I recently listened to a podcast interview at The Money Blogger Podcast with J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly. The interviewer, Scott, mentioned the fact that some personal-finance bloggers, like the one at the end of this post, display their net worth online. While I’ve not felt comfortable displaying such information, I think it’s great that others have.
Personal finances are such a private thing and are managed behind closed doors. People avoid in-depth discussions about how they manage their personal finances out of fear that they’ll be judged or will feel inadequate. Understandably, people don’t share specifics of their financial situation. But unfortunately, we don’t even talk in general terms. This creates a vacuum of real-life information and a lack of yard sticks to measure our progress against. Instead, all we see of others is the exterior. We see their new car, fancy house, and weekend toys. What we DON’T see is how they achieved such external glitz. Debt statistics indicate that for a large portion of “joneses,” their external wealth comes with some degree of debt. Even more hidden are the other financial goals the joneses have given up to achieve their external wealth.
I applaud those who have posted their net worth for others to see. It gives us a new standard to reach for. It’s a new, more productive and healthy way to keep up with the joneses; one based on savings and living within our means rather than external appearances regardless of the “internal” cost.
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