The Last Taboo

Why It’s Time to Talk About Money

In part, taboos are social and religions customs that forbid discussion of a particular practice. But as societies evolve taboos need to be broken for proper knowledge and wisdom to flourish. These days people seem more willing than ever to share personal details. The internet and social media make it easy to broadcast our lives to friends, family and even strangers. But one topic remains firmly taboo: money.

Modesty is one thing but whether it’s how much you make or what you paid for your car, cash to be a conversation stopper. We are taught early on that it isn’t polite to talk about money – and, if you’re not so comfortable with your own financial situation, discussing it might even feel embarrassing.

But, I firmly believe we need to break the taboo. Just like talking about sex with children can have lasting benefits for society, in the right context and with the right people, conversations about finances can have valuable benefits. They can even by empowering – for example, understanding how others manage their finances can help you make better choices or avoid mistakes. And knowing that others face similar monetary challenges can help you realize you are not alone with where you stand financially.

Consider all you could learn through an honest conversation about money. Perhaps a family member’s success is paying off a mortgage could inspire you to put a debt-reducing strategy in place. Or you might even strike up a conversation about retirement savings – how much are your close friends setting aside every month?

While it’s important to talk about money, it’s not always easy to do. Here are a few ways to get the conversation started and begin to break the taboo:

With your spouse – Open up about your personal histories with money, from how your parents handled it to your first experiences. What are your goals and how can you plan together to meet them?

With your kids – Your children don’t need to know how much you earn, but you can talk to them about wants versus needs and the elements of a budget.

With your family – Introduce new traditions like setting limits around gift giving for birthdays and holidays, or chipping in for something the family wants to enjoy together.

With your friends – Don’t be afraid to let your friends know if something doesn’t fit your budget. Suggest cheaper (or even free) options for getting together that won’t break the bank.

With your advisor – A great person to open up to about money – hopefully that’s me. I can help you understand the different aspects of your finances and work with you to put together a plan for success. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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