Who’s The Audience For This Blog?

The topic of acknowledging privilege has been a big one in the personal finance community lately. FIRE bloggers are calling each other out for obfuscating their incomes, selling the idea of financial independence to the masses as a product en route to internet wealth and fame. Folks are also noticing, due to the lack of diversity in the community, a narrowness of content that feels tone deaf for those outside of the niche.

I’m sure my tiny readership knows this already, but if it wasn’t already clear: I work in tech and generate a high income for our household. We are affluent and, were I to continue with my job until the traditional retirement age instead of pursuing FI, fiancé and I would eventually be quite wealthy without much sacrifice at all.

This level of cushion allows us to be charitable without it feeling painful and make otherwise tough decisions– like leaving jobs in the midst of burnout— accessible and easy.

My blog is not about me giving advice. I don’t write primers on how 401(k)’s work or three ways to lower your car payment. Heck, in spite of being “Yet Another PF Blog” I would say only a quarter of my posts really have anything to do with personal finance. There are some rare exceptions where I might get slightly more how-to-it about things than I would normally (see, e.g., my solar panel retrospective), but by and large my blog is about my life as I live it, day by day. The ups and downs, the things I’m thinking about that I want to write out and talk about with others. My blog is like a journal, one that I let be passed around to strangers on the internet in case they have some notes of their own they’d like to scribble in too.

As such, the likely audience for my blog is pretty small. I think this site is most likely to appeal with those at roughly the same level of background in personal finance matters who are making similarly comfortable professional incomes. Also probably petite women, what with fashion roundups and all.  And that’s not because I’m trying to be exclusionary with what I write. It’s just because that’s my life.

So, my questions for y’all today are as follows:

Bloggers: Are you transparent about your economic class on your blog? Is your content geared toward readers in your same demographic / level of PF knowledge? How much do you work to make your content accessible?

Readers: What level of transparency do you want from your personal finance bloggers? What kind of content do you want to see? Do you feel like the community as it is now has sufficiently targeted your interests and questions?

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46 thoughts on “Who’s The Audience For This Blog?

  1. I’m with you on the more journalistic style! I know all the blogging advice says to “find your niche” and “write for your readers”, but at the end of the day, I want blogging to be fun, not feel like another job. So I try to keep a balance between writing a journal, and writing something that might be interesting to people.

    On the topic of exposing privilege, I didn’t realize it was a recent trend in the PF blogging community. But I definitely appreciate it! I’ve seen some “monthly net worth update: +100k” type posts, where the blogger spends most of the post talking about all the frugal things they did that month, but in the end the vast majority of the gains were from stock options at work. Not that there’s anything wrong with stocks, but please be more transparent about where the gains came from.

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    1. I agree totally, but I also feel for the frugal-minded high-income blogger. For frugality you make so many more decision points and linger more in your mind about how to X inexpensively, whereas for work compensation many people think about that when applying for jobs and then almost not at all. It is easy to belabor points that you think a lot about but have little actual impact to the overall financial picture.

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      1. That’s a good point. I suppose the saving part is also more relatable to readers than telling them to hunt for a better job. It leads to the save/earn more debate, which is a whole other topic…

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  2. I agree completely that a blog (if not monetized) is mostly a journal, and thus we can only write about the life we know. For myself, I write a little about $ but mostly about food, occasionally also crossing into fitness and general health topics, because those are the things I’m passionate about. If you want to see income and net worth trackers, there are plenty of those out there. You should be transparent if you claim that is what your site is, but I make no such claims, and continue to write about things that interest me. It means a smaller target audience sure, but I’ve found quite a few like minded people who I love interacting with and now consider real life friends. 🙂

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    1. It’s interesting that you distinguish levels of obligation based on monetization. Full disclosure: I have an Amazon affiliate link somewhere on my blog that I haven’t found and gotten rid of yet, but am otherwise not monetizing. That said, I personally don’t feel like smaller monetizing blogs have those sort of obligations (I read a lot of those sorts of blogs). I base responsibility more on size of platform/audience. But I understand the perspective of monetized/non-monetized distinction.

