It’s Friday! I’m sure you all knew that. One of my youngest friends finally turned 21 the other day and we’re going out for her birthday tonight. I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for tonight all week. What plans do you have for the weekend? I start classes on Tuesday, so this weekend will also be pretty depressing.
Yesterday in my blog post I was asked why I keep my blog so private. I’ve also had many other people ask this, so to the person who asked this yesterday, I’m not trying to single you out. It’s a good question!
I try and blog anonymously as much as I can. If you look through past posts, you will find pictures though. And I always post pictures of things around my house, I’m just never in them. Also, if you look at other blogs, you will most likely find my pictures floating around.
- I talk a lot about money. I like to openly talk about everything with my finances, and if I wasn’t private, I don’t know if I would still do that. I would want to make some things more private with my finances so that I could obviously have some privacy between me and my family/friends
- I talk about my family. There are many things that I say in my blog about my family, that I really wish that my friends and family wouldn’t read. I have a very difficult time talking about my dad in person, and I feel like in my blog I can talk about it very openly without worrying about what people think, because you all are very kind and always make me feel better.
- Since I blog kind of anonymously, I don’t hold back with what I say. I feel like I can share anything and everything. I’m not saying that I’m fake when I’m around my friends and family. I’m saying that I can be completely open and share all of my thoughts and feelings. Nothing wrong with that right?
I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a fake person though just because I don’t post a lot of pictures. Just because I blog anonymously does not mean that I’m not completely honest with you guys. Sorry if I come across in a different way. I do want to start posting more pictures though, because I want you guys to be able to relate to me more! It’s probably weird that I blog anonymously to some of you, I hope to change this soon. Thanks for the great question everyone!
Even though I do blog anonymously now, I DO actually want to change this soon. I’m hoping I can get over my problem and be more open.
I was also asked the other day why I have all of these vacations planned instead of paying off my debt. I’m not really sure how to answer this. I don’t see traveling as me wasting money. I actually see it as one of the best ways that I can spend my money. I also budget every month for a vacation fund, so I’m not going more into debt for it.
Also, all of my vacations are relatively cheap compared to most. I don’t really pay for airfare (I’ll say this again, because of my dad’s survivor retirement benefits). So it’s not like I’m spending a lot of money anyways. I’m also young, so of course I would want to travel now. My vacations that I budgeted for this year account for less than 5% of our after-tax yearly income also.
My net worth is positive also, and I have no credit card debt. I don’t think I’m frivolous with my money, but I do understand how it may seem like I am. I’ve also never been late with a payment. Also, I’m not trying to be rude or mean with what I’m saying. And I’m also not trying to have a pity party, but I like to relax every now and then because life can be stressful because of my family.
Update as of 9:30 am (I’ve added lots of clarifying updates to this post already because I’ve gotten some emails, thanks everyone for your input, keep them coming!): Another excuse for why I want to travel more and why I recently started so much is because my dad was an avid traveler. He traveled everywhere (he was a pilot). And before he passed he told me that I need to live life more. My dad passed away when he was in his 50’s, which is pretty young. He also worked hard his entire life and towards the end he was pretty miserable (because of family problems). So, since my dad passed away, I’ve been trying to live life, have fun and stop thinking about regrets. I don’t want to die young and not have been completely happy.
I do understand that it is probably confusing that I say that I want to be out of debt so bad, but then I spend money having fun. I’m pretty frugal in my life, and I guess I just never really considered traveling a “bad” way to spend money. I don’t know, I guess I’m wrong. I guess traveling is one of my weaknesses, but before I quit my old job (June of 2010), I hadn’t had a single vacation day for 5 years (wasn’t allowed at my job).
I know I’m just throwing excuses out there, but I just don’t see traveling as a bad thing.
Am I wrong for spending money instead of strictly paying off debt?
