Welcome to the Jungle
Isn’t the internet a wonderful place? You can learn anything you want on any topic. Information is literally at your fingertips. But there is also a lot of bad advice out there. Over the years, I have read many finance blogs in my attempt to learn more. Let me tell you, it is not always easy to weed out the good from the bad. And in the end, it comes down to what you need to get you the results you want.
Finance bloggers are a very peculiar bunch. Try to google how to budget, how to get out of debt, how to make more money, how to manifest money and you’ll be hit by a wild potpourri of wannabe financial experts and spirituality maniacs. There is anything and everything. Money affects each and everyone of us, and so everyone likes to put their 2 cents in.
You are trying to find clarity and direction, and here you are facing a jungle of mixed messages, and people who just want you to buy another thing.
At least that’s how I felt.
I know how it feels to be in your shoes, so let me spill the tea on why I stopped reading money blogs and why I thought it was finally time to do things differently around here.
#1 You Don’t See Their True Motives
When you stumble upon a fashion blog, you can see right away whether that style is for you and you can relate to that person. With finance blogs, it’s a bit more tricky. The financial blogosphere is not regulated and not transparent.
While I believe anyone can spread the word about anything they want (free speech and such), and there is no shame whatsoever of having monetary compensation of good advice given, I found it hard to look behind the façade and see if making money with people’s misery wasn’t just a nifty business model.
#2 Most Finance Bloggers Stay Anonymous
They rarely show who they are and how they live. Now, that is not a huge problem in itself. Some value their privacy and their anonymity allow them to share more detailed information on their income statements and investment strategies.
Yet I want a finance blog to be inspirational, not just educational. I like to see the personality behind the words and feel like I am invited to take part in their lives in a way and their decision-making.
I was missing the lifestyle piece of the puzzle. How do they look, what do they buy, what do they eat, where do they go on vacation?
Don’t you wanna know what people are actually DOING with their money? Or is it just that little money-stalker me?
#3 The Dream They’re Selling Is Not Very Appealing
So you are saving and investing all this money in your low-cost, highly diversified portfolio… now what? Don’t get me wrong, I find saving money very rewarding. But saving money just for the sake of saving… has never kept anyone motivated for long.
The biggest problem I found is that most finance blogs are selling financial independence as the magic pill to happiness.
It felt like I had to delay me dreams to be financially independent and spend my best years doing that… hmmmm.
What I wanted to do is to empower people to create financial happiness. How can I enjoy my life now AND be financially secure?
#4 FIREs, Frugals and FOMOs
In one way or the other, most finance blogs all just ‘save every penny you have and enjoy your life later’.
Personally, I don’t find any joy in being maximizing my frugality – I believe in managing your money well today, so you can enjoy in not just saving your money, but also spending it on things and experiences that bring you joy.
The other half of the internet is filled with Insta-perfect images of living the life and giving you major fomo. You sneakily want to be a part of that dream, but nobody lets you in close enough on whether it is ‘reel’ or ‘real’ life. You don’t know what they make or how they manage their money. No hard feelings, personal finance is… personal.
I find the majority is ultimately selling you products and preaching that starting your own business is the only way of creating passive income because active income is somehow worse. The majority of the planet has jobs they work hard to earn money from. Are they all screwed?
No, money is money. We are already the richest on the planet, the rest is really just being smart with your money and using the right levers to maximize what you have. Stop telling people they are less worthy and their life sucks because they work a ‘normal’ job and will thus never be rich.
We can’t all be entrepreneurs.
So thank you to all nurses, teachers, doctors, attorneys, bookkeepers, firefighters and bus drivers who help us all by having ‘normal’ jobs – we’d be screwed without you.
#5 Money Shaming
This is the WORST.
99% finance blogs want to ‘educate’ and ‘help’ by making feel lesser than. I honestly believed that I was a bad person and terrible with my finances to date because I did not have a 100k saved having a particular income and no real estate in my name. Others make you feel like an irresponsible XX when you’re not couponing and pinching every penny.
I was feeling defeated, frustrated, stupid… like a big financial mess.
I wanted to create a place where people don’t feel bad about themselves and go out feeling inspired and ready to live their lives on their own terms – without anyone telling them that there is something wrong with them for wanting to have exceptional, happy, above-average lives, not just bank accounts.