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  3. I think the more important thing is that people acknowledge TO THEMSELVES their privilege and are grateful, rather than approaching life from a place of “I earned all of this because I worked so hard and I deserve it.” But really, it doesn’t matter all that much, honestly. I think people would be happier if they approached life with more gratitude than entitlement, but I don’t make it a mission to change their attitudes.

    Whenever I talk about privilege on my blog, it really is just helping me deal with my own feelings about class and money and where I came from and where I am now. I don’t think I’m helping anyone by talking about it. I guess that is the story of my blog in general.

    FI blogs are a weird subculture, that’s for sure. 🙂

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    1. I think self-acknowledgment (and callouts) of privilege is useful insofar as it spurs people to act for the betterment of others. We seem to be in the phase where awareness of one’s own privilege is the socially aware thing to do, but I really hope it leads to, say, more collective action. I kind of worry if we all collectively go, “We are all rich people here, I’ve got nothing of use for the rest of you” and nothing else that it’ll be super alienating. I don’t know, I am still sorting through lots of feels on this subject.

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  4. Interesting post. And gratifying to come across another sorta-PF blogger who admits to blogging as a type of journal-writing, as opposed to personal-finance journalism.

    Funny about Money started out as a PF blog, and at one point achieved some visibility in that department. But after awhile, I began to feel there are only so many ways you can say “get educated or vocationally trained, get a job, get out of debt and stay out of debt, live within your means, set aside emergency savings, set aside retirement savings.” Once you’ve said all those things seven or eight ways from Sunday, you tire of saying them. So…over time FaM became more “Personal” blog than “Personal Finance” blog.

    I look at it as a kind of five-finger exercise: a good way to start the day before moving on to the paying work or life’s little chores and joys.

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    1. I personally really like the journal style blogs, certainly more than the advice-giving ones. After a certain point as a reader, I also tire of the same ten tips over and over. I’d rather have colour on how a person’s real finances are effected rather than some generalized facade of one.

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  5. I haven’t taken the plunge and revealed my income on my blog yet, but I do appreciate seeing hard numbers on others’ blogs. I also enjoying reading about personal insights and anecdotes, because I feel like I’ve already learned most of the basics (like the car payment and 401(k) stuff you mentioned).

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    1. Sharing numbers can be scary. I try to be as transparent as I can numbers-wise without crossing personal lines I have on privacy. Sometimes I think it falls a little short on transparency and accessibility (e.g. my net worth is measured in unspecified units, I do not share my mortgage amount) but I’m hoping it’s enough for a reader to see relative rates of progress without getting into hard numbers.

      If you all have suggestions for more granular things you’d like to see though I’d definitely be open to that feedback.

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  6. I’ve struggled with this a lot lately and I deleted Twitter for a few days too and have been not fully sure how to continue blogging despite doing so for almost 7 years now. I shared a lot of real numbers until I got married. I don’t really want to share my husband’s numbers, but I’ve felt a lot of class guilt lately that our household income didn’t really drop with the loss of my income due to his promotions and raises. Also, the number got big enough that I don’t feel comfortable talking about it anymore. Thankfully, we have some offline friends who we talk to about pieces of our financial story. (Now several of our friends want 10 year $100k mortgages!) At $150k, I felt high income but not too high. But now, if I went back to work, we would very likely break $500k of household income and there’s just no way to pretend that’s remotely normal anymore. At this income level, I feel like we make vastly different decisions than you would on $150k even. I’ve had people tell me we aren’t frugal (because we hired an interior designer) in a year that we saved $200k or that I waste money on clothing in a month I saved $50k. Everything is relative and to us, the interior designer was more frugal than moving and spending another $3-400k on housing…

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    1. I feel like low six figure incomes have started to become “normalized” in the sense that readers won’t really hold it against you for making 100k. I definitely feel like I see a lot more pushback once you get into the 250k+ range. We aren’t making as much as you guys, but I hit the point where it felt really uncomfortable and kind of unsafe to disclose real income numbers.

