1. Penny,
    That comment by that person was so mean. Whiny? Have they ever been pregnant? Argh. I’m glad you’ve agreed that you won’t be silenced anymore. This is your blog. You get to write about whatever you want to write about. Unapologetically. People can not read. Or block. Glad to hear you’re writing about what you want to again!

    • Thanks so much, Laurie! That was my initial thought when I read the comment. “Just stop reading.” But then I absolutely panicked because it put that idea into my head, and I started wondering if all my readers felt that way. I’m glad I’ve come to my senses!

      • Cara

        Wow, I’m feeling irritated on your behalf right now. It’s almost like the troll thought you were your own character, and she was writing to you as the author–‘Can you make the character act different? I’m tired of reading this part.’ Ugh. Just knowing that there are people that rude hanging around the internet is depressing 😛 Good for you for not giving up!!

  2. My blood was boiling for you reading that comment. I am so sorry that someone would write that! I will never understand the world of trolls…

    I am so glad you are going to write about what you care about, what you are passionate about. I look forward to continuing to follow along 🙂

    • I want to believe that the person was trying to be helpful. But it really, really festered. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t have a thicker skin (I should!), but it also felt like a cheap shot.

  3. I’m so glad you’ve found your voice again!!! I can’t imagine blogging about anything other than my life- it’s the one thing I know pretty darn well. You clearly only had the best of intentions with the retweet and the pregnancy post, the way people reacted was obviously of fear or low self esteem on their part (though that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with). Thanks fo sharing this story Penny! It is posts like this that remind me why I love your blog!!

  4. Catherine

    Oh ffs people. They’ve obviously never been pregnant or had to deal with any degree of financial insecurity! What you had (have) to deal with in terms of “maternity leave” is downright shameful, I definitely feel for you. I commented once about my mat leave and someone basically said “STFU you’re in Canada you’ll get a year paid off to basically sit on my ass”…wrong on so many levels…. Yes, while I pay into the federal employment insurance program and am legally allowed to take 52 weeks away from my job and get some money, it’s only 55% of your income and maxed at something like 52000 annual income…since I make much more than that so I’m currently taking home about 40% of my income….and I think we can all agree keeping tiny humans alive and fed is anything but “sitting on my ass”….ignorance (and lack or motivation to actually educate oneself) will kill this world one day.

    • Agreed! Mat leave here is less than minimum wage for 4 months – wouldn’t even pay the mortgage – and my friend in California gets better paid leave than that. As the breadwinner, YES it matters who makes more if we intend to have kids.

      And I seriously cannot believe that comment. I’ve had a few snarky ones but they are drive bus, not regular commenters, at least.

      I’ll follow your brand wherever it may go, Penny.

  5. Congrats on finding (and sticking to) your voice. I still think it’s a badge of honor to have been blocked by Ramsey (and that he can’t seem to take a little criticism, even as politely worded as you put it. Geez Louise. How does he react when someone actually does troll him rather than respectfully disagree?)

    Since I blog with Jon, I sometimes have to moderate my voice on political matters. We disagree quite a bit on the state of the nation, and he thinks public political statements are a bad idea in general. Plus, knowing family members read my blog, sometimes I find I can be more open about certain ideas in comments on other blogs than on my own. But I realized in my brief freelancing fling that there are ideas that I don’t want to support, even tangentially. Writing is my voice, and I want to use it to support a good society. Financial responsibility and literacy is part of that, but so is community and caring for the struggling, and not ignoring structural issues that make life far more difficult for some than others (especially as a benefactor of privilege.)

    • It is a tricky situation, Emily. It sounds like you’ve found a great way to keep your writing in line with your beliefs. I love your blog and your social media presence. I always learn a lot from you, and I can tell how much you care about the world!

  6. Girl, rock on! For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’ve ever been “whiny” or emotional. Anybody would be upset by these things, and especially to read comments that are unconstructive and unhelpful.

    I’m shocked at how few trolls I’ve picked up on my blog, but I’ve gotten a few. I do delete comments if they aren’t relevant to the conversation and if they’re just there to trash me. Obviously they’re only there for one reason and won’t add anything to the comments (P.S. That doesn’t mean I delete comments from people who disagree with what I say–those are usually the best comments!).

    Anyhoo, I love reading your blog and I love that you talk about relevant outside influences (ie. politics). I personally have to be careful since I live in a politically-divided household, so for the sake of my marriage I leave politics off my own site, hahaha. 🙂

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    Also, I know I’ve said it before, but HP is an adorable little squish and you’re an awesome mom. 🙂

  7. I read your blog BECAUSE of your voice. I want to learn more about money, but I don’t want to read a dry textbook. I like that you talk about real life and share your stories. It makes the money talk interesting and relatable. Keep playing your game!

  8. I think the “stay on brand” thing is ridiculous, unless your blog is your full-time job. The reality is that you are 100% ON brand with your writing – because your brand is YOU.

