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J. Money Is Alive! And He Launched a New Curation Site… All-Star Money!

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He’s back! The infamous J. Money who started this sexy blog over a decade ago has emerged!

And he’s here today to tell us all about his new project that launched last week — All-Star Money — as well as what the heck he’s been up to the past nine months!

Below is my Q&A with J. Money which covers some work stuff, personal stuff, and other random things. But if you’ve got a question for him → just slap it in the comments below and he’ll reply!! Now is your chance to ask this legend anything!!

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JOEL: Duuuuude, welcome back! How’s semi-retired life? What have you and the fam been up to!?

J$: Helloooo!!! Feels good to be back! And really surreal being interviewed on my OWN blog which really isn’t my own blog anymore, haha… (though not as weird when I first interviewed myself 12 years ago! ;))

But yes! Things are well!! The babes are safe and not really babes any more (2, 6 and 8!!!), my wife transitioned to full-time teleworking since Covid and loves her job (which is good because I’m never having a “real” one again, lol), I’ve crawled back into productivity again after taking a break for most of the year, and my 2 year old dog is probably the happiest of all constantly being surrounded 🙂 

But BOY DO I MISS COFFEE SHOPS!!! And seeing people!! And even waiting in long ass lines to pick up my kids from school! Haha… But you know, the least of the world’s problems…

JOEL: Must feel weird not blogging anymore, after doing it almost daily for an entire decade. Do you miss it? Tell us how you really feel… 🧐

J$: I don’t miss it all. Is that bad?! I miss the *thrill* of seeing something I’ve created and all the good people and community here, but the “writing thoughts out” part I don’t ever think about at all. 

I used to be SOOOOO real and raw and didn’t give a crap about what people thought, but now all I want as a 40-year-old is peace and happiness! 🙂 I’ve lost that edge to make writing interesting so I’d suck as a blogger now, lol… And I certainly don’t crave attention like I did back in 2008!! 

Which actually makes this new gig of curating again so awesome. Not only do I get to stay in the community I adore so much, but instead of blasting out my own thoughts all the time, I get to blast out *everyone else’s!* And get paid for it! All the while staying behind the shadows and being stealthy.. It’s a dream job for this old man, and I gotta give a shout to The Motley Fool crew for not only giving me this opportunity, but for believing I can pull it off again and not allowing me to slip into the ethers of retirement, lol… So thank you, Fools!!

JOEL: So, what’s this new site about — All-Star Money. How is it helping the world?

J$: Yes! It’s great, and sooooo much cooler than what we originally had planned. It delayed us a few months, but for what we launched with and where we can take it, it was totally worth it.  🙂

You can find it here – AllStarMoney.com – and in a nutshell it’s a curation site similar to Rockstar Finance back in the day, only in a much prettier package! We scan over 1,500 personal finance blogs a day, and then feature our Top 3 favorite articles on the homepage (and in our daily newsletter) in hopes it helps people get inspired and improve their $$$.

We cover everything from budgeting to FIRE to investing to minimalism and all other everyday decisions to best maximize life, and similar to Rockstar we watch ALL bloggers, big or small, and totally independent of race, sex, preference, location or any other factors that may limit someone’s reach.

If an article is GOOD/juicy/helpful/entertaining/thought-provoking – we’ll feature it!

Someone once commented years ago that it’s like “a museum for the best financial articles” and I’ve always thought that was a great way to describe it 🙂

JOEL: My friend just started a new FIRE blog last week. Can you read and promote her stuff? 

J$: Haha… Sure!! Every blogger produces a gem or two at some point! 🙂 And actually the BEGINNER bloggers are usually the best because they haven’t been jaded by SEO or monetization or negative feedback yet and are always SUPER creative!

So tell your girl to submit her blog! → allstarmoney/bloggers

And that goes for ANY bloggers reading this so we make sure we’re following you… Just so long as your site is mostly financial or relating (minimalism, lifestyle design, etc.. We’ll also have opportunities soon for freelancing gigs, connecting with the media, and a bunch of other collaborative and sponsored projects. And of course, the Motley Fool is always looking to acquire new blogs too, so if you’ve ever considered selling your blog and even continuing to write for it! (the fun parts!) be sure to give them a shout.  😉

Here’s what my transition out of the blog looked like for any new readers here… Honestly couldn’t have asked for a better process. (And before you ask – I don’t regret it an ounce!)

JOEL: So cool! What else can we expect in 2021? I heard a rumor you were gonna make some video blogs or something…

J$: You know, at some point last summer we were producing 4-5 of them a week as we got rollin’, but then w/ the website changes we were making and the realization I accidentally gave myself “a job” again, haha, we decided to hit pause and focus on getting the MVP out (minimum viable product). That said, we still have all those videos in the archives and will be reviewing all ideas again now that we’re live, so you never know what’ll come out of it. 🙂 

Some of the things 100% on our radar are better customization of newsletters (what if you can import all your favorite bloggers in there so you just get ONE main email every day instead of 13?! (Shout out to my partner in crime, Nate St. Pierre for this one!)), expanding into all the other “social” channels out there instead of only focusing on blogs all the time (so old school now!), and a slew of other items to better expand what we’ve already proven a decade ago… It would be super cool to have another community component too like we used to have with the Rockstar forums, and maybe even our own mini conference to party like it was pre-2020 again. 😂

So we’re definitely brewing on things!

