Why Talk About Your Finances With Strangers
Blogging is the latest innovation to take the web by storm. According to blog tracking firm Technorati, there are currently 20.6 million blogs with thousands more added every day. According to Blogherald, 30% of internet users (50 million people) are blog readers. In short, a lot of people are reading and writing blogs.
A popular blogging sub-segment is the one centered on money and personal finances. The web hosts a wide variety of people talking about money, giving financial advice, and tracking their own finances electronically. But why do these bloggers share some of the most intimate details of their personal finances?
“Personal financial blogging compliments the money management articles I write,” notes Jeffrey Strain of Personal Finance Advice ( http://www.pfadvice.com ). “While articles are able to give the basics of how to implement money saving techniques and ways to invest, the blog allows me to show step by step how I use the information in my daily life.”
Others began blogging out of a need to get a handle on their money. “I started blogging because I was fresh out of college and making more money than I’d ever seen before,” states Jonathan of MyMoneyBlog ( http://www.mymoneyblog.com ). “I had almost two thousand dollars of disposable income every month. Instead of moving into a nice apartment in the city and buying a BMW like my friends, I maxed out my 401(k), stayed in my college apartment, and started this blog to document my thoughts, ramblings, successes, and mistakes towards my goal of financial freedom and traveling the world.”
The final perspective that seems common among financial bloggers is one centered more around the reader than the blogger. FMF of Free Money Finance ( http://www.freemoneyfinance.com ) and JLP of All Things Financial ( http://www.allthingsfinancialblog.com ) are good examples of this approach. “I’m sharing principles that have helped me grow my net worth substantially in an effort to help others do the same,” comments FMF. JLP has similar reasons. “I have a personal finance blog to share information that I think is important with my readers. My blog essentially allows me to publish a low-cost newsletter and save trees at the same time. I also like the fact that I can link to important information (something that is hard to do with a paper newsletter).”
But no matter the reason for blogging, these financial bloggers draw from their own personal experiences and write about them quite honestly. Here are some examples:
JLP has shared the details of the H&R Block tax class he’s been taking (http://www.allthingsfinancialblog.com/2005/09/12/h-r-block-tax-class/ )
FMF has given his criteria for when he will and won’t use a financial planner (http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/09/fmf_speaks_my_t.html )
Jonathan has detailed his renting woes (http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2005/10/buy_rent_or_get.html )
Jeffrey has covered (in detail and with pictures) the $235 bet he lost (http://www.pfadvice.com/2005/11/04/lost-bet-the-235-strange-food-dinner/ )
No matter what their reason for writing, all of these blogs are both informative and entertaining. It’s easy to see why readers keep coming back for more.
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