Podcast | JMoney from Budgets are Sexy

On board the pod today is JMoney from Budgets are Sexy. Jay became a millionaire in just 10 short years reaching financial independence before the age of 40. Jay has won many awards, is no stranger to buying and selling online businesses and is full of energy! Jump on board!

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Introduction – JMoney from Budgets are Sexy

On board the pod today is JMoney from Budgets are Sexy. JMoney is probably one of the most recognizable names, or should that be Mohawks in the fire community. After a somewhat impulsive purchase of a home in his early twenties, Jay became focused on improving his finances and became inspired by what he read online, causing him to start what eventually came to be the incredibly popular blog, Budgets are Sexy. Jay became a millionaire in just 10 short years reaching financial independence before the age of 40 and reaching over 30 million readers along the way. As a result, Jay has won many awards, including 12 Industry Plutus awards, including 2012 Financial Blogger of the Year and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jay is also no stranger to online businesses having built, acquired, worked on, or sold dozens of websites over the past 15 years.

Projects Jay has worked on include his namesake blog Budgets are Sexy, as well as other popular sites such as Rockstar Finance and CoinThrill. JMoney acts as an advisor to the Plutus Foundation, consults for several fintechs, mentors and coaches other bloggers, and Jay, even brokers, and coordinates online business sellouts.

I suppose Jay and I share a few things in common. We both have ADHD, a passion for money and enjoy dabbling in some online businesses in semi-retirement.

So jump on board, JMoney is full of energy and we had such a fun chat!


Episode 48: JMoney from Budgets are Sexy

Show Notes

” I started this blog back in 2008 in my 20s with no real budget or idea what I was doing, and over the past 14 years it ended up completely changing my life, my money, my community, and quite honestly my entire mindset. I went from chasing the money just to be able to call myself a Millionaire one day (hah!), quickly realizing it was more about the FREEDOM the money brings than the dollar signs themselves. Now in my early 40s and “early retired,” I get to do what I want from sunrise to sunset and it’s a beautiful thing – all because of Past Jay’s hustle and persistence! Thanks dude!!”



JMoney from Budgets are Sexy

JMoney – Budgets are Sexy

Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard the Financial Independence Podcast.

Gday and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the Financial Independence Podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.

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On board today. Is Jay Money probably one of the most recognizable names, or should that be Mohawks in the fire community. after a somewhat impulsive purchase of a home in his early twenties, Jay became focused on improving his finances and became inspired by what he read online, causing him to start what eventually became to be the incredibly popular blog. Budgets are Sexy. This is back in 2008, I think, blogging about his money journey and posting net worth updates each month.

Jay became a millionaire in just 10 short years reaching financial independence before the age of 40 and reaching over 30 million readers along the way. As a result, Jay has won many awards, including 12 Industry Plutus awards, including 2012 Financial Blogger of the Year and [00:03:00] the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jay has also sat as a judge for many competitions and awards and has been featured by Forbes Business Insider and Kiplinger, recognized for his work as a key figure in the fire community. Jay is also no stranger to online businesses having built, acquired, worked on, or sold dozens of websites over the past 15 years.

Projects Jay has worked on include his. Namesake blog budgets are sexy, as well as other popular sites such as Rockstar Finance Coin, thrill Money, podcast and Love Job J Acts as an advisor to the Plutus Foundation. Consults for several fintechs, mentors and coaches, other bloggers, and Jay, even brokers, and coordinates online business sellouts

for his personal life. Jay is a loving husband to his wife and a father of three boys, and their [00:04:00] family lives in Virginia in the usa. I suppose Jay and I share a few things in common. We both have a D H D. A passion for money and enjoy dabbling on some online businesses in semi-retirement. So it’s bloody awesome to connect and have him on the show.

Jay, without further ado, welcome on the pod mate and thanks for your time today.

JMoney: How are you going? Hey. Hello. Thanks for having me on. It’s always interesting hearing the history of you cuz like you lived through it and it takes so much work and effort and all on, but when it’s condensed into a short period, you’re like, oh, actually it looks pretty impressive.

Captain Fi: Well, I hope I got everything right mate.

JMoney: Oh yeah, dude. Yeah man, it’s been a wild adventure online too. I’m all accidental like entrepreneur stuff. I mean, I just stumbled across the blog world I guess 15 years ago now. It’s just funny how life changes and you know what your passions are, money stuff, everything.

It’s just, I dunno, I love it. I love the not knowing what’s gonna happen in life type deal.

Captain Fi: Well, hey, that’s been [00:05:00] like a key thing that I’ve been trying to work on at the moment is I used to spend a lot of time like prepping for the future and trying to figure out all possible eventualities.

Yeah, maybe that had something to do with my job as an engineer and then later as a pilot. But focusing on just enjoying the ride and the journey rather than the destination. That’s something that I’m really now trying to work on. Oh yeah. Jay, before we get stuck into the pod mate can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself?

So where you’re from, hobbies, that kind of thing?

JMoney: Yeah. So my dad was in the military. He was a Marine, so we traveled around growing up forced to make friends real fast and I think that’s also why the go with the flow type stuff has kind of stuck cuz I’m just so used to change constantly.

But yeah, went to college for graphic design. Into collecting coins and learning about local history. And then stumbled across, actually I didn’t even know what a blog was. I’d bought a house on a complete whim. My wife at the time my fiance and I were looking for a place to live.

We were looking for this one or two bedroom apartment. We [00:06:00] took a wrong turn and we ended up at this like house for sale. And we called the number just outta curiosity, and that realtor was really good, like hurried up, showed up, sold us on the house, no money down, no budget. And within 24 hours, we basically, signed, I think what around $300,000 just on a whim.

And everyone said, oh, it’s, the American dream, you get a house, pick a fence, blah, blah, blah. And I kind of threw me into this world of, well, I better start paying attention to my money now. I went online to Google. I think I literally googled how to budget. And I kept coming across all these like just normal people online, which I would later come to find out are just bloggers that would share Hey, here’s how I save, here’s how I invest.

I saw someone’s net worth for the first time, which just blew me away that someone put that out there online. And after a few months I got hooked and I enjoyed reading. And then I was like, well, I’m just gonna start a blog, why not, and so I did, and here we are 15 years later, still somewhat in the game, in and [00:07:00] off,

Captain Fi: Oh I’m pretty glad you did mate, cuz you’ve certainly helped a lot of people along your journey.

Myself included. Oh, thank you. I mean, I think it kind of blew my mind when I sort of found this community online as well. It’s interesting, we perhaps we had somewhat similar experiences. I certainly wanted to, I guess follow in footsteps of publishers like yourself and found it to be an incredibly powerful tool to sort of stay accountable Yes.

On the journey to fire, but also connecting and I guess taking part in this awesome community that’s kind of formed over this concept of financial

JMoney: independence. Yeah, it’s all been interesting. And even just the term fire, like when I started in 2008, that really wasn’t a thing. There’s maybe one or two bloggers.

Talking about and it was more like an extreme version, and then over the years, like minimalism came out, more fire came out, and all these different, like Bitcoin stuff, crypto stuff came out. So it’s even in just the 15 years, like different movements have come and gone. And obviously fires is here to stay and, that’s [00:08:00] been more in the mainstream lately, which is awesome.

But yeah, such a good community and you’re talking about accountability, like when I used to blog every day, Monday through Friday. And I would share my net worth, as you mentioned, every month a for myself, like it forced me to track something all the time. But then b, it was , well, Any decision I make, is gonna be reflected, in the net worth.

I can’t really hide it. So it kept me making better financial decisions, and sometimes I’d still fail or I’d invest in something stupid or I’d try to start, small business that would fail and then I’d share it, so it was like the ups, the downs, everything in between.

But it definitely makes you think before acting, which I think is smart in, in anything, in life.

Captain Fi: Yeah. It’s a good sort of nudge in the right direction. And sometimes I know for me personally that was all I needed, and it just really. Help me to try and make slightly better choices each day.

And just like investments those one percenters compound as well. Yeah.

JMoney: Yeah. And it’s funny, like I have [00:09:00] budgets in my blog name and I’m known for budgets. And for a couple years I did track my budget and I think it’s good, especially like starting out when you don’t know where everything is, like just to get a grasp on where all your money’s going.

And then over the years I’m like, Nope, I’m not budgeting anymore. I was like net worth man. It’s like easier to track. It covers all the basis and then again, no matter what area you work on, debt, savings, investing, it all reflects in there. So it was kind of like a nice overall catchall, thing to track.

Plus it’s just fun over years seeing the numbers change or as a budget, like you’re always down on yourself or you go over, you go under, , it’s a lot harder I think for people to stick with. But again, in the beginning, do it. After, it’s not like you have the budget for the rest of your life for anyone that worries about that stuff.

Captain Fi: Yeah, no I’m the same mate. So I tracked my spending to start off with. Okay. And it gave me a good idea of sort of where the money was going, but I’ve generally been a, pretty much a saver my whole life. Perfect. And so I think the two metrics that I [00:10:00] really tracked was more the, yeah. The net worth, which I’ve tried to start calling the net wealth just to try and detangle it from a value thing.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s just like a subtle reminder. And then the other one is the savings rate, cuz that’s another really powerful metric. But I mean, you may have gathered it from my blog, I probably took it a bit too far with the, the savings rate.

