My name is Jennie, and this is my spouse Mike <waves>.
We're starting a blog that chronicles our financial efforts during 2011.
There's a distinct cultural pressure to keep your personal finances under wraps. You can share whatever you like on Facebook, proclaim your religion, political leanings, and sexual orientation for the world to see, but goodness forbid that you reveal what your annual salary is.
This taboo is hogwash! Why are people prevented from learning from each other? Why do we get embarrassed when someone makes more or less than us? Why can't we openly celebrate our friends' financial successes and offer encouragement to those who are struggling?
The fear of being judged or making people feel inadequate. People don't want to intimidate or be intimidated by economic differences, even when they're being stared in the face by them. Mike and I view this fear as unproductive, and this attitude of secrecy banishes an important issue from polite conversation.
Financial openness is one of the best and most underutilized educational tools. We are putting our finances under a microscope. We are going to track all of our economic moves for the next 12 months -- detail how we're spending and saving money, share tips and tricks that work for us, and express our frustrations and successes along the way.
We're not financial experts, we don't have degrees in this area, and we're not going to advise you on how to manage your 401k.
But we are going to be brutally honest about where we are at. We hope that we can inspire a few of you to also take a hard look at your financial situation and start making positive changes as well.
Here's to financial stability in 2011!