OK, we are continuing into the last part of the discussion “Is Financial Illiteracy An Excuse?” (Go check out that if you’ve missed it…or don’t because I’m not your boss xD)
Here are the poll results! We had a total of 148 votes from different individuals on the Twitter platform.
The poll isn’t officially closed yet but the percentages are not moving very much now because of the volume of votes so we’ll just report the percentages now since none of them are that close to each other.
Question: Do you think financial illiteracy is an excuse?
43% of Twitter voters voted for “No, we all gotta work it.”
36% of Twitter voters voted for “Depends on each case.”
20% of Twitter voters voted for “Yes, we all make mistakes.”
My response? I’m very surprised! I am also surprised the responses weren’t any closer to each other. I thought “Depends on each case” was going to be the clear-cut winner.
Winner: No, we all gotta work it.
Very interesting and definitely won’t be my last poll on Twitter – that was fun!
The most popular (determined by twitter hearts granted) poll responses:
Finance Stoic at 7.
Accounting for Freedom at 6.
Promise You Won’t Get Mad…🐻
OK for the rest of this post specifically, I wanted to talk about exactly why I think some personal finance bloggers are most likely…very ineffective despite I’m preassuming, good intentions. For most of us, it’s just a second writing gig that doesn’t pay.
I’m including myself in this (poster kid for least effective in fact!) as well so don’t throw tomato sauce on me.
I grew up thinking rich people held their money secrets from poverty-stricken, stupid people of the world. Some part of me still kind of think like that.
By all logical standards, someone like me shouldn’t have known about compounding or bonds or mutual funds. That’s for the presidents, the astronauts and the kid whose parents could afford to buy him Apple products.
But the most likely reason is simply that really we’re just stuck in our own social bubbles.
There ain’t nothing more to it than that for 99.9% of us. And don’t say you’re not affected. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if what you see makes up the majority of what you internalize then you are going to be a byproduct of your environment.
OK, no throwing tomato sauce now, remember?
For us, I often wonder…how many of us who are aware of the growing wealth divide and the financial ignorance among people with lower income truly reaching them?
I’m going to be honest…
The most vulnerable people that need to be reached?
None of them are here.
Or not enough of them. Not by a mile. I sometimes think…maybe most of us would be more effective offline. It shouldn’t just be about spending time online blogging about personal finance. Blogging is really good for awareness to a specific audience but not directly effective to the people being addressed.
Life is a number and percentage game (thanks Olivia). How many will waft over that would be as effective as going to find a direct point of entry to the source?
I mean there is value in the trickle-down of information but that happens in an unfiltered world. We live in an extremely filtered world.
We got our social bubble, our own cliche, and echo chambers.
Without that bottom line, there’s less to the point. We should go to the source for maximum effectiveness.
Those people are hard to reach because their environment is pervasive. I know this because I was there!
Brother, I couldn’t even afford a computer back then. $29.95 a MONTH for web surfing? HAHAHAHAH!
And I didn’t see ANYONE (teacher, mentor, community volunteers, blogger) come to my low-income high school in the inner-city to teach about the basic principles of saving and investing. We needed that information the most. Those bastards…(totally kidding! They were just OK with how meh the education system ran.)
Sorry to be blunt but…most of us…sitting at that desk, having the privilege (time, energy, knowledge) to blog can be seen by actual working people that are not like us…as pretentious. Just like what I’m doing right now, sitting behind a computer, type, type, typing away in a cushiony chair with a meeeeeeellon dollars.
It’s Super Effective!
Go to the source. Youth centers, church, set up a class with the local middle school, community college, go out to the real world and turn that financial passion into action. Walk up to some 19-year-old cashier and strike up a conversation. If it was me, back then, I would have appreciated it; I would have thought you were a little random/weird/not applicable…but will appreciate it 😉 and maybe that will have sew the seed to me investing my own savings sooner.
It’s also more effective to reach out to some media people you can trust to deliver actually helpful information. Organize something with them because blogging is the most passive activity for this stuff. 0% of people (like a young me) who actually needed and probably would have appreciated the knowledge, badly, will even hear it or read it unless someone broke through.
The people who truly, desperately need financial education are not usually the ones who read personal finance blogs so MOST are wasting breaths.
The people who need financial education don’t read personal finance blogs in any way shape, or form familiar with “personal finance.” 🙁
OK – something actually helpful now…
A friend of me and my hubby’s is a tax volunteer called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and elderly tax assistance. I remember reading a few PF bloggers in our community are already volunteers. You sign up online then the IRS partners with a local organization to offer training (1 or 2 days) and they pair you to help with someone that needs assistance filing so they get the most of their money back.
He doesn’t have time for a blog so I wanted to give him an appreciative shout-out here. You know he wasn’t even born in America! He immigrated here a few years ago from Russia to work for Ooooogle and he’s already making a difference to real Americans like you and me. You go Andrii~!
I recently started on Secret Project #2 and the only time I get to think about post ideas is when I’m sitting alone on the potty and letting my mind run. Everything sounded funnier in my head…I was trying to get clever. Hope no one is mad 🙂 We should be mad at this guy, he called us arrogant!!! (Sarcasm)