Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Challenge Accepted

I recently stumbled on a new blog and started commenting on it. Last night I comment on the blog and then today I see a post that kind of rubs me the wrong way. The post is very rude and judgemental.

Here is their post.

This was my response:
Well, maybe you are not familiar enough with the blog to understand why their goals are set that way. For instance I am moving to Australia for a minimum of one year. I have to have at least $5000 in savings before I can apply for a work visa. I have to apply in June or July. So that goal is a priority for me. I leave in October which gives me the months in between to make up my other priorities for savings. I have a stable job and so does my spouse. My blog doesn't reflect his savings, only my own. All of my money went to debt before January 09 so this money has all been saved in the last three months. Hope that clears the fog a little! :)

Then I reread the post and I thought this guy doesn't really have the right to criticize others by the looks of his progress bars. This "snapshot into his financial soul" shows he's got almost as much saved as he does debt. Hmm... do I really want to take judgement from him? I've already paid my debt off. What I do with my money is pretty much up to me. That's why its personal finance.

Okay, so lets respond since he considers this a duel. *yawn

Progress bars are legit, what's not so legit is the breakdown of some of these bloggers priorities, especially considering they are personal finance bloggers.

Priorities are set by the person with the goals. Their life, their goals. It's a simple as that. It's not for another person to decide what is important to that person at that time in their life. There is more to a blogger than what is shared on the net.

It makes me wonder if their financial priorities are in order. Is it not hypocritical to write about the importance of fundamental financial knowledge, only to have your own website display such a large gap between the necessities (emergency fund) and extras (travel)?

How can you judge a persons financial knowledge like that? How can I be sure you have your priorities in order when you have a large chunk of debt which is most likely costing you more in interest than you are accumulating on your savings. Your savings almost meet the needs of your debt. We are moving to Australia October of this year so that fund is a priority/necessity to me. I have to have $5000 saved before I can apply for a working visa. All other savings are put on hold until that is fully funded. I have a more than stable job and so does BF. If something really catastrophic happened I could always access the Australia fund just as quickly as I could the EFund. The point is to have the required amount saved right away so that I can apply for the visa. Get it? Got it? Good.

Having some kind of emergency fund should be one of the first things we do as we fight to gain our financial freedom.

So how large will your EFund be before you pay off your debt. Being debt free is closer to financial freedom in my eyes. I see you don't break down your savings with your progress bars so its hard to see what is happening with that stored up dough. Different people follow different strategies. I personally would never save up 6 months of EFund with a large amount of debt on my shoulders. Our priorities are different but that's okay. When I had debt my EFund was $1000. Enough to cover anything that came up for me and keep me on track. I'm resourceful person and can find work easily within a few days time. I believe in EFunds, and have helped my friends see the light on this one but it is not my top priority right now. I have stable employment and do not own a car or anything that could break down and need repairs. All of our furniture is second hand and ready to be given back to charity before we leave. If it's broke, we fix it or ditch it. My EFund will be funded before the trip and that's all the matters to me. I will be working in Australia so the $5000 is more like a security blanket for me, I'm not just going to blow the money.

So to all you PF bloggers who have skewed priorities I'm challenging you to a blogging duel. Please explain or justify the logic behind your actions. Am I crazy? (don't answer that)

I don't really care about the priorities of others. I'm more concerned about my own. Maybe you should take note. I feel I explained myself well enough through my comment and now my post. If you don't know the story behind the goals of the person you should probably keep your fingers off the keyboard. I am debt free and living a great life. I am frugal in my everyday practices and I enjoy sharing with my PFB family.

The purpose of my blog is not to preach to others or to gain the ability to judge people. It's about my own thoughts on my finances. If I write a post giving advice its only share what I've learned. PF blogging in my mind is more about the support of the community and learning through others experiences. Maybe you are the one who has your priorities askew.

*Note* This post written while drilling is happening next to my head. Thanks random worker guy! :P


Nathaniel Christopher said...

You tell 'im Dolly!

Louise said...

I agree with you, we each set our own priorities, thats why they are called Personal finance blogs! what you are doing makes good sense in your circumstances.

are you moving to australia permanently?

Punch Debt In The Face said...

Yo Dolly,

First off I feel an apology is in order. I did not mean to offend you or any other PF bloggers for that matter. I had a difficult time writing that article and attempting to convey the feelings I had. It is not so much of me trying to be rude or judgmental as much as it is seeking insight or response (which you have done). I responded to your comment on my blog, prior to realizing you had wrote your post today about my article. I truly hope I didn't offend you to the point that you stop checking out my posts. I feel like you took my post as it was directed towards you specifically, when in reality, it was me speaking in generalities to the masses. As far as my progress bars are concerned. Of the $23K I have in my "savings" that includes retirement funds, in reality I have $12K liquid, which is my 6 month E-Fund. I wrote a recent post on my goal to attack my student loan (which exceeds my total savings) and throw $1,000 a month at it to knock it off quickly. I don't disagree that you are not in a more secure financial situation than I (I cant wait for the day im debt free). I'll definitely do my best to use less judgmental or crass verbiage in future posts.

hklover86 said...

wow you said it girl! lol

Frugal Dreamer said...


Dolly Iris said...

Nathaniel - Much love to you as always!

Louise - That is still unknown. The plan is to go for a minimum of one year. We have already learned if we work for 3 months in certain industries we will be extended a second year. BF has skills that can allow us to move to another country easily so it might be an option for us. We are not sure yet. We have not planned past that point yet.

Dolly Iris said...

Punch Debt In The Face - I must admit I did take your post personally. I have just recently (last few days) been enjoying your blog and commenting. So when I saw your post I had a small feeling it may be partly directed towards me as you have also just come across my blog and my side bars reflect the comments made.

All of my savings are with ING who lets you have 5 sub accounts so you can save for different things. My side bars reflect the 4 categories I have set for myself. I am a very visual person and so the separation helps keep me focused.

Yes, I will continue to read your blog and cheer on your progress. :)

ashley said...

*applause* excellent comeback :)