path to begin this.

    I firmly believe if you give 100% to anything, the results will be better than you think and expect. If you have built all of this and are operating at 60%-70%, then I am really looking forward to what 100% has in store for all of us.

    In the end, I am happy to see that you are happy with your decision. That’s really all that matters. Even if you chose the other path, I would have been happy for you and not consider you a sell out. Life is too short to not be happy.

    Enjoy your time away! Looking forward to what the future has in store for you.


    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:51 AM

      Thanks, Bert – really refreshing to hear :) Life is DEF too short not to be happy! And I have the feeling that the happiness from $$$ would have soon dissipated and I’d be regretting the decision pretty hard down the line… So now it’s time to activate *hustle mode* and go after getting BOTH – money and happiness! Wish me luck!

  117. TJ November 13, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    I’m glad you’re sticking around J$. I vaguely remember e-mailing you circa 2009 when I was thinking about starting a blog. It certainly took me long enough. :D

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:52 AM

      Oh wowww, haha… What matters is that you pulled the trigger though!

  118. Pancho The Fish November 13, 2016 at 1:15 AM


    I’ve been a Budgets are Sexy fan for 7 years now and love love love that you’ve always been true to yourself. I can only imagine it was a tough call, but always keep hustlin’ for yourself and for the right reasons. Hope you do find projects to partner with them down the road, and wishing you all the continued success keepin’ it real!

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:54 AM

      7 Years!! That’s incredible! Thank you for following along that much, I’m honored!

  119. Fritz@TheRetirementManifesto November 13, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    J$, LOVE your forum, and glad to see you’re constantly asking “What If?”. I’m sure you’ll see higher offers in the future, follow your heart!

    1. J. Money November 14, 2016 at 6:55 AM

      Thanks for joining in on the fun! :)

  120. Susan November 13, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    As usual, your honesty is refreshing. I can understand why the decision kept you up at night. That’s a lot of dang money. But I’m glad things will stay pretty much the same. Can’t say how the readers would have responded. That is always the worry, isn’t it?
    All that matters in the end, is that you are good with your decision. Can’t wait to see how you kick it up a notch after your breather. In the meantime, we will be hanging in the archives. Enjoy your break! You deserve it!

    1. J. Money November 15, 2016 at 9:55 AM

      Thanks Susan :)

  121. MrMoneyBanks November 14, 2016 at 3:06 AM

    Dude! No judgement here! You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. If you wanted to take the money I understand – you built up something from scratch to track and talk about finances. Then the incredible happened -> the whole idea metamorphasised into the potential solution to the very questions you’ve been asking over these past 9 years. Good luck for everything in the future

    1. J. Money November 15, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      It is pretty amazing how things can change your life like that. Would have never guessed writing my first post all those years ago!

  122. Chad Carson November 14, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    Wow, what a journey behind the scenes! Thanks for sharing your story. I think this is a perfect example of the grind and the angst that goes on in the life of entrepreneurs. It’s no pony ride! But every time I have made tough HEART decisions like that, the next stages really take off.

    I’m 100% begind you, Bro. Can’t wait to support and follow along with your next project! The forums have already sucked me in! They are a lot of fun (and smooth to use!)

    1. J. Money November 15, 2016 at 10:04 AM

      Thanks man!! That alone has helped me “transition” better as it was one of my main goals over the years, and plus it’s just nice to stay connected even though I haven’t written any new posts! (Though I bet out of all the comments I’ve dropped already in there it would equate to 10 articles haha… so much faster/easier just letting it all flow out though vs editing/formatting/etc/etc. It’s cathartic :))

  123. canadianbudgetbinder November 14, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    The highs and lows (Yes I’m going to sell, No I’m not, Yes I am) of this post are outrageous but it clearly was a big deal and emotional at that. I’m happy to hear that you found in your heart what you needed to do. Glad to know you’ll be sticking around. Enjoy your time away mate.

  124. David @ Thinking Thrifty November 14, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    WOW! That must have took ultimate guts to turn down that sort of money, however on a selfish note I’m glad you’re sticking around. You’re kinda the Grand Master Jedi of personal finance blogging now, your disciples need you! Best of luck with all the new ventures, it really is inspirational to see what can be achieved in this game if you work hard and apply yourself 100%!