      I’ve been thinking a lot on the relative frugality point too (originally this post was titled “Am I Really Frugal?”). I think there’s a virtuousness to frugality that a lot of us internalize early in our careers. And it really is hard to give up that identity, both because it defines our self-perception and when our personal consumption is less than that of our peers. I’ve started to feel like I cannot self-identity as frugal anymore though after so many months of spending say $500-700 on food for one person. And that’s scary, I guess? Because if I’m not “frugal”/”good with money”/”low maintenance”/etc, what am I really? And it also feels very self-indulgent to wax on about it on a blog.

      That is all to say: I feel you. This stuff is emotionally weird.

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      1. Your last paragraph is a great summary! 🙂 It is so emotionally weird. And I agree a lot with your first bit – I never saw much pushback when I was posting real numbers as a single person making between $100k and $200k. We are certainly oddballs in our friend groups of how much we spend – our annual budget is $72k including mortgage for the two of us, in a high cost of living area, while our closest friends spend closer to $150-200k per year while making similar incomes. So just because I don’t feel frugal compared to other people online doesn’t mean I don’t feel frugal. You know?

        For me, I drew the line at what I was willing to disclose if I was not willing to disclose it offline. That meant income, net worth, investments, etc. were fine, but house value for example was not. That is public record after all! I became really uncomfortable sharing net worth once it was over $1M combined with my husband.

        On relative frugality – I don’t think we will ever give up conscious spending. I’m not going to spend money on something I don’t care about, no matter how much money we have or make. I think that is important regardless of your income – otherwise you won’t end up accumulating any wealth (assets). In that sense, I don’t see anything wrong with high-income bloggers professing frugality is important. But, your income is what is letting you build wealth at that point far more than the frugality.

        It seems that you value food, so I don’t think $500-700 for one person is that crazy. I don’t know if it makes you feel better or worse, but our food budget is about $900 for the two of us, plus another $200 for intentional date nights out, which is right in line with your spending. After housing, food is our next biggest category, but food is pretty darn important! (And delicious!) I found the USDA food budget guides helped me to feel less bad about how “much” we spend on food, for example: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodFeb2018.pdf We did some grocery store experimenting this month which saved us some amount around $50, which is still solid?

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        1. It’s so weird to compare how I feel doing my monthly roundups versus how I feel talking with coworkers and friends about finances. Like you, we spend way less than our local peers. I was telling my friend the other day that I was feeling iffy having spent so much on food this month, and she was like, “I bet you didn’t even spend that much. Probably not more than $1000?” and my mind was… not blown, but still it was startling. After a while this sort of stuff gets normalized and it’s like you’re in a whole different world.

          It’s funny you mention the USDA guidelines because they had the opposite effect on me. In part, I think, because I group together grocery and restaurant spending into a single bucket so I’m always like “Darn it, I spent twice as much as the ‘liberal’ plan, what’s wrong with me!?” Looking through their suggested diets, though, I feel better. They assume a much more wheat/carb-focused diet than I tend to have, which skews the numbers.

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  7. I am very forward with my numbers because I was first attracted to PF because I was window shopping somebody else’s life. I like being open b/c I am anonymous and it is what I would want to see from others. Living vicariously through others is fun/interesting.

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  8. Bloggers: Are you transparent about your economic class on your blog?
    … I think so…? Right now with DH employed, we’re no longer what most would describe as middle-class (afore-mentioned out of touch bloggers aside), when he’s not employed we’re in the comfortable middle-class range on my salary. #2 on our blog is at the upper edge of middle class when both she and her DH are employed, but he’s not employed right now so they’re middle-class on her income and his savings in a high-cost city. We don’t give exact numbers because that tends to make people feel upset and it’s not really the core of what we’re trying to sell (which is… excellent romance novels and really nice pencil sharpeners on amazon? We’re not very monetized.) We’ve both had a lot of income range since starting the blog, and we gotta say, it’s nicer having higher incomes than lower.

