The Get Rich Slowly Anniversary

The middle of April is a Big Deal in my world.

The trees have nearly finished blossoming, which means my allergies will soon go away. We’re seeing more of the sun, which means the worst of my seasonal depression is behind me. Today, on the 15th, Get Rich Slowly celebrates its anniversary.

In the Beginning

When I started Get Rich Slowly, I had no idea what it was going to become. I had no grand plan or vision. I just wanted to write about money while accomplishing three goals.

  • My primary goal was to document my own journey as I dug out of debt and (I hoped) eventually learned how to build wealth.
  • My secondary aim was to help my family and friends get better with their money too. (Although, truthfully, in my entire social circle, I was probably the person with the worst personal finance skills.)
  • And, third on the list, I wanted to make a little extra money with the site. I figured if I could make a few hundred bucks with it, I could pay off my debt a little sooner.

On 26 April 2005 — a year before I started this blog — I published an article called “Get Rich Slowly!” for my personal site. Here’s what I wrote:

Today’s entry is long and boring. It’s all about the keys to wealth, prosperity, and happiness. Over the past few months, I’ve read over a dozen books on personal finance. Recurring themes have become evident.

These books have embarrassingly bad titles, seemingly designed to appeal to the get-rich-quick crowd: The Richest Man in Babylon, Your Money or Your Life, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich, Wealth Without Risk, etc.

Some of the books out there — most of them? — really are as bad as their titles. Others, however, offer outstanding, practical advice. The best books seem to have the same goal in mind: not wealth, not riches, but financial independence.

According to Your Money or Your Life, which I consider the very best of the financial books I’ve read, “Financial independence is the experience of having enough — and then some”. More practically, financial independence occurs when your investment income meets or exceeds your monthly expenses. Financial independence is linked to psychological freedom.

How is financial independence achieved? Again, the best books all basically agree. (To some of you, this will be common sense, stuff you’ve known all your life. To others, like me, this kind of thinking is a sort of revelation.)

Here, then, is my personal summary of the collected wisdom found in these books.

“It’s nearly impossible to get rich quick without luck,” I concluded after summarizing all of these money books. “Getting rich quick is a sucker’s bet. There’s only a slim chance that you’ll have the sort of luck that’s required. You might as well play the lottery.”

Instead, I thought the underlying message of these books was simple: “It is possible to get rich slowly, however, with no risk, and with no luck. All that’s required is patience and discipline.”

Get Rich Slowly 1.0

That original “Get Rich Slowly” article at my personal site proved popular. It went the 2005 version of “viral”, being shared at sites like Boing Boing, Lifehacker, etc.

A year later, I was still searching for a way to earn money on the side to help me dig out of debt. I decided that maybe I could earn a few bucks by starting a site about saving and investing. I actually thought mine would be the first personal finance blog on the Internet! (Ha — little did I know! There were already dozens — dozens! — of other money blogs out there.)

On April 15, 2006, I launched Get Rich Slowly. It was successful from the start. For whatever reason, the stuff I wrote resonated with readers. They shared the site with their friends and family.

Within weeks, I had several hundred readers. Within months, the audience had grown to several thousand. Within two years, more than 500,000 people per month were coming to the site. It was crazy. It was completely unexpected. I was shocked. And grateful.

Those early days of GRS were a hell of a lot of fun. I was figuring this money stuff out in real time, and writing about my successes (and, yes, my failures) as they happened. I did some stupid, stupid stuff — but as time went on, I got better at managing my money.

Needless to say, writing about smart money management every day — for 1000 days — produces a lot of articles! Certain articles stood out as particularly popular — I think because they were particularly helpful. Anyway, here are some highlights from the first three years of the site:

  • In praise of the debt snowball (28 Sep 2006) — When I started Get Rich Slowly, I had over $35,000 in consumer debt. I lived paycheck to paycheck on a salary of over $50,000 per year. Basically, I was your typical American consumer. To get out of debt, I used Dave Ramsey’s version of the debt snowball. A lot of folks want to complain that using this method is based on bad math, but so what? If math were the issue, I wouldn’t have been in debt — and neither would many other people. The debt snowball works, and that’s why I love it.
  • Are index funds the best investment? (24 Jan 2007) — At first, I was a bad investor. In fact, I was a gambler, not an investor. I took chances on random stocks in the hopes they’d shoot through the roof. Reading and writing about money quickly taught me that pros like Warren Buffett (and many more) actually endorse a simple investment strategy for average folks like you and me. For us, putting our savings into indexed mutual funds is the most reliable long-term investment.
  • Which online high-yield savings account and money market account is best? (21 Mar 2007, although this link is to a recent update) — As I started learning smart money habits, I realized it was dumb for me to leave my money in a big national bank that paid me no interest. But where should I save my money instead? To find out, I polled GRS readers. Whoa! Who knew this simple question would create such a huge response? Readers left over 1700 comments with suggestions about where to get the most bang for my buck.
  • Free at last! Saying good-bye to 20 years of debt (03 Dec 2007) — It took a lot of time and effort, but my new habits finally paid off. Three years after starting my quest, I wrote a check for the last of my consumer debt. From here, I could start building future wealth instead of repaying past folly.
  • A real millionaire next door (13 May 2008) — I used to live next door to an old guy named John. John was a retired shop teacher who had managed to build big wealth on a small salary. Now, in his 70s, he spent part of the year working on farms in New Zealand, part of the year on an Alaskan fishing boat, and part of the year puttering around his home in Portland. Later, I decided to interview him about what led to his financial success.
  • You can’t always get what you want (24 Nov 2008) — Notes from a conversation with my cousin: It’s okay to have something in your life that you hate. And it’s okay to have something you want. It’s natural. The problem is that once you get that thing, you’re just going to hate something else, you’re just going to want something more. It’s not want that’s the problem, but the habit of constantly satisfying wants.

So much happened in my life during these years, both good and bad. It seems odd to summarize that entire period in just a few articles, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. (If you want to read more, check out the archives.)

Get Rich Slowly 2.0

While the early, heady years of GRS were carefree and fun, running the site eventually became work. A lot of work. Plus, all sorts of stuff was going on behind the scenes in my personal life. My best friend committed suicide. I was unhappy in my marriage. I struggled with my weight. It was all too much.

In early 2009, I decided to listen to the offers from people who wanted to buy Get Rich Slowly. Shortly after the site’s third anniversary, I agreed to sell it.

When I sold, I became financially independent. (I was already on a path toward financial independence — or “FI,” as we say — but the sale helped me leap ahead several years.) My plan was simply to walk away and be done with writing about money. Turns out, I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

You see, I love the GRS community. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to continue answering emails, sharing reader questions and stories, and documenting what I was learning about money. Instead of walking away, I stuck around for another three years as editor and primary writer.

During that time, we brought in other writers to help me manage the workload. I was always amazed at how each new voice added another dimension to the site. And our content changed in yet another way because I was becoming much more philosophical about money at this time.

I’d always stressed the importance of psychology; but as my financial philosophy matured, I became even more convinced that smart money management was all about mindset, not math. The math is easy. It’s the emotional stuff that’s tough. Some of the best articles from this era of GRS really get to the heart of these issues, and I hope that what I learned will be helpful to others, too.

  • The razor’s edge: Lessons in true wealth (18 Jan 2009) — This is perhaps the most important article I ever wrote for Get Rich Slowly, although most people would never know it. In early 2009, my best friend took his own life. It had a profound impact on me. Here I wrote about what I learned from Sparky’s life — and his death.
  • How to negotiate your salary (06 May 2009) — I don’t think people spend enough time looking for ways to boost their income. There’s a reason I mention this over and over and over again. Learning how to negotiate your salary is one of the best ways to improve your financial well-being.
  • Understanding the federal budget and The truth about taxes (August 2009) — We cannot have informed discussions about taxes and government spending if we don’t have the baseline information. Because my own education on this subject was weak, and because I wanted GRS readers to be informed, I spent 12 hours researching a variety of tax topics. These two articles record my attempts to provide that baseline information. (I need to update these for 2019, don’t I?)
  • Action not words: The difference between talkers and doers (30 Aug 2010) — If there’s something you want to be or do, the best way to become that thing is to actually take steps toward it, to move in that direction. Don’t just talk about it, but do something. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just take a small step in the right direction every single day.
  • America’s love-hate relationship with wealth (14 Nov 2011) — While writing about money, I’ve noticed that people in general (and Americans in particular) have a complex love-hate relationship with wealth. People want to be rich — but they’re suspicious of those who already are. Why is that? How can we learn to be happy for the financial success of others?
  • A place of my own (16 Jan 2012) — The toughest blog post I’ve ever had to write: After months of hinting at things, I revealed that my wife and I were getting a divorce, and that I’d moved into an apartment of my own. This post explored some of the implications of that decision. (For the record: Kris and I continue to maintain our friendship.)

Eventually, after three years of lingering at GRS, I reached the point where I was willing to cut the cord. I gradually reduced my involvement until I was ready to walk away. I eased myself out of the site and into the life I’d been hoping to pursue.

The Quinstreet Years

I sold Get Rich Slowly in 2009 but stayed on as editor (and primary writer) for another three years. By mid-2012, it seemed that Quinstreet, the company that had acquired the site, was ready to run the site on its own. Plus, it felt like both the audience and I were both ready for me to leave.