JMoney: That’s awesome. No, yeah. I think whatever. Yeah. Being super frugal. Yeah. Whatever’s natural to you and whatever number. Like I’d obviously we publish stuff, publicly in the open for anyone in the world to see, but really it’s just for yourself, to track and to try and just keep beating it or getting in, improving incrementally over time.

So I think tracking any number, whatever excites you and keeps you going, and that’s like with anything too. I mean, something like, oh, what’s better? Pay off my debt, or invest or save. And it’s I mean, I guess there’s technically a factual mathematical answer, but we’re not robots and we have emotions and sometimes paying off debt just feels good.

You’re like, I just wanna [00:11:00] do it, and then others, it’s I’m so tired of it. I just wanna invest. I don’t wanna wait 10 years to invest, so I’m always like, just whatever, like you’re super excited about to do or to track, like just track it and enjoy it because usually you tend to do better when you’re enjoying it, and then you can change. That’s the beauty about all this stuff. You could pay off debt one day, save the next day, go back and forth, or go back and forth every other year. I mean, you can do whatever you want. There’s no like real rules I guess. But yeah, I’m glad you’re finding stuff to track it that you enjoy.

Captain Fi: Yeah. When I reached financial independence and I finally left my flying role I stopped tracking it as frequently. Cause I was doing yeah. The monthly net worth updates Yeah. And everything. And then, yeah. So at the moment I’m just doing like quarterly updates.

Okay. Or like a couple, twice yearly or if I’m, lazy and forget. And I’ve kind of almost completely stopped tracking the savings rates. It feels like maybe in a bit of an irrelevant term now that sort of post-fire. Yeah. That’s funny. But I wanna touch on something you mentioned just a moment ago, which was the [00:12:00] lexicon in the community of fire.

Yeah. And it means a little something different to everyone. Right. So, often we get told, not everyone wants to retire early. Yeah. But we all should. Aim to reach financial independence or, we have to if we wanna retire. Yeah. But the re seems to mean quite a lot to different people, these different things to different people.

So I’d be really interested to hear what is your take on fire and what does financial independence

JMoney: mean to you? Yeah, for me, I guess it goes back to just the word freedom, like you mentioned like for me, and I think for anyone honestly chasing fire or achieving it, like those types of people, Are not just gonna stop, chasing something and just doing nothing all day with their time.

Right? You’re usually a motivated person, or you have dreams or desires or something. You’re just not gonna be lazy. And I think we get a lot of flack oh, you’re not retired, you’re still blogging, you’re not retired, you’re still like volunteering. Or you just started a new business that’s not retirement.

And it’s well, we can do whatever we want. [00:13:00] We’re financially free. That’s the point, nope, can never do that again. And especially when all your life we’re so used to trying to improve and to hit these goals, so you’re not just gonna stop goals after you quote retire.

So yeah, so I hear you on the retirement part. But no, for me it’s like freedom, and I go back and forth of, some months and years. I just wanna hustle, and then others I’m like, Nope, I’m done. I, my kids are at this age. And so now my perfect.

Lifestyle is just working three or four hours in the morning and then, playing in the afternoon, or I’ve been starting to volunteer more at a homeless shelter. And like that for whatever reason is I just love it, and the fact that I can just go in and volunteer at any time I want, and it’s not even paid.

 It costs me money to like volunteer, but right now in this season that makes me feel good, and then actually just recently a friend of mine got a job at a board game company and he is Hey, like we wanna do some community stuff and fun stuff. Would you wanna work, five, 10 hours a week and help us do fun stuff?

I was like, yeah, sure. That’s great. I don’t know anything about board games, I play them every now and then. But it’s [00:14:00] just like a cool to be able to, just pick and choose the stuff you wanna do. And I get other offers too that I’m like, no, that doesn’t fit in. With my dream lifestyle so yeah.

So to me it’s being able to choose what you wanna do every day and I guess be in control more or less, even though you really don’t know what’s gonna hit you that day,

Captain Fi: oh yeah. No, I feel that, man, it’s like putting you back in the pilot seat. And you’ve got command literally where your life is going.

Yeah. Absolutely, man. Hey do me wrong. I actually love flying. I still love flying. But yeah, man, when you’re sort of stuck on predetermined air route and Yeah. You’ve, got an itinerary and it’s pretty strict. I was just chatting to the guys behind Nomad numbers Okay.

Earlier. And they’re really champions of like slow travel. Oh yeah. And they were telling me about their slow travel and how they spend three, four months at a time sometimes. And I’m like, wow, that’s amazing. I think I’d fly halfway around the world and we’d have Takeaway and admin, crew rest and then fly home.

Oh my God. And it’s just like the complete opposite. I’d [00:15:00] call that hyper fast travel. That’s funny. Geez. Hey look, Jay you told us a little bit about the start to your journey Yeah. To financial independence which was, you were sold on this housemate and you and your partner jumped in on it pretty quickly.

And then it ended up being a bit of a scary start with with the gfc. So could you tell us a little bit about your journey to financial independence and maybe how the G FFC shaped that in the early

JMoney: years? Yeah. It’s actually funny, I had to google that term cuz I’d never heard of it before.

I don’t know if it was like a Oh really? It’s like a, it’s what, but yeah. What was it? Global financial Meltdown? No. What does it stand for? Yeah.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Like it was like the subprime crisis and then it like, okay. Stuffed the share

JMoney: market up. Yeah. That was right. And actually when we bought the house, things were starting to go low and then it kind of went up a little bit in here in, in the Virginia, DC area.

And it started to go low again. And that was part of the reasons why he got the house. Oh man, it’s like going low. It’s never gonna be this slow again. And all our friends are buying [00:16:00] houses and the whole own a house first rent dilemma. I’m a renter at heart, I hate owning.

I, any rate we did it cuz it was cheaper and everyone else was buying and we thought this is what adults do, but yeah, so , then it really crashed, we bought in 2000 and I. Seven, I want to say the end of 2007. And so everything was, going crazy.

And we had a home equity line on there and that got frozen. And I was trying to do hacking stuff with saving money, which like the blog community was talking about that went backwards on me. And then job stuff might, unfortunately my job was pretty secure. And so I was able to afford the mortgage stuff, but everything around was crashing.

And then I was starting the blog and that started to take off. And I was like, oh, it would just be fun to be a full-time blogger. Is that a real job? Do people do that? I just didn’t know, and then eventually, I wanna say maybe two years into the journey of blogging and tracking my money and the blog [00:17:00] I did get laid off and my first thought was like, great.

I’m a full-time blogger, just, just by default. Which is fun. Until I realized, when I had the blog and a job going, it was basically double income, like my job. I said, Hey, that’s for all the bills and the important stuff. And then the blog, it was , extra money for savings or for fun.

Well, it dawned on me that if all I’m earning is from the blog, then I don’t have extra money for savings. Like a, I need to get it up to where I can support myself a hundred percent. And then the blog wasn’t nearly near that yet, and then I didn’t have any extra for saving or investing or anything.

And so then now this concept of the dream work for yourself, screw the man. I’m like, wait a minute now it’s all on me, and not knowing much about entrepreneurship, I just didn’t know where to go. And I stumbled across this community or I, it was, it is still in our community, but I didn’t know that you could sell blogs and buy blogs.

I just thought it was just your writing and you get paid by advertisements, right? Or whatever. Or partnerships. [00:18:00] But I didn’t think about what happens when you’re done. And a friend of mine was moving overseas, couldn’t do the blog, and kept begging me to buy it. I’m like, I can’t buy it. He’s it’s a business.

It makes income, it has expenses. I think he, he had writers that he paid and he said, look, just buy it. And I think it was valued at the time, I wanna say 15 or I think like 15,000. And he said, look, 5,000, just take it. And I said, okay. I took the gamble. Didn’t know anything about running, other people’s sites.

But I’m like, oh man, now I have double the real estate to advertise on, right? So if advertiser came to budgets for sexy, I said, Hey, I have another site. If you advertise across both, I’ll give you a discount. And then I’m like, wait a minute, what if I had more online real estate? Right? So I went down the next two years of buying up blogs, and I think I had about 12 or 13 at the max.

I only wrote and cared for the most. Mine budgets are sexy, but the others were generating income. And eventually I was able to, replace my old job and then have extra for savings and stuff. But that really like [00:19:00] expanded my mind wait a minute. A blog doesn’t necessarily just have to be a blog.

There’s all these business components and you learn about advertising, you learn about, running a business and hiring people and all this kind of good stuff. So that was the first section of my online world and starting to really make money. And track it and remember everything’s crashing and burning.

But I’m still investing because I’m hardcore into Hey, like everything’s low. It’s super cheap, right? Bye bye. Buy bye. So that, I got super lucky when most of my money was going into investments as the market was crashing. And then, as we all know, it all came back around. And so that money that I put in just started to compound like crazy, for the next six or seven years.

And I know lately it’s a little wonky. But that really catapulted my finances and started giving more confidence. Okay I have kids now. I didn’t, when I started I wanna spend more time with them. I’m hustling. I’m working like 60 hours a week. That’s way too much. I can’t even enjoy my life cuz I have a million blogs, and so eventually I said, well, I don’t wanna [00:20:00] own a million blogs. I just wanna own mine again. So I reversed and I started selling off all the sites, which gave you chunk of money, but then I lost all the cashflow. And then I was back down to just mine and then I created Rockstar Finance or so it made just a little money.

