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J Money: The Multimedia Empire and the Race to Millionaire

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J Money Multimedia Mogul

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If you’ve been following Financial Independence (FI) media for a while, you may know of J Money from Budgets Are Sexy. Now of All-Star Money (by the Motley Fool) fame. All-Star Money was kind enough to feature one of my posts as well. I was first introduced to J when he was on the So Money Podcast hosted by Farnoosh Torabi.

The Multimedia Empire

Multisite blogger, former podcaster, interviewee, domain names owner and seller, content curator, clothing and merchandise seller, even avid coin collector. J has dipped his hands in many forms of online (and offline) content. His latest interview (at the time of this post, as far as I know) on the FI Show is what inspired this post. Fun fact, the only podcast I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on (again at the time of this writing) was also the FI Show. (Episode here).

J’s resume is so huge I could almost write a book just on the media empire he was starting to build back when I first found his content. Check out his site for his empire list, achievements, accolades, and more.

Addition Through Subtraction: Enter Minimalism

J recalls losing his job as he was blogging and making the switch from 9-to-5 to entrepreneur. His blogs were growing and making money, but also recalls working 60-80 hour work weeks. As the blogging income success grew, J slowed down blogging on nights and weekends to spend more time with family.

J also started podcasting with FI expert Paula Pant, but after 26 episodes, he decided podcasting wasn’t a route he wanted to take.

J recalls also reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown on his journey through minimalism:

The Race to Millionaire

J started sharing his net worth long before I was introduced to his content. The fact blew my mind. I couldn’t believe this guy would tell the entire world he was worth over $800,000!! (At the time I started following him).

The race/bet J and I had going through Twitter was that I was going to hit a $0/positive net worth before J hit millionaire status. Roughly $38k in debt, I was making between $11 and $13/hour. (I can’t recall exact dates/data because I suck at exact record-keeping). I won’t keep you in suspense too long, but J won when he sold Budgets Are Sexy (but I hit $0 a week or two later).

Retirement: Find Your Dream Job

After selling Budgets Are Sexy, J was asked to work on another content curation site for the Motley Fool (All-Star Money). Another FI persona, Mindy Jensen, aka Mrs. 1500 of is another “retiree” who found their dream job. Maybe it’s my turn next? Who knows?


J is not afraid to talk about his giving attitude. Just another one of his admirable qualities, this is another “why of FI” for me. I want to give generously.

Some of J’s philanthropic projects include gift card giveaways, direct cause donations, community fundraising, and more. J loves giving, but the direct impact is at the core of his mission. He’s helped coordinate donations of large ticket items like service dogs and even cars! “Giving feels good.”

Reaching FI, J states on the FI show, allows for options. Options for retirement, philanthropy, side projects etc.

Millionaire Traits I Share with J

Although I don’t have a multimedia empire (or had in J’s case), I did start sharing my net worth when I started blogging. I don’t anymore. My net worth is still positive, even though lately I’ve added more debt (which is something J didn’t do).

We both embrace frugality. J and I both consider ourselves frugal and minimalists. We watch our expenses (him less so now with all his money haha). I oddly enough do not own a couch and I stopped using my microwave recently (and don’t miss it at all).

Oddly enough we both enjoy collecting coins, blogging about money, and talking FI. We share a passion for money and talking about it as well.

We are both givers. Although I don’t give as much as I’d like to, I do force myself to be a bit more generous with friends and loved ones a bit more than inside my comfort zone. I try to support entrepreneurs on Twitter, or give to friends GoFundMe pages. Like J, the direct impact of giving just feels good to me.

Millionaires? Will I reach the millionaire milestone? Maybe… honestly I’ve stopped reaching for it. I’ve run the numbers and at 65 I will have at least $250k or so. Maybe not the ideal amount but it’s the habits and investments now that will make the difference, not the amount. For now, I’m focused on boosting my savings and retirement investments, keeping an emergency fund, and paying off debt. Millionaire status isn’t my FI goal. An extraordinary life is.