So, I retired. Sort of.

Although I no longer had any active involvement in Get Rich Slowly, I still contributed articles from time to time. Plus, I wrote about money for other outlets.

In 2010, I published Your Money: The Missing Manual. (I’m proud of that book but it’s sorely in need of an update.) From 2011 to 2014, I wrote the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. In 2014, I released the Get Rich Slowly course. In 2015, I started a new site called Money Boss (which is now a part of GRS). And so on.

Plus, of course, Kim and I embarked on our awesome 15-month tour of the U.S. by RV.

I’ll confess: I didn’t pay much attention to Get Rich Slowly after I moved on. I checked in now and then, but mostly I ignored it. Looking through the archives, here are some of the articles that stand out during the Quinstreet years:

  • How to handle people who undermine your success (06 Jan 2012, by April Dykman) — April Dykman was always one of my favorite staff writers here at GRS. I loved learning from her progress. Here she shared some thoughts on how to handle haters in your life. As you work toward a better financial future, you will encounter people who think your choices are foolish. April — and the commenters — have some tips for coping with the criticism.
  • The power of personal transformation: Change yourself, change the world (16 Jul 2012, by J.D. Roth) — In July 2012, I spoke at World Domination Summit. This is the written version of that speech, which was all about overcoming fear, finding focus, and taking action. I argued that by finding the courage to change what’s wrong in your own life, you’ll not only improve yourself, but improve the world around you. (This material has become the psychological core of my financial philosophy.)
  • Romanticizing poverty and learning financial independence (03 Jan 2013, by Kristin Wong) — Kristin Wong was another great GRS writer. In this piece, she talks about different perceptions of wealth and poverty — and how those perceptions influence our choices. Her articles always led to great discussions.
  • All you need to know about saving for retirement (15 May 2013, by Robert Brokamp) — Before I left GRS, I brokered a deal with the Motley Fool that brought regular contributions from the hilarious (and smart) Robert Brokamp. He contributed many terrific pieces over the years, but I particularly like this crash course in retirement savings. If you’re wondering where to start, start here.
  • You are the boss of you: How to find success with money and life (01 Aug 2013, by J.D. Roth) — I’ve always said that nobody cares more about your money than you do. But I’ve come to realize that nobody cares more about you than you do. The key to success — in every area of life — is to understand that you control your own destiny. If you want to be successful with money and life, you must act as your own boss.
  • How to track your spending (and why you should) (24 April 2014, by Holly Johnson) — Holly is another one of the great staff writers that GRS hosted during the Quinstreet years. (I’m excited because she’s promised to give me an article soon about some of her home improvement fiascos. Should be fun!) I like this article, in which she takes a friend to task for not tracking his spending. He and his wife make a lot of money but they’re constantly broke. Why? Because they have no idea where there money goes.
  • 29 Ways to build your emergency fund out of thin air (18 Jan 2016, by Donna Freedman) — Donna has contributed a lot of great articles to GRS over the years. (And I hope that at some point in the future, I’ll be able to afford to hire her to write here again.) I liked this piece, which provides tons of tips for boosting your saving rate. Saving more isn’t just for building an emergency fund; it’s also important for digging out of debt and, eventually, pursuing goals like homeownership and financial independence.

During the Quinstreet years, the GRS audience dwindled. This was in part due to the way they managed the site. They had good intentions (and lots of smart people behind the scenes), but they didn’t have the same passion for personal finance that I did. Plus, they tended to make decisions that favored short-term results instead of long-term growth. I can’t fault them for their choices — they did what was right for them — but I’m sad that the community eventually collapsed.

Not all of the collapse was due to blog management, though. Even if I hadn’t sold the site, it likely would have faded eventually, and for a number of reasons: the rise of social media, the “death of blogs”, and increased competition from awesome new sites on a variety of niche subjects.

Get Rich Slowly 3.0

In 2015, I “unretired” from blogging. I founded Money Boss, a site where I posted long, meaty articles about managing your money as if you were the CFO of your own life. I had fun. The site didn’t grow as quickly as GRS had nine years before, but after eighteen months, the site had acquired several thousand dedicated followers.

Then, in the spring of 2017, Quinstreet approached me. They asked me if I wanted to re-purchase Get Rich Slowly. Looking at the numbers, I realized it probably didn’t make much financial sense to do so — but I didn’t let that dissuade me. In October 2017, I bought Get Rich Slowly.

