I don’t think I really needed a manifesto for my blog but I wanted to put some ideas out there that I think are important. As I go along and I learn more about running a personal finance blog, I became more and more keen on communicating to my readers that it’s okay to screw-up, make mistakes, ask questions, and celebrate successes without fear of being judged or criticized unkindly.
I’m a big supporter of feedback and constructive criticism but I think that can easily cross over a line into something else. I never want to get so confident in my own “financial wisdom” that I start using words like “ridiculous” or “stupid” or “foolish” to describe people that maybe don’t make the wisest financial decisions. Or maybe even make different decisions than me.
Real life example from a recent blog post I read: Someone was making a case for investing instead of paying off your mortgage – stating that anyone who did otherwise was “silly”.
*People who pay off their mortgages early are not “silly” for not putting large amounts of money into investments instead – regardless of your rate of return. Paying off your mortgage is a good decision for numerous reasons – future fluctuations in mortgage interest rates being one. While this is a fairly innocent example (silly is not a super scary word), it’s still kind of judgy.
So here goes:
Don’t be an A$$hole.
Modus Operandi for “Don’t be an A$$hole”
– I started my personal finance blog to document my own financial journey and empower others to take control of their money. If I’m doing anything else outside of empowering others and documenting my journey, I’ve fallen off course.
– I am interested in writing positively and encouraging others to learn – I’m not talking about “dance in the rain” quotes, I just want to avoid being a jerk.
– My blog is for readers – not just other personal finance bloggers. While I appreciate and welcome comments from one and all, if my comment section is limited only to other bloggers agreeing with everything I say, then it’s not a conversation and I’m not doing my job.
– While I am opinionated, I will not make my point by ridiculing others. If I can’t state my case without making other people feel crappy about themselves, then I need therapy – not a blog.
– I like differences and welcome other people’s opinions. If you, dear reader, are struggling with your finances or are celebrating a money success – I hope you feel comfortable enough to write in and tell me. I’d love to hear from you.
– If you are convinced that you’ve never made a financial mistake in your life, this is not the place for you. While I enjoy being right at times, I don’t need to devote a website to it.
– I expect that readers commenting will show the same respect and consideration for people’s personal differences that I wish to practice, I will edit comments accordingly. I’m not talking about being politically correct – ‘cause I’m really not – just reasonable and respectful.
I might not make some friends with this article but I’m not really out to win any popularity contests.
So readers, what are your thoughts?
Cathy C says
Love the post Agree totally with your mission statement even though I am a invest rather than pay off mortgage faster kinda gal. I too am opinionated and spent 15 years in retail banking, as admin. manager & personal loans & mortgage manager. I have the Cdn Securities course & Investment Funds in Canada course. BUT gave all that FUN (not) up to be a stay at home Mom 17 years ago. After years of taking care of the banking & finances I gave that up too! Tee Hee no daily agenda to remind me to pay bills = late payments, so I leave most of it to Hubby now. My life is nothing if not a mess of conflicting roles. Banter Good Rude Bad. So no A-hole policy sounds like an excellent policy. And it is “silly” not to have an open mind or think one solution fits all.
Ciao for now Buddy.
Lindsey D says
I am also an invest rather than pay off mortgage kind of gal! Wow, look at you go! You have a pretty solid background in loans, mortgages and investment. Let me know if you ever want to do a guest post, it’d be great to have your perspective!
Good for you for making a choice to stay home with your kids, it sounds like you were done with the banking and finance business and were looking to focus on family.
Sunshine G says
That’s a sentiment I fully support. And I would say that of many people I know, you are particularly open minded to there being more than one way to do things. So kudos to you and your manifesto!
Lindsey D says
Oh you! Manifesto is exactly the word I was looking for last night! I might change the name to manifesto actually….it just sounds so much more grand than mission statement. Kind of like the Communists Manifesto, but not Russian, or oppressive, or anything really…
Taynia @ Skinny Seahorse says
Preach it sista! I love you for saying this. I read so often critical messages about the choices others are making with regards to the finances. Particularly from PF bloggers. And most particularly around the early pay-off with mortgages. I am in the early pay-off camp because this is what suits my lifestyle and my personality. It is the right choice for me! But I understand it is not the right choice for everybody. I’m super happy to hear you are choosing not to be an a-hole. And I love that you are expressing this so your readers will apply the same respect in your comments. Whoop whoop.
Lindsey D says
Thanks for the vote of confidence! It means a lot! And there are a lot of perks for paying off your mortgage early – the one foremost in my mind is that you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Peace of mind is priceless, really.
Matt Becker says
One word: Awesome.
Lindsey D says
LOL, thanks buddy!
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this. Can you tell that I LOVE this? I agree wholeheartedly, Lindsey. Yes, people sometimes do stupid things with money, but gosh – haven’t we ALL done something stupid with our money? Who am I to point my finger and shake my head is disapproval? Many of the PF bloggers started their blogs because they were in debt, so while I understand why they don’t want to support reckless use of money – why do they mock for making mistakes they were making themselves only a few short months ago? People who are struggling with finances need help, not ridicule. Positive support and guidance is what can help them move forward and take control of their money. I’ve seen a lot more of this lately and it bothers me, so thank you for calling it out!
Lindsey D says
That’s awesome! I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received when I floated it out there. I felt really strongly about it though and wanted to convey that message anyway. So cheers and thanks for stopping by.