The following post is from staff writer Melissa Batai
Most of us used to be pretty private about our finances, but that all changed with blogging. Now, many bloggers openly share what their net worth is, how much debt they have, what their budget is, and even how much they spend for groceries and what they buy.
But how much is too much? Should people share such intimate personal finance details?
Your Blog Can Explode
Such transparency can help your blog grow enormously. People love transparency, and they trust you more if you openly share your finances. Several big name bloggers including J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy and Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt have openly shared their net worth and their fight against debt.
You’re Held Accountable
While transparency can help your blog grow, there is another benefit to revealing your finances—you’re held publicly accountable. If you say you want to pay off your debt but month after month you’re increasing your debt, well, your readers will call you out on that. The opposite is also true. You may decide NOT to spend money just because you know a monthly finance report is due on your blog and you want to show progress.
While these are two benefits of blogging about your finances, there are several negatives.
You Open Yourself Up to Bullies
There are trolls and other bloggers out there who can’t wait to criticize someone. If you’re laying open all the details of your finances, you’re opening yourself up to criticism, some of it scathing.
You May Not Want Others to Know All the Details
Oddly enough, many of us have no qualms with sharing personal information with strangers who surf the Internet. When family, friends, and coworkers start to read our blogs, we can get uncomfortable—in a hurry.
Think of what you’re sharing. Would you feel comfortable with your co-worker knowing it? If you have a high net worth, would your family congratulate you—or want to borrow some money? On the flip side, if you’re struggling financially, will sharing your financial information simply give your friends and family fodder for gossip?
Tricks to Maintain Privacy
Of course, you can always try tips to maintain your privacy by not giving your real name or your picture, but in our visual online world, to remain so anonymous might affect your readership.
You could also give vague details about your financial situation such as revealing that your net worth has grown 20% over the last two years without giving specific details. Yet, toeing this line is tough. Readers seem to want all of the details or none of them.
I used to share many financial details on my blog, but I stopped as my husband advanced in his career. He didn’t want to get in a higher position and have our finances all over the web. We do share our debt repayment progress, which my husband is comfortable with.
My Question for You
If you blog, do you share specific financial details? If so, have you ever had negative consequences as a result?
Do you like reading blogs where the blogger is so financially transparent?