In the eighteen months since my return, I’ve published a lot of articles that I think are especially good. Here are some highlights:

  • What the rich do differently: Habits that foster wealth and success (18 Dec 2017) — I’m fascinated by the differences between rich people and poor people. Are the differences mostly a matter of class and economic mobility? Are people born to wealth and poverty and destined to remain there? Or are there observable differences in attitude and action that tend to lead people to specific levels of affluence? From my experience, it’s some of both.
  • Start where you are (04 Jan 2018) — My main message to family and friends who find themselves at forty or fifty and feel behind the curve is: Don’t panic. All is not lost. You’re not too late. This isn’t a contest. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
  • The plight of the poor: Thoughts on systemic poverty, fault, and responsibility (28 Feb 2018) — There are very real differences between the behaviors and attitudes of those who have money and those who don’t. If we want ourselves and others to be able to enjoy economic mobility, to escape poverty and dire circumstances, we have to have an understanding of the necessary mental shifts. The problem, of course, is that it’s one thing to understand intellectually that wealthy people and poor people have different mindsets, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to adopt more productive attitudes in your own life.
  • The forever fallacy (11 Jul 2018) — The forever fallacy is the mistaken belief that you will always have what you have today, that you’ll always be who you are today. The truth is that everything changes. You change. Your circumstances change. The people around you change. Nothing is forever. The challenge then is to balance this concept — everything changes — with living in the present. You must learn to enjoy today while simultaneously preparing for a variety of possible tomorrows.
  • The boots theory of socioeconomic unfairness (26 Oct 2018) — Last October, I spent a week exploring the relationship between cost and quality. Quality tends to come with a price. While there are ways to mitigate some of these higher costs — buy used, wait for sales, etc. — if you want to buy new quality items, you’re going to pay a premium. Because of this, quality is often something reserved for the rich. Like so many things in life, this is fundamentally unfair. But that’s how things are.
  • Why frugality is an important part of personal finance (31 Jan 2019) — Depriving yourself of certain “standard” choices now means you don’t have to lead a life of deprivation when you’re older. When you choose to spend less, you’re not just boosting your bottom line. You’re also gaining the time and freedom that would have been required to earn that money. Thrift isn’t deprivation. It’s wealth.
  • Saving regret — and how to avoid it (27 Feb 2019) — Very few people regret saving money. In fact, research shows that less than 2% of people would save less if they could re-do their earlier life. On the other hand, two-thirds of people wish they’d saved more when they were younger. Poorer people tend to regret not saving most of all. The bottom line: To avoid regrets when you’re older, save more now.

I won’t lie. While I’m glad to be back and I’ve enjoyed the past eighteen months, it’s also been tough. I have lots to say, but I’ve struggled to figure out exactly how to say it. Blogging has changed. Expectations are different. I am different than when I started this site.

I’m constantly wrestling with questions like: How often should I write? (Once a week? Three times a week? At random intervals?) Should I share only new stuff? Or should I republish updated material from the archives? In the olden days, I used to share tons of things from other sites. Should I continue to do that? Or should I focus on my own thoughts? How long should my articles be? (A few hundred words? Or…a few thousand?) What topics should I cover?

My publication pattern for the past year has been…well, irregular. There are some months where I write and publish a ton, both from myself and others. There are other months — like this one — during which I publish little. And my articles are all over the place.

I’m not worried, though. I know I’ll figure things out. In the meantime, I’m having fun. I hope that you are having fun too. And, as always, if you have any suggestions and/or requests for things you’d like to see around here, please let me know. I want GRS to be a useful resource for you — for all of you.

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There are 44 comments to "The Get Rich Slowly Anniversary".

  1. Brian says 15 April 2019 at 15:59

    Hi JD,

    I’ve been a reader since your Money Boss phase. Grateful for your backlog. I’ve enjoyed your transparency and I’ve learned new perspectives from your writing.

    It’s tough to rebuild something a second time. You have to fight your own expectations (GRS3.0 not growing as fast as GRS 1.0). You are a gifted writer. Your body of work stands the test of time.

    As you move forward, create your future from your future rather than your past. Where do you want GRS to be in 10–25 years?

    Harvest your best lessons from the past but as you’ve said blogging circa 2006 is radically different from 2019. Experiment with vlogging. Maybe also look for an audience via or even LinkedIn. Drive traffic back to GRS.

    Here’s to a bigger, better, and deeper version of GRS as you create GRS2019.

  2. Steveark says 15 April 2019 at 17:11

    You are simply my favorite voice in this space. Wisdom, humor, kindness and tough love all rolled up in the smoothest of mellow prose. I have been lucky, and haven’t needed much advice. But I still read every post. And I’m very glad you do what you do J.D.

  3. M says 15 April 2019 at 19:17

    I just love your blog. I think I like hearing about your lessons from your real life the most. They seem to impart more wisdom than just money advice.

  4. Peter Payne says 15 April 2019 at 23:24

    Love your articles, JD! Been a fan for years. I think I came here from a Bogleheads discussion originally.

