Money is like sex. Nobody really wants to talk about it. Some people like to brag about it. If you asked them, everyone would prefer more. Everyone has their own way of doing it. We think we are okay at it. We don’t really want to bring it up. Our parents certainly didn’t talk about it. From time to time we hear whispers of a better way of doing it … of something a bit special; something that’s amazing. We’ve taken a sneaky look at a few books and websites but were just not really sure if it’s for us. It all seems a bit too complicated. It might be beyond our capabilities. Then there’s the awkward chat with our partner when we want to try something new – they’re so old fashioned. But we stop and imagine what trying that new thing might be like, and wow. We blush and smile at the thought.
The old saying is don’t talk about politics or religion.
Money is one of the most difficult things to discuss and yet one of the most empowering if you can talk about it, change an opinion and help someone to get it right. You have a real capacity to change your life both now and in the future if you can go against taboo and discuss your finances.
A lot of us grow up not talking about it. We reach a stage where we are all grown up and successful in our careers and our lives, yet we still don’t talk about money. Because money is a taboo subject, parents tended not to talk to their children about finances. This meant that a lot of people grew up without education around how to handle money and finances. Also, our generation has so much more wealth than our parents and grandparents dreamed about. Maybe your family was only getting by and just didn’t have the capacity to set a good example of saving and investing.
A 2014 survey from Wells Fargo Bank1 reports that people would rather talk about death than personal finances. And yet the same survey confirms that money is still one of the major stressors, with 39 percent reporting that money keeps them awake at night and they are more worried about their finances now than they were last year. Women are also less confident about their investments, with only 29 percent reporting that they feel confident about investing in today’s market.
Not dealing with money problems just leads to bigger money problems. Ultimately, the only solution is a difficult conversation. When we delay a difficult conversation we tend to believe that we are just prolonging or procrastinating. In actuality, we are damaging our present and delaying our future. Difficult conversations with people we love regarding money will require some delicacy and respect. Both sides need to acknowledge the discomfort of the subject. Not having the conversation will destroy your relationship in the long run.