But yeah, so I went through this evolution and then I figured out like, all right, I need to make all the money from my blog only, so I need to change there. And so every, couple years throughout my 15 years, it’s been gradually, just changing and figuring out based on lifestyle, at first no kids hustle mentality.

I don’t need a life. I just wanna build and make money and I wanna be a millionaire. That was like the goal, right? And then over time it was like, well, I’d rather just enjoy my life. Like I need the money, but doesn’t necessarily mean like a million, and I think when I got around 300, 400,000 net worth, that felt to me like a lot of money.

And I was like, I feel confident now.

Captain Fi: Yeah I totally get vibe with that because I think I’ve sort of gone down a similar rabbit hole and I’ve found myself running two dozen websites at [00:21:00] the moment, and Gee does take, yeah. Wow. I’m starting to offload them. Okay. Yeah. So I mean, captain Fire is like my passion Yeah.

Site, and I’m, I would never get rid of it. And I love writing and podcasting about personal finance, but yeah some of the other ones like, beekeeping. Blog and a word farming blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in those things. Yeah. But perhaps somebody else should take over ’em.

Yeah. That’s interesting cuz I know I was reading mate, like you are a bit of a jack of all trades, aren’t you? I mean, in the Forbes article we’d mentions that you’ve had 38 different jobs Oh God,

JMoney: yeah. During

Captain Fi: your career. Yeah. That’s a lot, man. Like how ha have you found I guess the workforce bouncing around between different roles and I guess you mentioned that you sort of have seasons and you like to change things up every couple of years.

Yeah. Yeah.

JMoney: And the moving around from the military we moved every, one to two, three years. And so I was just so constantly used to change. So some of the jobs, like I was forced to leave and then get new ones, and these are all like in high school and stuff. [00:22:00] And then as I got older, I just would.

I don’t know. I would just work a job for a summer, then I’d go back to college and then I’d stop and I’d get a new one at college. I’d leave and I was always like dabbling and stuff. I guess I just love change and, with a D H D that we have, I just makes me feel good, and actually the blog, I mean, before I sold it and then I ended up buying the blog back.

But I think I was there for 12 years and that was like the longest job. It was like a fourth of my life, longest job I’ve ever had. And then I sold it. Then a couple years later I had the chance to rebuy it and I was like, oh man, this is crazy. This is weird, but when I bought it back, it was such a different mindset than when I sold it, and so now it’s like more a hobby project versus it started as a hobby, then it became a business and it had to sustain my whole family and all my millions of kids, and I sold it, capitalized on it, and then when I bought it back, it was super, super cheap cuz everything kind of imploded a little bit.

Oh wow.

Captain Fi: Yeah. And so then I was like, oh, I actually had no idea about that. That’s

JMoney: actually really cool. Yeah. I sold it to Motley Fool, which is a [00:23:00] big investment kind of company here in, in the us. And they hired me to build some other projects for them, which we did for two years. And then they kind of just disbanded their group their internal group, and they said, Hey, we’re gonna sell it.

It’d be awesome if you got it back. You can have a comeback. Right. And I had just been diagnosed with this rare autoimmune disease that had me out for three or four months. I felt like I was dying. And then all of a sudden I started feeling better and I got medicine and I was like, oh man, I’m feeling good.

And then I’m like, yeah, I’ll buy it back. Jay money’s back. Budgets are back. Made a big splash and I, went back into hustle mode for six months and then I was like wait. Like the whole point of selling it and getting money was to have the ideal lifestyle, and it was just so easy to get stuck back into the hustle mode. So now I still own it, but now I only blog once a month, once every other month instead of a couple times a week. So again, it’s back into the driver’s seat of taking control. But it’s nice to know at any point I could just hop on the computer, share my thoughts, an audience, that much transition, a lot of it them [00:24:00] are gone, but the hardcore fans are still there, which is kind of cool.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Okay. So that’s epic. So you graduated college and you had. All these different jobs. And you began blogging. You got to the point where you had, three, 400 K in in your index funds. Yeah. And so, and that’s the point when you start to scale back for your online businesses and you start to sell Yes.

The sites. Okay, cool. So that’s basically focusing on like your intent. You wanna design a lifestyle. Yes. You then get to sell the blog and cash out. Awesomely chuck that in your investments. Yes. And then you get it back. Dude, that’s crazy. That’s like the cherry on top.


JMoney: awesome. Yeah, it, I mean, what’s not awesome is that a lot of people left and the traffic’s in the dumps and it doesn’t make as much money anymore. Right. But yeah, I mean by the plus side, that’s why I got it so much cheaper because of all the stats were different, yeah. And it’s interesting there’s some other people in our space I don’t know if JD Roth Get Rich slowly.

I mean, he famously sold his blog. He was like one [00:25:00] of the first people to do that in this space. Left. And then a few years later, again, had the same opportunity to buy it back much cheaper. Cuz I, I, that’s the thing is all personal. It’s like us, and it does make money, so technically it is a business, but it, things change when new owners come in any business, but like the blog space is so personal that it’s just hard to maintain that. Actually, I can’t tell you of one website. That sold and then got better. It either stayed the same and 80% imploded. And I think budgets the content, at least for me, cuz I helped pick the successor when I left Joel from 5:00 AM Joel, who I loved to this day.

I think the content was pretty solid. It was just the stats and the business and everything behind the scenes that weren’t doing good. And that’s the reason why I bought it back. Cause I was like, oh I know there wasn’t like a spammer on here, writing garbage and just doing the opposite of what we believe in, it was someone I trust and handpicked and I still read the blog even when I was gone. I loved his articles, so I think that helped at least [00:26:00] make it even a little bit. But yeah, selling blogs and you just assume that it’s gonna go away. And once someone sells right, your audience is like, all right we’re outta here, for the most part.

Captain Fi: Yeah, I’ve heard of some bloggers even having to sign, NDAs non-disclosure. Oh yeah. Agreements. And then, I mean, I was at a flipper event, which is like a I guess it’s a like a popular website broker here in Australia. Yeah, same here. Yeah. And. Oh yeah, of course.

Yeah. US based and yeah, there was a fellow who was talking, he sold his I believe it was like a sports equipment review blog. And he actually went on to, so he got a good payday and then he ended up getting like a corporate job out of it. So he worked Oh, nice. To run the site for a couple of years.

Yep. And there’s actually a famous, a really famous case study Albo he, I think it was Car Expert or Car Advice. Okay. Yeah, it was Car Advice, which he grew to be quite a large blog. And then sold to a media corporation here in Australia. And this is in like the seven figures.

Wow. I think it was like [00:27:00] 60 million or something. Oh my gosh. It’s just incredible. And they gutted it. They like, they took the site, I think they took all this content and they put it onto, I think it’s drive drive.com. Which is obviously a huge website, but I remember hearing in an interview he was working for them that the multi-level management that he described it as was just he very difficult to work for.

Right. And I guess he was used to having the freedom as like the

JMoney: series. Yeah. He was the man. He could do whatever he wanted. Yeah.

Captain Fi: So he ended up quitting I think he tweeted or something out. Crap. The management was, they essentially fired him, which was what he wanted.

And yeah, he ended up just starting a basically a similar website and it, ah it’s going awesome. I think it’s car expert.com it’s already massively popular and makes heaps of money. Oh wow. Yeah. On track to even eclipse what he was doing Oh my gosh, beforehand. Yeah. So he knew the seo, he knew the industry, had all the contacts.

Yeah. Really driven man. No pun intended. So, yeah, there’s definitely amazing things that can be achieved. Yeah. So [00:28:00] I just, I wanna unpack a little bit about the stuff that you did in an online business. So obviously you got really excited just as I did rushed out, started buying up and building blogs.

And you had some other quite big websites like rockstar Finance I think was a fairly popular one. Yes. Would you be able to talk as a little bit about how you built Rockstar Finance and why you decided to

JMoney: exit? Yeah. Yeah. So that was interesting because as you do in all of us, in, in the space or any space, we read articles on money.

And I said, oh man, it’d be cool just to have a place where you just. Shared your favorite articles, right? Like, all right, I scammed 20 articles today. Here was , two or three of my favorites. And so I just built a site, like literally on curation and it was just like, Hey, every day I’ll share you my three favorite articles.

And they’re usually, not the same type, not all savings or index funds they’re, sorted. And that was it. That was like the whole point of the site. And a lot of people liked it cuz they’re like, oh man, this is crazy. Because now I don’t have to read, and I would track I start with 20 blogs and I was like, well, I, if I want true curation, I [00:29:00] should track every single financial blog in the world, right?

Because that’s true. Curation is seeing everything and then picking the best from everything versus just 20, and so it ended up taking four or five hours every day just of reading and picking, not to mention running the whole site. But on the flip side, people are like, this is great.

I don’t have to scan everything. I could just go to your website every day and it’s biased of course, but you know, the three best articles of the day. And so that was great. And then what was accidental was that everyone that was featured on the site, they started getting traffic. So that was awesome.

And then they were sharing it cuz oh, check at Rockstar Finance, I’m featured on it today. And then they would tell their audience. So within a year it exponentially grew fast because everyone was sharing it. And every time someone did like it helped everyone else, right? So if you’re a blogger on it, you get featured, you tell people, then they go see the other two articles for the day, and it became a really cool ecosystem.