  5. Dave @ Accidental FIRE says 16 April 2019 at 03:09

    You have soo much archive material, I think it’d be great to continue share old stuff sometimes and give it a face-lift if necessary. That way you don’t have to come up with new ideas as much and we get to revisit your old stuff which is still just as relevant today as it was then.

  6. wendy says 16 April 2019 at 04:59

    I think a lot depends on what you want out of 3.0. My druther would be that ‘you do you’…
    As you noted, there are a lot of blogs out there – what brings me here is the sincerity and uniqueness of your individual voice. The aggregation sites are good for gathering a variety of viewpoints quickly but they don’t have a consistent voice/personality behind them. Having met you in person (waves hello) just reinforces my appreciation of your authenticity as a real person working their way through life.
    That’s the value of this site to me.

  7. olga says 16 April 2019 at 07:09

    That makes me a reader for about 11 of them, I would conservatively estimate (including your other blogs in-between). “You do you” as a comment above said is what keeps me coming back. Personal views on things, your voice is what matters. Financial advise is aplenty out there, and technically I don’t seek it. I draw from it more of an affirmation I am not along, lets keep plugging, we shall inspire each other sort of thing. Best to you with dealing with depression, health concerns, and blog up-rise for additional financial perk.

  8. Joe says 16 April 2019 at 07:18

    Congratulations! You’re one of the best writers out there. Your writing is approachable and genuine. That’s why I’m still reading after all these years. I think I found GRS around 2007.
    You’re doing pretty well with 3.0. You’ve been more consistent than at Money Boss, from what I recall.

  9. PFI says 16 April 2019 at 07:24

    Congratulations on having a teenager! I’ve been a huge fan of your writing for years and appreciate your voice. I’m glad you’re back at GRS and happy whenever you publish something new. I also enjoy dusting off older stuff, since there is so much good content in the archives. I’ll be spending some time on the links in this article!

  10. WantNot says 16 April 2019 at 08:34

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY G.R.S.! This is a useful, down-to-earth site. Congratulations on 13 years of helping other people find their way. It’s a great thing to be doing, J.D.! I always read your posts with gratitude and enjoyment. Keep up the great work.

  11. Dan says 16 April 2019 at 11:18


    I’ve always thought that you show too much deference to Quinstreet. The fact that you have NDAs with them makes it even harder to decipher what your “true” feelings are vs what you’re allowed to say in public with your name attached. To that point, I’ll say that I absolutely fault Quinstreet for the way they managed things, especially by focusing on short term profits at the expense of short term gains. It’s just dumb, especially because at the end there was nothing left. You’re right that things could have changed anyway, but part of that just comes with the territory of being a one man show. When *you* are the product, what’s left when you’re gone?

  12. S.G. says 16 April 2019 at 13:08

    When the other writers came in GRS many of them had a clear political side and the whole tone changes from curiosity to lecture. It wasn’t fun so I stopped checking in.

    As far as what I enjoy as a reader and would like to see: I think my ideal would be 3 articles per week. They don’t all have to be big, but maybe one original piece, one reprint (throwback Thursdays?), and one guest post (I know sometimes those are more work than the original work) or short form/reader discussion.

    A possible short form would be pulling one of the more interesting things you’ve pinned with your thoughts about it then we can discuss in comments. A number of those I have thought would lend themselves to discussion.

    • Spencer for Hire says 16 April 2019 at 13:52

      I like the idea of a throwback once a week. I would be good with two a week. Even if one is a throwback. Although in this day and age I think new readers expect more from their source of information. I started reading the site 12 years ago and came back when you repurchased it as I love your writing style. New readers might not be as patient as me as they expect more frequent articles. Of course that all depends on what you want out of the site. If you want to slowly grow the site picking up a few readers at a time and make it a lifestyle site then less frequent is fine.

      Also, your articles early on were very much focused on frugality and the growing pains of getting out of debt because that was where you were in life then. I related to those articles then as I just graduated college and was struggling to pay off student loans and some credit card debt. Today, I am where you are now in your financial life and relate to your new articles that are more philosophical, but the majority of the population is still struggling in that earlier stage. New ones are added every day as they graduate college and are searching for help. Since you are not at that stage anymore and might not have the interest to write about those early stage topics anymore, some guest posts from people who write about those stages might help bring more traffic and you can add your commentary with reference to your experiences.

      Overall, I agree with the posts above as your tone and style of writing is what brings me back time and again. There will be plenty of people that would love to read your articles if you wanted to write more so it really all depends on your aspirations for the site. Keep up the great work!

    • olga says 17 April 2019 at 03:15

      What to add my vote to the similar schedule. 3-a-week, with one throwback and one guest sounds fantastic, what a great idea!

