Most of the financial independence / early retirement bloggers I’ve read take a clear stance on why they share their financial numbers or not.
Some share their net worth, income, etc. because seeing others’ numbers is what has helped them learn finance. Some share their numbers because the accountability is what got them out of debt.
Others choose not to share their financial numbers because they make more money than most and don’t want to discourage others from reaching for FI. Some don’t want friends and family to know what they consider their personal business. Still others want to protect themselves from being taken advantage of.
All these reasons are understandable. They’re just not mine.
If I round numbers up or down, I start to second guess what I should round to–the decimal point? Up to the current $100 or $1000? Then if I’ve been rounding down, I worry that I skewing the numbers down; if I round up, the opposite happens. I also don’t benefit as much from seeing percentages as I do numbers. If someone’s net worth went up 3%, that could mean hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. My brain wants to know the exact info.
Another reason I share numbers is I want to be as transparent as I can. If I talk with a friend and share what I pay for car insurance, she can easily compare that and see if she’s interested in switching carriers. I also dislike how many businesses benefit too much from making salary a taboo topic. If employees are discouraged from knowing what each other makes, it’s harder to ask for raises. So in short, if everyone knows what is on the table, they can make better decisions for themselves.
On the other hand, my name and face are currently anonymous on my blog. I am currently considering going “public.” I worry a bit, though, about sharing who I am since that will naturally share who Mr. POAI is and I want to be 100% confident before I reveal more. We’ll see though. Maybe some day you, dear readers, will get to know more about my name and face.
What about you? Why do you share or not share your financials with others online? What’s your reasoning? Let me know in the comments below.