what do I think about commercial blogs on financial freedom?


Sometimes when I read the stories of “highly successful savers”, which are full of glory and high savings rates (like >50%), I get jealous or frustrated or something…

It is because with my best intentions I can only save around 35% of my income and not one (per)cent more (and that is so if I do not get an extra expense related to a serious repair or house maintenance issue). Why? I do not know but I cannot significantly reduce my expenses more than what I already have without seriously hurting the quality of my life, getting really cheap, or foregoing activities, such as visiting my family, that are highly important for me.

When I examine my feelings a little bit deeper, I see that when I read those stories I actually lose my hope to save a lot of money. This is simply because I realize that while I make a great effort to save (saving 35% of my income is not bad at all), since my expense-to-income ratio cannot be reduced more, I become aware that what I can save is considerably less than what I should be saving….. Long story short, those success stories/blogs make me feel like a failure.

Go figure..

Strange, is it not?

When I come to my senses and start thinking objectively, things start to look a little bit better. I think that some of these blogs are not giving us the full picture and they function to inspire the readers (which is awesome), yet one also wonders how much their interest in making money out of their blogs affects the stories they write. 

Since last year I ceased reading such “commercial” blogs, some of which are quite famous in the financial freedom-world by the way. I decided their story was not beneficial for me and I wanted to choose to surround myself with positive – not negative- feelings and confidence during my frugal journey.

Additionally, I must note that: there is quite a difference between those commercial blogs and the blogs I follow here, who are genuine and open about their struggles; their accounts are sincere and naturally full of both failures and successes. These are real people and real stories, just like mine and I am very happy to follow them. I would recommend them to everyone who is interested in inspiration, saving, and making better choices related to their finances.

 

 

28 thoughts on “what do I think about commercial blogs on financial freedom?

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    1. Agree! Fitting blog posts as I am on a hunt right now for blogs based on real personal experience. I find that more inspiring than being told how-to {save more, spend less, etc…).

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    1. I sometimes think that if required I can save even more, but for that something really drastic should happen. So I am not interested in that right now, but I am saving – I am very conscious about where my money goes, sales/discounts, extra expenses etc. I am doing good, I am sure you too. every body’s life circumstances are different. I live alone; if I had kids, how far would I stretch? if I was married, how much more or less I would save? it is impossible to know. I guess everybody has a system; within that system we all can do to a level, but not beyond that, unless of course things change quite drastically (like loss of income, a new job, an unexpected and large-sum expense, or an intense interest in saving 🙂 )

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  1. The people who want to invest your money for you will always tell you that you need more than a million dollars in order to retire. That is simply not true. I live very comfortably on a moderate income, an affordable housing cost, and a nest egg that will last until I am at least 90. In addition, I am able to travel every year. Life is good.

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  2. The emphasis on savings is misleading. It’s only part of the story.

    Most people can’t make or save enough money to achieve true financial freedom. The question becomes, what is your goal? For what are you saving?

    Retirement? Not so much. Without major healthcare reform, it takes about $750,000 in cash to retire (Fidelity Investments estimate), and so most people will never be able to do that. That’s assuming there is no future inflation (very unlikely, especially with the current administration). With inflation, the target number will increase faster than you can save. People on Medicare today need about $265,000 in cash to meet healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Beyond that, the national average cost for a nursing home is $92,000 per year. By comparison, the average Social Security payment is about $1,670 per month. It’s a joke.

    What you can do is ensure you have the skills to keep working as technology changes the job market, and have a second line of work that will keep you going in your senior years. While savings is important, that tool kit is more important.

    You need to protect your health. Life can collapse pretty quickly without it. That means healthy habits, regular checkups and early detection of problems (when they can be fixed relatively painlessly and at low cost).

    And you need a plan. Not someone else’s plan. Your plan. That way you can assess your progress on reaching goals that are realistic and meaningful for you.

    I view most commercial blogs and “testimonials” as propaganda.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you for this thoughtful and thought-provoking comment 🙂 I agree with you re; the importance of health and having a second line of work at retirement. We are a little bit lucky in Canada (for now) that our health care is universal, even though medication costs may still require (mostly) private insurance. so healthcare costs at old age would relatively be lower here (although additional services such as home care or supplies for chronic diseases would still cost a lot of money. I am scared of these potential costs, not because I am sick, but because there is no guarantee that I will not get sick). Anyways; I am a little bit short on the “plan” part; how long do I want to work? what do I want to do during my retirement? what could be my second line of work? how much can I save till my retirement, etc. You are right – I need to be more specific about these. Then I guess i will have a better idea about whether or not what I am saving right now is enough…

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  3. I would never have started saving at the rate that I am or even considering FI if I hadn’t read blogs like the Frugalwoods or Mr Money Mustache. If they are making money from the advice, hacks or experiences they are sharing then I’m pleased for them.

    I do think though that we sometimes fall into reverse “keeping up with the Jones” – comparing our savings rates and frugality with some of these people. I think that if the only way you can avoid that is by staying away from such blogs then you should. Otherwise, I like seeing what can be achieved and more often than not, get motivated to think about how I can achieve my own personal goals based on how they’ve achieved theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Forgot to add, the only commercial blogs I hate are the ones churning out “how to guides” and other such articles especially when I know they couldn’t possibly be from their own experience e.g. Someone giving child raising how-to guides when they have no children in their lives.

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  5. Saving 35% of your income is fabulous! If reading those blogs gives you negative feelings then you are smart not to read them. Do what feels right with you, always trust your self, your instincts. You have done very well so far…you know how you want it to be. 🙂

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  6. I agree with this part where you mention”I think that some of these blogs are not giving us the full picture…”. Also, some of the stories seem too good to be true (or made up).

    Even if one tries achieve the same success using what they did, it is not guaranteed that the person will be rich as well. Factors such as location, economic environments and luck change over time and have impacts on success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fully agreed. My food cost, for example, is quite high for a single person. reason? I am on a remote location where the majority of the food is imported/transported from other places. this increases the cost. what can I do? nothing, right 🙂

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  7. some times we read those same type of blogs. They are so filled with guilt-producing ideas. Is their main goal just to have a number to say they have x amount in savings or is there so other reason? Most also do things to “generate” money that we are not willing to do. If it is working for you, you are doing something right. (Saving 35% is awesome!!) What is “right” according to them isn’t necessarily what is best for you!

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  8. The book “Rich dad, poor dad” is the best book which I ever read in my whole life! It changed my life and totally changed my view of life, how to life your life fully and doing what you want every day, and not doing what other people want, every day. I highly recomment this book to all those who want to live with financial freedom and enjoy life! You can find the book here : https://tinyurl.com/ya3w5ewv You won’t regret it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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