CNN Money hosts a section on their website called Millionaires in the Making. Once or twice a month they highlight a family that is well on their way. (Or sometimes not so well.) The articles disclose salary, debt, savings, and budgets for the highlighted family.
What makes people want to give out all this information? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of opening up the family books to strangers on the Internet (and friends and family that would be reading).
- It’s helpful for people to publicly state their own goals. I believe it is harder to fail once you’ve told others what your plan is.
- It builds credibility. When you can see how a family has succeeded by taking a look at their financial details, their ideas may hold more weight.
- It helps others learn, whether it be from mistakes or successes.
- People are more ready to get out of debt once they admit how much they owe and the plan of attack.
- Most of us were raised to not discuss this…. or at least I was. My parents would be appalled if I not only gave out some of this information, but worse gave it to the whole world. (So maybe I don’t have quite that many readers yet, but you get the idea).
- It takes “keeping up with the Joneses” to a new level when you know intricate details about other peoples finances.
- Personally, my husband would flip.
It appears that the cons are relatively emotional, and the pros educational. I am particularly interested in this topic, as I have been pondering how much disclosure about our own finances is appropriate here at My Dollar Plan. I want to give enough information to keep readers interested, understand my point of view, yet honor some of my family’s desire for privacy.
Each financial blog does it differently. Two that stick out are:
- My Open Wallet posts all her financial details, yet posts anonymously.
- PF Blog posts every detail of their financial net worth in dollars.
I decided my level of comfort, assumed a pen name and highlighted our net worth increases for the year.
This is the first post in a series about millionaire status. Read the second one here: Do Negative Millionaires Exist?
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To avoid this I didn’t disclose either mine or family name. This way I am out of dilemma of disclosing financial information and at the same time discuss the ideas freely.
I think it really comes down to what you are trying to accomplish with your blog. If you are looking for accountability and an medium to test and track your goals, then you need some hard numbers. For most personal use, this is the way to go in my opinion.
I am pretty open about money, but I am tend to be open about most things.
Also, not talking about money as previous generations have, has magnified the debt and stress problems.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to share this. Sadly, I did not have an upbringing that has been helpful in this regard. However, I still have the choice between financial ruin and financial freedom, as we all do. So it is time for me to work those speadsheets!