For many people, the subject of money carries a certain stigma in social settings, especially when discussing income, retirement savings, or other personal financial details.
Although there are good intentions behind avoiding the topic, not talking about money may put people at a disadvantage when it comes to financial wellness. Would you restrict yourself from talking about other important topics, such as education, insurance, or the home buying process?
By being open to conversations about money, you can put yourself in a position to be even better informed about financial matters and share those skills with your friends, family, and even your kids.
Here are five reasons why it’s important to talk about money.
1. You can learn helpful budgeting tools and tricks from your community.
A financial advisor can offer a lot of tips to help you set a budget and manage your finances. But it’s also worth talking with friends and family about how they manage their finances and establish budgets. What mobile apps and other tools do they use? Do they use online budget calculators or other methods of balancing income and expenses?
Find out how your friends manage their money, including whether they work with a financial advisor, their strategies for paying off debt, and other money matters. You may not agree with their strategies or want to adopt them for yourself, but it will help you be more educated about financial matters—and sharing your ideas will benefit them, too.
2. You can find out whether you’re being underpaid for your work.
Talking about income remains somewhat of a social taboo, but movements are underway to change that.
Having respectful, candid discussions about income benefits everyone: It lets you know where you stand relative to other working professionals and can encourage you to ask for a raise. By talking about income—even if you aren’t comfortable referencing exact numbers—among friends, family, and even coworkers, you could gather the evidence you need to make a strong case for higher pay or to seek out a different job.
3. You can hold your spouse, friends, and family members accountable (and vice versa).
Sticking to a budget and other financial plans isn’t always easy. But hiding purchases and spending habits is an even greater risk. That’s why it’s important to have frank conversations about money with close friends and family members, and especially your spouse.
Consider setting up mobile apps and online profiles so you and your spouse have equal access to financial statements, account balances, budgeting tools, and other financial resources. If you need help sticking to a tough financial plan, enlist the help of friends and family who can check in with you, keep you accountable, and celebrate your wins as you make progress toward your goals.
4. You can dispel some of the stigma that comes with talking about money.
It might be uncomfortable to talk about money, but it is a subject that everyone has to deal with, no matter where they stand financially.
Candid conversations ensure a free flow of information and conversation that almost always benefits the people involved. The more you talk about money, the more you can open doors for others to do the same.
5. You can help your kids develop strong financial literacy.
The best way for parents to educate children about financial literacy is by modeling healthy, smart behaviors and being open.
Involve kids in conversations about money so that they develop confidence and literacy in this subject matter. Welcome them to the table when talking about budgets, and introduce them to money basics, such as saving up for a wishlist item. If you show that you’re comfortable talking about money, they are more likely to absorb that wisdom and confidence and enter adulthood prepared to manage their finances independently.
Not everyone will be comfortable talking about money, of course. But if you are open about finances and money matters, you can help relax people’s hesitations over time and allow them to benefit from this two-sided exchange of information.
If you have financial questions and would prefer to speak with an advisor, we can help. Get in touch with our team here.