Jun 27 2008

Undisclosing our money

My mom wanted to caution me about disclosing how much money we have in savings, and I think she made a great point.

She recognized that I keep my “emergency savings” chart in my sidebar to help my personal accountability, and also because I love making progress and having a visual reminder of it. Some of you have told me that you’re inspired by seeing my savings grow. It can be a fun thing!

But, my blog isn’t an anonymous one. Many family members read it, as do plenty of friends (hi, y’all!).

I have wonderful friends and family, and I’ve never had anyone give me grief about money. And I’d like for it to stay that way.

My mom worried that if folks knew how much money we had, they might think we should spend it in certain ways. For example, they might think we can afford to fly over for a visit whenever we pleased, or take an expensive vacation with them, or buy them pricey presents, or lend them money, etc. I doubt my family would do that, though.

Our emergency fund is for emergencies only. End of story. But maybe others won’t see it that way.

So, since my blog isn’t anonymous, I’ve decided to adjust my bar graph to reflect only the percentage of our completed emergency fund. I don’t want to get rid of it entirely, because it does motivate me.

Even though I like to be open about personal finance, I realize that such an open attitude can actually cause problems, and it’s just not worth it.



13 Responses to “Undisclosing our money”

  1. I’ve run into the same thing- except I have coworkers reading my blog, so it’s even more awkward. I’d love to keep track of our progress to pay down debt and save for other goals publicly, like other bloggers do, but it’s not something my husband is comfortable sharing with all our friends and family.

    I made the mistake recently of posting a graph of our progress, which he quickly asked me to take down. Between my wealthy family who has opinions on the level we should be living at, and his family who struggles for money, and my talking about it could appear as bragging, it’s probably best I steer clear of solid numbers, too.

  2. Yeah, I definitely don’t want to look like I’m bragging.

    Sometimes, I wish this was an anonymous blog! That would take care of it. Too late now.

  3. I never would have looked at it that way! Of course, right now our savings is pretty measly – I don’t know if anyone would pressure us into spending it! :)

  4. It was fun to see your numbers, but I totally understand and agree about your reasons for taking it down.

    These same reasons are why I don’t put hard numbers up, even though it would be fun for me to see them online on a graph.

    My solution was to put goals up for a single year instead of our total assets. For example, our goal is to save $4000 in each ROTH this year, and I have that in a graph. I don’t, however, tell anyone what our total assets in our ROTHs is.

    The anonymous/not anonymous thing is strange, isn’t it? I told my family and friends about my blog and it’s usually not a problem. I do have one friend, however, who’s really touchy and easily offended. I’m always afraid she’ll read something I write and think I’m trying to send her an evil message or something. Grrr!

  5. Seems like a very wise decision. It still keeps you accountable, and your readers stay informed. Very cute little graph you added!

    Alyssa @ Keeping the Kingdom First’s last blog post..More Freebies, Coupons & HOT Deals!

  6. Great point, im new to blogging and it is something i would have never thought of, i guess you don’t want people to know too much info about you. Thanks for that post.

  7. I agree, it is a good point, I would of never thought about it either. I am way to open about everything in our life and that some times gets me into trouble.

    Angela

  8. I agree. I would LOVE to put a graph in my sidebar calculating how much we have in savings. BUT for the same reasons you mentioned I can’t do that. Oh well! :-)

    ashley @ twentysixcats’s last blog post..thank you

  9. I’m not afraid to reveal my identity- I just don’t think that it matters… I like being anonymous! I don’t feel comfortable sharing my blog with family or friends. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing!! :)

    MrsMoney’s last blog post..A Review of Cash Crate

  10. I think this is definitely wise, but also sad. Part of the fun part of blogging is actually talking about your life, and it sucks a bit that you have to self-censor since you never know who might wind up reading it, and using the information in a way you wouldn’t want.

    Erin’s last blog post..Housing

  11. i just added a “debt / savings plan” to my blog and did it in percentages also, rather than total dollars. this includes what % of our total credit card debt we’ve paid off, car loan, student loan and the total % put into our emergency fund. i feel the same way :)

  12. My blog is only semi-anonymous. And once I get my URL purchased, it will be even less anonymous, since anyone can look up the details on who owns a URL. So I have made it a point to not discuss dollar amounts on my blog. I don’t talk about how much I make or how much I have saved. I do talk in percentages though. For example, I want to increase my net worth 25% in 2008 (not gonna happen, thank you current market).

    I do agree that an emergency fund is for emergencies, and I woudln’t necessarily have thought of that as revealing, but your mom is probably right. Good thinking, Kacie’s mom!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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