Let’s first address the elephant in the room or, in this case, in this post’s title.
Why I’ve Decided To Stop Sharing My Personal Budget
Following The Crowd
When decided to start my financial independence journey in July 2018, I felt like it would be the perfect thing to share on my new blog that was only a few months old.
I had also recently relaunched my YouTube channel, and knew that there were hundreds, of not thousands, of people filming their personal budgets with all of their real numbers.
I used to watch these videos, thinking to myself how brave they were to share such personal information. I would also read comments on these videos, thanking the creator for being so honest and transparent about their budgets by sharing real numbers.
I even remember hearing one of my favorite YouTubers comment in their video that personal finance shouldn’t be so private, and that we should be able to openly talk about it.
I wanted my channel to grow and I thought that doing what many other popular personal finance channels did would help that growth.
So, I shared my real income and expenses. And I immediately regretted it.
Deciding How Much Is Too Much…For Me
I have always been a private person.
It takes me some time to warm up to people and even longer to share intimate details of my life, especially something as personal money.
So, the fact that I started sharing my expenses and (gasp!) my income, with the world on YouTube was major for me. It was out of character, and I never felt very comfortable with it.
Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against people being so candid and transparent about their finances. I watched and enjoyed their videos, and gained something from them.
One thing I noticed that they seemed comfortable sharing such personal information. It came natural for them. They were authentic.
Because I wasn’t comfortable with what I was sharing, I couldn’t be authentic. Even though no one would know that I wasn’t too thrilled to be putting that information out there, I knew it. I wasn’t being true to myself.
What’s the opposite of authentic? Something I didn’t want to be.
What’s the point of creating content if you’re not being yourself?
The Pressure To Get It Right…Every Time
I also felt pressure to never make mistakes in my budgeting.
Whenever I would go over budget in a category (which happened every month in some categories), I would always feel guilty and even ashamed.
It was almost as if I thought that sharing my numbers with the world meant that I had to always be perfect.
You can see that this wasn’t working out very well for me. No one is perfect and the fact that I thought I needed to be started to take a toll.
Because of this self-imposed pressure, I also wasn’t enjoying making the videos. I saw it more as an obligation than simply sharing information that could help people.
There was no point in continuing to make videos if I didn’t get any enjoyment from it.
How Can I Continue To Help Others On Their Financial Independence Journeys?
I have been brainstorming ways to share about budgeting without getting more personal that I am comfortable with. Instead of focusing on numbers, I plan share hacks, tips and advice that has helped me on my financial independence journey.
Just like there are many YouTubers and bloggers who share their real numbers, there are many who do not. Despite this, these creators have managed to amass a huge following of loyal fans who trust their advice and consume their content.
This goes to show that authenticity and sound advice are what is most important when it comes to sharing information.
The budgeting posts and videos are still very relevant to my financial independence journey because I have not changed anything about the way I budget.
Even though I won’t be sharing my personal budget, I will continue to stick to a zero-based budget, using the One Big Happy Life budgeting spreadsheet every month.
So, here it is. Because I believe in properly ending things, I am sharing the last two monthly budgets with you here and on the YouTube channel.
September 2018 Zero-Based Budget Mid-Month Budget Check-In
September 2018 Zero-Based Budget Report (Final Budget Video)
I hope you’ll continue to find these posts and future budgeting posts (because they will be coming!) helpful in your financial independence journey.
Tell me below, have you ever felt compelled to follow the crowd, doing something that you knew went against who you were?
If you are a personal finance content creator, what are your thoughts about sharing real numbers?