Well I think that’s all the questions that I can think of for now that some of your asked me. I really hope this helps you guys understand me more. I really promise that one day soon I will stop blogging anonymously. I will of course delete some of the things about my mom that I’ve said, but I will do it soon.
What else would you want to know about me?
Now I have a question for you. What would you like to see me post more about?
Live Simply- Live We says
I blog anon. For a lot of the same reasons as you do. I have often thought about coming out and showing who I am, but there is something really freeing about getting to be completely honest, and if I didn't blog privately, I might not be as open and real. Sad, but true. I don't think your wrong for spending money while trying to get out of debt. Personal finance is just that, personal. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Sure I might take a different route, but it's not my money or my life, it's yours. So if you are paying your bills, and not behind, then you get to do what you want.
I don't really want to blog non-anonymously. I blog using a pseudonym (first and last name) because part of my reason for blogging is to discuss the details of my finances in a way that no one else wants to hear. Perhaps when I am married, I would discuss the details with a partner, but for now, I am single, and I need an outlet for all of the crazy details.
Finding my Way says
Blogging the way you want is your choice. Speaking to your question about travel and debt – this is a personal thing as well. However, here's the question you need to ask yourself…is the money you DO spend on travel going to get you to debt free significantly faster than your current pace? Truthfully, nobody has any say on how you do things in your own life except you. From the outside, those of us in the PF realm may question your choices, simply because you put them out there and say getting to debt free is important. For many of us getting there would mean sacrificing things like travel, until we are done with the debt. If you are paying cash for your travel, and not adding to your debt, and it is included in your budget, then none of us should have an issue with it. If, however, you are traveling and putting money onto your debt to do so, then you'll be questioned by someone every time, simply because debt freedom isn't as important as you say it is. Part of the reason I blog is so I can be called out when I need it. For me, if I was traveling and trying to get out of debt, but writing about how I want to be out of debt so bad, yet my actions (traveling) are contrary to that, I need to be prepared to be called out on this. You need to look at whether or not the comment is true for you. To do this, going back and reading some of your older posts may help to see why you receive some comments on your travel vs. debt decisions. Ultimately though, commenting persons want to offer encouragement, celebrate your successes and point out areas that can improve your financial situation. It is you that actually decides what is good for you.
Michelle P says
@Finding my Way, I just replied back to you via email, but for everyone else this is what I said:"Thanks for your comment! Very helpful. I budget every month for my vacations. I see it like this though, if I didn't go on vacations (which is one of the only things I spend my money on), then aren't there other things that I could be limiting also? I could eat ramen/other cheap foods, not buy clothes, live with my parents, and so on until my debt is paid off. And I honestly don't think I have too much debt. I will have my car paid off next month and my student loans by the end of this year. Yes I will still have my mortgage, but I think as long as I'm still saving a couple thousand every month, then I should be able to have fun."I guess this would be confusing to people that I say I want my debt paid off but then I go on vacations, like I've said though, my vacations are relatively cheap and I consider it a part of keeping my sanity.
Michelle P says
I just noticed that I meant to say that my student loans will be paid off by early next year. **
I keep my blog private from family but not friends, just because my family is all in IT and would be "concerned" about me sharing too much info with the universe. My blog isn't searchable. You have to know about it or find it through another blog. I prefer it that way honestly.And vacations are important. I view travel as being crucial to my mental health AND my perspective. It keeps me experiencing new things and makes me happy. I think it can help us in all aspects of our life to better understand the world we live in and how can we do that if we've only seen small parts of it? Traveling is good for the soul and an investment in itself. Life is short and you're not neglecting your debt for your entertainment, so I don't see how anyone has the place to criticize in this regard.
