Once again there is a debate with a new user going on about a closed question appealing to the fact that the site name is Personal Finance & Money.

Typical exchange:

High Rep user: Closing your question because it isn't about personal finance.
OP: Well, it is personal to me, and the site is called "Personal Finance & Money" after all.
High Rep user: Still off-topic, read the FAQ.

In this case OP kind of has a point, it is confusing. If we aren't opening the scope to non-personal finance questions why confuse the issue with the naming of the site?

And again today

Since this site deals with "& money", I felt it was on topic.

  • 5
    We just got that logo, now you want to change it?
    – MrChrister
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 1:16
  • 1
    Would this mean that money.stackexchange would just be called Personal Finance? Is that problematic having the url and the name be non-overlapping rough synonyms?
    – NL7
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:28
  • @Chris - Thanks, that's helpful. Then I guess I have no real opinion on the change either way. I come here by bookmark icon or by the SE dropdown box anyway, so URL is not very critical.
    – NL7
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 20:12
  • Are macroeconomic questions on-topic here? I see a fair number of them as well
    – Nick T
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 16:18
  • I've removed [status-deferred] since this isn't currently on our list of items to address. Reading the answer below, [status-declined] would likely be the status tag best fitting that answer, but I'm reluctant to move it to that status 10 years on.
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 17 at 16:54

7 Answers 7


I'm deferring this for now.

Initial concerns when the proposal was still incubating revolved around "Personal Finance" and "Money" not being mutually exclusive in any context, and therefore redundant. We've grown to realize that there's a bit more wiggle room within interpretation than we believed, which is how we've arrived to this discussion.

Given that:

  • We have a codified design in place, with branded promotional items
  • The URL itself remains money, which would be extremely difficult (practically impossible, as in could be a six month drop to almost no traffic) to change
  • There's not really any conclusive evidence that dropping money, while keeping the URL the same will have any profound impact

... we're reluctant to consider the change at this time. While having "& Money" provides a cop-out for not reading the enormous amount of help we give users asking their first question, I don't feel that taking it out is going to make much of a dent.

The size and establishment that you've achieved is commendable - this site has come quite a long way. However, with that, you're going to see your share of off-topic, or marginally on-topic questions because people are going to try floating them in the hopes they receive an answer before they're closed - no design or UI change is going to prevent that.

If we can come up with compelling evidence that the change would prevent the majority of these, we're open to discuss it again - which is why this is marked as deferred.

Minor changes to text only work when people read and care, and I just don't see the rewards of this being large enough to justify the work involved. I'm not saying that it won't help, I just don't believe it will help enough.


Historical context

I chose and proposed the name Personal Finance & Money in my original Area 51 definition for this site for one simple reason: the name we had under the Stack Exchange "1.0" model, prior to the "2.0" changes, was Basically Money. Keeping "Money" was a tip of the hat, continuity, w.r.t. the site's original brand.

While I'm talking about the original name, the "Basically" part was meant to indicate the site's general goal to help people be financially literate, being the basics needed to manage one's own finances and investments—i.e. not a site for quants or pro traders ("it is my day job") type questions, not for corporate finance (beyond what retail investors would want to know for investing, or self-employed individuals operating as a corp), not for academia. But those restrictions were never spelled out. Early on, I cared more about getting questions and building a community, and less about corralling the topics.

Then, having to later go through the Area 51 site definition process under the evolved SE 2.0 model forced me to think more about what the site should really be about, and I decided the laser focus and root name needed to reflect personal finance (including what I think of as household & family finance) as the umbrella over other topics. I didn't want the proposal to fail for lack of clarity on this! The original site was loose (e.g. economics was never explicitly off-topic) because I didn't have to gain community support for launching—I owned it. But for SE 2.0, I had to convince people to support the concept, so there needed to be a firm-enough concept to support.

But at the same time, I also wanted the "& Money" in the name, following "Personal Finance", to help transition the existing brand and community into the new SE 2.0 world. "Basically Money? Yeah, that site has become the new [Personal Finance &] Money site under stackexchange.com."  That was my thinking.

So "Money" is baggage, from the past. Baggage is all. By itself, it is a vestige, not intended to be defining. This definition plus community-driven meta evolution since are what define us.

Back to the present

IMHO, we'll always have the "money" in our URL money.stackexchange.com. I don't see any reasonable way of replacing that without upsetting a lot. And even if it could be done, I like the mnemonic. (Consider how Home Improvement has the URL diy.stackexchange.com.)

Yet, three years later, if taking the word "Money" out of the full English site name, and the logo, would alleviate some confusion and sharpen the focus that had been intended, then I'm in favour of doing that. But please keep the main URL as-is.

However, without "Money" in the name, the URL might not be as memorable to new users who would only see this site referred to as "Personal Finance".


Let's do it. It would also be advisable for Stack Exchange Inc., coincident with removing the "& Money" part, to also add a domain name alias for the site:

  • personalfinance.stackexchange.com should be added as a permanent redirect (301) to the existing money.* domain name.

Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. You folks govern this place now :)

  • 3
    Thanks Chris for the complete explanation with context. While I feel its something we MAY want to change, there is NO pressing need to do it Now ... we can take this up with some other upgrades. It would also help get SE inputs on the efforts to go about doing it.
    – Dheer
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 8:16

I don't think it matters.

Every StackExchange site I've ever participated on has had this exact problem:

But XYZ should be on topic here!

