And I mean that title, amongst friendships.
I see new blogposts, news articles and pinterest content about financial topics all the time and to be honest, I read every single one of them. Which is why the topic of this post I am writing bothers me so much I think. Maybe it is just my own experiences, or maybe everyone can relate but why are we still not talking about money and finances with our friends?
I mean, really talk.
Yes we make the everyday 'I just want to win the lottery' or 'I can't wait for payday' statements and we kinda have an idea (by guessing, mostly) of our friends' financial situations but why aren't we open about it? I read an article the other day stating that people are 7 times more likely to tell a stranger all about their sex life than discuss how much they earn.
It frustrates me every time that whilst I am an open book to people when it comes to how much I earn, how much I spend, how much I save etc and they are picking my brain about it - as soon as I turn the questions to them, the conversation ends pretty quickly.
I notice it more with people that I know have it good, or okay at least. They don't seem to want to give anything away but will agree with me when I mention running out of money for the month. Although when I say I can't spend my last money on cocktails and they say they feel the same way, I always questions if it is really true, or are they just trying to relate to me? To make me feel better? Do they really have ''no money''? All the new purchases and dinners out say otherwise.
So what is it then?
Is it the emotions that take part in the discussion?
Maybe people who struggle with money have nothing to lose anyway - and the ones who do don't want to make the others feel bad, or justify how they got it. Because let's face it, people are way more interested or shall I say curious in finding out how someone got to the stage where they are when it is a very positive stage. So maybe it is the fear of being judged or having to justify the streams of income? I always thought it would be the other way around - that the person with little to no money would feel more shame for some reason, but I guess no one is curious about an empty bank account, they won't ask further anyway.
Another reason could be that it all becomes too real for some people and they feel pressured that they might not be doing as well as the other person.
It might be a wake up call that everyone wants to snooze and ignore but staying in the dark isn't going to help anyone.
'It shouldn't all be this big secret'
It is time to stop this old fashioned way of thinking
Maybe I am the crazy one here but I think it is so old fashioned to make money such a taboo topic. Even family members for most people don't discuss personal finances beyond the point off ''I saw the steaks were on offer this week''. It has to change.
I did a poll on instagram to see how people would respond to this finance topic and to my surprise (or no surprise if I am really honest) many people consider asking someone a money-related question to be rude.
Is it actually that rude? Or is that just an old way of thinking printed in your brain by previous generations. If everyone started being more open and less secretive, would it still be considered rude?
We can actually learn A LOT from each other
Self-made success or self-made mistakes? It shouldn't matter if we are around our friends, we can all learn from each other and we should. If I could help someone save more money each month just by sharing my personal tips, why wouldn't I do it? Why is it that as soon as I ask someone a money-related question they brush it off when really we could all use a little help and insight from time to time.
Yes Google offers loads of sources where you can find finance related articles, but if we are all searching for the same answers a.k.a paying off debt, rent average in the city, how much to set aside for bills, best credit card deals then wouldn't we find the answers quicker if we were discussing our findings together?
For those of you who think money should stay a taboo topic, have you considered how much you can learn from the people around you? Not just friends but colleagues who have a similar stream of income as you and probably live in the same city - someone with a similar situation can share a lot about how they handle their finances in order to help you manage yours better, even if you think you already know enough.
Think about the following topics, and how much it could help to talk openly about this;
- How much you should be paying in rent,
- If you should negatiate a better salary and how
- How to set your rates if you are a freelancer
- How much to save a month and which accounts to use
- Any bills and expenses and if they are too high.
- ETC. The list goes on.
Does that not outweigh all the other thoughts you might have on why we shouldn't talk about this more?
My personal opinion has most likely been made clear throughout this whole post - so I would love to know your thoughts and opinions on this topic! Let's discuss in the comments below - should we be more open about money and finances?
Love, M x