Michelle P says
Thanks Lauren, I see travel as an investment in my life also. I would probably go crazy if I didn't escape everything every once in a while
Jennifer Delle Fave says
HI!! I nominated you for award today–not sure if you've gotten it before, sorry if you did, but you're great so I wanted you to know!!! 🙂
Lane R says
Thanks for visting my blog. If I were talking about finances as much as you do I would try to keep it as private as possible. When I started my blog I tried to keep it pretty anonymous, but it isn't really possible when you are sharing wedding photos and such. Now I just share our first names, photos of us and our house, and our city.I think travel is important as well. The only debt we have is our mortgage, but I am considering leaving my job bringing us down to a one income household until I figure out what I really want to do. I hope this year we will be able to travel more, but it is going to call for me to make some serious cutback in other places so we will be able to afford it.
Sarah @ 90 Percent B says
As much as paying off debt is important, I agree that you also have to live your life. Even though we have debt, I'm planning a vaca because I need to get away. Live life to its fullest, right!
Out My window says
You really need to live your life by your standards. You are Credit card debt free, you work hard. I don't think you are frivolous. Even if you were , that would be your choice. Travel, enjoy. You are not asking us to support you. I feel that these blogs are for advice and talking about our feeling toward life and money. But sometimes they revert to jealousy. Then you get rid of that comment. I think what you are doing is great.
Michelle P says
Thanks! Everything you just said made me feel much better.
I completely agree with you. After spending some time in Latin America it has been really interesting to see how they always try to take advantage of everyday. I know some people down there that were tortured during various military regimes and they always try to enjoy everyday because one never knows what will happen tomorrow.
It's personal finance for a reason. I get why people would question spending habits but ultimately it's your choice. I think it's great that you are aware of your debt and you are doing great paying off your loans. I would love to travel if I had more time and less investments so I commend you for doing that. You're still young, focus on boring stuff later. Seriouslyy!
Michelle P says
EXACTLY! I'll focus on boring things when I'm older.
House of Sykes says
I totally respect your decision to blog anonymously. In fact, I wish I blogged that way. Some of my topics have been controversial and caused issues with my readers. Some of my posts have actually been removed for that very fact. There are often times I need to vent about something, and I want it on the blog but can't put it there.
Michelle P says
That's exactly how I see it. I wouldn't want to be venting about my mom, and then have her read it.
Under the Fluorescen says
i totally respect that you keep your blog private. after all its YOUR blog! http://underthefluorescents.blogspot.com/
I think travel is not just pleasurable, but a great lesson in life for Americans. I think a well-rounded person should experience other countries and other cultures if at all possible. Many of us are ignorant about the world around us, and only know what we see on TV or in movies. I say "Go and see for yourself!" and don't wait forever for "someday" when it's more convenient, or you've reached some magical goal. Be sensible, pay your debts, but allow yourself to go forth and explore, too.
I keep my blog anonymous I feel its the only way I can really say how I feel without offending any family or friends! Do what you feel is best for you and your family/friends!
I don't think you are wrong – do what YOU feel is right!!!! 🙂
I think you need to do whatever makes YOU most comfortable… I blog openly because it works for me… whatever I say, I'd say in person as well, and there's nothing I need to "censor". In the end, it's how comfortable you feel! 🙂
I too blog anonymously and it's what works for me. I enjoy reading your blog and don't care either way. I would love to see more real from you pictures though and not so many borrowed off the web. :)I wish I could travel like you. I had kids very young though and am forced to do it backwards. I get to have my fun when they are grown.
I keep my blog anonymous for the same reasons. I read lots of blogs that are anonymous and lots that aren't. Makes no never mind to me. It's your blog, do what you feel comfortable with. I enjoy reading it!
Mom of G says
It's all about priorities and traveling is yours. You have some very personal reasons as to why traveling is important to you. Kudos to you for being able to fit it into your budget.
