"Talking" About Money

I’ve had some profound and extremely worthwhile discussions with many clients who’ve openly pondered in conversation with me: ‘Why don’t we (people in general) talk about money?’ This is a question worthy of much thought. And no, I’m not referring to discussions of how to pick stocks, or how much a vacation or home costs, or other general talk about money. I’m talking about the nitty gritty stuff - like how much debt we actually owe, whether we’re living beyond our means, whether we’re worried about having enough money when we retire, etc. All those concerns that drive us every day in our pursuit of money.

My aim and goal is to help open up the discussion in a real way with our loved ones and with those who have never known wealth. Money is the second - if not the first - most important area of our lives. It occupies a HUGE portion of our minds and attentions, but it is something that very few of us talk about meaningfully with those closest to us.

The topic of money - our own personal money - holds a great deal of power.  In discussing why money is rarely talked about in a real way in our society, I’ve stated that I think most of us handle money in the same way that we handle death - by secretly hiding from and avoiding the subject. Money issues are rarely confronted openly (just like the subject of death) and that is how it cripples us.

The things that scare us the most (like going broke or being/becoming poor) continue to eat away at us because we don’t talk to our spouses, partners, children, etc. and tell them what our financial situations, attitudes, and prospects are. While dating, and before getting married, my husband and I thoroughly discussed our individual (and collective) finances - and we still do. And this leads to peace around the subject of money (among other things).

I’ve had clients who told me they couldn’t discuss money with their spouses or their parents. And this is sad, because it is the #1 or #2 biggest concern that all mature adults have. If we can’t talk to those we love the most and are closest to about money, then who can we talk to? Those in this situation, who finally do decide to deal constructively with their money issues and troublesome approaches, sometimes can only turn to outside sources - such as a financial professional - for help in both areas. Often, financial professionals become the listening ear that’s not available or offered from loved ones.

As difficult as it may be, we can change the dynamics and the pathology of money talk avoidance that is prevalent in our society. Trying to open up the conversation is the first step towards what I call ‘money freedom.’ It doesn’t mean that earning, keeping, and handling money won’t still be a challenge. It’s just that the shroud of secrecy and darkness around the subject can begin to be removed. And in turn, we’ll gain more personal and social freedom to deal with one of the most important topics in life.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of money and how it’s handled socially.

#money #socialdiscussions #socialattitudes