Earlier this year, I had fun with an April Fool’s prank with all of you. I joked that I had sold the website and was moving on from Penny Pinchin’ Mom.
This time it’s no joke.
It is now real. I have sold Penny Pinchin’ Mom.
Don’t panic! This is a good thing for everyone!
Let’s start with the most important thing – who now owns Penny Pinchin’ Mom?
I’ve sold the site to Soapbox Group, a division of the Motley Fool. You know, those people who know personal finance? And that is why it is a great thing! They want nothing more than to help readers, just like you, make smart money decisions. They align perfectly with my visions, as well.
That makes this a perfect partnership.
Why did I sell the site?
This section is going to be pretty long, so grab a drink and settle in.
I first started the site in 2009. My goal was to help families get out of debt and find some better deals at the grocery store. I was very hyper-local at that time. My focus was only on the area where I live, Kansas City.
Within a year or so, I wanted the site to be larger and help people from coast to coast. I decided to change the site name from Kansas City Penny Pinchin’ Mama to Penny Pinchin’ Mom. I shifted from providing as much information to mostly deals.
The country was trying to recover from the recession, and money was tight. Many were out of work and needed someone, just like me, to help them spend as little as possible on groceries by finding the best deals. That meant combining coupons and store offers.
That was fun. Until it wasn’t.
As time went on, I did not enjoy the work I was doing. Finding deals and doing matchups was not the reason I wanted to blog – but it was what my readers wanted. It felt as if something were missing.
I brought in assistants to take over that aspect of the site and tried to focus my efforts back onto what I loved the most – articles to help people learn to budget, save money and get out of debt. My assistants took the reigns and found the deals everyone loved.
As time went on, I did not even like the deals as much, so I tried recipes, parenting, and DIY. I was struggling to find out what it was I loved the most. I had lost my way a bit and was trying to figure out where to go from here.
To be honest, my passion for the site had faded. But I could not simply stop posting.
Something had to change. I began doing the only thing I knew to do, and that was to pray.
I prayed for direction. I prayed for help, strength, and focus. I was not sure if Penny Pinchin’ Mom was what I needed to do or if there was a new path in mind for me.
The more I did that, the more I felt a calling to head in a new direction. That is why I started TracieFobes.com as there was this voice telling me to teach others to learn how to turn an idea into a thriving business. To teach them to do what I was doing.
The more I began helping others, the more I realized how much my passion for Penny Pinchin’ Mom had faded. I did not know what to do. I did not want to close the site down, but there had to be something I could do with it. It took a couple of years of prayer, but the moment Soapbox approached me, I felt my prayers were answered.
I was still going to be able to write articles about saving money but did not have the day-to-day operation of the site. I was now free to focus on my new passion — helping others.
I have found myself again
The funny thing about blogging and what I was doing was that I lost myself. Somewhere in the craziness of all the deals, holiday cycles, and trying to make readers happy, I was not sure of the reason why.
I felt tied to my site all of the time. It affected my ability to parent, relax, and even have the freedom to take time off.
That is what I am finding most of all. I have the freedom to do more of what I want. I get to be more present in my own life.
I get to breathe again.
Am I going to stop posting?
Nope! I will still contribute a couple of articles each month. I am just not going to be the person to answer your questions or run the day-to-day operations. I will not run the Facebook group or page. The emails will not come from me.
I’m going to continue passing along my best personal financial advice so you can continue to make smart money moves for your family. I AM the face of Penny Pinchihn’ Mom, and that is not changing.
So what will be different?
The most significant change is the deals. Those are not going to be done any longer.
When I started the site in 2009, my goal was to empower and help families learn to budget, get out of debt, and make smart money moves. Over time, that migrated into something that was never my intention — deals.
As I shared above, I did the deals as that is what it felt readers wanted. That contributed to many ups and downs over the years. I thought that I kept changing the focus on what I was giving as I thought that was what everyone wanted for me to do, rather than doing what I wanted.
I am looking forward to the site moving back to its roots. I want it to be the resource you need to manage your money better. To be the go-to site when it comes to learning how to make your budget work and for smart money moves, you need to make.
That thrills me.
I can’t say enough about the support I’ve received from everyone over the years. You’ve all been with me through my ups and downs. Some of you have followed me for more than ten years — back when I first started.
Without you, there’d be no site.
So with that, I say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.