After hitting your snooze button a few times, you finally wake up. You reach for your phone and go through your email. Surrounding one personal email are twenty ads touting enticing sales. It’s easy to ignore most of the deals, but a couple sales are convincing you now is the time to buy. But, you resist temptation and don’t buy anything, for now.
After getting through your email, you head over to Facebook to see how your friends are doing. Beyond the direct ads on the site are far more subtle cues tempting you to spend money. You think to yourself, “Michelle just went on a really fun looking vacation to Hawaii. I’ve really worked hard over the past year. I deserve a vacation. Maybe tonight I’ll start planning a trip.” Then you see another one of your friend's post, selling homemade decorations. Your house could use a couple decorations, and you really want to support your friend’s new business, so you start perusing her selection. You glance at the time and realize you have been laying in bed now for 10 minutes and you need to get up.
You rush through your morning routine, and 20 minutes later, you find yourself in your car, driving to work. News radio is on, as you use your commute to get caught up on everything going on in the world. In between commentary on all the world’s problems, you find yourself singing along to the “O, O, O, O’Reilly”, O’Reilly auto parts commercial. Your brain “tunes out” the other ads, as you start thinking through what you need to do at work.
The morning commute was a few minutes longer because of some road construction, but you’ve made it to your desk. As your computer is booting up, a co-worker announces they are going on a coffee run. You hand over $5 and ask him to bring you back a cup of joe. Before starting on real work, you have a few websites you like to peruse every day. You head over to your favorite news website and skim a few headlines. On the right-hand side of the page is an ad for shoes you had looked at a couple days ago.
Fast forward a few hours, and you’ve been so busy working, you’ve lost track of time. Your stomach is grumbling. reminding you it’s lunch time. You brought leftovers from last night, so you head to the kitchen to heat it up. On the way to the break room, a couple of coworkers mention they are headed to your favorite lunch spot and would love for you to come. You said no last time, so you "have" to go this time. You accept their offer and head out with them.
Pretty normal first half of the day right? I could have continued through the second half of the day, but, hopefully, you get the point. We're inundated with marketing throughout the course of our normal daily routines. TV ads, email ads, internet ads, and friends can all have a big influence on where we spend our money. (Full disclosure: I have ads on this site.)
Our society is so saturated with marketing, it’s become unavoidable. Email may give us the ability to opt out or unsubscribe to marketing, but life doesn't afford us the same opportunity. While you can’t escape marketing, you can build your resistance to it. How so? By reading personal finance blogs on a daily basis.
Daily reading of personal finance blogs is more about shaping your behavior than expanding your knowledge. If good financial habits were built strictly on knowledge, it’d be a way easier fix. There are plenty of “smart-minded” financial people that find themselves in financial ruin because they can’t control their behavior. Sure, they could score high on a personal finance test, but they fail the real world test called life.
Reading personal finance blogs can inspire you to pay off debt, save aggressively, adopt a minimalist lifestyle, invest in real estate, invest in dividend paying stocks, retire early and achieve financial independence. Whatever financial path you want to take to success, you can find a blogger that writes about it.
Not everything you read will be groundbreaking, but even a little inspiration can prevent you from falling into bad money habits and help you do incredible things. A few blog posts you read can be truly life changing. People have incredible stories. From paying off debt to achieving early financial independence early, personal finance blog posts can inspire you to say "no" to needless consumption.
The status quo in America is taking on a mountain of student loan debt, racking up debt to buy new cars every few years, buying as big of a house as you can “afford”, having 2.5 kids, and retiring at age 65. Maybe that’s fine. Maybe that’s what you want, but, if you don't have an intentional mindset, it easy to just let these things happen to us. Personal finance blogs can open your eyes to a range of financial possibilities. For instance, I don’t think enough people even realize there is such a thing as early financial independence. We’ve become so accustomed to living the life marketers and other people want us to live, we’ve lost the ability to live intentionally. Personal finance blogs help bring intentionality back to our lives. It may not have quite the ring to it as “bringing sexy back”, but it's extremely important.
You may be thinking, “I’m too lazy to find a few good personal finance blog posts every day. Can't someone just find good posts for me?” You, my friend, are in luck. Rockstar Finance is a great place to start to get a feel for all the great writers out there. They scan hundreds of blog posts and post their three favorites every weekday. In addition to giving you great reading material every day, you also will discover a few favorite bloggers of your own who you can start following. Stumbling upon an interesting personal finance blog feels like Christmas morning for me. You may not get as geeked out about personal finance blogs as I do, but give it time. Having free access to life-changing advice is far better than another sweater.
Try it Out
Set a challenge of reading three blog posts every day for an entire month. I’d say, if you do so, it’s impossible for you not to change something about your financial situation or mindset (as long as you have an open mind). Even though I have pretty good financial habits, I have found plenty of inspiration from the many great bloggers out there, helping me improve my financial situation. I’ve increased my savings rate, eliminated (some) clutter and have an increased desire for financial independence. All of this is a result of reading the many great blogs out there.
One of the coolest things about the internet is how it connects people of similar interests around the world. This is a reality that wasn’t possible in a pre-internet world. Whatever financial journey you find yourself on, you are not alone. There are countless people that have gone through similar situations. Find a blogger that has been through what you are currently going through, or has achieved what you would like to achieve. Lean on their advice and understanding to help you get to where you want to be. When you find inspiration from a blog post, share it. Help make a difference in someone else's life. We're all in this together. We can each work to help each other out.
There is no way to completely avoid marketing nowadays, so don't bother trying. It's a whole lot easier to say "no" to all the spending temptations out there when you are reading personal finance blogs and reminding yourself daily of good financial habits. Whether you consider yourself a personal finance novice or expert, you can benefit from reading personal finance blogs daily.