As you know, January’s Money Grows on Hubs contest is quickly approaching, and to get a leg up on the competition, you can start writing entries now! To give you more entry inspiration and tips, we had a chat with Adam Baker, one of the Personal Finance contest judges.
Adam Baker (Baker for short!) along with his wife Courtney and two-and-a-half year old daughter Milligan decided that they wanted to live the life of their dreams – and really did it! Adopting the motto “Sell your crap, pay off your debt, do what you love,” Baker and his family sold everything they owned, paid off their commercial debt, and spent a year traveling abroad – sharing their story as they went along on Man Vs. Debt. Below Baker shares more about the process, plus his tips on writing personal finance articles!
What made you decide to make such a bold move in your life?
Well, the straw the broke the camel’s back was the birth of our daughter Milligan. After bringing her home from the hospital, we were finally given the clarity to see that the life we were living and the life we wanted to live – were not aligned.
We were deep in consumer debt, with way too much stuff clogging our lives, striving along a path that didn’t reflect our real values. We realized that a bold shift in our daily actions and lifestyle was the best way to realign our values.
So we decided to pay off our debt, sell all our crap, and spend a year traveling abroad to get even more perspective on what we really wanted out of life. 🙂
What was the hardest part of selling nearly everything you own?
The hardest part in getting started for us was realizing the difference between what items added true joy, value, and purpose to our lives – and which were just holding us back (without delivering any real value).
Most people I know (ourselves included) tend to buy many thing that we think add value to our lives – but whose value is really either inflated or fleeting at best. It’s hard to come to terms that we’ve wasting so much money, time, and energy on these possessions, but it’s essentially that we cut our losses and move forward.
Why did you decide to blog about the financial aspect of your adventure?
I think that one of the problems with personal finance these days is that the issue, problems, and solutions are so taboo to talk about in our culture. No ones wants to admit a financial problem and most people strive to show off their inflated lifestyles as much as possible.
I think that providing financial transparency – even on a small scale – can help shed some positive light and show people that there’s nothing to be scared about this journey. We share how we handle problems (both the ups and downs) in hopes that’ll it inspire others to do the same. 🙂
What have you learned about writing personal finance articles over the past months?
I’ve learned that you don’t have to be a guru – or an expert – to positively affect people. Courtney and I are far from gurus, we have a lot to learn about the process. But we’ve been able to have a tangible difference simply writing about who we are and what we are going through honestly.
Sure, I’ve done a lot of research in the past few years on this journey – and I know what works and what doesn’t for most people. But I try my best to approach it in a genuine and transparent way. I think people really relate to that part of it.
How much research do you do before writing one of your blog posts / guides?
Depends. Some posts have no research done for them – as I’m just sharing my personal opinions, trial and error, or reflections.
Others have months of research. Meaning several hours a day, non-stop – for months at a time. These are my more premium guides – the ones I sell as part of my business. Each of these I’ve obsessed on for months, but the result is something that is both comprehensive and powerful for people.
It’s a lot of work, but I’m extremely proud of the end products in this cases. 🙂
Do you have any tips for the Money Grows on Hubs contest entrants that they might consider when writing their own personal finance articles?
Don’t try to appear like a guru. Don’t try to be the “best” resource on any given topic. Simply try to relay what you believe to be positive, sustainable change for people in you *own* voice.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses. Be proud of what you do well and humble of anything that you don’t. That’s the formula I try to stick to! 🙂
One of the most inspiring things about Baker is that he turned his personal experiences with finances and turned them into learning resources for others. As a Hubber, you, too, can work on improving your own finances and share your findings online – much in the same way Baker has – as Personal Finance Hubs on HubPages.
If you’re curious to see some of Adam’s great Personal Finance articles – and to get some inspiration for the upcoming contest, here are some great posts from Man vs. Debt:
3 replies on “Personal Finance Writing Tips from Money Grows on Hubs Contest Judge Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt”
Thank you so much for publishing this blog and providing awesome writing tips for Money Grows on Hubs Contest at Hubpages. I agree with Mr. Baker, “Honesty is the best policy” and will write hubs sharing my personal financial failures and achievements.
Is the longer article better than shorter article? I like to write short article 300-500 words. Do you think it is good?
Hi red- to be honest, length is not the most important thing; what matters most is that the guide is useful! Relevant photos, tables, videos, and other features also help, and they don’t have a ‘word count’ – but they can really add a lot of meaning to a Hub!