And then I’m like, well, I’m tracking. I. All these blogs, I might as well just add a [00:30:00] directory, right? Of here’s all the blogs I’m tracking, and hey, by the way, here’s the waterfall. Here’s all the feeds of all the, I think we went up to 1200 blogs at the peak. Here’s all the articles everyone’s producing every single day which was around 300 articles a day collectively.

So you imagine like 300 new articles and money every day are getting published around the world, right? And then I would scan those and then pick my favorite three. So accidentally I started really having a good understanding of what everyone’s doing everywhere in the world around money. And so you could see themes, like when crypto was getting hot, I could tell, or a new app was on the market, I could tell because all of a sudden everyone started sharing it, and then I was like, oh man. If I’m tracking everyone in the world and to enter our database on the directory, like you give email and you fill out stats so that you can say, Hey, I wanna see all financial blogs in Australia from 20 to 30 year olds. And then some other stuff, and then [00:31:00] they’ll just narrow it down.

So we really try to track a lot of demographics. And then I realized, oh man, I have the emails of every single financial blogger in the world, which can be really bad if you wanna do something evil with it. But I said, well, we should poll people. So we started doing these polls like, what’s your favorite book?

Like we did a book poll and it was just about books. And then Hey, here’s collectively what all the bloggers think is the best books and rank them. Right? And I mean, Kim we kept adding on all this stuff cuz I’m like, this is crazy. We have access to everyone, and again, every time you participated in the blog in a poll or got featured, you got traffic, and people would call it like getting rockstar oh, I got rockstar today.

And like they would show the graphs of their traffic and then a big spike. And it was nothing big like getting on Reddit, or you’d just get like millions, but you get a thousand or two at the peak just, on a day sometimes maybe 5,000 depending on, who was coming to the site.

But it was cool. Unfortunately just took, it was a full-time job at the end of it, and then I was still running. Budgets are sexy, which was a full-time job. So eventually, again, back to the [00:32:00] lifestyle okay I need to scale down. So I found someone to take over rockstar Finance.

I sold it to him. He did a good job for a little bit. And then he actually flipped it again and the person that bought it just shut it down. Like you can still go to rockstar finance.com. It’s just like skeleton. And so it died then, and we actually got close to, to possibly buying it back a few years ago but it never worked out.

But yeah, so it’s, it’s interesting. And actually the Motley Fool who bought budgets are sexy. First they wanted me to consult and they said, Hey, we wanna do something community. We loved Rockstar Finance. We wish we would’ve bought it. And I was like, oh my gosh, it’s awesome. I didn’t know you even knew about it, I said, well, maybe we can build a new one, and so we built a new one together called allstar money.com. And we only ran it for a year until they disbanded, but it was, we were starting to like, get back into the scene. And now there’s a couple other curation sites too apex Money is one that I contribute to, and they share three the best every day.

So yeah, it was a simple concept, it was cool to see all the traffic [00:33:00] circling around. And it was just , it was beautiful at the time,

Captain Fi: oh that’s awesome, man. Oh, hopefully one day I hope to be Apex when I’m looking at my Google Analytics, mate, we

JMoney: gotta get you in there.

We gotta pluck you in there.

Captain Fi: We will get back to the show in a moment, but for now, I wanna ask you a question. Do you have a side hustle? And if you do, is it scalable? My side hustle is building and running websites a form of digital real estate. Now, it might sound tricky to make money online, but really they’re just small online businesses that have low overheads, high margins, and which you can easily scale by outsourcing.

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Then it can be viewed potentially millions of times and easily updated by my editors over the years to remain relevant. If you want to learn more about this lucrative side hustle and retraining for the Digital Workforce revolution, then check out my article about making money online and read my review of the E-Business Institute and their online self-paced courses.

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Captain FY listeners can register for free access to some of their resources by following the link in the E-Business Institute review article on captain fy.com. So what are you waiting for? Start learning how to build a portfolio of digital real estate and use websites to make [00:35:00] money today.

 So, I mean, would it be reasonable to say then in terms of your passive income and your investments Yeah. Which I totally want to get to. Yeah. But there’s a few important questions I definitely wanna ask first. Sure. Would it be safe to say that a lot of that came from your sellouts of your online business?

Or what portion did you save and invest versus yeah,

JMoney: that is a really good question. I would say the first few years of my financial journey was from my full-time job, and they had some crazy benefits. It, it doesn’t apply, probably Telestra, but we have something called 401k.

And usually companies. Maybe match like 5% of it. If you contribute 5% to it’s like a retirement fund. And the company I was with would max a hundred percent of a hundred percent you put in up to 16,000 a year, which is like the legal limit at the time. And so I would just jack it up.

I’m like, oh my gosh, you’re gonna gimme like $16,000 if I put 16,000 of my own money into this retirement account. That’s awesome. No one [00:36:00] does that. So I did that and lived on meager, income for a couple months until it got maxed out. So that really catapulted the financials in the beginning.

I probably did that and then remember the market was crashing and I kept buying buying, and then it came back up. And so probably back to the 300, 400,000 part. It was basically just from my job and investing and coming back and like the beginning is of when you wanna get serious with your money, right?

Start spending less, start figuring out like cheaper cars, cheaper home situations, like all that kind of stuff. So that was just general finance stuff. And then I guess the next few years was just blog income stuff. And some years I would spike, some years I made $200,000. Some years I made, $60,000.

So that fluctuated a lot. And of course when I sold out all the blogs, yeah, that chunk of money honestly as like crazy as a sounds, there was like a three year period where I started having lots of kids. My wife stopped working cuz she wanted to get a degree, a graduate degree. And then I also [00:37:00] stopped wanting to work less and I called it like the perfect storm.

I was like, this is not the time to design your dream lifestyle when all the income’s drying up. But for two or three years I said screw it. So. Probably a hundred, $200,000 I made from selling all these sites, ended up just supporting us and slowly the savings would be going away over time.

It wasn’t until later on when I focused entirely on budgets are sexy that I started making more money where that would like drastically affect my net worth. And then I think I got it up to 900,000. and that’s mostly market, mostly just trying to like, make a lot of money online and, so my job.

 Oh, and selling rockstar finance that also upped it a little bit. And then when I sold budgets that pushed me over into the million dollar mark. I think I, the last blog post that I shared publicly, I think it was 1.2 million around there a couple years ago. And so , I sold the sites obviously not for [00:38:00] millions of dollars.

Low, what is it? Six figures for each of them budgets more. So that definitely pushed me over and made me feel way more secure. But really the first 10 years was just siphoning as much money for my income into savings and index funds really that got me there. Had I never sold, I kind of didn’t wanna sell at the time I did just net worth wise, cuz I wanted to pass the million dollar mark without selling, but eventually, like I would’ve gotten there. And obviously I wasn’t gonna turn down a good deal just because of that stupid thing. But yeah, so, so it definitely helped secure my feeling of feeling secure. But outside of that, was really just hustling a lot, and I know people say oh, you can’t retire if you work a nine to five, but that’s bs you can still save.

And it’s really your lifestyle and how much you spend that drastically makes a difference, that and in income of course,

Captain Fi: Oh man, I totally agree. Like I think once you’ve got that financial security, financial independence, [00:39:00] just, it really just opens up a whole new world Yeah.

And it can be destabilizing a little bit as well I know, when I sort of had this realization, I was chatting to a friend of mine who, you know, he worked in a corporate role and just recently ticked over the 1 million in his ETFs.

JMoney: Good for him. Wow. That’s great.

Captain Fi: Oh, I know.

And such a sleeper as well. Like a real quiet about, just like quieter cheater. And yeah, it’s just done amazingly, man. And cause there’s not a lot of people that you can really talk to about in this community. Right. And you can start a blog and start Hey, read my thoughts on my blog.

Right? But if you don’t wanna do that, who do you talk to about it? And so, I don’t think he really told anyone about it except , he discovered my blog and of course, we’d known each other for quite a long time. Yeah. And he sussed out it was me fairly quickly.

 But yes he just sort of said, oh look, I’ve reached this six figure portfolio, sorry, seven figure investment portfolio. And he said, it’s kind of interesting now, like when I framed decisions that I make, I’m no longer framing them around money and income.

Yes. It’s like now, [00:40:00] well it really forces you to think, well, what do I actually want? Out of life, and that can be kind of scary. Yes. I certainly felt like I’ve been floating a bit this past 12 months of, quote unquote semi-retirement. Yeah. I was looking after my mom for the first six months.

Wow. And after she passed. Oh. Yeah, just definitely felt a bit lost. So I’ve done a bit of traveling and sort of now getting back into the website stuff. Yeah. But interestingly, like yourself, Jay, I’m now starting to downsize some of the portfolio and really just wanting to focus on sites that I actually find interesting.

Yeah. And it, I guess you could kind of think of it as it’s a form of minimalism. It’s totally digital minimalism. Totally. Yeah. And look you’ve been practicing and talking about, minimalism for over a decade. Yeah. And, I know that’s something that’s been really important for me with having a D h D.

So would you be able to tell us a bit about what minimalism means to you practically? Not only just for you personally, but also as a father with , three boys Like it, it does, it

JMoney: [00:41:00] can be hard, right? Yeah. Well, I’ll just stay. Yeah. My boys are not minimalist and my wife not, I am the only one, which makes it very hard.

