Why I blog

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Amy Dacycyn of the Tightwad Gazette fame once pointed out that most people know how to save money: just spend less than you earn. Everyone knows that, right? The same way, she points out, that people know how to lose weight: burn more calories than you consume*. Organizations such as Weight Watchers have been successful not because they are teaching people something they don’t know; they are successful because they offer people a community. It’s not just any community, either: it’s a community of people who are going through similar experiences. There is value in being able to feel a part of something. That’s the short answer to the question, “why I blog,” but these are the long answers:

I blog to keep a record of my experiences: I have always kept a journal, when I was younger I kept paper journals exclusively but have been keeping an electronic record since 1999 or so. I still write in paper journals for more intimate things but I find for experiences I want to share, electronic is the way to go. I am a compulsive writer so it makes me happy to write.

I blog to keep momentum: I read a lot of blogs on finance as well as on other topics to keep me encouraged. It’s so easy to get distracted from a goal so I find if I keep up with other people who are on the same path as we are, I stay excited about our dreams and goals. Writing my own story down and sharing it encourages me to continue even on the roughest of days (or years, I am looking at you 2016).

I blog to share ideas and encourage others: I love discovering new tips or tricks and I love sharing the ones I discover. We are all on different places on our own personal finance journey so while one thing is obvious to person A, it’s a mind-blowing idea to person B. I love that we can all be in different spots but read the same content and get different things out of it.

“Notice how many of the items you’re told to buy are depreciating trifles, and how strongly you’re encouraged to buy them with debt. That’s no coincidence. Once they get most people on the treadmill, they keep them there for life.”
– Jason Kelly, Financially Stupid People are Everywhere

I blog to be a window on one family: I adore reading about all the different kinds of families there are out there all discussing finance as a way to achieve their dreams. Kids/no kids, country/city there are a plethora of people living in various places all over the world who are using the same basic financial tenets to live the life they want. That blows my mind. While I will only ever be able to speak to the experiences of our family in our situation, I love to see how everyone else is making it work.

I blog because no one talks about money: I LOVE talking about money. I discuss money way past the point where people’s eyes glaze over. I love talking about savings/investments and goal setting in the way people speak about their pets. Blogging allows me to get all the urges to discuss finance out of my system before I hit a party and lose friends with my blathering. I also think money should be less taboo. By not discussing money we’ve created situations where people in trouble are afraid to reach out. No one is alone and we all make mistakes. No one should feel isolated for that fact.

I blog because I believe there is a better way to live: 9-to-5 ‘til your 65 sounds like hell to me, so I have never subscribed to it. I also hate consumer culture, large houses, big screen tvs, expensive cars, and all the things we’re constantly told to buy to be good little consumers. I hate the amount of self-storage facilities that are going up in my city stealing valuable urban real estate, and the plastic toys my kids receive that get broken in one day. I hate the messages that we get spoon fed from a young age: you are imperfect, buy product X and you will look just like model Y! Buy this car and you will look like you have made it! Drink this drink to look sophisticated and worldly! Buy your way to being the perfect you that you can be! I just think there is a better way to live and I would rather buy my finite amount of time on this earth back with early retirement than to buy more passive entertainment.

Obviously, not everyone believes what I do, not even people who are similar to me. We are all different and we all have different aspirations and goals. Still, I feel like we can all learn from each other because of this, and reading a variety of blogs as well as writing my own has taught me to respect and learn from others. The world would be a fairly boring place if we were all exactly the same so these reasons – and more – are the reasons why I blog. I enjoy the journey and I enjoy reading the journeys of others.

*Weight loss is actually a pretty complicated thing and while it’s simplified here for the sake of the metaphor, it really has a lot of different components I won’t get into.