    Is your content geared toward readers in your same demographic / level of PF knowledge?
    Oh, I dunno. Probably not entirely given that I have a PhD in economics so there’s not many people in that demographic who also read whatever it is that our blog is on the days that aren’t Money Mondays. We did have one regular commenter in that demo once (at a top school, even, though not in my field), but she’s stopped dropping by. Most of our commenters are female. They range from ultra-frugal to high income. We get a lot of professional women commenting.

    How much do you work to make your content accessible?
    Meh. It’s a hobby. I get paid a salary to make things accessible.

    Interesting questions!

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    1. “I get paid a salary to make things accessible.” This, forever.

      I admire how your blog readership showcases such an interesting diversity in incomes. Plus your super high quality commentariat. I think it’s interesting in particular because it sounds like, based on your comment, you don’t go out of the way to make your blog “accessible” beyond speaking to your own interests but at the same time it seems a lot of readers in different life situations (including myself) find it compelling. That’s pretty cool.

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      1. We do have the best commenters, it is true!
        Including yourself!

        I guess we also have the ask the grumpies feature on fridays where we answer or punt on answering all sorts of random questions. We have one coming up about when to purchase insurance but I’m not sure it will be up tomorrow—probably next Friday. Tomorrow will probably still be a call for more questions.

        Thanks for the compliments! You’ve got a good thing going here too. 🙂

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      1. We make less than they do and I consider ourselves to be high income as well. (At least, I don’t think our household income should be described as “normal”. A lot of people cite the HCOL in the area, but after a certain point I don’t think that explanation flies.)

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  9. As to your first question, I think of myself as being very transparent. (I don’t often write out the actual numbers, but I’ve linked to sources that share the biglaw and clerkship salary numbers when it’s relevant.) My natural inclination is to be far more shy about numbers, but I also think there’s no point hiding the ball when the information is so publicly available and standardized. Plus, I’d like to think I’m doing something useful by speaking frankly about both the income and the massive student loans involved in getting there, as well as about some of the other costs (i.e. the opportunity costs of clerking). In actual practice, I don’t think anyone comes across my blog because they were looking for information about the cost of attending law school, but oh well…

    As to your second question, I don’t generally think PF bloggers owe readers a duty of transparency about income and the like (except maybe in very narrow instances where some of their advice is only possible or smart for a particular income level). I would only believe this about something really specific. In the lawyer context, the only example would be if someone declared they were all for doing IBR/PAYE instead of actually paying their loans, even though they’re in biglaw or inclined to similar private sector work: There’s so many numbers and what-ifs involved before that can make sense that it requires explanation and caveats. (That’s a pretty silly example…) I do however, think bloggers in general have some obligation to disclose things about how they’re monetized, including the nature (and general amount/calculation methods) of affiliate program compensation, referral bonuses, etc. I think I’m a bit of a outlier in how much and how explicitly I think those kinds of things should be disclosed though, it makes me a major weirdo, but I try to practice what I preach at least.

    Despite my general feeling like there’s no duty of transparency… With regards to the buzz and discussions generated by a certain frugal/FI bloggers’ recently published book, I feel like a lot of the public (mass media rather than other PF blog) criticism is misplaced (their accomplishments are admirable, their advice is generally helpful though I don’t choose to live that way, I don’t think they need to have already “FIREd” to hold themselves out the way they have, and I fully understand if someone ends up not pulling the trigger on retiring early even if they’ve gotten to their “FIRE” number because well, health insurance and so many other considerations that can’t be predicted.