But it’s different, I mean, obviously There’s that line like, well, kids are kids. I don’t know, minimalism is kind of serious, I guess, in a way. I’ll just let them do your thing. But, then it gets crowded and toys and junk everywhere. But no, but minimalism, I’ll say too, like back to your thing, when I sold budgets, that was the last site that I owned online.

And I thought that would be the ultimate minimalism thing to do, is to set like that’s the last huge attachment I have in the world. That would, that’s super hard for me to disconnect. So it was a personal challenge to sell to and say, well, what happens to this Jay money guy if you don’t have a home anymore online?

Does he go away? What happens to all his friends? Like the meaning, the purpose, and then when we sold, when I sold, I had a contract to continue writing it for a little while. I think I wrote for maybe seven or eight more months. So it was really weird selling and then still [00:42:00] being there and writing, and I realized, which is very minimal.

You can enjoy stuff, but you don’t need to own it. Right? I was still enjoying the blog. It was still me, it was still my fans, it was still my friends, but I didn’t own it anymore, and then with that ownership, obviously, I didn’t have to worry if the site crashed. I didn’t have to do marketing.

I didn’t have to do, deals and worry about the income. Didn’t have to worry about traffic. I didn’t have to worry about anything. All I had to do was, like, the one thing that I wanted to do from the beginning was just write about and money and talk about money, and then that goes back to the house, right?

Like when I bought the house all those years ago, which catapulted me into learning about all this stuff. I thought that’s what you did, and that’s what everyone does. But I’m like, wait a minute. I don’t like staying in one spot for lots of years. I don’t wanna if something breaks, have to fix it myself or pay someone to fix it I got really stressed out.

 It wasn’t for me, and especially when you don’t have much money, starting out in your life, like it’s just stressful. And I realized that I was much less stressed [00:43:00] renting, and eventually we did go back to renting for a few years and I loved it. And, I have a, three kids and I have a wife and home ownership.

I think meant more to them nowadays. So we bought again, we sold that years later and we’re the house that I’m talking to you in right now we bought and I don’t like it as much, but financially things are better off. So now that worry of like, when things break, it sucks, but it’s not like gonna kill me anymore, and so I think there’s different stages of ownership. Anyways, back to your minimalism stuff. Yeah. I think for me it’s like figuring out what brings you joy. Like the stuff you can do again, like I. Just that you don’t have to own all these things. Someone told me the other day, like a boat, like someone bought a boat and it sounds like the best day you buy a boat, the most exciting is the day you buy it and then you sell it.

Cuz I deal with anything anymore. And then also your friends always love it when you buy stuff like that. Boats, cars, trampolines, like whatever it is cuz you get to enjoy it. Pools. We know someone has a pool, they’re like, come over [00:44:00] anytime. This is awesome. I’d love to have a pool like that, but I don’t wanna maintain it and pay for it, so it’s so much cooler to go over to your friends, pool than having one yourself. Right. But that’s like the minimalism stuff, like the less stuff you own and care for, with money. You’re free. You’re free in the mind, so now like in my mind, I feel like my only attachments are like my kids and my wife, the house we own. But I don’t care if, again, like I’d rather go back to renting. And I have I collect coins and I collect some physical stuff that just brings me joy.

But there’s some coins I like, I bought a coin last year and I enjoyed it. And I’m like, okay, let’s pass it on to someone else. Let’s trade it or sell it. So I would do that and I’d pick up a new coin, and enjoy it and pass it along. So it’s kinda like temporary. Ownership of things which I like.

And then ultimately, right, we’re all gonna die. Everything is temporary in this life, whether you quote own it or don’t. But the mindset really I don’t collect as much stuff in general when I make decisions like [00:45:00] the site, like even right now I bought budgets for sexy back and there is a little part of my minimalism brain that does not like owning it, and I’m like, oh I feel like I have another attachment, even though it brings me joy.

But so you’re always kind of over the years, trying to figure out , the happy medium. But it’s good. It’s helped me, it’s helped my brain. Make decisions faster and figure out how I operate, even if it’s ridiculous sounding or not. There’s something like, for me too, when I buy let’s say a shirt or a pair of jeans, if it doesn’t fit me or I don’t get excited to wear it, even if I literally just bought it, I will turn around and go right to return it.

Or if I can’t return it, cuz like I bought it at a thrift store, I’ll the next day just donate it back to the thrift store. It won’t hang in my closet and irritate me or be on my floor. Like it’s just out the door as soon as I know I don’t want it anymore. And I do that with a lot of stuff.

Whenever I buy something, okay, I bought something, do you have a backup plan for it? What are you gonna do with it if it breaks or you don’t like it anymore, like, where’s it gonna go? [00:46:00] So I think half of the problem a lot of people have is they get stuff into their house, but it takes a lot longer to get it out of the house when it’s time.

And so that’s like what I’m really trying to be better about is getting it out faster when I know it, it shouldn’t, be in my hands anymore.

Captain Fi: Yeah, that reminds me, what’s that Latin saying?

JMoney: Me,

Captain Fi: memento Marie. Oh yeah, memento Marie. We will all die. And actually I think it’s you know what you just said, that all possessions are temporary.

Yeah. It’s actually pretty profound, right? I think, yeah, my partner and I we have a relatively small place and I think we have a similar mindset to you about One, we’ve got a limited space. And so if we do want to enjoy something, like we’ll use it. And, when it’s no longer serving us we’ll sort of pass it on.

Yeah. I used to be like really anal about having to like, sell everything and try Right. And never lose money. Right. But I’m starting to like just give things away a bit more now. Cause I’m learning that sometimes it just sort of takes a long time to sell stuff and maybe there’s someone in need.

So Yeah. Just pass it on, but, well, and that’s because

JMoney: you’re, try [00:47:00] your money stuff, right? You’ve secured your money where, like that extra 50 bucks, it doesn’t really matter that much. So you’re more free to not Yeah. It’s not gonna change the Yeah. And then you, and then the other person gets blessed because they didn’t pay for it.

Right. And so it’s like you have all this goodwill, you’re passing around to people, which feels good too. Yeah, I


Captain Fi: Recommend that anyone checks out their, like local buy nothing or buy, sell, swap Facebook group. There’s some awesome ones where yeah, pretty much just like thrifting rather than sort of dropping it off at an op shop or a charity.

You can literally just post it. And some of the stories are great. Like I was reading an article like someone picked up a cheesecake, oh my god. From by Nothing group. I was like, oh, that’s awesome. That’s funny. And you said earlier about like the boat thing. It’s funny, I’ve got a close mate and he loves his toys.

 He’s got like the jet ski, the boats. Right. He just bought a Mustang and look, I personally wouldn’t buy him, but it’s a lot of fun living vicariously through him. Oh yeah. I think I managed to flip his jet ski not that long ago. Oh yeah. And I learned [00:48:00] that’s why we always wear a P F D.

It’s funny cause there’s a lot of sharks in Adelaide, which South Australia. Cold water. Okay. Right. So, I’m not a very great swimmer, but after I flipped that jet ski it flicked me about, I dunno, 10 or 20 meters away. Wow. But I reckon I broke the the men’s freestyle record from that is from the time I realized I was in the water to the time I managed to scramble back on top of that jet ski.

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Oh yeah. I freak out if a bit of seaweed touches me. I’m like, ah, it’s jaw, it’s jawless, human torpedo. Mate, so look the other thing we touched on before is the medical stuff. Yeah. And you mentioned about being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I know just how debilitating they can be.

So I’ve had close family members struggle with autoimmune diseases. And also sharing having a D H D can actually, like these medical things can really impact someone’s journey to financial independence. Yeah. And, for a lot of people, like some disabilities can like pretty much completely rule out the [00:49:00] possibility of, building wealth.

Totally. And reaching, say fire. I’d love to listen to your reflection on maybe how the medical conditions that you’ve had have impacted, your personal journey to fire and how they impact your

JMoney: family. Yeah. The A D H D stuff going back to what I said before, like going with the flow and just doing stuff that excites you in the moment.

Like even, I wanna pay, down debt right now, or I wanna invest or save right now. That’s definitely kept it like where I can actually follow through because it’s only temporary cuz I know my brain’s gonna wanna do something else later. And even blogging, like there’s times of the day where I cannot sit here and write, like I just need to get up and or go somewhere, do something different.

But then there’s times where you just get so sucked in, you’re like, I’m gonna stay here for three hours straight and type my heart out. And so being able to allow yourself to have the schedule of going all in, when you’re in the mood for anything, whether it’s yard work or work, or savings, whatever.

And again, all that comes from when you’re more financially free, you can make the decisions on your own. It’s not [00:50:00] obviously if you have a nine to five, you have to stay within the reasonable boundaries there of what you can and can’t do. As far as the other thing, I mean, thankfully, like literally one I got diagnosis, it’s this rare like blistering disease called pemphigus vulgarus where a lot of people get it on their outside of their skin where they just get blisters all over and it’s itchy and it hurts.

But for some reason, me, I get them like inside of my mouth and my nose and my throat. And they hurt and they’re annoying. You wake up like just with like blood in your mouth, you’re like, what? What happened? I was just sleeping, and at one point, after three months, it got so bad where I couldn’t swallow.

And so I went to the hospital. They didn’t know what it was. It took forever. And a dermatologist out of all people said, I think I read about this in a textbook once, let me refer you to a better dermatologist who can confirm what this is. And she was right. It was the pemphigus.

