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personal finances and taboo subjects

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As I mentioned earlier, there has been a little controversy about FMF’s guest post on get rich slowly. Some people actually stated that they were unsubscribing from GRS in disgust. The biggest problem cited is that non-religious people don’t want to hear about religion on a personal finance blog.

This got me thinking. To what extent should I refrain from stating my opinions on taboo subjects like religion and politics in my personal finance blog? To what extent is it even possible for me to do so?

My non-believing paradigm colours many aspects of my life and is certainly a prime factor in my values - I notice this the most when I am reading posts on personal finance from someone from whose strong believer’s paradigm becomes evident (like rocket finance or free money finance).

My political views also impact on the way IÂ see the world - and the world includes personal finance. I know that my political views are coloured by the country that I live in - which differs from most other personal finance bloggers - but I’m not sure whether I inadvertently subject people to my way of thinking as if its the only possible way, or whether my politics detract from my writing.

What do you think? Are my views on religion and politics too evident? Does it even matter? Should personal finance blogs be more or less neutral?

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12 comments for “personal finances and taboo subjects”

  1. Plonkee, I don’t agree with your politics or your religion, but I believe that your politics and religion should be a part of your personal finance blogging.

    I believe that politics, religion and money are integrally related.

    Posted by rocketc | July 17, 2007, 1:52 pm
  2. I’ll take it from that, that my political and religious views are evident. I’m not surprised that you don’t agree with my politics either. ;)

    One of the things I value most highly is being open-minded - it’s also one of the things that I’m least good at..

    Posted by plonkee | July 17, 2007, 3:16 pm
  3. I believe this is your blog and your blog is about personal finance, and your opinions on personal finance. If something colours your views about about the issue, then it is applicable. As rocketc stated: politics, religion and money are integrally related.

    I often write about (US) military money issues. I guarantee you 98% of people who read personal finance blogs could care less about that. But it is important to me and a lot of other people out there.

    Besides, if we all wrote the exact same way, personal finance blogs would be boring!

    Posted by Patrick | July 17, 2007, 11:46 pm
  4. Now I really want to read the post on GRS. However, I tend to get a little bothered by the theists continually references to religion which appear quite frequently, but it’s their problem, and not mine. I also take a sick pleasure in watching them scrimp and save and pay ever so close attention to their finances only to give away 10% to their church. Bwahaha!

    Posted by krisj144 | July 18, 2007, 11:51 am
  5. Wow, I just read that post and I can only imagine what the original contained if that is the ‘tame’ version.

    FMF is a total joke.

    Posted by krisj144 | July 18, 2007, 12:22 pm
  6. Hello. The “you can’t please everyone” school of thought and typical blogging advice both suggest to blog what you like (and let readers read what they like). Thank you.

    Posted by J at Home Finance Freedom | July 18, 2007, 12:37 pm
  7. How much should you refrain from expressing religious and political perspectives in your financial blogging? Answer: As much or as little as you want to.

    It ultimately depends on the audience you want to reach. If you want the widest possible audience, it is probably best to refrain from statements of political affiliation or religion. It will turn people off. Sure, some liberals may be able to put up with a conservative financial blogger (or vice versa), but others will be turned right off. Then again, it depends on the way you present your views and the relavence they have to the topic at hand, etc.

    As for religious views: There is a massive audience for Christian- (or I assume, other religion-) themed personal finance advice — but a blogger can’t expect non-believers or the areligious to find your blog worthwhile if his/her blog wortwhile if he/she bases all of the financial advice on Biblical text.

    It’s about audience. I run a political blog that is separate from the financial writing I do. As a libertarian, that audience is much smaller than the audience I can reach writing from a non-partisan perspective! So my final advice to you is: Do what you think is best, but be aware of the impact a particular direction can have on the size of your audience. Bigger isn’t always necessarily better. If you want to do a Christian finance blog, your audience might be smaller, but then again, it may be more meaningful for you and them!

    Posted by Jason Dean of SmartMoneyDaily | July 18, 2007, 4:45 pm
  8. Thanks for the great comments folks.

    I think I’ll continue to just be myself, but I think the English personal finance blogger niche is pretty small so I’ll try not to alienate any more audience than I need to.

    Posted by plonkee | July 23, 2007, 8:14 am
  9. I think you should just be yourself, not try to hide your political and religious beliefs, but not try to push them either (unless you want a completely different kind of blog). I am a Christian and politically progressive (in Canada, Green or NDP voter) — of course this affects my views on personal finance as well as my practices. I am not put off by bloggers who have a different worldview — but I do prefer to know where they are coming from, what assumptions they are basing things on. I like to see bloggers come at things from different perspectives, and I know that I don’t share all of those perspectives, but I can take some of it in, just like I don’t always share some bloggers’ personal situations (marital status, children, income level, country, lifestyle, etc.) but I can still learn some things from them (though other things are not applicable to me).

    One “belief” that I have is that peak oil is going to have a major impact on the world (including on our economy of course), and I would definitely bring this up if I had a personal finance blog. I’m not knowledgeable enough to do it myself, but I wish someone else would.

    Posted by Monica | July 25, 2007, 3:43 pm
  10. it is probably best to refrain from statements of political affiliation or religion. It will turn people off. Sure, some liberals may be able to put up with a conservative financial blogger (or vice versa), but others will be turned right off.

    Posted by options trading | September 14, 2008, 4:13 pm
  11. Politics and religion always going to be dogy ground. i read your blog for the personal finance and not for the religion. I think people who have mortgage problems tend to get closer to god when they are looking for a bad credit mortgage. You know oh my god i hope we qualify for the new remortgage.

    Posted by Bad Credit Mortgages | September 26, 2008, 2:12 pm

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