Talking Money Matters – Why are we Shy to say how Much we Earn
When it comes to talking money matters many people shy away from the subject. It seems to me that people are more willing to talk about sex and politics than discuss how much they earn.
So why should Talking Money Matters carry more stigma than politics and sex? Why is it that when we talk about how much money we earn or save we speak in percentages rather than hard crunching numbers?
Is It Really Tacky to Talk About Money Matters?
Recently I was witness and participant to some colorful conversation between friends. To start off with the conversation was headed towards our future plans. What we would like to do when we have saved enough to reach our next goals and dreams.
The more we got engrossed in this conversation, the more real numbers were surfacing. It was at this point that some were getting annoyed and were outright disgusted at where this conversation was heading. It was clear that talking numbers is considered vulgar amongst many people.
Does Talking About Money Have to be Secretive?
In a survey conducted by the University College of London and documented by The Independent – it is revealed that British people are more likely to reveal bedroom secrets than the size of income! In America, 70% of Americans think that it is downright rude to talk about money.
So where does this stigma of Talking Money Matters Stem From?
Did you know that talking money matters is also taboo amongst married couples or life partners? It is a fact that most spouses have no real idea how much their respective “other half” really earns. It is also a fact that few know the extent of savings or debt that they have as a family unit.
One of the major reasons why we hate to talk about money is that our success or lack of it is judged by how much money we earn. Another reason is that people use your level of income as a “measure” of their own success or lack of it! Judgment, Jealousy, Envy, Ambition. These are all the vices that immediately surface to mind when we talk money matters.
Why is it shocking for most men to admit that their wives or partners are the larger income earners? What is it about money that hurts the ego so badly that it is a major reason for relationship breakdown?
Why is there a psychological breakdown in many men that end up resenting women who earn more?
The reasons are plenty on all counts. It is not the scope of this article to delve into the complexities of ethics.
The point of this article today is to discuss the importance of talking money matters for an improved lifestyle.
Why is Talking Money Matters Important for an Improved Lifestyle?
Considering that the purpose of Set Me Free Financially has been to help readers become financially liberated, it is of little surprise that we talk about this delicate subject.
What is financial liberation? – Why Talking Money Matters, Matters!
I have always been very clear that financial liberation is not only gained by how much money you earn! Financial liberation is gained when you have a balance of earning money and living a good lifestyle. This includes having time to do the things you love and also having a secure future.
Financial liberation is gained by talking money matters. It is gained by planning money matters. You will only be set financially free when you are free of debt and stress about how to cope tomorrow!
So yes, if talking money matters will drive us to financial freedom, I see no reason why we should not discuss it.
Here are a few reasons why talking money matters can improve your life.
#1 Are you properly paid for the job you are doing?
Unless you talk money matters with colleagues and friends you will never know whether you are paid right for your job. Shocking as it may be, the stress and stigma of discussing our paycheck could be well worth the effort if you find out that you are not fairly paid. Knowledge is a great weapon in negotiating your next raise or discussing salary when applying for a new job.
#2 Are you living within your means?
Possibly one of the reasons why talking money matters is taboo is that we could be living beyond our means. If “keeping up with the Joneses” is going to mean that we over-stretch ourselves financially, we should take stock of our lives and re-scale it.
The manner in which we live, the mortgages we take out or the rents we pay are directly proportional to our disposable income. If we are living on a shoe-string budget we cannot entertain the idea of living in first tier suburbia. We need to acknowledge what it is that we can comfortably afford. Then we need to live a life that is relevant to our income. That is part of the psychology of financial freedom.
#3 Planning our Future
Unless we openly talk money matters with our spouses and the family, we will never be equipped to plan our future properly. Planning for retirement, ought to be a major subject of discussion. It is never early enough to plan for our eventual retirement.
Retirement may seem far out in the future for many people reading this post. However, planning education for your children could be right around the corner. Therefore planning on how much we can save, is just another offshoot of the conversation about money matters.
If we fail to acknowledge that talking money matters is of absolute importance, we will never improve our financial situation.
Many fail to improve their financial situations because they do not even realize that they have a dangerous crisis looming around the corner. Others hate to admit their mistakes and talking money matters only helps to make them become real.
Why Talking Money Matters Will Set You Free Financially
If grasping the real situation of your financial status is going to be the result of this post, then I will have reached my target for the day! Understanding the reality of your financial situation and that of your family is an absolute MUST!
If this article today will give you enough insight to sit yourself down, and go over your pending credit card bills, your outstanding mortgage and back payments on any loans, overdue rents etc., you will be on your way to avoiding financial disaster.
Communication and talking money matters with your spouse, partner or family is the only way by which you can live a happier life. It is the only honest way by which you can plan a future. It will avoid falling into stress over money. Financial secrets have exactly the opposite effect. Financial stress is one of the biggest contributors of relationship breakdowns.
Stick to A Budget and Talking Money Matters – Conclusion
If talking money matters is going to put us in a path of sticking to a budget, then it may be worth the embarrassment. It is just like being part of any AA meeting. Owning up to your real life and doing away with financial secrets if the only way by which you can head to a liberating financial future.
Discussing the reality of your income status with your partner or family will lift a burden. If acknowledging that the burden is too heavy for the present family needs is going to help shift the weight, it is definitely worth the effort.
More often than not when someone acknowledges a financial burden, help is usually round the corner and the weight is shared.
Having no financial secrets and having regular talks about money matters will definitely lead to less stress. It will lead to fewer fights and certainly fewer expectations.