Why people don’t talk about money (why we should)
It’s mind-blowing to think about the unspoken “rules” our society has when it comes to talking about money. We’re expected to be good at making money and managing it but no one wants to talk about it. Talking about money can be more taboo than talking about religion, sex, family issues and politics. A new study shows 61% of women would rather talk about their own death than money. That’s insane!
The silence around money is what keeps you from developing personal financial skills. Unless you majored in finance you learned most of what you know from your family, friends and culture.
Money can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss. It’s difficult to ask for a raise, awkward to request a separate check when dining out with friends and inappropriate to ask how much something cost.
But why? Here are a few possibilities;
Talking about money is rude
Don’t even think about sharing how much money you make, how much debt you got yourself into or how much you’ve saved for retirement. It’s considered tacky to disclose details about your finances. We’ve all been taught to some degree that money is meant to be kept quiet.
There’s a lot of shame around money regardless of how much money you make. Being ashamed of not making enough or spending too much can take a toll on your self-esteem and leave you feeling guarded.
It’s easy to feel like you don’t have it all together if you measure yourself against others and place value on how much you have. There will always be someone with more.
People are judgmental with money
We make assumptions about others based on their income and what they do with their money. Even if it’s suttle we all compare our finances.
We judge others for what they spend their money on and if they can manage it. The fear of being judged is the main motivator for most people to not talk about money.
Here’s why we should start talking about money.
How are you expected to be financially literate if you can’t talk about money and learn from someone else? It’s helpful to know how much someone makes so you know if you’re being paid fairly and/or how much of a raise to ask for. It’s beneficial to know how much something costs so you know when to negotiate or shop around.
If you don’t have access to information how can you learn? Money being a taboo topic is changing with millennials but in the meantime, we need to break the rules.
Talking things through can help you find a solution. Here are a few reasons talking about money is important.
- Talking about money can help you identify your limiting beliefs and actions around money.
- Talking about your financial priorities, goals, and dreams can help you stay accountable.
- Financial infidelity is real. Having difficult conversations about money with your partner can improve your relationship and financial future.
- Money problems can escalate if not talked about and addressed.
- You may find you’re not alone and others feel the same way.
- Talking about your approach to money may expand your philosophies on budgeting, saving and investing.
We need to destigmatize the topic of money by talking about it. Breaking the taboo can lead to a more positive outcome for everyone.