Are personal finance blogs a source of inspiration or discouragement?
I love blogs. I love reading about the life of people, what their dreams are, the challenges they face and how they overcome them. I am often inspired and encouraged by them.
I especially like blogs about frugality and personal finance as they often fit well with where I am at this point of my life.
But, in the real world, blogs like MrMoneyMustache or Frugalwoods – about people who, through hard work and extreme frugality, have achieved their dreams of early retirement – can sometimes be a bit discouraging. They are written by people who had a supportive family, a chance at education, and good, well paying jobs. They also had a clear vision of what they wanted quite early in their life.
Not everyone is in that situation; some of us didn’t have the upbringing and support, some made mistakes along the way and are still paying for them. Some of us had their lightbulb moment too late in life. Many are on low wages, with a family to support. For us it all can be a bit daunting.
Yet, I think everyone can get something about this kind of blogs. There is a “can do”, positive vibe coming from them. They plant the seed. They make me feel I can conquer the world. I know that my goals must be realistic (considering that I am in my mid-fifties, the early retirement boat sailed a long time ago) but, thanks to them and the motivation they provided, I am completely debt-free except for my mortgage which I am aiming to repay early.
For a more approachable source of inspiration I go to blogs like The non-consumer Advocate, The Frugal Girl or Shoestring Cottage that, although full of good advice and great tips, are written by people who are in a situation closer to my own.