Should I blog about my own finances?

By | August 14, 2008

One of the reasons I set up my blog on DollarTravels was to encourage me to put more effort into my financial life. While I’ve been very succesful as a blogger, and earned not a small amount of money!, I haven’t really posted any personal financial details on any of the blogs I write before. I do share my credit card spending from month to month, but I don’t share my expenses, my cashflow or my investment holdings at all.

I’ve already settled part of this discussion in my mind: I’m resolved to start posting my investment holdings at some point, but my own financial situation: somehow that seems like a whole new ballgame.

Privacy: is it that important?

Unlike Flexo who writes fairly anonymously, a lot of people in Taiwan actually know me, and they know where I live and work. So this would be highly personal reporting and attributable to some they know. I’m not yet convinced that this is a good thing. An article in Business Week that featured another Money Blog actually has a source that is attributable, known and trackable. I don’t know if this is something I would like to be. Part of me urges caution, part of me wants to celebrate success and share failure with EVERYONE! I’m torn.

Breaking Taboos

Coming from Britain, where I grew up and with friends, personal financial details were rarely shared amongst even the closest relatives. We were brought up such that you didn’t talk about death, sex, politics, religion, health, and money! While some of these seem obviously inappropriate at certain times, such proscription seems so intolerable that it’s a wonder anyone was able to learn anything about any of these sensitive topics. So for me to discuss some aspects of our financial situation, it’s definitely running counter to my experience as a child or younger person.

The Power of the External

Having seen my blog help me focus my mind more on generation money through the number of routes that I choose, I can see how having an external pressure, a barometer, an audience, etc.. can help me keep on the straight and narrow. Perhaps it will stop me splurging on a third 28″ monitor or a brand new BMW when I can ill afford, perhaps not. Even the failures will provide a good lesson: I’m ever hopeful that our ‘shared experience’ online will help others develop their own self-discipline, goals and means, even when I have demonstrably failed.

So what should I do? Reveal ALL my personal financials, lift the veil on some of finances (e.g. Net Worth and Investments), or keep them away from prying eyes? Comment your answer if you dare. I’ll be making a decision by September 1st. I’d like to say that some from my audience helped me gain perspective whichever outcome I decide.