    • FoxTesla says 17 April 2019 at 08:58

      I don’t remember the guest writers being THAT heavy-handed in the pieces, but I do agree where my memories on if the author replied in the comments, an answer was more towards “No” than it was “Oh, maybe I should consider that.”

      On the flipside, it was amazing to see the readers go insane over certain guest posts – the one that really sticks in my mind was from the very low income author who posted about using two shampoo bottles for every one purchased and filling each with half shampoo, half water to save money…the readership at the time was NOT digging that.

    • Susan says 23 April 2019 at 12:50

      I like this idea as well! Maybe you could look to podcasts for ideas about the best cadence. My favorite podcast is Stuff You Should Know. They put out 4 episodes a week: two that are new and standard length, one new “short stuff,” and one “best of” — repeat from years gone by. It’s perfect for me, I get a hit a few times a week, varies in length, and I haven’t heard a lot of their older episodes so they seem new to me. Lots of inspiration to be had in podcasts.

  13. Shannon says 16 April 2019 at 17:47

    I’ve been reading GRS since before you originally sold it. I’m glad you’re back, and I think you need to write whatever inspires you. A regular schedule sounds like drudgery. I think updating older posts would be beneficial for readers. You have a wealth of information in the archives. Short posts with whatever’s on your mind would be fine.

  14. Fay says 17 April 2019 at 05:41

    I agree I came to GRS in 2016 via British blogger. I’m so glad you are running GRS as I wouldn’t have a clue about FIRE otherwise. I’m not fussed about the content or as you state there is no theme I’m happy with what you write as I’m internally grateful. Maybe more examples of people in their 40s and how to catch up etc with pensions what they would need to save to have potential of £30k per year. Mine I would have to save £1800 per month for the next 20 years to achieve this however I don’t even earn this much a month and compare with investing the same amount in investments etc thanks JD I’m from the United Kingdom (UK) aged 44

  15. Adam says 17 April 2019 at 06:24

    It’s been at least eight years I’ve read your blog; possibly longer, but 2011 is the first record I have of forwarding a page to my wife via chat. 😉 Yours the first personal finance blog I got into; it really got its hooks into me, and we owe a fair bit of our 41.3%-to-liquid-millionaire status to you. It cannot have been easy to share some of the wisdom you’ve learned the hard way over the last baker’s dozen years — thank you, very much!

  16. Rita says 17 April 2019 at 06:59


    Happy Birthday GRS!. I have been following you since the original site. As a lot of folks, I eventually tuned out after you left and later followed Money Boss and back to HERE! I rarely comment, but today I was compelled to do so because if I don’t, how will you know?

    How will you know that this is basically the only blog I follow. The way you write things, explain things, and arrange things aesthetically on your site just appeals to me. As others have mentioned, the personal articles you write are ALWAYS my favorite. I wish you many more years and thank you for making personal finance readable!

  17. Ellen says 17 April 2019 at 09:54

    I discovered this site sometime late last year, and tend to check-in weekly. I really appreciate your honesty, unique voice and down-to-earth vibe. I’d be happy to see articles posted once or twice a week. I find your personal stories (finances in the context of your life, vs just theory) and interviews/discussions with others in different life phases most compelling.

    Great work, and thank you!

  18. ssmm2012 says 17 April 2019 at 11:39

    JD – As your archive is packed full of great reference material – Can you start a “throwback Thursday” post, where you highlight a past article from the archives. This would help your posting consistency and highlight some of the articles from MoneyBoss or previous GRS postings….just some food for thought.

  19. J.D. says 17 April 2019 at 12:39

    Your wish is my command.

    I like the idea of a “Throwback Thursday” feature where I bring forward and update older articles. I’ll make it happen.

    Thanks for the suggestion, everybody.

    • S.G. says 17 April 2019 at 21:05

      It’s also a way of introducing new people who aren’t as far along their journey to old JD. As you’ve pointed out: they have more in common with him. And you can still add some wisdom from new JD.

  20. wotah says 17 April 2019 at 12:48

    J.D. – First time caller, long time listener. I’ve been along for the whole journey, small blog, Globo Gym ownership and back to your voice. It seems what resonates with me and most others that comment is your “Voice”. Your inquisitive, open, and common sense way of approaching the subject of personal finance is endearing.

    You hint to the question, what should 3.0 look like? I feel us readers are here because we enjoy your approach and your tone. You don’t pretend to know it all and are open to finding the best way forward be it thru interviews, deep subject dives or your real life (sometimes imperfect) experiences. That said, moving forward I’d continue to be interested in articles YOU find interesting (outside sites), subjects that have been covered but pop into your head (Throwback Thursday as mentioned) and continued honest dives into personal finance wrapped into real life.

    My own journey as well as many others who read this site owe you a big ol high five for your time in unpacking these subjects. Please know that my family is better off for the words you have written. Happy 13 sir.

