If you’ve ever read a single post on our blog, it shouldn’t come as news to you that we’re sorta into personal finances. I guess that could be kinda weird to some folks, but based on the fact that you’re reading this sentence on our blog, you probably don’t think it’s that weird. Or you do and you just visit our blog to make fun of us because you think we’re weird. Which would be weird. So for a brief paragraph recap, there’s a lot of weird going on.
Anyway, we like personal finance. We like that a single book on the topic helped us get out of debt. We like that it has brought more control and freedom to our lives. We like that it has us questioning what we’re working for. We just really like it.
All that being said, we’re not all that crazy about sharing that “like” with people we know. You might be saying to yourself…
Surely a couple that obsesses about personal finances to the point of blogging about it must LOVE talking to friends and family about the same topic, right?! Right? Guys? Wait, why are you looking down at your feet and kicking invisible rocks? HELLO?!
Yeah, so this blog? Haven’t told anyone we know about it — sorry, Mom! Our debt story? We’ve told it to maybe two or three friends and family. In fact, the lady… excuse me, sandwich artist at Subway who makes my once-a-week $5 footlong probably knows more about our saving/spending habits than our friends and family.
But why? Why is that? Quite honestly, we’re not totally sure. But here are our best guesses.
We’re really proud that we paid off our $20k of debt in 18 months. Proud, not arrogant. It was a personal goal that we set together and accomplished together. And therein lies the first problem. It all seems very personal. It’s about our money and our negligence and our hard work to payoff debt and save. So why blog about it then if it’s so personal? Well, the interesting thing about having a blog is that we can actually be quasi-anonymous. And while we’ve gotten to know some of you through your comments, About You page (please do this!), and other blogs, most of you are like-minded personal finance geeks and the topic of finances doesn’t feel too personal with you guys.
Fear of Passing Judgement
So maybe we were able to get out of debt. Fine. But what if our friends haven’t? In fact, what if our friends aren’t even concerned about their own debt? Obviously, we want to help them. But how do we do that without assuming they’re interested? And how can we do it without being preachy or without them thinking we’re passing judgement on their financial standing? This is likely our greatest hurdle in sharing more openly.
We’re Not Experts
In fact, we’re about as far from experts as possible. That’s probably not what we should be announcing to the world, but it’s true. We’re just doing the best we can, learning as we go and documenting it here. But if we tell our family and friends about our love of personal finance or that we have a blog all about it, we’re afraid they’ll think that we think we’re know-it-alls. Follow that? And on top of that, they’ll expect us to make perfect financial decisions and scrutinize every move we make. No thanks.
So are those worries warranted? Probably not. But they’ve been enough to keep these normally fast-talking-loud-mouths from sharing more. We don’t drink, but it’s sad that our worst “drunk secret” we’d be afraid of spilling is our love of Dave Ramsey and 401k/529s/IRAs four-letter words.
And we should be telling people. While we were getting out of debt, it would have been awesome if our friends and family were able to provide us positive reinforcement and be more mindful about inviting us to fancy schmancy restaurants. And now that we’re out of debt, we’d love to be able to help others we know who are struggling with it. So maybe it’s time to spill the beans.
How much do you share about your personal finance goals and interests? Do you have family and friends that get it, or are you alone? Mom, Dad, are we actually terrible at hiding secrets and you’re here reading this?