    1. J. Money November 15, 2016 at 10:10 AM

      Well, I wouldn’t blame any of those disciples for finding a new Jedi master after all this!

  125. Ten Factorial Rocks November 14, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Wow J$! Great decision. As others like DGI and Samurai have said, I totally agree with your decision. You have not only a great cash cow but also a community of trusted people who you cannot take for granted. Besides, you are too young to give this up. You have motivated me to build my own website into something tangible and valuable for others, so it would’ve sucked to know you gave up on your own dream. Kudos J$ and keep up the great work!

  126. Sarah November 14, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    It’s easy for (jealous?) onlookers to call you a sell out. Until you’ve declined a deal like this, you have no room to talk. Since you’ve actually declined a wedge of cash for your site, you’ve now qualified for being able to call others a sell out!

    Enjoy some chill out time (it still sounds like quite a busy sabbatical!)

    1. J. Money November 15, 2016 at 10:12 AM

      Haha, thanks Sarah.

      Yes, def. hustling more than ever, but all towards “growth” vs maintenance and it feels damn good so far… Already been a week off from blogging – crazy!

  127. Valerie Rind November 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Hey J$,

    I’m late to the party on this one. Thanks for sharing the details of the offer and your thought processes!

    You said “no” to this deal. It doesn’t mean you can’t say “yes” to a new (and better) opportunity down the road.

    Thanks for all you do for the PF community!

  128. Jon November 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    I’m just happy your sites are written with a keyboard and not by hand.

    Both of these websites are really good, I’d probably keep reading them, whatever you decide, until posts start to lose quality. It seems to happen quite often when good websites are sold.

  129. Millennial Money November 14, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Your platform is priceless J Money and you get to do what you love. That’s clearly worth more than anything to you! Which is inspiring. As I think you know deep down the value of this platform and network will only grow over time! And there’s more to life than money. 2,200 posts is insane! Clearly you love what you do. I’d love to see your keyboard!! Enjoy the time off. We’ll see you soon.

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

      Haha, thanks man… appreciate the support :)

  130. Mr. Enchumbao November 15, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Even if you would have sold the sites for financial gain, I’d still have much respect for you because I can tell you would continue to be a great asset to society. You’d most likely create new mediums and continue to interact with your community. But you made the right decision because keeping the site and betting on you, it’s what ultimately makes you happy. :)
    It’s also great to see that you came out of this even stronger and with new ideas that I’m all for. I signed up for the forum and can’t wait to start contributing and exchange ideas with this community.
    I can also relate to getting burned out and this is something that I try to avoid with Enchumbao. Back in 2001 I launched a Latino magazine in NYC. I gave it my all and after 4 years I was so burned out that I didn’t want to get involved with a publishing project until we launched Enchumbao last year. But now the experience feels very different. I do it out of pleasure and try not to let it consume me. I write when I want and there are times that I don’t feel like writing and then I don’t. I also only write on things and topics that I want to write about.
    Thanks to you, Enchumbao had the most traffic ever last week! The article that you featured became the most read ever! Being famous on RockStar Finance involves responding to more comments (which I welcome) so I can see how much work it must take you just to respond to all these comments. My advice to you is to do exactly what you’re just doing, take sabbaticals, take short breaks, long breaks, do whatever it takes to not get burned out, my friend. :)

    1. J. Money November 16, 2016 at 6:11 AM

      Appreciate that, man. And SO glad you got a nice spike in traffic last week! If everything goes as planned, it’ll just continue sending more and more to everyone in our blog world here which at the end of the day would make me the happiest. It kills me to think I almost gave up on it all but now we’re full-speed ahead! And love that you blog whenever you feel like it and are inspired – sounds like a wonderful way to run a project :)

      1. Mr. Enchumbao November 16, 2016 at 11:20 AM

        I can certainly run it like this for now because it’s a fun project with very low monetary compensation expectations. I know I wouldn’t have that luxury if I needed it to make a living from it. :)