    One of the things I really appreciate about your blog is that you’re honest and authentic and you speak your mind about what’s important to you. I can find 1000 sites with list articles about “8 ways to save money online”; blogs like yours are harder to come by.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

  9. I’m so happy you opened up and shared this. Blogging can be such a whirlwind of emotions depending on the day. Sometimes you get a feature and you’re feeling high and the next day you’re wondering where the heck everyone went.
    I also hate the whole ‘on-brand’ thing. People change and blogging changes people, and it’s your brand so it’s allowed to include whatever topics you want. You do you Penny!
    In sum…people can suck but that doesn’t make you any less awesome!

  10. Aw, Penny, I love your personal posts– they’re why I read YOUR blog. There’s plenty of generic financial info and advice out there, and it’s all bland and dry as dust. I read here for your stories and for your heart. Hugs to you.

  11. kddomingue

    Well, I don’t know much about this “staying on brand” business but I do know something about voices. You should always speak in your own voice lest you turn into a parrot or become the ventriloquist’s dummy…..neither of which, I might add, is very interesting to listen to.

  12. Emmy

    I would rather read a blog that has a voice than one that “sticks to brand” all the time! Your blog is one of the few I read with any regularity and pretty much the only one I comment on. It’s amazing how people will talk to others behind the safety of a computer screen. It makes me wonder what kind of person they are when someone is right in front of them.

    As for Dave, I’d count getting blocked by him as a sign you’re doing things right. While I like a little bit of what he has to say, I think he’s one of the most arrogant and privileged males that has ever existed. I used to listen to his program and at first I thought he was giving “tough love” but over the years I’ve realized he’s just mean and doesn’t really have a clue about what real people go through. Elections have very real consequences and this one probably only had good ones for his bottom line…but not for many of his listeners.

    Don’t give up your voice for a brand! Keep being you!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Emmy. I’m glad that he’s able to help so many, many, many people, but he’s not really my cup of tea, either. It did make me feel like the Little Blog Who Could when he blocked me (though I’m sure it’s just an autofilter or something).

  13. Your voice resonates with people, Penny. Perhaps not everyone, but that has to be ok, right? I appreciate the fact that you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and refused to let someone else define who you are. As a parent, I often define my actions with the question, “if my daughter were confronted with this issue/situation, what would I counsel her to do?” In most cases, that informs my actions. Keep doing what you do, the way you do it. You are appreciated.

    • That’s a beautiful, intelligent, and insightful perspective, Oldster. Thank you for sharing, and I can’t tell you how much I always appreciate your comments.

  14. I would read anything you write, even if it was about peanut butter (Do you have a blog post about peanut butter?). Your posts are almost like little vignettes to me, and I think that makes you stand out from everyone else.

    It seems awfully immature for Dave Ramsey to block you like that. If it was repeated harassment maybe, but just for speaking out once? Really?

    I’m glad you refused to stay silent. I struggled with the same thing myself not too long ago, post-Charlottesville. All of a sudden it seemed silly to me to write about the topic I was supposed to write about, so I said eff it, and just did what I felt like doing. But yeah, the same tried and true topics and tips can be found on the Penny Hoarder, to be honest. People also need to be reminded that money doesn’t exist in a vacuum, you know. And it’s the perspectives and experiences of each author is what makes the posts unique. To me, there’s a ton more value in that.

  15. “Sharing stories, finding my voice, and respecting the voices of others—even when we disagree—means more to me than building a brand. If that bothers anyone, I don’t care. I’m not staying silent anymore.” Bravo, Penny! Definitely keep being you.

    I will admit that I’ve struggled with how much to post about my political feelings (which mainly became an issue when the current administration came to power). The reality is that while it can relate to money issues, I tend to want to take it a lot further, and that’s just not what my blog is about (or so my wife keeps telling me). But I agree with Emily’s comment that there’s just some ideas I don’t want to support, even tangentially.

  16. Joan

    For me, I like and understand mostly what/why Dave is and says. That being said, I do disagree with a few items and order of how he suggests things to be accomplished. Bottom line is, I ultimately live my life… my way.

    If they don’t live with me and pay my bills after 5 minutes of my time, (Unless I feel their viewpoint has merit!), It doesn’t matter in my little corner of my world. So I allow it to impact my life appropriately! (As in none!)

    Never allow someone else’s opinions matter more (or undermine your self-worth!) than your own and thus dull your shiny star!

  17. I love your blog and your unique voice. I’m sorry that some idiots tried to silence it, but I’m happy to hear that you’re continuing to speak in it. I will keep reading as long as you’re writing!

