Personally, I have no trouble believing all of life's little tragedies that befall JW and family on the Need to Be Debt-Free blog. But according to the comments, his voluble and judgmental readership sure does.
Once again, I am reminded that most personal finance bloggers are still in their twenties and thirties. They think they know life, but many of us who are coming from ten or twenty or (ahem) even thirty more years of financial experience than that, may be experiencing a slightly different take.
We don't just have one child, usually young. We have teenagers, or we have adult children. Or we have both. We have grandchildren. We have cars that we hope will limp along just one more year. We have houses upon which we have deferred maintainance. We have appliances that implode with regularity, and why not, since all of them are more than ten years old.
We have retirement funds that demand a whole lot more than $100 a paycheck if we're going to have any kind of life after work.
Mostly, though, we have had a lot more time to screw up our finances, accumulate debt, and rear families that impact our spending in large ways and small.
JW tithes--something that seems to set many of his readers' teeth on edge. I'm not that religious so tithes aren't an issue for me, but I do finance community college for my children and grandchildren. There are lots of reasons why JW would have more money available if he didn't tithe, and I could contribute more to my debt reduction if I didn't have quarterly tuition bills to handle.
Somewhere along the way, certain expenses have become non-negotiable for both JW and myself. I think we both have personal commitments to honor. And I think that's fine.
Which is not to say that life doesn't hand out financially destructive, random events that make me want to scream.
The whole point of blogging, at least for me, is to get all these financial issues out in the open where not only I can see them for myself, but others who may be in a similar financial place can see that they are not alone. Or maybe others can see that they are a lot better off than I am and advise me as I struggle to get to where they are.
Maybe it will turn out that JW is a fake, but I wouldn't predict that on the basis of his posts so far--he's just blogging real life. Into which a fair amount of rain has fallen.