        1. J. Money November 16, 2016 at 9:32 PM

          Oh yeah – it def. changes things whether you want it to or not. I remember going from the blog being a total hobby that just happened to make money, all of a sudden to needing it to support my lifestyle and having to treat it as a business at the same time. It was def. more fun as pure hobby haha… But then again, I also had a 9-5 to deal with on top of it so pros and cons :)

  131. Fruclassity (Ruth) November 15, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    I would have supported you either way, Jay – but I must admit that I feel there’s a kind of victory in your decision to say “No” to the million (ahhhh – that kind of hurts) and to keep your sites. BIG decision to go for your dreams. They’ve clearly been percolating. I love how things come about exactly when they should – “in the fullness of time” (that’s from the Bible). I’m VERY interested in your dream #3 – to give hope to people struggling with finances, and debt in particular. I’ll psyche myself up to overcome tech-phobia and join your forum too : )
    Thanks for sharing such a personal journey. All the very best to you as you ramp up for Mission Dream!

    1. J. Money November 16, 2016 at 6:06 AM

      Thank you Ruth!! I would love for you to be a part of our Community Fund! We’re going to need all the help we can get, but will be the project that does the most good :) And hopefully our forums help you overcome tech-phobia indeed, haha… it’s just a second home for our online family :)

  132. PatientWealth November 17, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Interesting! Having an offer like that is a good problem to have. Just keep hustling and wait until you get a $10 million offer. This stuff is all exponential. Also – what about Rockstar Finance – Europe. Rockstar Finance – Hong Kong. Rockstar Finance – Japan. Perhaps flip it on it’s head and instead of having someone hire you, you find like-minded peeps overseas and hire them to develop their country. China and India have billions of people and growing internet users. The sky is the limit. Thanks for sharing.

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:06 AM

      Ooooh I like where you’re going with this!!!

  133. Matt November 17, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    I appreciate the directory so much! You encouraged me to start my own finance blog. I am a college student looking to encourage other college students to manage their money better.

    If you’d check out my site, I’d be so appreciative.

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      That’s awesome man, so glad to hear!

      And SO SMART blogging while in school too. You’ll learn so much doing it and a much better use of time than some of the things I was doing back in college ;)

  134. FIRECracker November 19, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    Wow. First of all, congrats on having all your hustling pay off! That is an INSANELY good offer.

    And second of all, I gotta give you props man for having the balls to continue following your dreams. There are sometimes in life you just can’t put a price on. I’m actually really glad you walked away from the deals and will continue being yourself and running your awesome sites. Your fans (including myself) are all breathing a sigh of relief :P. So kudos for taking the difficult, more worthwhile road (IMO) rather than the easy road! Respect, man, respect. *fist bump*

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:11 AM

      Thanks FIRECracker. You know I’m loving the $hit out of your blog too, right? :)

  135. Liz November 19, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    Lifetime Achievement award! Yay! Congrats! You are well deserving, after all those effort and very informative blog posts!

  136. Doria November 20, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    First, congrats! But I want to say something a little different. I think your work is worth way more than what you were offered, tempting as it is. I think i read scrolling through that you have written 2200 blogs? How many hours did that take you to do that and build such a vibrant community? Also, you want to look at the present value of the future income and compare that with the efforts and money you have already put in. I am glad you are taking time to clear your head. Stay true to yourself….whatever that ends up being. You are an original for sure!

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:14 AM

      Thank Doria :) Unfortunately the amount of articles and *time* you put in don’t always necessarily equate to how much $$$ they’re worth (if so, i’d be rich by now! Haha…) but you’re right in that future worth will certainly be more than it is now. Especially now that I’m re-energized hopefully!

  137. Amanda November 20, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    J – what a great story. Isn’t it strange how the other party’s unresponsiveness and feet dragging paid off for you in the end (by giving you to rethink your decision?) Your closure on this reminds me of Adam Braverman on NOT selling his recording studio on the show parenthood: “They offered me life-changing money. But I don’t want to change my life.”
    This is a really impressive decision … enjoy your break and look forward to ‘seeing’ you when you’re back.

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:14 AM

      “They offered me life-changing money. But I don’t want to change my life.” – damn!!! that’s good!!