The "& Money" just adds local flavor to the problem. It's also been my experience that most people who come, post one or two off topic questions and leave were never really interested in the site, but rather looking for a place to talk about their off topic ... topic.


I will take a stab at outright dissent.

Leaving Strictly "Personal Finance" give no room to move into small proprietorships or small business. The community has been against that move for a long time, but as other SE sites close, we are getting more and more "well, where then" questions. We can invite not only those questions but the people who answer them. Even if that doesn't happen anytime soon, it could.

I vote leaving it as it is. (But I defer to the considerable majority)

  • I'm leaning towards agreeing here. We should probably start the discussion of what topics can be added to on-topic in the short term. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 20:51
  • I agree here. I don't see any reason not to broaden the scope of the site. I do think economics should remain off-topic though because it has its own site and is more theoretical. As long as questions are focused on something directly applicable to the asker and have a tie to financial matters I think it should be on topic.
    – JohnFx Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 16:14

I'm open to the change but not for this reason.

New members often push back on what's on topic, and after a bit of debate, are never seen again. Perhaps what's needed is an invitation to a new user to read through what's on and off topic and read through the top dozen questions. Once they understand the scope of the board and the fact that it's not a discussion board they are welcome to stay and find value here.

That said, the Money is probably either misleading or redundant, depending on how much beer you've had.

  • Agreed Money is redundant, or implicit in personal finance
    – Dheer
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 6:18
  • 3
    It's there for historical reasons. The site was money, before it was personal finance.
    – C. Ross
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 11:45
  • 5
    Understood Ross. But Apple Computer dropped the 'computer' and we survived. And an entire Planet was cancelled. So I'm flexible here. Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 14:56
  • @JoeTaxpayer I'm not saying it's non-negotiable, just trying to give context.
    – C. Ross
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 20:09
  • @Joe Apple Computer dropped the Computer when Paul and Ringo let them, not a day before:-)
    – littleadv
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 0:47
  • 1
    Ok. Now can you explain Pluto to me? Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 2:08
  • @JoeTaxpayer - No one thought it was big enough to be a planet if it was only the size of Texas. (I may have to avoid visiting Texas for a few years because of that comment--they seem to take those things personally.) For the pedantic: I mean diameter; not surface area. Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 18:32
  • @C.Ross Your comment re: context made me want to answer. You're both right, IMHO. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:45
  • @NathanL - what is the diameter of Texas? =D
    – warren
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:17
  • @warren Thanks for the additional pedantry, I was actually referring to pluto's diameter, which is still a bit larger than width of Texas, but now my joke is ruined (if it was ever even mildly funny) so thanks for making me explain it. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 16:42
  • @NathanL - hence the grinny face (=D) .. I was trying to add to your joke that Texas doesn't really have a diameter. But I apparently failed :(
    – warren
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 22:30

This thread looks a bit old, but I came into meta looking for exactly this topic, so I'll put in my thoughts as a relatively new user.

What this community apparently wants is questions on "personal finance and personal money issues."

It's no doubt true that if you read the help, you'll see that broader questions about money are out of scope, but everything else about the site enforces the idea that it's "personal finance" & "money" (with "money" left broad, and the ampersand taken to mean union of topics, not intersection.)

It's not just the name but also, for example, the logo, which visually separates the "personal finance" from the "money" by using different scripts. The list of active questions also tends to give this impression — depending somewhat on when a user lands on the page relative to when the moderators close and put on hold off-topic questions.

As a newcomer, it also seems to me that there's not a lot of consistency on calling some things in or out. (Maybe there is a consistency that I don't see, but that doesn't help.)

I don't think it's bad to keep the URL starting with "money" while changing the logo to "personal finance" only. No one will ever notice except the people who hang out here now. That would be a relatively easy change that would clarify what the group seems to want here.

  • +1 and I completely agree with everything you wrote above. With respect to the consistency that you're not seeing, do the other questions at meta about small business questions, economics, etc. help clarify that we want everything to somehow relate (and not too weakly) back to personal finance? Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 14:50
  • 1
    @ChrisW.Rea I get the spirit of linking to PF. The "inconsistencies" - IMO come b/c the rules - to some extent - deal with why a poster wants an answer not what is asked. Example linked. A 7k+ user challenged this question because on its face it's just about bond rates. Most times I think this question gets closed as being "economics" - In this case a 8k+ user defended it on the obvious grounds that one might invest based on the answer. Feels arbitrary. money.stackexchange.com/questions/56269/…
    – user32479
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 2:47

In my humble opinion (since not being a moderator), the stack should use only 'Money' in the name, as it is in the URL (Sorry, If I offend anybody with my opinion).

The community and the stack activity would be more significant with a broader spectrum, by allowing more tags (e.g., startup) & meta.

The .money subdomain rocks; e.g., there is a stack called simply 'Travel', travel.stackexchange.com.

If the community grows too big, a weighted 'tag' graph network, cluster analysis would be useful to separate it to smaller parts.

PS: I just arrived some days ago at the Stack, and had some arguments about the confusing topic (okey, the topic isn't confusing; it's more about how it 's handled). And as I read some comments, it is quite popular here. If the Stack name would focus on a smaller interest, then a new Stack should be created (proposed) to handle the left tags. And since the approval of the proposal (Area51) is quite a long process, then there would be a lot of users (even for years) without a proper Stack for their questions. That would be significant damage (even for the people, even for the SE company).

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