The recent growth of personal finance bloggers is a thing to be celebrated and remind us that voices matter. Don’t forget though: just because it is written does not make it true or right.
I started my blog for a specific reason: when I was unemployed I felt like the content that I was looking for online didn’t exist. I didn’t feel that I could find someone who was speaking to me. I realized then that my voice mattered, I have an experience and outlook that people can gain from hearing.
I started with the thought that even if one person would read my posts and gain from what I was saying that would be enough.
It still is enough. However, I realized recently that it is a bit more complicated than that. For me to help that one person then I would need to reach a lot of people to be able to reach that one person.
To do that, I would need to level up my blog and start targeting to reach a much broader range of people.
I believe I have done that. My blog has grown and with it a greater sense of responsibility for what I write.
Influencers and bloggers have a responsibility and a duty to share accurate and correct information and rhetoric about the topics that they are talking about. They must be responsible for what they post and what they don’t post.
I am taking that seriously.
People are starting to take the advice and ideas they hear on MSM with a large grain of salt. There has been a recent rise in distrust of great personalities and the advice they give. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s ok to not take things at face value and to have questions about the people from whom we get our advice. Personalities such as Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are being questions and queried.
Is there advice practical? Are they out of touch? Does their personal life matter when it comes to their advice? If I disagree with someone’s religion or morals should that affect the way, I see them? Should I not take their advice? How does their worldview color the advice that they are giving?
These are questions that we become accustomed to asking of the “greats” but we selfdom stop to ask that about other things we read online.
These are all wonderful questions that we should be asking ourselves whenever we take someone’s advice. It is a bit more dangerous when there are so many personal finance blogs out there that give endless advice. Not all advice is equal and not is all as it seems.
It’s why to try to not give real advice on my site. I share my own experiences, my own thoughts, things that I do, and how it works for me. I share my past experiences so you know how it colors my advice and my outlook. I grew up slightly poor, I have been unemployed, I am currently poor.
This is important for you to know because it matters. Everything matters. Maybe my site is not for you. You need to know that.
I also don’t share specifics of my financial situation or certain large details of my life on this site. Besides for the privacy issues, I think it’s important to remember that we NEVER know the whole story no matter how much is shared with us. I can write whatever I want and you would not know if I am telling the truth or not. That is why I don’t share. I don’t want you to get bogged down with the numbers and the circumstances and the details. Those are not the point. The point is the ideas behind it. The emotion behind it. The thought process behind it. That is how you will learn and encourage yourself to improve.
One of the things that are important is hearing the myriads of voices that have come out in the personal finance world. Personal finance is nuanced and diverse and the people who spoke about it should be nuanced and diverse. Personal finance is no longer for older and established people. The new and young voices of personal finance coming out speak to so many of our generation: the young but high earners, the ones crushed by student debt, the ones who have lived through two recessions before they turned 30, and someone like me: a young struggling mom who is trying to navigate this crazy world. Different voices matter. That is why I started my blog and that is why I am working hard to continue to speak and write and tweet. Because it matters.