Mind Over Money

Money on the Brain

I know I have probably written about this before but the way people interact with money is amazing. Even people who say money won’t make them act a certain way allow money to influence their interactions with people. I am most reminded of these kinds of interactions around the start of every month when people are posting their net worth’s and I am compiling the wealthy blogger list. I am not an anonymous blogger, my family, friends, and neighbors all know about my blog. Some of them even take the time to read some of what I write. Every now and then a few of them even post comments.

It actually makes me anxious when I hear about one of the people I know reading my blog. There is no good reason, I just don’t want them to think something I wrote was stupid. If random people I don’t know have a problem with it then I am all good. This brings me to net worth’s. I regularly post my net worth on my blog. Once a month, every month, like clock work. Until this month no one has ever made a comment about it. This month a comment was made, nothing bad or judgmental. It was just a comment that made me realize these people really are reading and now they know approximately how much money I have stashed around in different places. It makes me happy to know they are reading and enjoy it and I was glad for the comment, it made me snicker.

I have been thinking about it for a while and I realized that my money and how much or little of it I posses doesn’t define me. I am not defined by money and I try not define anyone else by theirs. I see no problems in displaying my net worth because if you want to judge me by the number of zeros on my bank account I don’t need you around. WE ARE NOT DEFINED BY OUR MONEY. I like to have money, cash and investments, as a security blanket of sorts. If I didn’t have that money I would be much more on edge and worried than I am now but the person I am wouldn’t change.

I write on this blog to talk about how I interact with money and hopefully to help a few people learn a couple of tricks to better their financial situation. If me posting my net worth every month can inspire one person to start saving, or open a 401k, or take their debt column to zero then it is worth it. So what if you know how much money I make or cash savings I have. Does it really matter?

I have had several people mention to me that they don’t share that kind of information publicly because they don’t want their family to find out about their money situation. I can kind of understand this but I also don’t think it should be necessary to hide this information from family. I would like to think that my family doesn’t look at my balance sheet and judge my success or failure. I also hope they don’t expect that I will bail them out when they are in financial trouble just because I have more money than them.

I want you the readers, in the comments, to tell me WHY does it matter if people know how much money you have? What are you afraid of? Are you ashamed or just trying to avoid being boastful?


1 Julie April 7, 2010 at 10:23 am

I don’t mind my family knowing how much I make. Culturally, that’s usually the first question people ask. There is no taboo.

I feel weird letting other people who know me or my husband’s family know how much I make or our net worth. It feels too much like boasting in this culture vs. my family’s. I don’t mind letting total strangers know my net worth, but I’m still gun shy about my budget. (See above link).

2 ParisGirl111 April 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I think this scenario can go either way. If those around you know how much money you have, more or less, then they may be more apt to ask to borrow money. You can be placed in some very uncomfortable situations. Also, if someone within your company (full time job) is reading your blog, they may see the amount of money you have and decide you don’t need a raise even if you are putting forth all the hard work into that job. So, it’s a double edged sword in my opinion. Also, most ordinary, financial sound people that I know, do not reveal their incomes or savings. Stay low, stay humble. That’s just my own personal opinion. 🙂

3 Money Funk April 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Well, you will see that I actually did post my Net Worth as of midnight last night.

But the reason behind not wanting certain family members to know your NW on your site is because there are those who make you feel guilty for your success, harbor jealousy and are expecting you to take care of them when they ‘retire’.

There are those people who chose not to take an initiative towards bettering their finances, but instead chose to keep in their financial trenches. Knowing full well that we would not let these people closest to us suffer. Yet feeling the burden of that coming day.

I’ve worked hard now that I am climbing out of my own trenches. And the gratititude and hard work is not always shared. Plus, my husband is about the same age as my mother (yes, there is an age gap). I find difficulty when my husband has planned for an enjoyable retirement, yet someone his own age in my family is expecting me to take care of her.

So now, Kyle. I hope you will understand why some do not post.

I went ahead and chose to do so because, you’re right, I chose to show financial transparency. I want people to learn from my financial mistakes. But it is a decision I still contemplate for future postings.
.-= Money Funk´s last blog ..How much did you earn to give up your dream? =-.

4 James April 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

good for you Kyle. i can tell you are very secure in what you write and the money you have made. i think you are correct money doesn’t make the person the person makes money. and i hope you keep sharing and keep earning 🙂

5 Mike Piper April 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I’m in complete agreement. I’m perfectly happy to share numbers with anyone who asks. (Though people ask me about revenue numbers for my business more often than they ask net worth questions.)

I see the taboo against money discussion as a hindrance to financial understanding.
.-= Mike Piper´s last blog ..Learning about TIPS (Inflation-Protected Bonds) =-.

6 Julie April 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Kyle, I choose to only post my net worth anonymously because I don’t want people I know to know my net worth or how much I make. I’m usually the one person in the group who doesn’t feel like dropping $30 for lunch or spending hundreds on clothes shopping. I don’t want them to know I have extra cash because then they would try to borrow it from me… only to never return it.

I also don’t want my family (who love to take advantage) to know what i have saved up. I once let my mom know we had over 100K saved up for a down payment towards a house we were planning to buy, and she tried to guilt me into “lending” her 90K to buy a condo when she already owns and lives in a house. Husband’s siblings and mother are the same way.

7 a.b. (Mrs. Modern Tightwad) April 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I used to put out my financial numbers, but I don’t anymore for several reasons:
1. My family might worry, and I wouldn’t want them to ever consider risking their own financial future for mine.
2. Some of my family makes character judgments based on financial information, so taking that out of the picture forces them to know me as a person instead of a balance sheet.
3. I don’t think the numbers are as important as the principles. For me, the debt I have is a lot, but someone else might think it’s not very much and I’m overly dramatic.
4. Numbers skew personal reality. I know many people who think that we need to make more money to live a different life, but we’re happy in our little place with our dog and our friends. I don’t need to make millions to retire (although I wouldn’t turn it down).
.-= a.b. (Mrs. Modern Tightwad)´s last blog ..Use Free Virus Protection =-.

8 Kevin April 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm

It doesn’t bother me when people I don’t know see how much money I have but it bothers me when people I know learn about it. I really don’t have a reason to. The people I know don’t judge based on that but it’s just the fact the they know something about me that they could bring up anytime. I don’t stress over it. Once they see how much money I have I get over it but now I know if the conversation of money ever comes up they can bring my finances into the conversation if they want to.
.-= Kevin´s last blog ..7 Tips For The Financially Young =-.

9 Guy G. April 10, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Hey Kyle,

Good to see another lay person spreading sound financial information and tips on budgeting. Before I became a personal financial consultant, I was in the health field and not really heading anywhere financially. I started learning more and became licenced in my province to give advice, but still see myself as a regular joe, just wanting to help the working class all the experts ignore.

Anyway, it’s my first time on the site, and I just want to say, keep it up.


.-= Guy G.´s last blog ..Picking The Right Bank – Create Personal Budget =-.

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