It seems strange in this day and age, when so many things are accepted as normal and people are more open about talking about a variety of topics than ever before, that the topic of money is still considered a taboo. In fact, people get very cagey when asked about money and quite defensive, as if whatever they answer is going to be wrong.
Why is it wrong to talk about money?
I think that part of the reason why people generally don’t talk about money, is the fact that it can come across as bragging, especially if you are more well off, or are doing particularly well with your finances. And nobody likes a show off, right? Talking about you have, or don’t have, can often make other people feel jealous, or envy. It can make people feel uncomfortable, or ashamed. No one wants to be made to feel like that. The other side of the coin here is that people worry that if they are doing particularly well, or have a lot of wealth, that they might be taken advantage of. People might start to ask for handouts, or help with their own money, which can cause a lot of frustration and awkwardness on both parties.
Another reason why people are reluctant to talk about money is lack of confidence in their own knowledge. Financial education is going to be taught in schools in the UK from September, finally, so hopefully the next generations are much more clued up about money from a young age. There are many, many adults who lack the basic understanding of money, and therefore lack confidence in talking about money, especially if they are struggling. Asking for help but unable to put into words why you are struggling, because of lack of knowledge, is the most difficult step. The world of finance is a slightly daunting and confusing, and it has been made to be like that! Financial institutions make a lot of money based on the assumption that people don’t know enough about money to make their own decisions. There are plenty of places online to learn about money and finances in general, to make you feel more confident about money.
Fear of being judged by others is also a very real concept about talking about money. People fear being judged, rightly or wrongly, for how they approach their own finances. You often learn about money from parents, or from friends, or the hard way through debt and back through the other side, and all of these are very personal pathways on the journey. You learn habits about money over time, and these may be positive habits or negative ones. One of the reasons why I started this blog was to help people become more secure with their own finances, and show that anyone can become confident with money and reach their dreams, no matter what the direction. We’re starting right at the beginning of our early retirement journey on the blog, which I hope will inspire people to do the same! I would never judge people for not being frugal, or being really frugal, because we’re all different and that is what makes us all unique. Everyone’s journey is going to be different, and exciting, and scary, but that’s the genius of the plan.
The only way to change the mindset about talking about money is to start talking about it! Not all of the time, but when you need to, whether it be asking a question, or offering advice, then please talk about it. The only way to change tradition is to go against the norm and do the opposite.
Do you talk about money? Why do you think it’s a difficult topic?
Guest posts wanted! If you are a personal finance blogger or simple living blogger, I’m looking for some guest posts for the months of August and September to help me out as I’ll be quite busy with a new baby. If you are interested, please send me an email!