Seeing Personal Finance Bloggers Just Treading Water Bums Me Out

by Evan

I have been blogging for about 4 and half years and during that time I have interacted and followed a ton of blogs.  I don’t read personal finance blogs because of the information they are sharing, but rather, the stories they are telling.  For some reason, I am able to empathize with their situation regardless of the debt they may be in or the wealth they have already built, in a way that I don’t often do in my personal offline life.  As such, there is nothing that bums me out then rediscovering or even just watching a personal finance blogger treading water.

It is easy to understand when people who don’t have a personal finance meeting with their spouse (I do not do that) or a blog post to write about what you accomplished last month may tread water.  When you aren’t thinking about your personal finances in a way that makes them real, they can easily be ignored.

However, when one is paying close attention to their debt and finances I have to think they feel bad when that number doesn’t change month over month and then year over year. I am really rooting for those bloggers that I read regularly.  I want them to be successful whatever their definition of that word may be.  So when it doesn’t happen I legitimately feel bad.

I don’t want to call out who inspired me to write this post as it wouldn’t be right, but I really wanted to believe that after rediscovering her blog a 6 months or so later she and her family would be in a completely different situation…and they just aren’t.

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Michelle February 8, 2013 - 10:56 am

I read pf blogs for the stories that they tell also. The community is nice.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 9:51 pm

Love the community – its the reason I visit other blogs and comment. It just makes me sad seeing some people who are obviously bright but still can’t handle their money years into their project

Money Beagle February 8, 2013 - 11:21 am

I hear you. On the flip side, I can’t stand reading blogs who complain about how bad they have it when others would kill to be in their shoes. Couple in particular lately are falling from ‘must read’ status in the past to ‘pretty close to unsubscribing’ status.

eemusings February 16, 2013 - 11:35 pm

It’s all relative isn’t it? I often feel like I’m no no man’s land – I’m not a high earner, I’m not in the investing crew, but I’m also not in the debt blogging crew.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 9:59 pm

Nothing wrong with being on a sole island! Sometimes its the best way to get some perspective into others

Evan March 14, 2013 - 9:58 pm

Hmmm I don’t mind the “bragging” if they are doing it in a manner that is consistent with being humble. I don’t enjoy reading “I did X, and it worked out b/c I am the greatest of all time.”

For example if someone made a financial move and they explained why it worked out that sort of stuff interests me.

slug February 8, 2013 - 11:32 am

Yeah, that sucks. It’s a tough time to be trying to gain momentum. Little positive has happened for the middle class lately aside from the stock market gains so if you aren’t invested there, it is definitely hard to move forward.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:00 pm

Nah, that’s bullshit. I’ll read some debt blogs and just to see them have a post “I just bought a 60inch tv b/c it was on sale” meanwhile their debt is on their sidebar increasing again just bums me out.

retirebyforty February 8, 2013 - 12:30 pm

I feel bad too, but I understand. Life happens and it’s hard to get out of debt. There are plenty of success stories too so it’s not all bad.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:01 pm

I would say in the blogging world there are more success stories than failures only because accountability breeds success:

Written 4.5 years ago! Crazy how time flies

Kathleen February 8, 2013 - 1:50 pm

I’m with you, and I’m with Money Beagle, too — don’t feel bad about unsubscribing. (And sorry if it’s me! :))

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:02 pm

No not you at all. It was one blog in particular who I hadn’t checked in on in a while. The posts, debt and attitude were the same.

Brian February 8, 2013 - 7:00 pm

I’m not going to lie, I feel like the PF blogger that is just treading water sometimes. I set pretty lofty goals for myself and I’m a bit terrified that if I don’t hit them, that if things only get marginally better, that I will be seriously disappointing people like you.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:03 pm

Disappointing me? No one should care what Evan thinks lol. It is about disappointing or more importantly surprising yourself that should matter!

Lance February 9, 2013 - 11:00 am

As long as people are moving in the right direction I’m happy for them but when they seem like they’ve quit trying and go into more debt for stupid things I get irritated. Buying a house and other life moves are expected but if you’re just not managing your spending well I feel bad. If it was just a personal blog it’d be OK but if you’re dispensing PF advice then I sometimes wonder.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:05 pm

EXCELLENT POINT! Do as I say not as I do I guess has to exist?

Mary Rhodes February 10, 2013 - 4:54 pm

I think success is such a subjective subject. It varies from person to person. A post a month might be ample to one person whereas someone who posts every time they go grocery shopping or makes a financial transaction is their prerogative!

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:07 pm

You completely misinterpreted the post. I mean whatever one’s goal might be not in terms of posting but in the game of life.

Integrator February 12, 2013 - 11:00 pm

i think if someone is setting aggressive goals and trying hard to achieve them, its okay if they don’t exactly hit them, but hopefully they get close to those goals in the process. Somebody who makes no attempt to get there has either set the wrong goals or may need some extra help to help get back on track. Knowing that you need help in that situation is key, and unfortunately, thats not something that some people grasp.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:10 pm


All about accountability!

Financial Samurai February 16, 2013 - 9:35 am

Don’t be bummed Evan. Everything is rationale. If the feeling of getting out of debt trumps the feeling of spending money, then getting out of debt is what they’d do.

Nobody sticks their eyeballs with needles. We do what feels best.

Evan March 14, 2013 - 10:11 pm

I think the problem is what feels best long term vs short term that is missing with a lot of people

Sandy March 16, 2013 - 12:41 am

I’m guilty! My debt is $50K higher than when I started blogging over 4 years ago…buuuuuut my net worth is much higher and I now own two houses.

You never know Evan, there might be some good stuff lost in the numbers.


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