Fortunately there’s infusions you can take and then you’re kind of free for a few years, one to four years, and then you basically have to just take the infusions forever. I [00:51:00] did one of ’em and it was pretty good. And then six months later it came back, so it did not last the four years. So I did another one two months ago, and so far so good.

But two things. One, when you’re feeling. Like just crappy and you feel like death, the last thing you wanna do is work. Time, like if this happened to me when I started my hustling and was self-employed for the first time I would’ve been screwed, or at least delayed.

Fortunately for me, it happened after I’ve already had savings after I sold the blog. And it was right before I had the opportunity to buy it back. So there was like three months where I literally had nothing to do and then I got sick, and then I just did nothing for three or four months. And I was like, I guess like the saddest I’ve been in my life, which most people who know me I don’t get sad that often.

And I’m usually pretty positive, but I’ve never experienced anything like that before. So I have like tons of empathy now for people and now I’m learning like almost everyone has some sort of disease or issue health wise, and so even though this one I have is really [00:52:00] rare, I.

We all have something or most people have something

Captain Fi: Yeah. And it’s hard, isn’t it? Cuz you can, you never really know what’s going on in someone’s life unless they open up to you. Yeah.

JMoney: That’s it. Yeah. And especially mean and rude people and just like dickheads out there, like now I say they probably have a disease and , this is their way of coping.

That’s what I try to tell myself even though it still pisses me off. Like when they cut you off in, in the lane or whatever. Usually when people cuts me off driving, I think, oh, they must be going to the hospital. Like I try to have some spin that like makes sense of their, like meanness, their rudeness.

Yeah. Yeah. Oh

Captain Fi: It’s so infuriating. I think, I mean, I try experimented a lot with my commute. Like I used to sometimes ride my bike. Oh, nice. And I got really excited about riding my e-bike to the airport. Oh wow. It was a bit impractical sometimes if you were going on an international trip, can’t really carry a suitcase with me.

But yeah. I guess I still do get really frustrated driving when, people are really slow or if they’re like really tailgating you or something. Yeah. You [00:53:00] off. And so I’m like, okay, deep breath. Just gotta use this as an opportunity to That’s right. To practice my opportunity, my calmness.

I mean, I choose not to get

JMoney: angry. Yeah. But even before I came on this podcast, remember I was a little late cuz there was an accident that happened two cars in front of me. My first thought was, I was like, mother effer, like I’m late. I need to do this super important podcast all the way in Australia, and you choose to get an accident right in front of me, rightly now.

I was like, my first thought and then I was like, wait a minute. Just be thankful you are not in the accident. Take a step back, put this in perspective, it’s my minutes annoyance of trying to find a way around it cuz it like blocked the roads and everything. But yeah, it’s hard, and I’m sure you too, with your mom’s stuff, right? Your brain is probably on fire from like life and death and what’s the point? And like how do you best, live your life, I am gonna die sometime. What is that gonna feel like? Like all of these weird things when you’re around death or sickness.

It really like slows down time and I think puts things, in [00:54:00] perspective more.

Captain Fi: I mean, I’m super grateful that I was able to I guess leave work and, mom and I got like a good, that’s so cool. 6, 8, 8 months. Yeah. And it was tricky being a carer, but it was just beautiful to be able to reconnect and, yeah, man, she was tough.

It was really funny. She was like determined not to sort of become like an invalid Oh man. And, she fought this thing and she maintained her dignity and pretty much like full control of her faculties. Wow. Like right to the end. Wow. And then, yeah, it was, like a, it was a fairly peaceful Passing.

Oh, that’s good. But it sort of, yeah, it left me grieving not only sort of the loss of mom, it sort of stirred up a whole bunch of shitty stuff from my childhood. Yeah. And like my relationship with my dad. Ah. But also I guess grieving my job and I’d sort of built so much my identity around my life as a pilot.

Yeah. Most of my friends were pilots or, worked in air aerospace and,[00:55:00] I had a, had this aviation site where I, talk about flying and it was a flying instructor on the weekends. Oh man. Yeah. So, and then funnily enough, like I’d also built this captain fire, this like my finance.

Yeah. Literally, yeah. Yeah. After I’d, yeah. And after I’d sort of reached financial independence, all of a sudden money was, Not important anymore. Yeah. And yeah, I definitely felt that like existential crisis. Oh hell yeah. And yeah, look, it’s, it was a hard time. I mean, I went to my GP and, we put together like a mental health care plan That’s cool.

And started talking to a counselor and, it was good to, helped me put some coping mechanisms in place, but I think it’s gotten better over time and yeah. I think you just, I guess you mentioned like going with the flow. Yeah. Trying to get into a flow state has been important for me as well.

And yeah. So I like that I can just, spend a bit of time gardening, spend a bit of time with my friends take the dog for a walk do some reading do some writing, do some podcasting, watch a movie. And not everything for me now has to be hyper [00:56:00] fixated or hyper focused. Right, right.

JMoney: Yeah. And that’s, yeah.

Captain Fi: Yeah. So I’m just trying to, I guess, go with the flow a bit more and yeah, just enjoy the present. Yeah. Now I’ve been itching to ask you this. Oh boy. Oh boy. So, okay. So no, like Fire podcast would be complete without, wanting to, to delve into the nitty gritty.

Okay. Now you’ve obviously, you’ve posted your Netwealth updates. But for the benefit of the listeners on the pod J JM mate, what do you invest in and why?

JMoney: Yeah, so right now I would say 95% of all of my money is in index funds. I don’t need to beat the market. I don’t like to lose under the market, and I’m not smart enough or lucky enough to definitely to beat it on my own.

And I like it and it’s kind of like a lazy portfolio. Like it’s just, hey, I’m in and it’s vanguard. V T S A X is the actual ticker symbol. And it just tracks the broad market, so goes up the, generally the market goes up, this goes up, if [00:57:00] it goes down. But over time, it does really good.

And so it’s kind of like a long play. And I literally just put money in and then I just don’t think about it, and certainly there was times over my life where I would try and oh, like this is a hot stock, or and Bitcoin, gosh, I always jump in right at the worst times, and I get out at the worst times, then a couple years later go by, get back in at the worst times I get out at the worst.

Like I just don’t know how to do it. And again, like going back to minimalism, it just weighs on my brain even though it’s like a tiny percentage of the overall net wealth. It just bugs me. So I don’t like it when it’s on my mind all the time, and so index funds for me, works and I would say the other 5% I’m invested in are like different types of index funds.

Like I have some money in a bond fund, an international and index fund. And then yeah, I think that’s actually it. I think, yeah. Cause I just sold some Bitcoin that I had. So I think I’m just literally down to those three or four funds. And that’s it. Like it’s nothing too crazy and anyone can do it.

I think it’s more, again, trying to just, [00:58:00] for me the most money you could funnel in, even if you pick really bad stocks and stuff, like you’re gonna be better off than if you just don’t do anything with your money. You know what I’m saying? Or you just spend it. So at least if you’re new to investing, just invest in whatever you think makes the most sense to you now and it’ll change over time, and I had this weird epiphany too the other day. I don’t know if you’re like this, I know other people probably are like, when you buy your first, let’s say Apple stock and whatever that number is you get so tied to the number in your head oh, it’s at $200 and I put $5,000 in, but then if now this is only, if you consistently invest, like every month, I automatically invest, so it just does it. And over time you put in way more money and the ticker numbers, the price is way different over the years. it trumps your initial investment and whatever the price was at. But for some reason, your head, you still think that’s it’s like a point that like gets stuck in your brain, and you’re always at least Yeah, like an anchor. Yeah. You’re always focused on that first 5,000. You’re [00:59:00] like, wait a minute, you put in 50,000 over the years. Like why are you so focused on that first one? That doesn’t mean anything anymore, and so I think if that, I know stops a lot of people cuz they’re waiting to get in at the best price, but they forget that they’re gonna be getting in every single month if they’re doing it automatically, so I think there’s a big difference between investing one time and investing for the long run. And per, personally, if you had $5,000, I would just invest, a thousand dollars every month, and keep going. Versus just one chunk and then forgetting it, but everyone’s different, but yeah.

Yeah, just index funds for me. Oh and I guess I own the home. I paid that off. So that is an investment quote, even though it costs money and does not earn you money usually. But yeah, those are the only things that I’m invested in.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Awesome. , so do you have any other websites at the moment or is it, are, is it just

JMoney: budgets?

Budgets are sexy.com. I have a it’s not really a blog, it’s just a website that has like all the sites I’ve owned over the time and some general thoughts. J Money Biz, b i Z I have a coin [01:00:00] blog, coin thrill.com that I just post every now and then, not too often. Do I have anything else?

Nothing that makes money. Oh, my friend and I started, this is really random. It’s called I met You today.com. And basically we have these cards, like it just says, Go to, I met you today.com, but go there tomorrow. And so the theory, it is like a little business card and so whenever we meet people, like if we’re traveling and we find someone we really like or they did something really special that wowed us.

What we do is we hand them this card and then that when we get back that day or night, we share like why we thought they were special or what they did was special. So when they go to it the next day, they see a writeup on us meeting them and why they impacted our lives. And it’s been interesting. My friend Nate just did it last night.

