Believe me, I get it. In today’s world, unless you’re trying to “get the bag”, talking about money means you’re shallow, stuck up. It means you have your priorities mixed up and should be focusing on more important things.
But how many things are more important than money?
And by the way, don’t sit back and act like your current conversations are so enlightening and wholesome. In America, we glaze right past “how are you” and usually end up asking what the other person does for a living shortly thereafter. What a noble topic of conversation.
There’s no way we’re trying to get a ballpark figure of what that person makes, right? Riiight.
Let’s face it – money’s a sensitive topic because it’s a status symbol. Everyone wants to make more money, but society’s norms force us into bad habits. Making money is a skill, not a birthright or a stroke of luck. So ask yourself this question: how do you get better at something when you don’t practice it, learn about it, or even talk about it?
I’m not suggesting you start comparing checking accounts with your neighbors. What I am suggesting is that you make an effort to learn about money and share the knowledge that you do have.
You might just see the change in your life you’ve always (secretly) dreamed about.
4 Reasons Why You Need to Talk About Money:
Reinforce key insights you’ve learned
I remember being “anti-establishment” when I was a teenager, I thought it would be cool to make “just enough” money and not play the game everyone else was playing.
And then I grew up (debt makes you do that sometimes).
I stopped brushing aside the great financial advice I had gotten over the years and started to implement the lessons in my daily life. I also spoke with my close friends and relatives about what I was learning. Guess what happened? I learned even more.
Best of all? I started to become wealthier.
Telling another person about what you’ve learned is the best way to reinforce your own learning because you:
- Use repetition to help commit it to memory
- Need to understand some nuances of the topic to help your listener understand
- Can get new information or a new perspective from the other person
There’s plenty of money out there to go around, so don’t hoard all the good info for yourself!
Set expectations with your significant other
One of the most overlooked aspects of romantic relationships is talking about finances. If you’re making long-term plans with your significant other, just remember that your finances will be just as wrapped up in them as your emotions are.
Don’t give me that look – I know it’s awkward. Nothing says romance like asking about your partner’s debt balances and saving habits, right? But on the other hand, what if the topic never comes up? Wouldn’t you like to know that your partner has $200k in student loans, $35k in credit card debt and a penchant for stress shopping before you tie the knot?
In a 2017 survey, 59 percent of divorcees said finances played a role in the breakup. I’m no love doctor, but if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you need to communicate openly. Given how important money is for essentially everything, do I really need to explain why you need to talk about money?
Don’t do it on a first date. Maybe wait until you’re like 6-10 months in, at a real nice Italian restaurant. If the conversation gets ugly, at least you’re getting to the root of the problem early on.
Teach your children valuable lessons
Think back to your childhood education. What did you learn about personal finance? If the answer is “not much”, welcome to the club.
Regardless of what’s taught in schools, it’s vital that our children grow up knowing how to handle their finances. If they don’t have a firm grip on that, they’ll be taken advantage of. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your children about personal finance to the best of your ability.
On second thought… if you’re part of the half of the American population that can’t explain what interest is, you should probably focus on your own learning before bestowing your knowledge on your next of kin. Seriously.
Teaching children about money:
- Helps them understand its value
- Reinforces responsible spending habits
- Introduces the concept of investing and its benefits
Most importantly, it can be fun! There are tons of children’s books that can help you out with this.
If you won’t teach your children about personal finance, who will?
Help your friends take the journey with you
It’s fun to think about a future with more money. You can buy better houses, nicer vacations, etc. You know what a potential downside is? Having friends who can’t keep up.
Now I don’t know this from experience (too broke at the moment), but I’m pretty sure this is a thing. If you’re much richer than your friends and your friends can’t afford to do what you want to do, you’ll need to make new friends. Or you can be rich and lonely like Jay Gatsby. Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound so bad…
Talking about money with your friends will help you stay in touch and share information that can help you all build wealth together. I mean, you do want to see your friends succeed, don’t you?
If a friend doesn’t want to broach the topic, don’t be pushy. You can find someone else who’ll have the conversation with you.
Are you up for it?
It isn’t easy breaking social norms, but this one is worth it. At least it has been for me. So who will you talk to about money next? Is anyone or anything holding you back?
Want to talk about it?
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Josh Ramos
Josh attended Wake Forest University and paid a fortune for it. Since then, he’s realized the obstacles that Americans face in moving up on the ladder of wealth. By founding Home at 30, he wants to help students learn the skills necessary for taking the next step on their journey to building wealth.