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When it comes to money many of us are a closed book. We either make vague statements, change the subject or suggest that things are actually better or worse than they are. However, we are quite happy to show off our new TV, new car or new phone but won’t disclose the contents of our latest paycheck. So why don’t we talk about money?
Society wants us to believe that wanting money is a bad thing. If you want money you are greedy, selfish and obsessed. Therefore, we naturally shy away from disclosing our financial successes for fear of people believing that it is all we care about. Alternatively, we may worry that our own success stories may make others feel bad. As though your success may diminish their successes or even emphasise their shortcomings.
Even worse is when we suffer a financial setback or make a mistake. Failing to discuss this with someone or seek help can mean that we assume the burden ourselves. Maybe we will never find a way to fix it. You might get lucky and figure it out yourself. What if you don’t?
Is managing such an important part of our lives privately the best way to ensure that it goes well? When drawing parallels with other areas of our lives such as health and fitness, you can see that many people make huge weight losses when they join Slimming World. Or are more likely to attend a gym class if they go with a friend. Support and discussion can make a significant difference when it comes to meeting our goals. The same is true of our finances.
I am a believer in being honest about your money. You don’t have to tell everybody but at least tell someone. The best person to start with is your partner. Make sure that you are aware of each other’s finances and discuss your financial goals. Make short term plans. Medium term plans. Long term plans. And review them regularly. My husband and I talk about money everyday. We tell each other what we have coming in, what is going out, what we would like to spend it on, whether we need to adjust our savings goals and where we can cut costs. Every day!
Once you are having that conversation with your partner, you can branch out and talk to a friend. I have a couple of good friends who help motivate me with money. We share our successes and failures regularly. We know each others goals and we question our decisions. External eyes on your finances can find new ways to save and make money. It can be easy to overlook that TV subscription as a necessity but when someone who doesn’t have it looks at it, they will question your view on this.
Sharing your financial wins with your friends means that there are more people to help you celebrate. A few more people saying “well done” will help keep you motivated. You’ll want to meet your next goal and these friends will help you get there.
And you’ll support them too. They may reach their goals before you meet yours. But don’t get jealous! Learn from them! When someone loses weight, the first question most people ask is “how did you do it?” Do the same with money! If they saved £500 last month, ask “how did you do it?” They may have an excellent idea that will help you do the same. Knowledge is power!
Personally I talk about money all the time. But that is because I like it. However, there is a lot to be gained from doing so. I enjoy sharing tips and ideas on money making ventures or the best bank accounts or debt free strategies. If people are listening then perhaps you are helping them. Even if you just make them question whether there is a different way. Or maybe they will share their own bit of advice and you’ll walk away with something else to try out. If you aren’t talking about it then you’ll never know.
Money isn’t taught in schools much. As a high school maths teacher, I can say this fairly confidently. But everybody has money at some point in our lives and we all get a choice about what to do with it. As with all aspects of our lives, there are good and bad choices, but without information we cannot make an informed choice. Talking about it is the answer.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.
Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.
I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.