Why I Blog Anonymously

July 3, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately.  Blogging is an escape at times for me. Remember that part in my previous post where I mentioned that building a tribe is important; well, I feel like I have that here. There are times where I want to splash my name all over this blog, and have it come when I am Googled. Trust me, everyone gets Googled. They say that everyone is a brand, and you either curate that brand and the information with it yourself, or someone else will do it for you.

There are quite a fews reasons why I kept my name private.  Tons of my friends know that I have this blog and and a handful of PF bloggers know my real name. I am not worried about that. I want them to know. I also am not married to the idea of having my name be private, semi private. I blog under my middle name.  Yes, I know, very creative. I don’t do this because I have something to hide, but more so because I value my privacy. There are things that I share on my blog’s twitter account that will never see the light of day of my ‘real’ account. The reason I bring this up is because last week I had a reader for Financial Post (a huge news outlet in Canada) call my cell phone and want to discuss an article that I wrote 6 months ago. Yeah, it was strange, and a bit disconcerting to know that my cell phone number is that readily available; it was also strange to know that someone held on to an article for 6 months.


Personal finance bloggers are an odd bunch. We share the most intimate details of our financial lives for the world to see, and are surprised when strangers know our business and make judgements. Part of the reason why I started with this site was to hold myself accountable and clear up my student debt. The PF world is fantastic at helping with that. Everyone has their own struggles and the support system is phenomenal. It also can get a bit repetitive. There are only so many times that we can write about credit cards, or have to save money doing something. I get bored with doing the same thing for a long period of time. I am a huge believer in change (as you can tell by the number of times I’ve changed the look of this site). Thus you may find articles about things I find interesting that have nothing to do with personal finance.


This post wasn’t so much a rant, but more of a conversation with myself. I enjoy writing here so much. I love the community, I love getting to know everyone else, and I love the platform that I have been blessed with. Yes, I am a brand, but this blog has become more than that. Being “anonymous” has allowed me to share struggles, challenges, and accomplishments that I normally wouldn’t have admitted to in such a public forum. Yes, I’ve moved away from doing a budget roundup, but that wasn’t because I don’t budget  anymore, but more so because I am lazy.

My goal was to have  accountability when I first started, but I have gained so much more than that. So for those who are struggling with posting and are not sure if you want to use your real names, don’t worry. Just start writing, you’ll make friends along the way and you’re going want them to know about the real you.

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  • Modest Money July 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I often wonder whether I made the right move by not blogging anonymously. I get worried that some potential employer will read my blog and find out way more than they should know. Or maybe I’ll go out on a date and then the next day that person finds out all kinds of secrets before that I probably wouldn’t have been ready to share with her.

    • Marissa July 4, 2012 at 2:27 am

      Is your full name on your blog and can I google you and find out?

  • bogofdebt July 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I decided to blog anonymously because I do like my job and don’t want to have to worry about anything. And besides that-I find it so much easier to blog about my past mistakes and get them out in the air rather than trying to talk to friends/family about it. A lot of them don’t understand why “I don’t have money” when I say I cannot do something when I afford it after they hear about me saving money for medical funds or efund or whatever. They think that I do have the money and am just being selfish about spending it. So I’ve mostly stopped talking about it with real life people and my blog is the way I get to talk about it.

    • Marissa July 4, 2012 at 2:25 am

      Its weird how people have these odd ideas about other people’s income levels.

  • Michelle July 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I blog anonymously as most of us know. But I do post the occasional picture of myself. Main reason is because of my family and work! I talk about my problems with my mother and I wouldn’t want my work knowing everything else in my life.

    • Marissa July 4, 2012 at 2:25 am

      I completely understand that when it comes to talking about your mom, a public setting with your name attached isnt the best idea.

  • Jason @ WorkSaveLive July 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I think everybody in the PF niche has a different reason they started their blog and I think it’s important that you stay true to why you originally started. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with changing things up as your life evolves along with your interests.

    It’s hard to blog about personal finance for forever as you end up just regurgitating things over and over again.

    Ultimately, I started my blog to simply help people and provide an additional educational tool. Despite sharing our personal journey I haven’t found much motivation from the community as my motivation was already deeply rooted from my personal experiences and life changes I made long before I started a blog.

    • Marissa July 4, 2012 at 2:24 am

      Thats great to hear, Jason!

  • Andy Hough July 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Everyone has their own reasons for blogging and since it is your blog you can write about what you want and choose to remain anonymous or not. I don’t blog anonymously because I want my name to be my brand and am not worried about the privacy concerns.