#6 Debt Shaming
No, THIS is the worst!
If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey, you probably know his famous rants, debt-free screams of everyday heroes and his seven baby steps.
Hey, I am not saying this doesn’t work. But people treat them like the seven. commandments of financial salvation.
I am just saying there might be better way.
I have binge watched his show and admittedly felt a temporary high from my hate for my debt that kept me motivated for some time.
However, I don’t agree that the key to eternal happiness is getting out of debt by treating it like a disease.
Debt is Not the Devil
I am sick and tired of everyone telling me what a bad person I am because I’m in debt. Like I have an infectious disease.
This ‘debt-mania’ out there is at an all-time high with Youtubers and bloggers documenting their debt-free journey, sharing the struggles and budgets, blaming the system, calling themselves stupid and irresponsible for having it in the first place and paying it off to get ahead in the financial rat race.
Like debt is the devil and debt-free is the new nirvana.
The carrot and the stick method resulted in beating myself up and got tired of chasing the carrot. I never felt like getting any closer to my dreams.
And those self-anointed experts and financially enlightened feel like they can be rude because they have moved up the financial ladder… Financial bullying is real.
It is like telling someone to their face they are too fat. Like the only way to live and be happy is being skinny.
In a time where is talking about body shaming, it is time we talk about money shaming.
I did not need anyone to tell me what a failure I am. I can beat myself up pretty well, thank you.
As if the only way to motivate you is to make you feel bad. Most finance blogs work by spreading fear and guilt, and it can be very subtle.
Believe me, I have been in debt and I know the pain people are going through. I know exactly how it feels to feel like you’re behind when everyone around you is buying houses and feeling rushed and like never getting ahead.
I want to help you feel confident and help you get out of debt without the emotional struggle and suffering.
#7 So What Am I Supposed to Do?!
I found a lot money advice out there is either too woo-woo for me or too much of ‘sign up here and solve all your problems’. We all now it, right?
The struggle is real. I don’t want to burn some herb leaves to make my money problems go away or sign up for another course I cannot afford. Most financial advice out there is total bs.
It is all very controversial and that’s even more painful when you are in a position where you can’t really afford to go by trial and error.
Feeling confused and overwhelmed, I downloaded another 100 spreadsheet templates and thought that would change my life.
The sheer amount of information out there is just creating more confusion.
I wanted to help people take the overwhelm out of their financial life, so they can focus on what they really want . Money is the tool and I want to help you learn how to use it.
#8 You Are Not Welcome
The FI and FIRE world is comparable to Greek life. You have to buy in and follow the code, or you’re out.
I understand these movements create a sense of community. We all like the feeling of belonging.
But: you are not part of the conversation if you are not part of the club. I find these movements play by very strict rules and if you deviate or don’t agree on something, you can’t sit with them.
You can do whatever you want.
I believe in empowering people, not shaming them because they don’t agree or have the same lifestyle.
#9 Finance Blogs Are Not Pretty
Most finance blogs are ugly. Sorry.
You may say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but… I just did find most of them not very motivating to stick around. Even the really big names out there are plastered with ads and have terrible websites which kinda makes me think they skimp on their web design as well.
I like something that pleases my eyes AND my brain.
So I decided to make finance a tad more fabulous. 🙂
#10 Stupid Spenders
It’s like a rat race of who can spend the least.
Among the savvy savers and investors, SPENDING is still a huge taboo topic in the finance blogosphere.
Truth is: Spending money is part of life. We exchange money for something we value. Whether it’s a an old/new car, oatmeal or avocados, Topshop or Prada. There is no shame in spending money.
#11 They Lie and Generalize
The prime line of argumentation is this: Luxury is a weakness, indulgences are bad and unnecessary and we live in a society of sick entitlement. Luxury is a highly addictive drug and better stay away or you’ll be sucked in. It is the most ridiculous stereotype ever.
Luxury is not piling up status symbols. It means living your life on your terms, having choices and emanating a certain generosity towards yourself and others.
Financial Independence seems thus like a bootcamp of deprivation, everyone toughening themselves up, priding themselves in their mental strength to withstand the temptations of everyday indulgences. Well, some people find pleasure in in living an ascetic life of self-imposed deprivation, believing it will bring them somewhat closer to some sort of salvation. They see themselves as an enlightened movement of financial morality.