I haven’t read it yet, and there’s maybe six or seven stories on there so far. But just from people that really, like some guy offered me baseball tickets and he could have just emailed me, [01:01:00] but instead, like he took the time to call me and then make sure I had enough for my kids.

Like he just did something normal people wouldn’t do. And so I wrote one for him. We had this waitress the other month before the site was built. So , it’s not up there. Anytime in my mind. I wanted more coffee. I just thought oh man, I wish I had more coffee. Somehow she would be right next to me pouring it and I don’t know how she did it.

And then even to the point at the end, I was done, we were finished, we paid, but I had half a cup of coffee in my little, in my ceramic mug. And I never thought that you could take coffee to go. I just thought if it’s in a mug, like in a cup, and she came and she said, do you want your coffee to go?

And I was like, what? She’s yeah, I’ll just switch. I’ll just get you a different cup that you can take with you. And that blew my mind. I dunno why it made me so happy. The stupidest little thing. And so had the site been up, then I would’ve given her a card and wrote like, how awesome, like the best waiter in my whole life, waitresses in my whole life.

She was, and so, yeah, so [01:02:00] stuff like that. So I dabble in random little sites, but the only one that’s quote big enough and makes a little money is budget source sexy.com.

Captain Fi: Oh, that’s awesome. Hey, it reminds me like I read the Ichigo Itchy book, and it’s like a Japanese saying for like when you’ve had a, an unforgettable meeting and it’s like likely that you won’t have that again.

Oh. There’s this term for it, which is it gochi, which is like a, I guess a term of respect that’s interesting that you’d say to someone after you’ve had an unforgettable experience. And so yeah, so that’s the site. You’ve pretty much got a site about it. Chichi.

JMoney: That’s really cool.

Oh, I’ll have to look that up. I’ve never heard that before.

Captain Fi: Yeah, there’s a small book, actually. I saw it. I was traveling and it was at an airport. Yeah. Probably shouldn’t have bought it, but I did. And also quite an interesting read. But yeah I’ll send you a link to it.

Okay, perfect. When

JMoney: we put in your show notes Yeah. You can put Oh, yes.

Captain Fi: We’ll do, because I’ve got this huge reading list. I went on this like mad craze where I kind of polled over on, similar to what you did, but I just did it on social media. Okay. And then I like[01:03:00] I’ve always had a quite a long reading list, but I was like, I’m gonna, now that I’m retired, I’m gonna get stuck into reading more.

So I’ve got, yeah. About 180 books on my to read list. And I went through this phase where I was like devouring books and I must have read like 30 books Oh, wow. In quick succession. But I’ve slowed down quite a bit now that we’re not traveling. Yeah. Oh

JMoney: yeah. Traveling for.

Captain Fi: Yeah. So Jay, when you were on your path to fire were you working towards a particular goal?

Did you have a, like a fire number that you were working towards or like a particular savings rate that you wanted to

JMoney: achieve? Never savings rate. I was never good at tracking that and my stuff kept changing where it didn’t make sense. At one point. Yeah, like I did the whole 4% backwards thing.

Like what do you expect to spend in a year? And then multiply it by 25 and that’s quote, like a a safe number to retire kind of thing. And when I did that at the time, it was like six or seven years ago. I wanna say it was like 1.5 million I needed [01:04:00] based on that lifestyle. And that’s the tricky part, right?

Like your lifestyle changes. Well I guess if you’re like having kids and stuff, right? But then your interest changed. Like I had different jobs as, like 38 of them over my life, right? And I quickly realized that there’s no point in me doing it cuz everything keeps changing. And then when I got sick last year I was like, oh gosh, like none of that matters anymore, right?

Like I would pay all my money just to feel better or just for someone to tell me like, what the heck I have, cuz that’s the worst thing about disease is just not knowing. What’s going on? And so, so, no, I don’t really have a number anymore. But the feelings I have again, like when I hit around 400,000, that was like my first strong feeling like, wow, I feel secure.

Hitting the million was nice just to see, cuz I always wanted to do it right. And when I started the blog 15 years ago I thought it’d be sexy to say you’re a millionaire now. Like that whole like, oh, I’m so cool. Screw the man, like rockstar lifestyle, right? That doesn’t apply to me anymore.

I’m older, I have kids, and I’m more into the lifestyle now. Hey,

Captain Fi: You still got the, you got a [01:05:00] rock in. I stuck

JMoney: the Mohawk 20 years strong man. Yeah. I love it. So, yeah. No. Now I don’t even remember what we were talking about. You threw me with that Mohawk thing.

Captain Fi: . So we were just sending about fire numbers. All right. But I guess it leads me perfectly to the next one, which was how did you know it was time to quote unquote fire and pull the trigger and actually do

JMoney: it. Yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t even know if I mean, I guess I, like when I got sick, I stopped working for a few months.

And then I guess I didn’t go back to look for a job and my wife has a job now. It’s like she went through grad school and she has a job that’s secure. It pays well, it has health insurance, thank God. Cuz as bloggers and online people, you don’t have that. By the way, my infusions are 20,000 a piece and I have to do two of ’em in clumps.

So without insurance would’ve been about $43,000. And so insurance, I think I ended up paying around 2000 or 1600. Instead of 40,000. So insurance definitely makes a big difference, obviously. And if you would’ve told me [01:06:00] I’d be like, I’m fine going without insurance for a year or two nothing’s gonna happen to me, and with kids, obviously that changes stuff too. So at any rate, when my wife has a secure job, and when I got sick, I started thinking about Well, I want to enjoy, if I am dying, I wanna enjoy my time more. And money doesn’t matter as much. I don’t get a thrill out of earning money.

So I started last year just trying to really dive into the lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to volunteer, like time more. Like I would donate money, but I wanted to time more. So I guess last year I kind of pulled it without really realizing it. And again with the big caveat I call myself wifi cuz my wife still works.

Lots of her stuff pays the bills. So we don’t need to take from the investments that we have. When you retire right, you’re in theory, you’re not making money, you’re starting to pull from your nest egg. So I’m blessed that we don’t have to pull from that. Her stuff covers a lot and I do consulting on the side and help people buy, sell sites.

So I make a few thousand here and there as well. But yeah, I would say just like getting sick. [01:07:00] Having sold my site, not owning anything really just made me say I don’t wanna rush into just a job to make money. What would happen if I don’t do that? And or now on a year in from me not looking for a job, I’m still here, I’m still alive in investments or whatever they are.

I end up buying the site back cuz I wanted something to do for my brain and to put, all my new energy into when I felt better talking to you on the podcast. Right. That’s cool. And yeah, so, so again, with everything else I just go with the flow and if for some reason we lose all our money tomorrow and I need to go get a full-time job again, I will, I’m not , screw the man, anymore.

I’m just like, do whatever you need to do based on what you want outta life. Right. So yeah, so always go with the flow. Yeah.

Captain Fi: I love it, man. And so what does your sort of day-to-day life look like now? I guess , post wifi?

JMoney: Yeah. Well over the years, like when I would say about five or six years ago I read this book called Essentialism.

And it really kind of said [01:08:00] out of, the whole like 80 20 thing, what is it spend whatever, like that you get to the 80%, like all the 20% isn’t that meaningful, and lots of people spend so much time on the 20%, but it’s really getting 80% of it right. With your time and stuff.

And so I realized I was working nights and then weekends and just like around the clock, so I stopped working nights. And then I eventually stopped working weekends. That really forced me to work better and more efficiently during the week. And so then I realized I should spend more time with my kids than in the computer, so I started doing more stuff with them. And so I would take them to preschool and stuff for a couple hours in the morning. I would have to myself, and then I have to watch them afterwards. So eventually over time and where I am right now I like to wake up early, do some work, do correspondence as I call it, with email and like catching up with people.

Then I take my kids to, to preschool one of ’em and the rest go to elementary school. I work for a few hours and then I pick the little guy up. And we hang out for the rest of the day. And I don’t do any work really until the next morning. So I’m I guess stay-at-home [01:09:00] dad that happens to blog and do work on the side.

And now it’s summertime, so we’re watching them, taking ’em to camp back and forth, and then just doing, work here and there. Like my friend’s board game company stuff. Right. Doing this podcast with you. I dropped ’em off, came here on the PO and then I’ll have to go pick them up and take ’em to the pool or see their friend play dates and stuff.

So I guess the short answer is as a stay-at-home dad who happens to work a couple hours on random projects that may or may not make money.

Captain Fi: Yeah. That’s awesome man. Well, look, I think actually being a dad was like a huge part of my motivation for wanting to achieve fire and get more control over my life.

Yeah. And yeah, I’m really looking forward to , when it does happen to being able to do that and it’s really inspiring to be able to hear stories of people like yourself that, that are doing it. And, money isn’t an issue for you guys. It’s awesome. You can really spend that time with your sons and yeah.

It’s sort of something that I’ve always really wanted to do cause it’s sort of something that I never really got as a kid

JMoney: myself. Oh right. Yeah. That’s [01:10:00] crazy.

Captain Fi: So look one of the things I like to do with all of the guests is because I think it’s important to , suss out what they’re reading and what they’re listening to and where they’re learning from. Because I sort of pick this up fairly early on in in my finance journey is that if I can look at what successful people are doing and I can read what they’re reading and listen to what they’re listening to, it’s really gonna improve my education.

So with that being said and people hate these questions, right? It’s hard to answer them.