I know I don't really blog privately, but I don't think there is anything wrong if you do. And even though I am about to whip our bank account into shape, certain things to me are an investment and I won't give it up. Traveling imo is an investment for YOU. 🙂
I see no problem with you traveling. Get it done while you still can without kids and stuff. It could be another 30 or 40 years till you get these opportunities again. I've heard this complaint, as well – I complain all the time that I'm way underpaid, and when people see that we travel to different places, they tell us we're being irresponsible. First of all, I live in europe. You really expect me NOT to travel??? Second of all, we have not used our credit card ONCE since we've been here, we may use all of our monthly income to take trips, but as long as we're not building on debt, I don't see a problem with it, as we'll probably never be in this situation again!
Can I just say that I love your blog? Cause I do!! And I think you're awesome….'anonymous' or not 🙂 Although getting to know more about the girl behind the blog wouldn't make me mad…haha hope you're having a great day!!
I love the anonymity (relative) that blogging allows. If you want to keep doing it that way I'd have no gripes. 🙂 I know I'm going to. And you should totally be spending your money on travelling. Don't feel bad. Right now you have your health. Your youth. And you're lucky enough to have ways to make it happen. Enjoying life isn't a bad thing…and you're being responsible about it. 🙂
Newlyweds on a Budge says
I don't understand why some people are all "pay off debt rather than travel!" Why can't you do both? Travel is seen as this super lucrative thing that only rich people do. There will ALWAYS be bills to pay. If you don't plan and save for traveling, it will never happen because I GUARANTEE there will always be a more responsible choice to spend your money on. I don't want to be 80 and be debt-free and loaded with a bank account to fianlly be safe enough to say "ok i can travel now" Bottom line: It's okay to live a little.
I think it's totally fine if you need to blog anon. I will still read your blog regardless! And you should def go on vacas if you can! I think people can be too critical sometimes.
The Queen of Fifty C says
I kept my blog pretty anonymous for several years, mostly to see if it could be done! Not until my first novel was published did I identify myself. And as for the travel – you're buying experiences rather than stuff…always a good investment!
You should do what makes you happy and comfortable. I enjoy your blog as it is and if you should decide later to be a little more public… that is okay too. Life is short, and things can change in an instant. Be Happy. Be Happy.
I'm surprised anyone would even ask you why you blog anonymously. I've found that probably 75% of personal finance bloggers do! Your reasons are all relatable and understandable. No real identity? Who cares. Your words are your identity. 🙂
Forever Fashionably says
Hi I just found your blog and I think its really very interesting. I'm a bit shocked that ppl think it's wrong for you to save your money to travel rather than all for paying off debt. Why would you want to spend your entire life worrying about money if you can't even enjoy a vacation. Going out, seeing the world and living life is the whole point. Too many ppl are wasting away their creativity and well being by focusing too much on money. Money sucks, you have your entire life to pay stuff off… travel while you're young!victoriaForever Fashionably Late
Michelle P says
Thanks everyone so much!
John | Married (with says
Don't let people hassle you about travel. I believe in conscious spending, and finding ways to cut back in the areas we don't care about so we can indulge in the areas we do. Glad to meet you!
American Debt Projec says
It's really hard to be honest and open in general. My blog is anonymous too, but having now met some bloggers in real life, and planning to go to Fincon12, makes me want to be less anonymous. BUT I also would feel weird if my parents read my blog. Not because I've written anything negative about them. But I don't think they could grasp the idea of talking about money in public. You're supposed to pretend like everything is perfect. Well, it's not. Sometimes I don't have enough money to pay everything in the month! (Up till last year, that was true every month!). Even now I sometimes censor myself. I'm trying to figure out the balance between venting and being constructive on my blog. I think I'm getting there :). And yes go travel. Do what you gotta do. Listening to other people and letting them get in your head will get you nowhere.
Amanda L Grossman says
Hello!Definitely your personal choice. In the future you may want to come out due to opportunities that come your way, but I don't think it will significantly hold you back (varying views on this in the Yakezie). So sorry to hear about your loss. I am also very close with my father, and could not imagine losing him. Also, your debt is student loans…not that I am an advocate of hanging onto debt (and I paid my $36,000 in student loans off within five years of graduating instead of the 11 the loaner would have liked), but it's not credit card debt. What is the interest rate? Mine varied, but the bulk that I consolidated was an awesome 2.65%…and then 1.65% after three years of consecutive payments.