The disciples of puritanism, sobriety and restraint among the vain, weak, addicted, poor unbelievers.
I would find this attitude quite offensive, if I wasn’t so firm and secure in my spending decisions and proud of my budget that allows me to buy the odd matcha latte without believing I’ll go right to financial hell.
What I am saying: Many roads lead to Rome.
Again, don’t put your self into 20k of credit card debt because you needed the shoes.
But if you find yourself struggling to accept that having money is a result of decades of deprivation, I got you.
#12 They Were Not Speaking to ME
I spend years of my life figuring out what was wrong with me.
I loved fashion and beauty blogs for their fun, entertaining content. But at the same time, the aspirational content made me wonder how these girls afford to look so fashionable and if I really needed that stuff to be and feel better.
While I was looking at those impeccably dressed girls, styled from head to toe, I also found myself in a pickle with my determination to also be financially secure. How marry my passion for fashion and financial freedom?
I was trying to find a balance between minimalism, having fun with fashion and saving. I thought they were all mutually exclusive. Because I believed they were. I have found my own way to live my life, my style and not go broke trying to keep up with trends and the newest ‘it’ bags.
Most blogs don’t speak about money and fashion and beauty and health. I find it is important to paint a full picture.
#13 Money Negativity
Why does everything money-related have to be so serious?
Making getting out of debt feel like self-torture, saving a chore and living frugally the price you have to pay to enjoy your life when you’re old.
It all sounded like you have to get out of debt, save and invest and NOT spend your money AT ALL.
The truth is: We are all consumers. You are not a better than human being than me because you think you don’t need anything or anyone.
So where’s the love? Negativity never helped anyone. What’s the use of beating yourself up? (I’m an expert btw.)
Taking care of your money is an act of self-love. How much harder is it to lose weight when you hate your body because you think you are not the right size? Happiness is not on the other side.
Instead of hating the place you’re now, you can forgive yourself, love your past and create a future you want to be in.
I wanted to create a place where people can stop believing they’re deficient in any way and start loving their journey.
Not All Is Bad
I know, I know, not everything out there is bad. I’m willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I find the access to information and education today luxury enough.
I am too much of an optimist and altruist to think everything is bad out there.
But finding something to read that is totally your vibe, isn’t that easy – like finding the perfect pair of jeans. Try 50 on until you find the one that you can’t take off and make you feel just fabulous.
Here’s is a few blogs I recommend:
The Every Girl – Easy to read, good mix of lifestyle and finance and career topics – from girls like you and me.
Clever Girl Finance – Simple and basic money advice when you’re starting out, cheering each other on.
The Luxe Strategist – if you want to learn strategic use of credits cards – this girl knows her stuff.
SugarMamma – gorgeous blogger with a Youtube channel who loves bags just as much as I do.
Making Sense of Cents – just in case you haven’t heard 😉
So Why Did I Start A Blog Then?
Because: All of the above.
There was no finance blog out there that made sense to me, was visually appealing, relatable and made me feel good about my money or helped me become a better person in general – in short: there was none who checked all the boxes of what I wanted from a finance blog.
To me, money and lifestyle are so closely related, I couldn’t find anything like it and I wanted all of the things I love in one place, so I created it myself. Maybe I am not a unicorn?
I wanted to change how people see money.
I had financial knowledge (MBA), but I understood that is not what makes you good with money necessarily. For a long time, I had no idea that how I was feeling about my money was the essential ingredient to my success and financial happiness.
I wanted an approach to money that is more fun than charts and spreadsheets and spread money positivity (with an occasional spreadsheet, haha).
Share my lifestyle AND my money, show what is possible, what I spend my money on, so you can, too. This is why this blog exists. So you can make financial decisions that suit your lifestyle.
Money is Here to Serve You, Not Stop You.
Luxeconomist was born to help you stop the self-loathing, shame and overwhelm around your finances. I want to show you what is possible when you decide what you deserve and tell you that it is okay to want more, minus the emotional self-torture.
I know exactly what you are coping with. We do things differently around here. Trust me.
Stepping up your money game can be lifechanging. It certainly was for me.
I wanted to make finance finally fashionable.
You are welcome.
Do you read other finance blogs? Which ones do you enjoy reading?