    Even so, I… actually did find myself feeling some consternation about some of the details that have emerged. Someone dug up a salary from a public filing and it was… extremely substantial (admittedly I’m jealous, I wish I had a job paying that combined with the ability to work remotely and enough downtime to regularly do substantial work around the house and to take care of my family). The number was different enough from what I expected based on their representations about themselves that it… cast some of their advice or choices in a new light in a “the difference between being frugal and being cheap ” way. I think I’m inclined to being too nitpicky and judgmental, though, so I don’t know if my gut reaction was reasonable. (Wow, that was quite a ramble!)

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    1. I would say you’re pretty transparent on your blog. You give broad strokes information, but as you say it’s pretty straightforward to piece together your financial situation. Or at least it would be for those “in the know” who were interested in taking on a similar career path.

      It’s intriguing to me the monetizing line folks draw in terms of obligation. I’ve always been of the view blogging is enough work that if you want to make a little money, you should and you don’t owe the readers in exchange since they’re not paying for content. I don’t monetize, save a stray Amazon affiliate link that I have yet to deactivate somewhere in my archive, but I feel like… I don’t know… content creators should get whatever $ they can as long as they don’t shill actively bad products or lie and it’s nobody’s business but theirs how much they make. I’d probably feel differently though if I spent more time in the beauty/fashion space though. In PF, you see the same three ads for Personal Capital, SoFi, BlueHost, and some credit card referral links so it’s not like there’s a huge driving force for other consumption.

      I felt the exact same way about the book you’re talking about. The couple’s collective incomes, based on the numbers I’ve seen, are about twice what I had been expecting based on what had been described as regular, middle class incomes on their blog. Even for this area in tech, the husband’s income was an outlier. I personally felt misled and wish they had been more forthcoming (or at least less misleading) with that information since I do think their blog has value for folks with more middling incomes. And I agree, some of their more parsimonious acts struck me as being inappropriate given the level of resources that were really at their disposal. It was disappointing to me because they really seem like nice people. But it really felt like they crossed a line into the level of dishonesty.

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      1. Wow, I had no idea about the backlash on that book. It seems like some of the commenters elsewhere had pretty strong reactions, similar to the two of you. I had read the book and actually enjoyed it, didn’t have a problem with the tone, but maybe I’m just dense. Or maybe I just exactly fit the mold of their target audience…

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        1. I don’t think you are dense at all! My qualms with the blog are pretty limited to the way they portrayed their income as normal/middle class and some of the actions they describe having done in light of those revealed numbers. I haven’t read the book but based on their blog I can certainly see it being an entertaining read.

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        2. My reaction is more based on emotion and a values difference rather than anything objective about what they’ve actually written. The factual situation is set up almost perfectly to make me think about “what I would do in their shoes” and it’d be so different that it’s hard to read them the same way as I used.

          For context, the er, big number that is a publically available part of their financial picture and that people found shocking is pretty much exactly in line with what I make now (biglaw third year salary, but without bonus, and of course, except they have built other good sources of income, while I still owe ~160k for my degree!), and has been higher than that in the past. It’s a number that I know for a fact is shockingly, close to 1%-er-y high (and that’s before factoring in their other sources of income) and is dramatically different enough from what I had imagined that it now makes some of the things they write feel… a little unsavory. My main objection is probably about how they’ve sometimes accepted freebees from the community where possible (I believe they’ve written about getting a fancy stroller from a freecycling group and got a winter coat out of a donation box?) because I’d feel, at a bare minimum, that I am solidly in the demographic of people that should leave the free things where they are so someone with more need has a chance to have them.

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        3. Ah, got it. I personally feel mixed on the freebies stuff. The way I see it is colored by what I understand the intent of the giver to be.

          Scooping a coat out of a donation box definitely felt not okay. People out here will put clothes/furniture/etc. on the street with an “Free” sign all the time. That the original owner was specifically donating the clothes meant it, as a resource, was being diverted to someone who was not the intended recipient.

