I’m in the process of preparing a guest post for a large blog (I’m cold-emailing, so you can hope that it will be accepted!) and as a part of the post I state our net worth. While I do spending updates here every month, per Kyle’s request I am a little cagey about how much we save (we stick with percentages) and we’ve never said exactly how much we have in savings. So it’s a bit intimidating to publish the number that we’ve kept close to the vest – more so for Kyle than for me, really. (But he did give his permission! For the sake of page views.) Even writing about meeting our first retirement savings milestone was a big reveal to us.
I think we’re way more open about our financial picture than most people are – which is not that surprising since we have this blog on the subject. But even way before we started the blog we were very open with our peers. Surviving in the DC area on $24k/year is no walk in the park, and neither is trying to accomplish everything we are here in Durham on our stipends. We need the support and knowledge of our communities.
It’s easy to talk with our local friends about money. Our grad school friends all make more or less the same amount of money that we do so there’s no awkwardness about admitting the low pay thing. Our church friends usually have very similar values regarding how to view and treat money. However, we don’t often go to the big picture, like our percentage-based budgeting, with our grad school friends, and we don’t often get down into numbers with our church friends, so no one necessarily sees the big picture.
We also talk with our parents about money occasionally, but those conversations can be a bit more fraught as we have different opinions on things like insurance and retirement planning. We can’t get too far into these conversations without having to start backpedaling for fear of offending. However, talking about retirement savings with my sister has really helped her along in her financial journey.
But in all those different types of conversations, our net worth has only come out once or twice. If the various smaller conversations and what we write here consist of us showing a bit of knee or shoulder, we consider revealing our net worth to be getting completely naked. And apparently we’re preparing to do that in front of the whole internet! We’ll be going from a close friend or two knowing our net worth to potentially literally anyone. At least it will just be a snapshot in time, though, and will become outdated quickly.
I guess the people I’m most apprehensive about seeing our net worth are friends and extended family members who are older/more established than us. (Not that most of those people are immersed in the PF blogosphere!) I’m not sure if they will be thinking more or less of us knowing how much we make and how much we’ve saved, but it might change how they view or interact with us.
I’m pretty unconcerned with how the people of the internet/the readers of this blog will view us, though. If they think we’re doing awesome that would be nice to hear. If they have some criticisms of what we’re up to I’ll be open to considering those. I would be most disappointed for them to be bored or for the post to have little response.
What’s the most sensitive aspect of your financial picture (net worth for us)? Who knows your balance sheet or income/spending, in whole or part? How much do you reveal on your blog and would it be different if you were more anonymous?
photo from Free Digital Photos