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Friday, November 28, 2014

So Why Are PF Bloggers Broke?

Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 17, 2012

So I was reading the other day this question over at The Financial Blogger: why are so many personal finance bloggers broke?

It was a interesting question, but in reality I think it reflects the world at large.  A lot of people have low incomes, high debt loads and ya,  obviously are broke.  So I suspect there is a fairly good demand for reading stories about people that manage to over come that debt and move on with their lives.

I know I’m not normal.  I’m in my mid-thirties with over a half a million net worth and I made six figures last year, so I’m definitely not broke.  Yet I’m trying to get to a level of freedom in my life that I hope is somewhat inspiring, hence I keep writing on this blog.  In the end I suspect people read blogs because they like the stories that go with them.  Personal finance in fact is damn easy: spend less than you earn.  Save some, keep your investment costs down and avoid consumer debt.  Done, you now know just about everything you need to about personal finance.

Now that is fairly damn boring, so learning about people’s lives and their stories create meaning for others and allows some people to learn the emotional content that goes with those basic lessons.  Spending less than you earn sounds easy, but is it ok to spend more than you earn for more education, visiting a sick family member or buy one of your life’s dream experiences?

The black and white of the original statement falls away to the real world of grey.  There are no right answers, just the answer you give to the problem and the consequence of that choice. Our lives are in fact the sum of the consequences of our decisions.  I know some people don’t particularly like my lifestyle which is fine, I’m not asking them to live it.

So in the end, yes some PF bloggers are broke and it’s ok.  It’s also ok to have an excessive net worth for your age.  We read both for the stories they contain and hopeful find a reflection of ourselves within the stories of others and realize…no I’m not the only one that has ever gone through this issue.  We aren’t alone is a good story to hear.

Comments

5 Responses to “So Why Are PF Bloggers Broke?”
  1. The stories is one of the reasons why I started reading blogs. Million Dollar Journey was the first one I started reading, because he was both teaching me and sharing his personal story. A blog without the personal element, that just posts the same information as every other financial site is just a textbook.

  2. Kevin says:

    The reason I keep up with the blogs is twofold:

    1) I enjoy reading the tips and tricks associated with the blogs such as the SM.

    2) Since reading the blogs it has given me the inspiration to start thinking about my own book, and maybe starting my own blog. The more I read the more motivated I become!

  3. Jacq says:

    I think there’s something else to it as well. Many people *start* blogging on a subject because they’re newly inspired / passionate about that topic. So most of the stuff that they’re writing about is new to them – so it’s exciting. Plus I think a lot of them need the money from ads and whatnot.

    Just as an example, JD Roth stopped blogging and lost interest once he got out of debt (and sold the blog). Same with Trent Hamm. Their blogs were probably partially personal motivation for them to hold themselves accountable – and to learn – and get paid for learning.

    I do think however, that it’s fairly difficult for your average person to relate to someone that made their FIRE stake through blogging and not through a job or investing. Or it is to me – as an average, but not normal person. :-)

    Personally, I think someone has a little more street cred if they’ve made it through years of LBYM and wise investing without the blogging lottery win.

  4. Rob says:

    I read (past tense) blogs because we needed desperately to get out of debt. Actually started about a year after Trent did, and went back and read every single one of his posts. As we got out of debt I slowly stopped reading it.

    Now that I have money to invest I read a lot of “how to” blogs on investing, and yes I really like the ones that share stories, to me it makes it real

    Rob

  5. I guess people like to reads how you succeed and get out of debt. I’m not sure that if a blogger who’s broke keep blogging through his road to bankruptcy would be that interesting!

    Nonetheless, I was surprised to see last year that most people at the FinCon11 were not financial professionals and we not necessarily making a lot of money. It was more like the opposite!

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