JMoney: Yeah. This is going, yeah. So

Captain Fi: So first up, books. All right. So there’s so many awesome books out there. But I’d love to know a couple of like your personal

JMoney: favorites. Yeah. The first is Essentialism by Greg McEwen.

That’s, that helped me. It mainly for business and career. But I used it towards lifestyle as well, lifestyle design. That was a really good one. I read all of Derek SI’s stuff. He had this site called CD Baby years ago that he sold for millions and now is like, just shares his thoughts on life and business and [01:11:00] entrepreneurship.

And he has a couple of different books somewhere around music. But the one I like the most is hell Yeah or No. And he has a blog too. And the, and this book is basically, like when someone asks you to do something, like if it’s not a hell yes, then like just don’t do it. And it’s oversimplified, but that kind of helps me make decisions a little faster, especially when you’re not forced to do it for money or for another reason.

That helps with that. And then he has another one called how to Live. And that one, like every, I don’t know, let’s say there’s 20 or 30 chapters and they’re really tiny books. Every chapter, which is two pages long, does some extreme way of living, live your life without touching money or live your life in another country where you don’t speak the language like it tries to convince you to live this whole random different life, which you obviously could never do all of them, but it makes you realize how different everything is around the world and how you can change it.

And there’s so many, there’s just so many ways to live, [01:12:00] and he just, he probably came out with this like in a weekend. Let’s figure out all the craziest ways to live and put it in a book. So I like this stuff that like tries to mess with your mind and gets you to refocus on, the parts that you want and then do that.

 Take what you will kind of thing. So yeah, those are my favorite. And then actually one has nothing to do with finance. I just like it. The rapper, Gucci Mane he has a book, an autobiography out that I picked up just cuz it had a lot of bling on it and it looked really good.

I don’t know anything about him. But for some reason, like for months I just read it I think six or seven months ago. For some reason I keep thinking about his life and like what he would do in certain si situations. It’s ridiculous cuz we’re completely different so far apart. But for some reason the book stuck with me.

And so that’s the only reason I mention it. If you happen to like rap music or you just like people overcoming struggles, like it’s a really interesting book that’s not, what we’re used to usually.

Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s interesting sometimes to see like the flip side, sometimes we can get so bogged down in I guess the dogma of like personal [01:13:00] finance and Oh yeah.

It’s interesting to see people on the outside and, I mean, I don’t know who Gucci man is, sorry. But yeah. If it, I mean Gucci’s like a, what’s a luxury brand rat? So I’m guessing it’s like one of these rappers that maybe installed of a million dollar diamond into his four bed or something. Yeah,

JMoney: You’re off, you’re very close.

Captain Fi: I mean, I’d rather install a billion dollar index fund portfolio, but hey, no, like I just taken the piece now, but I will check it out actually. Cause you’ve, you have fake mentors. Good. What about podcast mate? Do you listen to like podcasts or audio picture

JMoney: or anything that No I don’t listen to podcast.

 When my youngest is a baby and I like. Up two, three in the morning and rocking him to sleep for, an hour. I’d listened to podcasts but that was like, I dunno, five or six years ago. So I don’t, I haven’t listened to any really, I don’t even listen to the ones I’m on or actually I had with Paula Pant Afford Anything.

We had a show called The Money Show and we did, I did about 22 episodes or something like that with her, and then she went on with it. I left and she rebranded it, afford Anything, which is [01:14:00] probably in the top 10 finance or close to it, like she’s, it’s super popular. But I didn’t even listen to that one.

I’m just not a consumer of it and I don’t really exercise like Google for runs, so I don’t do that. And then I’m just so busy with kids I haven’t found a way to do it while I’m doing other things. I guess maybe like my brain doesn’t work that way. But no, but I do know that like people get a lot out of ’em and they’re super helpful which is cool.

Captain Fi: Yeah, I like Paula’s show and I think I’m gonna have to go back, go to the beginning. I’ve only really yeah. I’ve only listened to the later ones, so

JMoney: mate.

Captain Fi: I got the pen ultimate evil question.

Okay. And this is a generic one, mate. So if you could distill your advice down into three main points for someone pursuing financial independence Yeah. What would you tell them?

JMoney: The first I would tell them is to track your net worth or now I’m gonna start saying wealth probably cuz you, you’re saying it now, it’s getting stuck in my head.

, that’s the first thing I would do. If you have to track anything, just track that. Keep you accountable. I would say figure out what lifestyle you want to live and it could [01:15:00] be anything from, I wanna. Travel around the world and work or whatever it is. Or like me, like I just wanna work three hours in the morning and then have the rest of the time free.

That’s my ideal lifestyle. Like figure out what that is and then slowly kind of work backwards. So for me, I was working 60, 70 hours a week, stopped working nights, stopped working weekends, and then you’re down to the core and then over time chopping that in half, cuz a lot of people think, oh, I have to, once I hit fire then I could do X, Y, Z.

But that’s not true. A lot of the X, Y, Z you can do while you’re on that journey. You obviously can’t do it full time, but you can start working on it and you might even find some of the things you thought you wanna do. You don’t, especially if fire’s far away from now. So anyways, figuring out your lifestyle and then working backwards to add some of that to your daily life, I think is good.

And then third and this, I’m biased and I’ve already said it, but Just doing like what? Like you feel good about doing what you just really wanna do. I really wanna pay down debt or I [01:16:00] really wanna volunteer or just like really wanna go see my friend, drive across, a couple states and see my friend, like whatever it is.

You always perform better and you’re at like your peak in your peak version of yourself. I think when you’re just like in the mood and you wanna do it like right now. And obviously you can’t always do that if you have responsibilities and jobs and stuff. But you can probably do it sooner than you actually think.

 And even with work, if you can somehow craft your own weight, like even if you have a nine to five if you have band room to work. When you know you’re gonna be peak, like for me, the mornings and with coffee, I’m just so efficient and it just feels so good. I could do more in three hours than six hours in the evening with no coffee.

You know what I’m saying? So figuring out these little things about yourself and then trying to schedule your whole life around it, which never works all the way. And some people get irritated I’ll only do podcasts in the afternoon, and some people record in the morning, right? So then you have to decide if you want to do it or not.

But anyways [01:17:00] there, there’s really no rules to life besides like legal moral ones. Kind of like you can craft your lifestyle, even if it sounds ridiculous, you can do it and find a way to make it happen. Like I would go all in on yourself on that. If you can.

Captain Fi: I love it, man. Yeah, do what feels good. Yeah. Can, and you can

JMoney: probably, don’t blow your, do it sooner your body and do crack all day. Don’t do that. But within reason. As

Captain Fi: long as it’s constructive. This this Money tip sponsored by Nike. Just do it.

I gotta email Nike and get some advertising

JMoney: money from. There you go. I know you’re talking about in Serve Up Nike ads. If there’s ads on the show. Oh, I,

Captain Fi: who you are man. Some of the phones are listening to me, man. Some of the ads I get served after conversations that I have in podcasts, man, , I get some weird targeted ads.

Oh man, that’s funny. I feel bad though cuz like marketers, they’re gonna have a hard time trying to sell stuff to me. Massive. Oh

JMoney: Yeah. We’re the wrong group. Yeah. Financial people. Yeah, it’s funny.

Captain Fi: Oh look, Jay, mate, I’ve had an [01:18:00] absolute blast chatting to you today, mate. It’s been so much fun. Awesome to get to know you a bit more and learn about your journey to fire.

And thanks so much for coming on the pod and, being able to share this publicly with everyone. I think we’re all gonna take away some awesome lessons from it. But before we finish up mate, is there anything else you’d like to mention? Oh,

JMoney: No. If I can ever help you with anything, just shoot me an email or go to yeah, go to Jay money.biz and you can see all my contact information there.

You can DM me or tweet me or something. But No, this is fun man , I have nothing to promote or sell or anything, just going with the flow here with you.

Captain Fi: Just good vibes, man. Awesome. Well look I’ll put those in the show notes, so if anyone wants to check it out, highly recommend go and have a read of Budgets are sexy.

Like I said, it’s been around for a very long time, over 15 years now. There’s some awesome stuff on there. Jay’s just a wealth of knowledge. Really fun guy, really high energy. So, definitely check him out. And you on Twitter

JMoney: as well? Oh yeah. At budgets are sexy.

Yep. That’s my main social platform.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Awesome man. Well, again, [01:19:00] thanks so much for coming on the show, mate. Hope you’re have a awesome rest of your day. Pick up your little one and find something fun to do this afternoon. Thank

JMoney: you, man. Thanks for having me. This is fun. I love talking about this stuff and I’m sure my wife is happy that I’m not talking to her about it.

Captain Fi: Hey, man, if you ever look for a cool holiday destination come on down to

JMoney: Australia, man. Australia’s always on American’s list. It’s always like the top three. Yeah. One day I will be there.

Captain Fi: Yeah, mate. Come on down. We’ll go for a burn. Take a, the mighty Cessna out for a fly. Absolutely brilliant piece of American era here.

I’m not

JMoney: gonna go jet skiing with you.

Captain Fi: Yeah. No jet skiing. No, but I too, I usually don’t flip the plane. Okay. Geez. Awesome mate. All right, man, well, I’ll let you go and have an awesome

JMoney: day. All right, man. You too. Thank you.

Captain Fi: Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www [01:20:00] captain fire.com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.

You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact form or get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.

They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.[01:21:00]

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