  18. Hey,
    I’m sorry you had to go through that but truthfully almost all bloggers will experience the rush of the other side. When you disagree or offer an opinion someone will jump down your back. It doesn’t mean what you think or said was wrong it just means that people handle things differently. I’ve learned to just brush it off and be proud that I stood up for my beliefs. You’re inspiring and people love reading your blog. Keep at it. Mr.CBB

  19. I’ve only been reading your blog for a short while, but I’m glad you’re not going to stay silent. One, it’s who you are. Two, the more we voice what we think, it gives courage to those around us to do so as well, which leads folks to challenge the status quo.

  20. Congrats on being blocked by Dave Ramsey. In general the people who are most bothered by the actions of others are those with a big ego to protect. Ahem, Trump. The fact that he felt the need to block you says a lot about him. I like your blogging, keep doing it.

  21. Your voice is your brand – whatever you feel, think, or say is what makes you unique. I’m very glad you won’t allow yourself to be silenced. No one can construct a sentence the way you do so please don’t ever stop!

    I had a theory about Dave blocking people on Twitter but now it’s shot to hell. I always assumed he only blocked detractors who were very nasty because he doesn’t trust himself to keep from obliterating them. He’s got a lousy temper. But you were kind. Maybe he really has very low self-esteem? He sits on the throne of Ramsey Solutions while all the “sorry people” bow down to him and feed him grapes. That’s his brand. Yuck.


    Screw that troll. And we don’t all have the same 24 hours. That’s total BS.

    As to Ramsey, I may have been a bit tone deaf, too, in this respect. I wrote about how neither president could seriously impact your money, specifically, largely because I never would have guessed our legislative branch would be so damn spineless. I encouraged everyone to pay attention to their other elected officials, too. For me, it came from a place of naivete and lack of appreciation for the fragility of democracy.

    I dislike Ramsey for other reasons, too. Just wanted to be completely transparent in my rebuke.

    I’m glad you have your voice back. I’ve been struggling with my own lately and my editorial calendar has been erratic because of it. Just like you, I’ll write posts that never see the light of day because this is supposed to be a money blog, right? But the world right now. Things can’t be ignored.

    You continue to inspire! Bold accountability buddies?

  23. The next time someone spouts that BS about having the same 24 hours as Beyonce, I’m going to throw orange peels at them. We do NOT have the same 24 hours as anyone with her resources, for the love of rhetoric.

    But welcome back in full force, Penny! I wouldn’t trade your voice for ten Dave Ramsays and his ilk. Thinking that if a presidential election doesn’t affect you, it doesn’t affect anyone else is one of the more privileged, tone-deaf, ignorant statements I’ve heard this year. And I’ve heard quite a few of those!

  24. Oh my gosh YES “Sharing stories, finding my voice, and respecting the voices of others—even when we disagree—means more to me than building a brand.” To me, that’s what blogging is truly about. Education sure, but also connection, discussion, learning and growing. You have a unique voice, one that is important and contributes to this cacaphony of human knowledge and insight that is the internet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. #hatersgonnahate

  25. Hi, I’m new here, like very new. So new I haven’t had the “grace” of having trolls or haters yet (but now thanks to this post I’m totally mentally preparing.)

    I’m sorry but I don’t think the troll was a long time reader. That’s not how a real reader would treat you. That is most certainly a troll and doesn’t deserve an ounce of attention. Delete. Delete. Ignore!

    I never spoken to Dave Ramsey before but my Dave is Financial Samurai. If he blocked me I would be pretty sad too. But it’s just another dude – just a guy.

  26. Shannon

    I was really thankful that you wrote about your pregnancy. I was pregnant at the same time & it was really hard. I debated commenting on almost every post related to pregnancy because they resonated with the difficulties I was experiencing.

    Thank you for being authentic in your writing and sharing it with us. ❤️

    • That means so much to me, Shannon! I wish I was more honest at the time. It was the most beautiful and breathtakingly hard thing I’ve ever done. This comment means the world to me.

  27. Your ability to go off-brand IS your brand Penny, and a great one at that! I share your views on the subject, knowing that I can’t follow the formula by remaining on-brand. I stopped trying long ago. : )

  28. I like you just as you are. Talking about the truth of your life is valuable. Standing up against BS is valuable. Showing how “powerful” men with “great things to say” can often be petulant is valuable. Our unique lives are interesting. I don’t want a list of ways to scam for money online. I want to read how folks I admire are navigating life. Whether the atmosphere is sunny or treacherous.

  29. I love this post so much. I feel very strongly that if you’re going to blog, you should be sharing your voice ALWAYS, and especially when it’s something someone might not want to hear. You might reach someone who might not have otherwise heard it in their echo chamber.

  30. WOW, It is hard to pour out yourself into writing and then have some outsider like the jerk who called you “whiny” interject ignorance. I find that utterly reprehensible.

    I’m also disappointed in you being blocked by Ramsey. I’ve lost some respect for him on that. What a horrible way to treat anyone.

    This was a great post. People are encouraged with open honestly. Others can’t handle it and will call you names. I hope you continue.

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