          The stroller from the Freecycle group I don’t have a problem with. Mostly because I think of Freecycle as an environmentalist group (“Take my stuff so I don’t have to throw it away”) than from a charitable perspective. Like in the way I’ve done clothing swaps with friends (including those financially comfortable enough not to need used clothing), I think of Freecycle as trading with your albeit somewhat larger and more anonymous circle of people.

          That said, I acknowledge I have a different perspective on this than a lot of folks. For instance I’ve definitely gotten flak from people in my social circle for buying from thrift stores like Goodwill because it is their perspective that I am taking away access to clothing that could be better used by others more in need. However, I understand their mission to be creating jobs rather than specifically serving a low-income population (also because a lot of those clothes get shipped internationally when they can’t be sold and dumped anyway). So I have no moral qualms with it.

          tl;dr: I think rich people vying for freebies can be more of a problem or less of a problem depending on resource constraints within a community. Also, intent of the donor matters.

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        4. Now that you mention those specific incidents, it does feel quite unsavory. I can’t remember at what point those incidents occurred (maybe they were at lower incomes at that point?). I do relate to their overall anti-consumerism message, and somehow have sympathy for them – maybe they are just well-meaning people who went a little too frugal-crazy (which could probably be said for some of the PF community too). I think I’ll re-read and see what I think this time around, in light of the new information. I wonder if they had some early feedback about this, because the entire intro of the book is devoted to talking about privilege (without actual numbers, which definitely would’ve been helpful to put everything in context).

          As for our context, our household makes about the husband’s income, and used to be higher before my partner changed jobs. All of our salaries as state employees are public anyway, so no secrets there, ha.

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        5. They’ve talked about their financial privilege on their blog before. I think their awareness is a function of their geographic and class context (there’s been a big ongoing conversation about privilege the past few years in well-to-do, progressive, Northeast circles) as well as them pushing back on yet other bloggers who’ve claimed that FI/RE is readily accessible to everyone no matter the income. So I think acknowledging privilege is important to them, but there’s an awkward reconciliation with also trying to be approachable and frame themselves as middle-class, friendly neighbors next door types.

          Kind of OT, but I would haaaaaaate having my incomes be public. I believe in wage transparency and am fairly open with coworkers and friends about that stuff, but having a random stranger knows how much I make would feel weird. Is it weird? Do people ever try to look you up?

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        6. I think you put the division between privilege and relatability very well!

          I don’t really mind random strangers knowing my salary, because I think the public does have a right to know how their money is being spent. I think my students probably look me up (based on how much stalking I used to do on my advisor :), but I don’t mind that either. One way it does get weird is with colleagues who I’m normally not close enough to discuss salaries with. The salaries come up fairly often, because when we’re writing a research proposal, it includes a budget for paying the profs’ summer salaries. Recently we proposed an inter-disciplinary project, and I noticed that my salary (as a fairly new faculty in STEM) is almost as much another faculty in natural sciences who’s been here for 10 years, which made me feel awkward. But I don’t think in general the faculty mind, because if you’re in academia, money is probably not your primary motivation anyway 🙂

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  10. Hehe, I do admit that I’m totally weird about the monetized blogging and disclosure thing. I think it’s mostly feeling too much nostalgia for pre-2010 blogging so I’ve never fully wrapped my head around certain monetization methods. Strangely enough I’m actually ok with the idea of the really big sponsored posts, it’s just some of the smaller things that bother me (mainly rewardstyle).

    Whew, I’m glad I’m not the only person who had that reaction on the last thing. I felt bad that my reaction was so strong, since I normally wouldn’t believe people are obligated to disclose most of the types of facts at issue, just in this situation, it all came together in a weird way. Now I’m wondering if any bloggers/social media types have actually been wildly successful with the transition to a book, since it usually doesn’t seem to work well (lukewarm reviews, even people who loved their internet personality often not liking the book, etc.), if only because it’s a very different type of writing… Maybe Smitten Kitchen?