  138. Mr Zombie November 21, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Enjoy the rest, dude. It’s well deserved.

    Really tough decision. I think you made the right decision, for what it’s worth. Going at something half-speed is never a good idea, or particularly enjoyable!

    Mr Z

    (Also, huge congrats on the award you legend!)

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 7:29 AM

      haha thanks Zombie :)

  139. Bill @ Wealth Well Done November 23, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Three thoughts on this:

    1) Congrats on sticking it through 10 years and 2,200 posts. Consistent effort and discipline is what separates dreams from reality for most people. Continue inspiring people to do that. Take a vacation if you need to.

    2) I had a friend get offered 2 million for his lead-generation sites once. He turned it down, and lost 75% of them in the next year. His advice to me was: “Sell when you have the chance.” I’ll never forget that statement.

    3) The most important part of experiencing living is creating a purpose for yourself that is worth sacrificing your life to. If you have created such a purpose for yourself in these sites, then they are invaluable to you. Money cannot buy purpose. Always be a creator over a consumer. It leads to peace, happiness, mission, and purpose. All the great things life provides that money can’t buy.

    God bless, enjoy your break. Bill @

    1. Financial Samurai November 26, 2016 at 10:23 PM

      Ouch! Hopefully he still got $500,000 out of his site? Why did 75% of the business dry up?

      I used to be worried my first three years that the good times couldn’t continue. But after almost 8 years of running Financial Samurai, there really is a correlation with effort and reward. that’s all anybody could ever ask for right?

      1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 9:25 AM

        That def. sucks :(

        I heard that all the original blogs that sold for millions would never go for that these days due to a change in climate (mainly google algorithms and credit card affiliate changes), but fortunately/unfortunately my traffic/$ doesn’t rely on that much these days :)

        And very true Bill – I’ve def. found “my purpose”. Now to just become financially free and be able to eat my cake too :)

  140. Finance Solver November 26, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Wow, this post is so inspirational. Reading what you’ve been going through and how far you’ve gone. From your first job (I’ve read your post on your series of jobs that you’ve held) to where you are today. It sure took a lot of work but you’ve made your way and are helping countless people in the process. It’s very inspirational, J$. Especially to a newly college graduate! No matter what you do, I am confident that you will make the right decision. Your story almost brings me to tears ;’)

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 9:26 AM

      Aww, well thanks! So glad you enjoy reading the blog! And that you’ve started one of your own too! :)

  141. ZJ Thorne November 27, 2016 at 12:22 AM

    I love that so much of this is a good problem to have. Money on the table forcing you to figure out what your heart actually wants. The new projects sound incredible!

  142. Joe November 28, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Good luck! You’re doing awesome and you’re putting your heart into it. It’s never the wrong decision to do what you love. Looking forward to the new projects.

  143. Steve from Arkansas December 3, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    I have never seen so many comments. Obviously you truly rock, and obviously we truly love you…man!!! It’s fair to say, old like me, and young like most of your tribe, we address with you.

    1. J. Money December 9, 2016 at 10:26 AM

      Thanks man – we’re in good company here :)

  144. Elizabeth December 6, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Congrats on the offer and even more congrats on following your passion/gut/intuition/dream and sticking with what you’ve built for awhile longer!!

    So, am I the only one having trouble with the PF blogger directory enrollment? All the blanks are locked and I can’t fill any of them out…(I can click the multiple choice questions, but I can’t type in anything in the blanks…).

    1. J. Money December 9, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      Yikes – sorry! I just double checked and still works fine for me? Can you try bringing up on a different web browser, or even on mobile? Maybe it’s something funky w/ the one you’re trying?

      We’re starting to build out the infrastructure of it now, and the goal is to allow people to sign up and add/edit all of it themselves going forward. So that will solve all problems too – esp for me in manually adding everything up :)

  145. Rochelle Hagglund December 7, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    I cant wait for your return!!!! :)

    1. J. Money December 9, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      Awww, haha…

      It’ll be happening on Monday! :)

  146. Eric Estevez December 7, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Good for you man! Not many people would have bet on themselves, nothing but respect for you!