I’m also still rockin’ PF Swagger that’s basically a curation of financial merchandise, so if you’re ever in the need for kick ass shirts or stickers that spread the financial gospel, be sure to check it out! You can wear cool $hit AND support the small businesses in our community! 🙂

PFSwagger.com/

Here are a few of the recent collections to the site (click image to checkout):

JOEL:  BTW… I never got a chance to thank you for handing over this blog to me during the shittiest year in recent history. How generous of you. 🤦‍♂️ Just kidding… I guess my question is: A lot has changed over the past nine months in personal finance → What new trends are you seeing in the PF blogging world and what does the future look like for the FIRE movement?

J$: HAH! I was actually thinking about that the other day! What a crazy time to be writing about money, especially when so many people are suffering all over the place 🙁 So I definitely admire the crap out of y’all as I’d be so self-conscious now! But of course the show must go on and people will ALWAYS need good solid advice no matter what’s brewing, so I am glad to see people are still writing and sharing their ideas all over the place like yourself. It’s been especially interesting reading about meme stocks and bitcoin and Lord knows what else is sitting on the horizon! Haha… So at least I didn’t leave you with a total mess. 😉 

As for changes in the PF community, it’s honestly a lot of the same stuff that was happening 8 years ago when I started curating – and even decades before that as well! Money doesn’t change much, though you do see more EXTREMES being passed around the media more – specifically with FIRE – and blogging monetization has gotten pretty bad where I can’t even READ some blogs anymore without ads being smacked in my face left and right! But overall I’d say it’s a net gain with both advice and all the financial movements that’s since popped up. 

There’s also a ton of sites and communities now focused on minority money and LGBTQ+ money and female empowerment money and a host of others that weren’t around nearly as much 12 years ago when I first came onto the scene. All of which adds so much more value and connectivity in our space which is awesome to see! So the PF world is expanding more and more, and I’m sure it’ll only continue doing so. 🙂

JOEL: Will we be seeing you at FinCon in Austin this year? You still rocking a mohawk?

J$: You will! So long as I can get my shots in! I love my online family but won’t dare hop on a plane until we’re all shielded up from that Evil C… What a jerk it is!! 😉

And – I still have the ‘hawk, though it hasn’t seen the light of day in approximately 10 months… What’s the fun in spiking it up if no one can see it?! And I’m not hating on the savings from it either, haha… I swear we’ve already saved $300 in hairspray alone!! Someone stop me!!! 😂😂

Here’s basically what I look like every single day, only picture a million kids running around me and asking a billion questions:

(Me and my (only) girl)

JOEL: Sorry if this is rude, but I got to ask… How’s your Net Worth doing? Does it start with a number 2 yet!!? It’s OK if you don’t wanna answer, but people ‘been asking!

J$:  Rude?? Come on now! If you can’t share $$$ here where the hell can you?! 🙂 Though while I can tell you the #’s are climbing compared to where they were upon my disembarkment, sadly I gotta keep my promise to not disclose the actual #’s like the heyday of yesteryear.

That said, I updated the old graph to give you a better idea:

j. money net worthNo 2 in the number, at least out in front, haha… but yeah – can’t complain. All the work of Past J. Money continues to pay off while I’m lazying around! And while I have since diversified a little bit by adding in some bond and international flair to the mix (VTIAX, VBTLX) we’re still 100% into index funds. No GameStop or Bitcoin for this guy!! How boring!!

Oh, and we’ve also now got our wills AND trust completed!! I’m turning into such an adult!!! 😉

In other random news, I’ve also started a few new habits I’m proud of in my never ending quest for self-improvement:

  • I’ve cut down my coffee intake to only ONE cup a day! (*Gasp!*) – basically just to see if I can do it and not die – and I’m still alive!
  • I’ve started doing laundry for the entire family EVERY SINGLE DAY! – I found out my wife REALLY doesn’t like doing it, so in an attempt to be a better husband I’ve taken over such things and oddly enjoy it?
  • And then one I’ve recently just started last month: I’m now making dinners every Friday! – which may seem lame to those cooks out there, but as someone who’s never really been good at it  – or enjoyed it – I’m forcing myself to try until it sticks so I can knock off even MORE tasks my wife doesn’t enjoy… I do a lot for our family, but food prep outside of PB&Js has never been one of them.

And then of course all the old habits are still engrained after all these years too… like waking up at 5am on weekdays, not opening up my laptop on nights and weekends, drinking plenty of water every day, and a number of other smaller – yet super impactful – changes over the years.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you sure can make ANYTHING a habit if you care enough to! And that very much includes financial habits as well. I think we’re on year 11 of maxing out our retirement accounts, which that alone would give you a million dollars over time!! It’s not fancy!!

JOEL: Well, I gotta say, we miss you dude. Welcome back and we look forward to watching your stuff over at All-Star Money!

J$: Thanks man! I miss you and everyone too!!! (Okay, well not you since we talk every week, but definitely everyone else reading this!! :)) And I really gotta thank you again for not only taking the reins here, but also CONTINUING THE ENTERTAINMENT as you dispel the financial nuggets on the blog… I’ve always felt it’s so much easier to learn when you’re tricked into it, and I’ve personally been enjoying your articles ever since I first saw them 3 or 4 years ago… Particularly the 5 AM ones! So please keep adding those to the world – it’s so refreshing through the madness!

And for anyone else who would like to stay in touch if we’re not already, you can find me at @BudgetsAreSexy on Twitter or sporadically sending out newsletters from JMoney.biz…. You can sign up to them here: jmoney.biz/newsletter. And then here’s my email too: j {at} jmoney {dot} biz too.

Hope everyone’s well!! Stay in touch please!! 🙂

***** 

OK peeps, it’s your turn…  In the comments below: ASK J$ ANYTHING…





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