I’m not the kind of person who thinks of himself as really important. I mean, yes I am important to my family and friends, but I mean important in the sense that I should be treated “special” in some way when it comes to discussing and writing things about personal finances. I don’t get much recognition or praise and that’s fine. Sure, it would be nice, but I am happy that so many have reached out to me over the years with comments and views and that number has kept on growing every year. Thank you so much. But I don’t do it for attention. Why I write is based on a couple of things:
- I think that sharing my money experiences in life—both the good and bad—can help others
- I have definite opinions about money habits that make sense if you apply them to yourself
The reason I am mentioning any of this right now is very basic. This year I am approaching my 6th blogiversary (in May) in the personal finance (PF) realm and I thought it is about time that I really took a long, hard look and evaluated what it is I am doing each week and exactly why I keep on doing it. In doing so, I am asking myself this very simple question:
Are personal finance blogs really important?
Stating the Obvious, Do They Have Any Benefits?
Recently, I read that some PF bloggers think that all that is said on most money blogs around is totally basic, obvious, and soooo repetitive. You know what I am talking about. It’s that old basic stuff about saving money for emergencies and retirement and not abusing your credit cards and what most of us know when we stop even for a few minutes to think about what we should be doing to be responsible with our money. So if we all know it, then why should so many be writing about it? I admit, I write about it most of the time and many of my posts are discussions of some of those subjects again and again. So why bother?
The “Personal” Part Is Important!
One answer as to why personal finance blogs are important is very clear. It’s the “personal” part of it that makes many of these blogs really important.
There are dozens of stories that are written about by the many people who suffered terrible financial problems (many caused by their own behaviors, mind you) and how they eventually overcame them and recovered to financial stability and even success. That is important for all of us to hear about and know about and it is worth repeating.
It’s not just a story, either. It’s a life lesson and it almost always offers ways you can apply in your own life that can and will help you, if you take heed and listen. That’s the real issue here. It’s the listening and willingness to apply what you hear that has actually worked for others.
Most of us treat the PF information we get the same the way we approach dieting. We want to do it, we want to feel better and get healthy, but we find making the real changes in what we do hard and we give up fairly quickly and go back to our bad habits and behaviors. And that’s why reason #2 is important.
Saying It Over and Over Again Is Important
This talk I have read about the “repeating of the simple basics” about money and finances has me feeling pretty frustrated and perhaps a bit angry.
At first I thought, well perhaps it is just stating some of the obvious and why do that? But then I look around and see so many people who just hear it, but are not listening. There is a difference, you know.
It was Paul Simon who wrote in his classic song “The Sound of Silence” (in my humble opinion, one of the best songs ever!) the line about “people hearing without listening” and it applies in spades to personal finance advice.
The fact that so many hear, but don’t listen, is the reason why the messages must be repeated. I think that the writers of personal finance blogs hope that each new time someone new gets it. Or it least that’s the wish.
Other Topics? The Fun and Frolic, Really?
Sometimes, I have to add some silliness or other things to those PF subjects when writing here. I like it and it keeps me sane, too. If it isn’t totally on topic, please forgive me. It doesn’t ever mean though that my focus is fading, I still want PF to be what this blog is all about that’s even when I do add my own version of the what, where, when, and whys.
Unlike some other bloggers, I don’t write this for a living. On the contrary, I do it in my retirement as something to keep busy and I hope that in some small way it helps someone who needs advice and that mine can help. Making money from this endeavor is not why I am here, although occasionally I do cover my expenses for producing this blog and I am appreciative of that fact because I am not financially independent and at 70 I doubt that it is going to happen any time soon. I am hopeful that someday a call will come from “The Today Show” and ask me to appear. Is that simply a pipe dream?
Several times in the past, I have started to write a book and have failed to do it. The only part of it that I did come up with was the acknowledgment part. It sort of says a lot about me and my sense of humor and it goes like this:
This book is meant for all those who will never read it.
You could say that Super Saving Tips is written with the same thought in mind.
That brings me all the way around to answering my original question here. Yes, personal finance blogs are important. Despite the repetition, and in my case the added silliness, without some source of experience and knowledge provided for free from someone who has been there and done that, where would you go?