    • Marissa July 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

      I completely get where you’re coming from when it comes to brand building.

  • Country Girl July 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I blog anonymously because I’m extremely shy and I live in a small town. It’s bad enough living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, I don’t feel I need to actively add to that by publishing my thoughts under my real name.

    • Marissa July 5, 2012 at 3:52 am

      I completely understand. Also, just read that you’re coming to CPFC! Sweet!

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life July 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t blog anonymously, and that’s simply because if for some reason someone DID stumble onto it, I wouldn’t want them to read all sorts of terrible secrets I might have spilled. So I blog like everyone is watching, employers, friends, family, and my spouse. Sure I can’t say everything I’d like to say and I can’t rant about friends and family, but that’s ok, I guess I wouldn’t want to put that negativity out there anyway.

    • Marissa July 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Thats a fair point. Money is just such a sensitive topic these days.

  • Budget & the Beach July 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I blog anonymously because I don’t feel I can be as open if my real life friends/family read something. I feel to vulnerable. I have another blog that I write, and once wrote an article that was on the deeper side. I ran into a friend at the beach and when we were chatting it came up that he thinks I have “issues.” It was so awkward, and made me feel back because what I wrote wasn’t that bad…just human stuff. I don’t mind if PF bloggers know my real name (and some do), but not even my closest friends know I have a PF blog.

    • Marissa July 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      I know what you mean. There are certain things that I rather send in the wild then tell ppl close to me!

  • fabulouslyfrugirl July 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Marissa, I just found your blog, and I really enjoyed this article. I’ve kinda lost my groove with blogging for the past few months and I really missed it. You’re right, I should just write about the things that I enjoy and things that are in my life which are important. I don’t always find saving exciting – it’s about how I choose to spend and enjoy money (now and later) that is fun, and that’s what I am going to write about.

    I, too, find blogging semi-anonomously works better for me. I’ve met with bloggers in real life and have become good friends with quite a few, and I love that about blogging and connecting with people. But, I also value my privacy, and I don’t think I want people to find out all about my finances and link it to me, just through the blog.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time July 9, 2012 at 1:53 am

    I think I blog anonymously because I don’t want my friends and family members know about my financial details. and, I know that you are fond of changes because you keep on changing this site’s design 🙂

  • Craig July 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Marissa, I’m struggling with this right now. I’m just starting a PF blog and have decided to start anonymously but it doesn’t feel right.. When I read other people’s blogs, the ones who use their real name earn a higher level of trust and respect from me. Once I find my voice and gain some confidence, I intend to use my real name. I think we worry too much about what other people are going to think. If you write what you believe and don’t write anything about someone that you wouldn’t say face to face, you shouldn’t be ashamed to put your real name out there.

  • Broke Professionals July 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I write for a variety of sites, usually under one of several pen names. I’ve been told that if you own the site, it’s pretty easy for people to find you based on your IP address or WHOIS registry data – but since I’m a staff writer and not a site owner, I’ve often wondered just how much of my personal data can be connected to me.

  • LittleFrugalista July 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve been struggling with this for the past little while. Because everyone is so easily searchable online and because I’m constantly job searching, sometimes I figure I should just make myself searchable so that employers know that I write regularly about something I’m passionate about. Once in an interview I accidentally let it slip that I write a PF blog (the position was in the financial group for a PR agency) and the interviewer was very interested and I was forced to give the link. So now I’m thinking I might as well just build up my brand. But like you said, personal finance is a sensitive topic and I don’t know if I want the world to know my business! Completely torn!

    • Marissa July 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      I know exactly what you mean! Because I don’t work in the finance sector, this blog isnt as pertinent to my “brand”, but i still don’t want random ppl knowing my personal business.

  • Sam July 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Anonymous or not, it’s what you do with your name, blog, business etc is what matters. A name is just a name.

  • ForHerByHer August 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    As an ex-PF Blogger, I have to say the community is awesome! I also blogged anonymously and wanted to pay off my debt in a specific amount of time. My blog also kept me accountable and organized. It kept me motivated because I’d had some false starts in the past. The problem was that once I paid off the debt, I also got tired of writing about the budgeting, credit cards and debt all the time. I wanted to expand my audience.

    I understand to need for privacy especially as a PF blogger because we share so much financial information.

    • Marissa August 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      First of all– Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m doing my best to branch out and write about other things now, but I know what you mean.

  • Vangile Makwakwa October 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I didn’t know blogging anonymously was an option when I started blogging so I used my own name, maybe I would’ve chosen that option if I’d known because I would have felt free to open up about my life a lot faster. In the end I think it depends on what you feel comfortable with.