“Do you actually need that?”
“Someday, you’re going to wish you hadn’t spent so much right now.”
“Don’t you have enough already?”
Anyone who struggles with fiscal responsibility has heard lines like those from well-meaning (or self-righteous) family members, friends and colleagues. Probably much more than they’d like to, for that matter.
But here’s the thing. Advice (or meddling) like that is practical. It’s logical.
It’s so much more fun to act on one’s shopping impulses… to buy that outfit that fits just right because – duh! – it fits just right… to eat that fast food meal instead of figuring out a thrifty eating plan for the week… to go out on the town or purchase all those video games or buy all those books…
The list of devil-may-care spending temptations is long. It’s compelling. And it’s filled with short-term fun.
If you’re writing a personal finance book, how in the world do you compete with that?
If you’re writing a personal finance book, your potential audience is the majority of the Western World. Not that the majority of the Western World is going to acknowledge that for reasons we’ve already stated.
Acknowledge the majorly uphill battle ahead of you, put on those big boy rock-climbing pants you want to promote, and start moving forward with this Writing Challenge made just for you:
Try to actually be interesting.
Let’s face it: Fiscal responsibility and future-forward thinking aren’t exactly the sexiest topics on the planet. There’s a lot more excitement in the notion of buying flashy cars, outfits and houses now then there is in putting all that $$ toward a comfortable retirement.
Yet while nobody makes a Hollywood blockbuster out of a personal finance book, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up with funny or fascinating examples, inspiring ideals, personality quizzes and other tricks to keep your readers engaged while they learn how to live maturely.
Now, if you read Tuesday’s blog post, you might remember how it began with the sentence, “Anyone who wants to write a personal finance book might want to start with facts and figures.” But, believe it or not, today's blog post isn’t contradicting its predecessor.
All it’s saying is that those facts and figures should be presented in an appealing manner.
Obviously, there’s a very serious nature to writing a personal finance book. You’re either trying to save millennials from a lifetime of credit card servitude, or you’re trying to help older generations afford an actual retirement.
We’re going to discuss that serious nature further on Friday. For now though, do yourself a favor and admit that real fun can be found in even important activities like fiscal responsibility.
For starters, you’ll probably need to reject that self-righteous attitude we touched on up top: the one where you’re scolding your readers for being irresponsible idiots with their money.
They might very well be irresponsible idiots with their money. But you might not want to come right out and say that.
Instead, write like you’re their friend. Tell them you understand where they’re coming from. Tell them you know where they want to be.
Stoop down to their level to prompt them up to yours.
All those facts and figures will go down a lot more smoothly that way. Better yet, you’ll have a chance of making some money yourself while you help others keep more of theirs.