We’ll talk to strangers about the weather and friends about sex, but when it comes to talking about money though it can sometimes feel like we’re the only one in the room, a lonely place with no one to talk to, not even those closest to us.
I consider my self fortunate to have never been in debt, apart from a business loan taken several years ago, but I know and have known people that are, and for them debt has been a lonely place where for one reason or another they have decided to keep their situation secret from family and friends.
If only they’d opened up sooner about their financial problems then maybe they would have found the help needed to improve their situation before matters snowballed out of control.
It’s not just people in debt that don’t talk about money either.
I’ve always wanted the freedoms that come with having money, though never really knew how to make my money work for me. I was always told, keep your head down, work hard and it will pay off, unfortunately, life can sometimes be unfair and it doesn’t always work out that way.
It was only I started to take inspiration from bloggers that were already doing it did my mindset change. It’s true that you aren’t talking to bloggers in the literal sense, but in this interactive age, blogs are a fantastic medium where you can learn, leave questions or comments, get advice, and join in groups from people across the globe.
With recent events, it is clear that being open about money can make us aware of financial inequality in the workplace too.
So why don’t we talk about money?
I’ve narrowed it down to three core reasons.
We might sometimes feel that our financial situation is our fault.
Maybe you’re in debt or just feel that the choices you’ve made have brought you to the situation you find yourself in.
Society tells us it’s not polite
We live in a society where the rich love to flaunt their wealth, big yachts, diamonds and expensive cars, but growing up our parents might have told us that money was a personal subject and shouldn’t be discussed in public, that is if they even spoke about money to us at all.
Fear of being judged
Like it or not we live in a judgmental society and for some, what others might think of them if they ever found out that they were in debt is even worse than the actual debt itself and for others, their self-worth might be based on how much they bring home every month and the idea that others earning more than them will look down on them is a very real fear.
So what are the benefits of being open about money:
1. Opening up is the first step in getting help
It sounds clichéd, but the first step in getting help with your finances is admitting that you need it, whether you’re in debt or seeking inspiration from those that just seem to have money flow to them, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
2. Opening up assists others in making informed decisions
There are still people out there that will stick with their utility companies out of loyalty, fear of change, distrust or their inability to use the necessary resources to be able to make beneficial financial decisions, by opening up to them about money you might actually be able to help them.
3. Opening up allows you to make better-informed decisions
Regardless of what you believe, there is always more to be learnt about money, whether that’s making more, saving, investing or retirement.
4. Opening up can be a source of inspiration to others
Before I first created this blog, I visited a number of other financial blogs where bloggers would report on their monthly income, I couldn’t understand why then it dawned on me.
Though some might consider it as bragging, for me they served as an inspiration that it was a possibility to make money online.
5. Opening up can be the foundation of a better financial education
I’m not a parent but growing up my Mum and my Nan rarely ever spoke to me about money.
If I wanted something I’d get it, I didn’t consider price or how hard my mum would have to work to put it under the tree at Christmas, I just expected it. You might say that I was spoilt.
I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have asked for half as much as I did if I knew the value of money back then.
It was only when I got older and saw how hard my Mum and Nan had to work to get what little they had done did it make me think about personal finance and so some extent goes some way to explain why I’m so cautious with my money today.
So what do you think?
Is money one of those subjects that just isn’t anyone elses’ business or should be be opening up more, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.