  147. JayP December 8, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    How about a mini net worth update? You can’t just cut us off cold turkey, haha!

    1. Chadnudj December 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Yes, I agree. Really was hoping to see AT LEAST a net worth update for November/December.

      1. J. Money December 9, 2016 at 6:26 AM

        All or nothing, baby! It’s a slippery slope doing something “just one time” ;)

        But don’t worry, gents. I shall return in 3 more days (woo!).

        1. Meg December 9, 2016 at 8:39 AM

          This answers my question – I’ve been checking back and waiting for your return. Hope you had a refreshing break!

          1. J. Money December 9, 2016 at 10:30 AM

            I have, thanks! Been hustling more than I ever have, but it’s all towards The Dream so can’t complain an ounce :)

  148. Mitch Mitchell December 9, 2016 at 9:27 PM

    Wow, that had to be a really tough choice! As much as I’d have loved the bid, I’d have either just sold it outright and moved on or did what you did and decided I was going to go all in and keep the blogs. The last thing I’d have wanted to do was be an exclusive writer for someone else on “my site”, which it still would have been. At least for what they were offering you; remember some years back when this kid sold his blog for $15 million and agreed to write for a couple more years? Now there’s a deal I’d have taken! :-)

    I wish you great success and I hope you’re enjoying your time off.

  149. Sarah L December 23, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    I just found you a few days ago, and had been reading older posts, when I clicked this morning to see what the new stuff was. I admit, my heart fell into my stomach when I thought you had sold your blog. Nothing wrong if you do, it’s yours, you worked so hard to make it, I just felt sad for a minute because several times now I have fallen in love with a blog, and felt like it was modivation and each time they sell, the whole look chages and the articles become recycled fluff, short and uninspiring. One I used to love, a few months after hisdeal, he divorced his wife, and guest posts turned more into which organic chocolate was the best to buy or why cage free eggs are better even if they cost more. Total disappointment.

    I’ll be enjoying reading your archives for a while! I always need inspiration. My husband is a teacher, and hasn’t had a raise for 4 years, but insurance has jumped up each year 20 percent or more, we have 2 kids, and while no debt, our cars are older, 11 and 13 years, I’ve started working about 10 hours a week til the youngest is in kindergarten and our take home is about $2400 a month. It’s kind of hard sometimes, because we can’t save as much as we want, or do as much, and there’s no forsee able increase for teachers, but we are managing to stay out of debt at least.

    1. J. Money December 26, 2016 at 6:41 AM

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog – definitely sticking around for many years to come :) Very good y’all are still debt-free too despite all the changes! It always saddens me to hear how little teachers get paid when their job is SOO important. Good for your husband for making such a difference in those kids’ lives though. I hope things get better for y’all, and you at least keep up the motivation with our blog community here! :)

  150. okcupid2 April 24, 2017 at 4:48 AM

    good, I’m glad you’re sticking around J$. I vaguely remember e-mailing you circa 2009 when I was thinking about starting a blog. It certainly took me long enough

    1. J. Money April 25, 2017 at 6:46 AM

      Hah! Cool you’re still poking around finance blogs after all these years :) Good luck w/ the new venture!

  151. The Savvy Couple May 8, 2017 at 6:19 PM

    Absolutely incredible post. We actually got directed here to something M$M posted. Glad we took the time to read this.

    It’s pretty showing what kind of individual you are for not selling your sites after an offer like that. I love the motivation you have!

    We have loved reading your blog posts for almost a year now and glad you are going to continue to do so.

    Looking forward to continuing to see your journey as your blogs continue to grow.

  152. J. Money May 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Thanks so much :) It’s been a helluva journey so far since deciding this (tons of ups AND downs!) but so far still happy with the decision! I would still like to earn that million dollars though, haha…

  153. Actuaryonfire August 22, 2017 at 6:53 AM

    Great post, thanks for sharing and what a roller coaster!

    1. J. Money August 22, 2017 at 8:16 AM

      Oh man, almost 10 months now since this whole ordeal! Love that we can go back and read our thoughts over time as bloggers :) Glad you enjoyed it!