Michelle P says
Thanks! I'm not entirely anonymous. The only thing I don't share is my picture directly on my blog. I have shared this elsewhere.And I wish my interest rate was as low as 1.65!
Just pipping in to say.. I wish I blogged anonymously!! Oh, how I wish that. I find I hold back on what I would/want to say because I don't want friends or family to read and judge. Maybe that's not fair..maybe they wouldn't. But I think there would be something very liberating about being anonymous.
Parenting and Money says
For me, collecting life experiences is just as important as financial freedom. What is life for if not to live? Traveling is a great way to experience things firsthand.
There is a saying floating around Pinterest that says the only thing you can buy that actually makes you rich is travel 🙂
Michelle P says
That is a great quote! I'm going to have to steal this for you.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I think there's nothing wrong with blogging anonymously. In fact, my blog got me in a bit of trouble when I was in my last job and was unhappy with it – some of the things I wrote were used against me. It really put me off of writing for a while so I can see why you'd want to keep it anonymous. On the travelling note – live life while you can! You shouldn't keep yourself from doing fun things if you're still actively working on paying down your debt too.
Kim Orpin says
First off, thanks for following my blog! It's led me to yours and I'm very excited about that fact. Also, I agree with many other people in saying that traveling should never be considered a waste of money! Sometimes, I think that selling everything I own and spending my life traveling would be well worth it. Money can either buy you things or experiences, and I'd rather spend it on experiences any day
I've been wanting to post for a while about why it's okay to spend money when you're in debt. As long as you 1) Aren't going into more debt and 2) Realize the slower you pay off debt the more interest you will have to pay – then why not treat yourself a little and enjoy life. Assuming you are doing this responsibly of course (which you are). I choose not to live a life of extreme frugality for several years while paying off my debts — to me, that would be a waste of those years. Others disagree. This is where personal finance gets personal.
Andy from Workshopshed says
I used to be just “Workshopshed” I’ve switched to bring “Andy from Workshopshed” as it’s a bit more friendly.
I don’t put my address on the blog as I don’t want to encourage unsolicited visitors or worse thieves.
I blog as a caricature of myself focused totally on topic where I often might be more preoccupied with something completely different such as work or family. I’ll often schedule posts so a 2 day project happens over 4 weeks or schedule things to post when I am working or on holiday.
I think this is all legitimate behaviour and gives my readers the best blog I can give them.
Michelle S. says
I think that’s awesome Andy! I’m now completely public with my blogging. It’s been a little difficult, but I enjoy it more this way now.
jessica petters says
I came across your blog recently and actually have been reading each of your blog posts from the beginning and this one really spoke to me. I just recently started a blog and really struggle with whether I would make my identity public or not. In the end I decided not to (and instead created a fictitious name) for similar reasons that your and other mentioned. In the end I just don’t to censor myself worrying about who is going to read. I can see that you changed your opinion over time since now you have pictures of yourself, so maybe I will get to do that eventually. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the post! 🙂
Blogging is a way to convey quality information while revealing who you are or remaining anonymous. I can understand your point of view back in 2012 Michelle because I still have yet to put up a picture on my website as of yet nor shared personal information about my humble beginnings growing up in Flatbush Brooklyn. I’m happy to see that you continue moving forward with your side hustle millionaire blogging career and most importantly, keeping me inspired to move forward as well. Thank you for just being you and know you have my support. 🙂
It is a good idea in the infancy of your affiliate marketing and blogging side hustle to be anonymous. You’re in the “side hustle millionaire” building phase and ot everyone needs to know your face or first name. So yes, I do agree with you about being anonymous in the beginning of your “side hustle.” 🙂