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    1. Based on reviews I think a lot of people really like the new book and it’s getting ranked in top 100 in category on Amazon so I wouldn’t say it’s unsuccessful. For FI/RE books, I think the best transition from digital to print I’ve seen was The Simple Path To Wealth. There are a few other PF blog to books I can think of that seem to have done well– and some probably better in terms of sales– but people in the community *raved* about that one.

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      1. I did not like The Simple Path to Wealth. I thought it was far too complex and prescriptive for a beginner, which was its target market. I prefer Mike Piper’s book as an intro. I also found the shopping ban memoir book to be incredibly depressing and not really about a shopping ban, but about life during it. I think that “Broke Millennial” has been the best PF book recently, though I’m not its target market.

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        1. Good to know! I tend not to read PF books, so I was mostly basing off of reaction opinions I’d seen.

          The last PF book I read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad and that became my problematic fave. Super scammy and inaccurate but also useful for introducing the concepts of leverage and cash flow. I even bought the board game which I love but everybody else in my family sees as an overly complicated Monopoly.

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    1. It’s so hard not to get sucked into this stuff. Peer reviews are often puff but consumer reviews are hard to trust as well, especially with the proponderence of paid reviews as part of marketing campaigns.

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  11. Are you transparent about your economic class on your blog? Is your content geared toward readers in your same demographic / level of PF knowledge? How much do you work to make your content accessible?

    I have no idea if I’m transparent enough. We make good money now and it’s not easy but it’s much easier than it was when it was just me, not we, and I didn’t make nearly enough! I have to ask my people now.

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    1. It’s really interesting how no matter how much more one makes, there always seem to be new tradeoffs. It never feels like it’ll be truly easy, even if it’s orders of magnitude better than before.

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  12. I am an “older” reader, as far as age goes. I live in a very economically depressed area, and I work for the state government. I make $50,000 a year, which is very low compared to what y’all make. However, my house cost $25,000 in 2014. That is right, the price of a modest car. It was built in 1950, was in ok condition (I did put a new metal roof on for $2,000 two months after I purchased it. Similar houses in a higher cost of living area in my state, go for $100,000. I have noticed houses on the west coast, almost identical to mine, going for $500,000. It is a little post world war 11, 2 bedroom, one bath, with a large yard. My point is this, My lower salary also goes hand in hand with the prices of houses in my area. So, I read what PF blogs say, I listen, and try to follow what I consider reasonably prudent financial advice. I just ignore what does not apply. Just because you are younger, does not mean I cannot learn something from y’all. I find sharing of numbers fascinating, like it when PF bloggers share, and it gives me a glimpse of what folks in other areas of the country (and the world) are facing, regarding their bills.

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    1. That is an impressive housing:income ratio! When I bought I was looking at places 3-4x my annual income. Now two bedroom places are going for 6x the median regional household income. It’s bananas. And a 1000 sq ft metal roof here would be $18k minimum.

      I agree it’s really interesting getting a peek into how people live.

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      1. Oh my goodness! I think lower income areas usually also mean lower house prices. By the way, for my town, I am in the top tier for income….lol. That just shows that income is relative as to what it can purchase. Also, folks cannot afford to pay $18k for a roof here, so the market demands that the roofing prices be lower. What really burns me up is that our power company, in one of the most economically depressed areas of the country, has really high rates. It hits the elderly in this town very hard. Also, while our food is cheaper than what I have seen for California prices, it is still not very much cheaper. A new Toyota Yaris costs about $17,000 here, and I doubt California is much higher, if at all. So, some things, such as housing prices, seem to be related to income. Other necessities, not so much. Our taxes, as far as on our real estate, are lower also. I pay less than $500 a year. To be real, it is a struggle, even with homestead exemption, for many folks to pay the taxes on their house. Their income is lower than mine. We do have a sales tax on food also, which irks me. Again, I think it hits the working poor too hard. Many do not qualify for food stamps yet struggle to put groceries on the table.

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