6 Mins Reading Time
Why Is Talking About Money More Taboo Than Intimacy or Hidden Secrets?
When it comes to talking about money, it’s no big secret that most people would rather talk about bedroom play then money. We despise being defined by our wealth, or our lack thereof.
Money is cause of stress for many of us, and with 90% of American stressed out about money, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association, why would we want to discuss finances?
Many Americans do have trouble talking about money, but not all of them. The taboo subject of talking money has many different segments from how much you earn, what car you drive, how much your house is worth, to how expensive your clothes are and more. Unless these are all extravagant or seen above average, then we don’t like to talk about it. In other words, people are hesitant to talk about money, except for all the times when they aren’t.
When it comes to our finances, many of us avoid the conversation completely, change the subject, or put it off until another time. Many of us will lie to family or friends about finances to make everything seem “okay”. Money is a very emotive subject and there is still a real stigma around debt which prevents some people talking about their situation. There is a sense of failure and embarrassment that they aren’t doing as well as others. Not talking can seem the best short-term strategy, but is a negative coping mechanism. Avoidance is also a way of coping to keep anxiety at bay, but we cannot avoid our thoughts, therefore pushing back such thoughts may result in them appearing through symptoms such as difficulties with sleep. The Money Advice Service found that 63% of people said money worries were affecting the mental health of someone close to them. The taboo is further exacerbated when people turn a blind eye to their finances by not even opening their bills and bank statements. Some spouses are completely unaware of how much debt they have and can’t even estimate how much they owe.
So why does talking about money have to be so secretive?
We all have different money values. In fact, your perceptions about money were likely formed when you were young. And, since you were raised differently than your partner, you may even have polar opposite money values. For example, you may have been raised where money was hard to come by. This means you may be a penny pincher, a bargain hunter and watch your spending. Your partner on the other hand, may be prone to emotional spending and find it challenging to save money.
Regardless of your different relationships to money, it’s important for you and your significant other be open when it comes to talking about money. Without talking about money, it would be hard to realize that you need to improve your financial situation, and you’ll never do any better if you aren’t aware of it. Being in the dark with your finances isn’t helping anything. It could actually be holding you back if you’re just taking a random guess at everything and closing your eyes to the numbers.
Talking about money doesn’t have to be awkward. Feelings about money can be strong, but conversations about money, even difficult ones, don’t have to lead to arguments. Talking openly about money can help us take shared responsibility, strengthen our relationships, and protect our mental wellbeing.
If you and your significant other are both putting effort towards your financial goals, you can tackle them as a team and are much more likely to have a positive outcome.
Knowing your financial situation will help you keep a budget. Understanding your financial situation means you can create and keep a budget that works for you both.
Being aware of your finances may prevent everything from falling on one person. It’s not fair for one person to manage it all, and you could be in for a not-so-pleasant financial awakening if something were to happen to that person.
It’s been noted that 61% of people felt better when they did open up and talk about their money concerns. Having the confidence to manage money proficiently is empowering and will undoubtedly help support the financial wellbeing of you and those around you.
It’s important to be more open about money. Money is a topic that influences all of our lives, whether we want to believe it or not. Talking about money will help to take away its power, the stress and help your finances in many circumstances.