Talking About Money – Why Don’t We Do It?

You may find it easy to talk to your friends and family about anything; illness, relationship problems, your plans for the future…so why do we balk at speaking about money? Some may even say it’s the last real taboo. How many times do you make assumptions about how your friends are doing money-wise? If your neighbour gets a new car, do you automatically assume that they’re doing well financially? Or perhaps they’ve downsized and you’re left wondering if they’ve got issues?

Making assumptions is easy to do but ultimately gets you nowhere. That friend you’ve got who always has something new to wear, gets her hair done regularly and likes to splash the cash on nights out may not be worth your jealousy. The only way to find this out is to know what she earns and how she manages her finances, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find out all the details.

We all like to put on a bit of a front and pretend everything is okay. This is a natural defence mechanism, so when something goes wrong, it can be difficult to bring down these barriers. However, this is exactly what you should be doing in a problem situation; without help and advice, sorting out money problems can be very difficult indeed.

Speaking to family about money is essential, especially older relatives, as they may have specific instructions to pass on to you in the event of their passing. Although it may seem morbid, sitting down with immediate relatives and discussing their wishes may well help you when the time comes, as being faced with the task of sorting out a loved-ones finances having previously known nothing about them can be confusing and stressful.

Talking to friends about finances may be slightly harder, especially if you feel that your reputation could be damaged if they knew about money problems you’re having. Although it can feel scary, being open about your finances could be a huge relief to them – they may be having the same issues and may welcome your support and input. You may find that your friends have some excellent advice for you, and that mate who always seemed to have the best of everything may even reveal their secret.

If you’re in a serious relationship, and especially if you’re living together, talking about money is very important. Working out who pays for what, where you both stand on debt and if you’ve got similar plans for the future from the get go can help you to avoid arguments in the future. Once you’ve broached the subject of who makes what, then future conversations about money should come a lot more easily.

Being more open about money in general can help you if you get in a pickle, or if you’re keen to understand something which has caused you some confusion in the past. Being confident to ask for help is important for many reasons, not least the speedy recovery of your finances if you get into difficulties.




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