Welcome! My name is J.D. Roth. I founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006, published Your Money: The Missing Manual in 2010, created the year-long “Get Rich Slowly” course in 2014, and for four years contributed the monthly “Your Money” column to Entrepreneur magazine.
In 2009, for reasons both personal and financial, I sold Get Rich Slowly — but stuck around as manager, editor, and primary writer until 2012. Then I “retired”. (Sort of.) In October 2017, I bought Get Rich Slowly back.
About Get Rich Slowly
Get Rich Slowly is a site for anyone who craves greater financial freedom.
- Are you deep in debt? I’ll share tips for digging out of debt and building a better financial future.
- Do you want to buy a house and/or send your kids to college? I’ll help you do that too.
- Have you been wondering how to get started with stock-market investing? I’ll teach you how to do so without gambling or excessive risk.
- Are you one of those crazies with eyes on early retirement? I totally get it. Because I managed to retire early myself, I’m happy to show you how you can do the same.
You won’t find any “get rich quick” schemes here. You won’t find multi-level marketing fads or hot stock tips here. I’m not going to give you a hard sell on any products or books. What you will find at Get Rich Slowly is daily information about personal finance and related topics.
I’ll share stories about debt elimination, saving money, and practical investing. I’ll post occasional reviews of books, magazines, and software. I’ll scour the web for the latest personal finance tools and articles. I’ll also post news on related topics like simplicity, frugality, and personal development. (I believe that personal growth is systemic, that in order to improve financially, you have to improve in other areas of your life.)
Welcome! Enjoy your personal quest toward financial freedom.
Who is J.D. Roth?
I was born and raised in Canby, Oregon. As was my father before me. As was his father before him. I attended Canby Union High School before spending four years at college in Salem, where I attended Willamette University. I earned a bachelor of arts in psychology with a minor in English (writing emphasis). I also took a lot of public speaking classes. Naturally, after I graduated I couldn’t find a job. I went to work for my Dad, selling custom boxes for the family business. I hated it.
You’ll notice that none of this has anything to do with money. I have no formal training in the world of finance. I’m not an accountant. I’m not a licensed stockbroker. I’m not a certified financial planner. I’m just a regular guy who has learned about money through the school of hard knocks.
You see, I graduated from college with a debt problem. I didn’t have student loans — thank goodness! — but I’d discovered the “joys” of credit cards. Over the next fifteen years, I got further and further into debt. By 2004, I’d acquired over $35,000 in consumer debt — credit cards, personal loans, a car payment — and was living paycheck t paycheck on a salary of $50,000 per year! I spent every penny I earned and had no savings.
One night in October 2004, after I’d bounced yet another check and missed yet another payment, I reached rock bottom. That night, I drafted a three-year plan to get out of debt. According to my calculations, I could pay off everything I owed by December 2007 — if I managed my money wisely. I decided to give it a shot.
Here’s a screencap of the actual debt-reduction plan I drew up that night:
After I drafted this plan, I decided to manage my personal finances as if I were managing a small business. I cut back on spending. I boosted my income. As my cash flow improved, I paid down debt. I tracked my spending and created monthly reports to document my progress.
The results were remarkable.
In less than a year, I had set aside a $5000 emergency fund and had increased my cash flow by $750 per month. I plowed that “profit” into debt-reduction. I continued to manage my life as a business, and in December 2007 — right on schedule! — I became debt-free for the first time in my adult life.
Today, a decade later, I’m still learning about smart money management. Because I’m human, I occasionally make mistakes — occasionally I make dumb mistakes — and some years are more profitable than others. In general, however, my net worth continues to grow and I’m able to pursue the things that make me happy.
Why I Do What I Do
When I first told my friends that I was going to buy back Get Rich Slowly, some of them thought I was crazy. “Why would you do that?” they asked. “Aren’t you financially independent? Besides, I thought you got burned out on the site.”
These things are true. I am financially independent. I’ve saved enough money to fund my current lifestyle indefinitely. If I don’t want to work, I don’t have to. And yes, I did get burned out on Get Rich Slowly.
But here’s the thing: I love to write. I love building communities. I love interacting with other folks in the world of personal finance. (It amazes me that some of the folks I used to look up to and admire are now not only colleagues but friends.)
As I return to Get Rich Slowly, I have three goals:
- I want to have fun. I don’t want for this to be a job. I want it to be a joy. I want to be jazzed to walk down to my writing studio every morning, sit down at the computer, and write about what’s new in the world of money.
- I want to help others improve their finances. The cynical people out there (hello, Reddit!) find it tough to believe that a person might want to help others achieve success. Sorry, cynical people. It’s true. I feel fortunate (or blessed, if you prefer) to have done what I’ve done. I’m grateful. If there’s a way I can help others improve their financial situation, that’s awesome! (Plus, honestly, who wouldn’t like to get “thank you” notes from readers who say you’ve helped them get out of debt or buy a house or move to Spain? Feels good, man!)
- I want to earn a little money. At a basic level, I want Get Rich Slowly to support itself. I want to earn enough from the site to recover the cost of buying it back, the cost of revamping it for 2018, and the ongoing costs of maintaining the blog. Eventually, it’d be great if I could earn enough to offset my living expenses — so I wouldn’t have to touch any of my retirement savings. (But if that last bit doesn’t happen, fine. I’m okay with it.)
The bottom line: I’m back at Get Rich Slowly because it sounds like a great way to spend my days. Instead of sitting around in my underwear reading comic books while sipping whisky, I can do something productive, something that makes the world a better place.
And I hope that, in some small way, Get Rich Slowly is able to help you.