    -ride on-

  21. El Nerdo says 17 April 2019 at 14:49

    Back in 2008 I had a small business and was financially overextended with the expectation that life would always be better and so I’d catch up eventually.

    Then the economy crashed, my clients went under, I followed next, and found myself hanging off a financial cliff.

    I looked for solutions all over the internet, and there was a lot of marketing BS about “debt consolidation” and other nonsense. Products to buy.

    But then I found this blog, and the articles and the discussions showed me a path forward in a way that wasn’t scummy or trying to sell me a something.

    So I stuck around and read and discussed and learned some more, until I think I learned what I needed. The discussions were really a great way to hash things out for me.

    And some times I could disagree with something J.D. said, but I always found that his content came from a place of integrity. Meaning it was always something he believed, not a sales pitch, and that is something I can respect.

    Now we might be heading into a recession, or maybe not, nobody knows the future. But whatever happens will find me in a much more solid footing because I found this place 10 years ago. I’m sure a lot of other people can say the same, maybe with varying dates.

    Thank you sincerely.

    As for 3.0… I think maybe a good rhythm could be to post an article, let the discussion develop, and post the following one after discussion winds down? Not so much an preset pattern, but an “organic” one, if you will. Anyway, just an idea.

    Best wishes with whatever is next!

    • Spencer for Hire says 17 April 2019 at 19:30

      “Now we might be heading into a recession, or maybe not, nobody knows the future. But whatever happens will find me in a much more solid footing because I found this place 10 years ago. I’m sure a lot of other people can say the same, maybe with varying dates.

      Thank you sincerely.”


  22. RichardP says 17 April 2019 at 15:28

    Congratulations on the milestone. I started reading during GRS 1.0 and worked my way through the entire archive before you sold the site. I continued reading during the 2.0 era, also read Money Boss, and I’m still here.

    BTW, don’t forget to update your ‘mini bio’ over on the right where it says, “Twelve years later, I’ve managed to reach early retirement!”

  23. Carmine says 17 April 2019 at 18:23

    Just wanted to add my voice and agree with many of the commenters here. Even if I’m not directly interested in the topic at hand, your voice and approach, and my trust that you’re earnestly exploring options or enjoying things, makes this one of the very few spots on the internet I have bookmarked.

    I only discovered this place around three years ago, so I can’t draw on an extensive history here, but I do generally like the idea of resurrecting some of these old topics/posts. People are assuredly at different stages of their journey, so while honesty to your own current experiences is what’s so compelling it doesn’t hurt to periodically review past themes. Personally, I’ve got a hankering to reread stuff about index investing!

  24. Luke says 18 April 2019 at 07:52

    this blog is a wealth of insight and wisdom. thanks for all you post. This blog (like many in the FI/RE community) have an authenticity and honesty to them that makes them personal, compelling – real.

    i started searching for guidance in personal finance blogs to pay off my student debt and buy a home. i think i only started reading here after you bought GRS back. Maybe I only know the “current” JD, but i actually enjoy the big-picture, thought-pieces the most, even though its not what i originally came looking for.

    I think some other blogs like “financial samurai” and “afford anything” provide the nuts-and-bolts (i assume like your blog in the early days), but i come here (and to “early retirement dude”) for the soul.

    Thanks again!

  25. Manuel says 19 April 2019 at 00:34

    I’ve been a reader almost since the very beginning, sometime in mid 2006. I don’t remember how I found the site but it very much spoke to me then as I was going through very difficult financial times. Fast forward to today and things are much better. I attribute a good amount of that to the articles here (and the Forums, please bring back the Forums!). It was so much that I needed help figuring things out, I knew what needed to be done, but the camaraderie of others going through the same process really was empowering.
    Thank you for the many wonderful years, and I hope many more are to come!

  26. Chrissy says 19 April 2019 at 10:45

    Congrats JD! What an amazing 13 years you’ve had. It was fascinating to read your journey. Here’s to another 13 years of great GRS content.

  27. Angie says 19 April 2019 at 13:44

    Hi J.D.,
    A long time reader here – I found your 1.0 blog in 2008 and have followed you ever since. It is your writing and respect for the individual and what works for that person that has continued to interest me over the years. Your articles are thoughtful and far from cookie cutter! I may already know a lot about personal finance but I keep coming back because you are always trying to get us to learn and think!

