Personal Finance Bloggers Cause US Retail Sales To Plunge!

May retail sales drop 1.2% or the most in 8 months as more and more people turn to personal finance bloggers for frugality advice!  I’m pretty certain nobody has ever come up with this statement, but think about it for a little bit.  Why is it that the public should take personal finance advice from BusinessWeek, for example?  The articles are written by relatively well-paid writers who are on a mission to report the news.  They do a fine job at that, but perhaps not as fine a job making things visceral like the personal finance community.  What’s more personal than a real person like Jeff delivering pizzas to get out of debt?  Not much!

It’s very hard for the mass media to compete against a team of personal finance bloggers such as the Yakezie.  We’re real life people responding to comments and putting ourselves out there.  There’s a two-way street with us.  If I were Editor in Chief of any mass media publication, I’d go out and hire an bunch of influential personal finance bloggers and put them on my payroll.  $75,000 a year will do or perhaps $150,000 a year if you want us to write an article a month exclusively for you.  By doing so, the Editor will inject new life, new readers, and therefore a wealth of new advertising dollars to the publication.

As evidenced by May’s retail sales figures, we are creating the news with our frugal ways instead of just reporting the news.  There’s a movement underway, can you feel it?  Maybe we’ll band together and talk about how we should never buy new cars again, causing June’s new car sales to dip.  Or maybe we’ll discover how amazing one person’s unsung journey is to fight poverty in Uganda and direct millions of dollars their way.  That counts for something.  Let’s make a palatable difference with the words we write.  Someone is out there listening.

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Updated on 3/2/2015. Let the bull market continue!

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. Norman says

    Or it could be that May’s retail sales plunge is due to the fact that people have already maxed out their credit cards and they are at the end of their credit gravy train.

  2. says

    Hey, I like your way of thinking! ;) The Yakezie is a great group of people. And yes, we should band together and strengthen this new movement. Cuz I feel it coming strong.

    Quite an awesome community of pf bloggers out there, Yakezie or not.
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Reduce your Variable Expenses =-.

    • ctreit says

      You need to get Stewie Griffin on board – for the movie deal and for world domination!
      .-= ctreit´s last blog ..How to find cheap airline tickets =-.

  3. says

    $150,000 a year? I’m not sure you’re entirely familiar with the economics of publishing Sam.

    Ever met a rich journalist? ;) (Not a famous person who writes for a fortune – plenty of them!)

    Here in the UK some big media sites and papers have long been co-opting everyday people to write stories closer to the writer’s household finances or reader blogs or similar. Perhaps that’s why there’s seemingly less room for personal finance blogs here?
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Two new personal finance tools for Monevator readers =-.

    • says

      I am “taking the piss” as they say in the UK! Of course we didn’t cause a big decline in May retail sales, but one day, maybe we can affect change and create a hoard of frugal people in the world who save their money!

      I don’t think $150,000/year is too much to hire me to write a column a month for the Wall St. Journal. In fact, I think it’s a bargain! :)
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Emergency Fund Fallacy =-.

  4. says

    Actually there is evidence out there that people have taken to couponing and looking for deals because of the recession. This happens at every downturn of course but seems more pronounced at this juncture and, who knows, maybe it is the personal finance blogging impact!
    If people just learn to get their money working for them rather than against them it would be a sea change for the country.
    .-= DIY Investor´s last blog ..BP Coffee Spill =-.

    • says

      I agree with DIY – that it seems much more pronounced. What would all the credit card companies do if everyone learned how to make their money work for them (the people) and not the companies? That would be a ton of money to do great things with.
      .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Friday Frugal Tips – Lawn Service =-.

  5. says

    Oh Sam,

    I wish that was true about people taking advice.

    I read a blog recently where the young woman (30) has been unemployed for a year but she’s shopping twice a week at Whole Foods for her fix of coconut water plus a litany of other things. I’m sure that she will only stop once she runs out of money.

