one of our favorite personal finance sites, rockstar finance, maintains a running tally of bloggers’ net worths. and they frequently ask bloggers to link up to it. while we love seeing how others are doing, we don’t share our numbers, and we have a few good reasons why we don’t:
1. comparison isn’t always helpful
seeing numbers immediately makes all of us compare ourselves — how do we measure up? what are they doing that i’m not? how much do they earn or spend? etc. we don’t want this blog to be about that. lots of others are documenting the rise and fall of their net worth, and for us, this is more about the mental and emotional journey of getting to early retirement and beyond. as soon as we post numbers, we know there will be haters who say that we only save what we do because we earn x, or that with x income we should actually be able to save much faster. truth is, this stuff is highly individual and personal, and what’s right for us in terms of saving and investing and spending is probably right for only us. we want to be able to relate to all of you reading (thank you!) in terms of the ideas, not the dollar figures.
2. we don’t plan to be anonymous forever
right now, while we still need our jobs to help bring our early retirement vision into reality, we’re blogging anonymously. but we can’t wait for the day when we can tell you more about us, and share pictures of us instead of this chain of landscape photos. and once we unveil ourselves, we don’t also want our net worth to be so easily found by those who might want to take advantage of us.
3. money is just weird like that
we deeply admire the many personal finance bloggers who share their numbers. in fact, we’re thankful for them (thank you!) for helping inspire us to do better, and to think about our own finances differently. we just still have this little taboo about talking real money. sure, we’ll talk abstract money all day long, and talk your ear off about our two-tiered retirement plan, why we invest in index funds instead of actively managed funds, what assumptions are going into our long-range retirement budgeting, and on and on. but none of those things are real dollars. because, again, real dollars are deeply personal. same reason we wouldn’t talk politics or religion here.
as hard as we’ve worked in our careers, and as loyal as we’ve been to our employers, we’ve been lucky in innumerable ways, from being born in a first-world country, to having access to good public schools, to having parents that saw the value early on of college and being prepared for it, to having had the ability to travel and adapt to different situations early on. we really could go on for a long time about the ways in which we got lucky in life. point is: as soon as we slap dollar figures on things, it all becomes a comparison (or, worse, a competition), and all of the actions we’ve taken or not taken come into question, when the reality is we’ve done a lot of smart things but been lucky in even more ways. (and, oh yeah, we’ve made plenty of dumb choices too. but we’ve been lucky that the consequences haven’t been worse.) for us, if we were to share real dollars, we’d feel the need to constantly remind readers of all the ways the universe set us up for success, and we don’t think that would make for very interesting reading for you.
how about you? do you share your net worth, or other financial figures? we’d love to hear your pro/cons on the subject!