  28. Lukas - author of says 20 April 2019 at 05:54

    Hi JD,
    Congratulations on your journey with GRS over the years! Reading your story was very inspirational for me.
    All the best as you figure out the questions outlined towards the end of your article 😉

  29. Kiwi Girl says 20 April 2019 at 16:18

    Mazel tov! Big shout out from New Zealand where I am pursuing my post FI life (your blog gave me a big start on FIRE). I first found GRS on 2007 around the time I bought my house in LA (impeccable timing, just as the financial world imploded). But I recall reading Donna Freedman Surviving & thriving on MSN money in 2002! Pretty sure that’s how I found GRS. I’ve always appreciated your relaxed non judgemental writing and I’m really happy you’re publishing again.

  30. Jennifer says 20 April 2019 at 20:46

    I’ve been lurking for 13 years? That doesn’t seem possible…but yeah, I guess so now that I think about it.

  31. Ro says 22 April 2019 at 09:41

    Congrats on this milestone! I started reading about ten years ago, with a long break during what you call the Quinstreet years where I only checked in every few months. I like that you will be doing throwback-with-update articles. I do like articles about what’s going on with you personally. I agree with some above posters that there a lots of people who are where you where when you started this and it would be nice to have some stuff aimed at them, and at those of us who are not quite in that state but who are nowhere near FI at the present time. This is only about the third comment I’ve made in the ten years I’ve been reading and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long!

  32. Carmine Red says 23 April 2019 at 13:25

    This sentence from what you wrote above stands out to me and intrigues me:

    “Looking at the numbers, I realized it probably didn’t make much financial sense to do so — but I didn’t let that dissuade me.”

    Is this part of the benefits of being towards the end of achieving your financial goals and actually operating from a position of financial independence? I’m curious if there are any techniques or thought processes to go through when measuring the passion and ambition we get out of pursuing a business or hobby versus the real world costs and risks it might entail.

    I guess it goes back to the question, how do we know when it’s okay to spend money on things we love or enjoy even if, on a purely dollars and cents standing, it prevents us from accruing more wealth?

  33. Peter says 24 April 2019 at 09:43

    Crazy to think that your site is entering the awkward teenage years already J.D.! I’ve been a reader since the beginning, way back in the early days of the personal finance blogosphere when sites like GetRichSlowly, Bargaineering, ConsumerismCommentary and SimpleDollar ruled the landscape. The stuff I was reading on all of those sites back in the day, especially yours, was what inspired me to start a site of my own site (11 years and counting!).

    I can still remember after I had started my site in 2008, how you stopped by my site and left a comment – it was like a blog rock star had stopped by – I was excited, even if you were just correcting some of my awful grammar. LOL 🙂 Since then I’ve had the fortune to meet you at FinCon a few times, even getting the chance to play Exploding Kittens with you and some others in Charlotte.

    While I was happy for your good fortune when you sold the site, I was sad because it was your unique voice that carried the site for so many years. The tone of the site did in fact change quite a bit after you were gone. When Tom Drake told me you were buying the site back, I was excited to hear you’d be writing back on the old domain again.

    Congrats on 13 years, and thank you for all your wonderful writing. You inspired me to take a leap of faith in my own life and start my own site, and it has been one of the best thing that ever happened to me. Thanks J.D.! Look forward to playing cards with you again sometime!

  34. Jim says 24 April 2019 at 16:05

    Hi – I’ve been reading your blog on and off sonar 2007. Can’t remember how I stumbled across it but think goodness I did. It’s been an entertaining and informative read.

  35. Bonnie says 25 April 2019 at 13:16

    Your blog is one of the few that I still visit every day to see if you’ve written anything new. I’m a longtime reader from around 2007/2008. Stopped reading GRS when you left and then was thrilled to find Money Boss and, even more so, this new site. I like the ideas of at least 3x a week of new posts and then a Throwback post. Take care and whatever you do, just keep writing.

    It’s amazing how many PF blogs I used to read back when I found yours either disappeared completely or were changed so much that I just lost interest. I’m glad YOU found your way and turned GRS back into your own!

  36. Teri says 26 April 2019 at 13:32

    I’m so happy this site is back with its sensible but fun vibe. I feel like I am hanging out with old friends after a time apart.

    You have given huge gifts to so many and buying back this site is one of them. It is a great idea to highlight old posts.

  37. Mariele Storm says 27 April 2019 at 10:20

    We love you, J.D! I hope this site goes for another 13 years. 😉

  38. Jenn says 05 May 2019 at 18:20

    I also have to chime in that this is one of the best blogs ever, and I am so glad you are running it again. I think I am doing a good job with my finances, but I always learn new things here. Thank you-
    Take care, and I hope your heart issues are done! (My husbands birthday is the same day as yours- except 10 years older, he turned 60 this past March. And he has been through open heart surgery, bypasses… and is now completely recovered and doing wonderfully well, after 2 heart attacks. It was interesting to read about your health scare. Hopefully you don’t need to ever learn about all the incredible advances in heart medicine, but they are there, and of course, worth the $$$$.)

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