The world of the blogger is kind of an odd one. You are providing something for which no one has asked, but then you are doing it for free. Most blogs are true to their roots of being “web logs”, or kind of a diary you leave open for everyone in the world to see. These are fairly popular, apparently due to the voyeuristic aspects of human nature.
In the case of a blog designed to provide information, such as this one, you are also trying to give people information from your experience to help them, again all for free. The reward for blogging (unless you get hundreds of thousands of readers and can sell advertising) is to see that people are reading your posts and the receipt of comments (again as affirmation that people are actually reading your posts).
The other feedback that WordPress has graciously provided is a rating system for each post. All that is required to rate a post from poor to great is to select a number of stars at the top of the post. There is also a script(widget in blogging parlance) to allow the most popular posts – those with the highest ratings – to be listed so that readers can see what other readers have liked. Despite the ease with which one can cast one’s votes, and on the order of 100 page hits a day, my posts receive surprisingly few votes.
With the few votes I receive, however, I have noticed another trend. Often, when I write a post about sacrificing to save, delaying purchases to save up cash, and living on less than you income to allow for investing, I get a person who rates that post “poor” – one star. As an example, see the recent post on ten financial traps to avoid.
Now maybe the individual who rated that post did not like the writing style, although I’ve made many posts of similar style that have not received ratings. I think the issue goes deeper.
I’ve noted in other cases when I talk about saving up for a 20% down payment or more, buying no more home than you can afford on 25% of your income, or buying cars used and never taking out a car payment, I usually get a comment like “that is unrealistic,” usually with a poor rating.
It seems that there are many who believe that there is no way to go without a car payment. There is no way to buy a house with a 15 year mortgage with a payment of less than 25% of take-home pay. There is no way to put aside a few hundred dollars a month for investing. This is why most people die poor and always will.
As Dave Ramsey is fond of saying, “Normal is broke.” All of the people around you telling you that it can’t be done, that you need to use those credit cards, get that big business loan, go to school on student loans and graduate owing a house. That you will always have a car payment, that you can never become wealthy because the game is stacked against you. All of those people are normal, and normal is broke. If you want to become wealthy, stop listening to broke people.
Everyone who becomes and stays wealthy does three things. They work hard, they live on less than what they make, and they find a way to multiply the amount of money made by their efforts. Doing what it takes to work hard is obvious. Living on less than you make means sacrifice for now so that you can prosper later. Build your pipeline while your buddies are down at the bar drinking their paychecks. Stocks and other investments allow those who do not choose to start their own business a way to multiply their efforts. This is the way to become wealthy and gain financial independence.
If you don’t like hearing this. If you would like to go back to maxing out your credit cards and then rolling the balances into your home equity loan, go ahead and shoot the messenger telling you that you are living on the edge of eviction. Ask yourself one thing though – what do you have to show for all of those hours you work, and what would happen if your paycheck stopped tomorrow?
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.