Greetings fellow financially frustrated people and welcome back to Broke Today Rich Tomorrow!
I know, I know, it has been a minute!
As you probably noticed, there was no post last week. Well, that was because I decided I needed to take some much needed time off – more on that in a later post.
Today, I really wanted to sit down with you and tackle a topic that’s been taking the personal finance community by storm: transparency.
After browsing through some blogs, I got to thinking.
I have always tried to be as honest as I can be with you, especially when it comes to money. However, after reading some rather intriguing posts, I started wondering: Am I really being as transparent as I can be?
I really got inspired by a post that Penny from She Picks Up Pennies wrote about How Frugality Doesn’t Paint the Whole Picture.
In her post, Penny touches on how some personal finance bloggers sometimes don’t really share the whole story.
“If you don’t earn more than $75,000 a year, you’re not going to be able to save $75,000. I can dumpster dive. I can reuse, repurpose, barter, trade, and Freecycle with the best of them, but if you outearn me by tens of millions of pennies each year, you have more to pinch and squeeze.”
I’ll let you read the rest of her post yourself, but you get the idea – it is important that we, as personal finance bloggers, are transparent with our readers in order to provide them with real value.
I mean, I can go on and on about how I afford to travel as a broke college student and how you can too, but in that moment, I am making two assumptions:
- You and I are on similar incomes
- You and I have similar lifestyles
Which, let’s be honest, there’s no way of knowing that! For all I know, you could be reading this blog from your own private spaceship.
As per the disclaimer in our About section, the majority of the advice given on this website is not personalised. It is purely someone with X circumstances talking about what works for them.
This where knowing the big picture makes a difference. After all, how can you take someone’s advice seriously if you don’t know their circumstances?
Hence, with the idea of transparency in mind, today, I have decided to expose myself. Erm, I mean my numbers!
So, without further ado, here’s some facts about my financial situation:
- I am part of a DINK (Dual Income, No Kids) household. Combined, my partner and I earn about $25,000 a year together. We also have two cats, so I guess we are more like DITC, really.
- My partner and I live together and share our expenses equally. We are considered a low income household and do not earn enough to pay tax (yet). The average living expense in our city, Brisbane, before rent is about $20,400 a year for two students.
- My partner and I are both full time university students, both due to graduate at the end of next year. As you probably already know, I am studying a Bachelor of Business with a major in Accounting. He is studying Earth Science.
- I have about $17,000 in student loans. My partner has just below that as his degree is a bit cheaper. The system in Australia is very different to, say, your typical American system, where such loans are high debt burdens, so this isn’t really a bad liability. There’s also no real incentive to pay to this early.
- We have one 2009 Hyundai i30 which we own outright as our car, valued at about $10,000.
- My savings rate averages to about 10% a month of total earnings. On good months, it sits at 20%.
- We have a comfortable living arrangement, thanks to my mother owning the unit we live in, which makes our life a lot more affordable.
- My partner works part-time in bar, while I receive a government scholarship as part of my study. I also do the occasional side hustle here and there.
- We both have an emergency fund. Combined, we have just under $4000 saved for emergencies.
- I hold just under $3000 worth of shares in Vanguard ETF. If you want to know more about my investment strategy, check out part one here and part two here.
- I mentioned before that I am an Accounting major. Now, I wouldn’t be completely honest with you if I didn’t mention that this has exponentially accelerated my understating of money. Dealing with money on a professional, let alone daily basis, has really helped me along my own financial journey. With saying that, I am by no means an expert of money and I still have a long road ahead.
- We both come from relatively financially stable households. If anything out-of-this-world terrible were to happen to us, both our families would be able to be there for us. In saying that, we are not relaying on them and if disaster strikes, we a preparing to be on our own feet financial (aka emergency funds).
- We have no other debt besides student loans.
- Although small, my partner and I hold about $3000 combined in our retirement accounts.
I believe that’s about it!
As far as other assets go, sure, we own our furniture, electronics, appliances, phones etc. However, I don’t really consider those “true” assets in the sense of the word, hence have decided not to count them. To be completely honest with you, I don’t even consider our car an asset, but rather a liability/ cash eating machine.
There we have it guys, Broke Today Rich Tomorrow has come clean! So from now on, I will let the numbers do the talking.
With that, I want to pass the question onto you: Do you think bloggers ought to be more transparent with their audience? Why/ why not?
Let me know in the comments below!
Being broke is temporary. Being rich is a journey.