    I agree with Norman. Sales are down because there’s no credit left for many people as the credit card companies have been systematically shutting down limits.
    .-= Money and Risk´s last blog ..Can the IRS Roll Back Time on the Estate Tax? =-.

    • says

      Hmmm, I love coconut water and watermelon juice from Trader Joe’s. Kinda price at $3 a bottle, but oh so delicious!

      May sales were down due to a 10% drop in home relating spending due to the expiring tax credit, so it wasn’t so bad it seems, hence why the market closed up.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Oops! The World Is Coming To An End! =-.

  6. says

    If we did have that kind of influence, that would be phenomenal. Organizing a community is extremely powerful leverage, so who knows what our influence will be in the future. In terms of more visceral advice from PF bloggers compared to journalist, I typically agree with your assessment. If you have “been there…done that,” you have infinitely more credibility than if you are a “talking head.”
    .-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..Will the Economy Collapse In 2011? =-.

    • says

      Theme week is a great idea! And I hear you 100% on having fun. If I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t bother! Seriously great idea, where we can challenge ourselves to write about a similar topic and coming after it at all different angles.

    • says

      I like the Theme idea too. It would be interesting to see how so many different minds would approach the same topic.
      .-= Mike @ Saving Money Today´s last blog ..Book Giveaway Winner – Enjoy Your Money =-.

  7. says

    Hear. Hear. As a fellow pf blogger, I fully agree with you. New media is definitely changing and already a number of people get their news from social/interactive media and old media.

  8. DH says

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  9. says

    I absolutely agree that movements can cause major changes….. And with the net banding people together easier and quicker than ever before this has never been more the case.

    In the UK a Facebook group started to make Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the name” number one to topple a crappy Pop Idol star from doing it for another year….. Guess what, everyone went out and purchased Rage’s old song and it made it to no1 this Christmas just past.

    People, especially bloggers and social media users, can make huge changes.
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Is Minimalism a worthwhile form of activism? =-.

  10. Charlie says

    It definitely depends on who’s writing! There are real people in finance who I’d never want advice from. I know a woman that used her rent money to buy an LV bag that was “too amazing to pass up.” But I’m sure someone like her wouldn’t last a week as a personal finance blogger! Whereas your advice and actions are calculated, creative, and quite helpful. I’ve definitely learned a lot from your posts…thanks!

  11. says

    You always manage to inspire in your writing, Sam. I think it’s great that people have more sources of information to draw on these days, instead of just listening to what their financial advisor is trying to sell them or what they read in the newspaper, which often tends to be similar.
    .-= Kevin@InvestItWisely´s last blog ..Weekend Reading, at 300 km/h =-.

  12. says

    It is nice to think that we have such a big impact, but do you think we are really making enough of a difference to lower sales over 1%?

    I do think we are making a difference. I also hope that all of our readers are intelligent and take our advice and thoughts to heart.

  13. Aury (Thunderdrake) says

    It would seem that we’re having a significant impact on the financial world… And rightfully so. After all… We’re all about affecting the dosh that’s circulating around the world, no?

    From warriors, cartoonists, fathers to dragons, it would seem our image as bloggers is growing in this particular niche. It’s a nice feeling, isn’t it? <3

  14. James says

    you strike a cord here. you are totally right and this is a HUGE problem. over the past 2 years many of the top news stations would tell stories about stocks or companies. Since most people don’t read the WSJ (wall street journal) or Forbes or even the local paper but just watch “Fast Money” or any of these cable TV shows they think they got a hot tip and go for it..

    this is why so many people got burned because they were acting like sheep and simply followed the leader vs. doing their own research.

  15. says

    Sam, really relevanat post. I have read the traditional media for years, and the personal finance bloggers for a much shorter time period. I learn from both…. it is amazing the caliber of writing as well as the level of insight of the personal finance bloggers. I am regularly amazed at the professionalism of the blogging community ESPECIALLY THE YAKEZIE members. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Barb

    • says

      Thanks Barb! It’s funny that the media has been taken back by the people! Fun times! Always good to read a smattering of the old network and the new!

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