Money can feel like a way of defining a person, a measure of self-worth. Here’s some reasons why it’s good to tackle stigma and talk about money.
Yes, it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Family dramas? No problem. Sex? Chat away. But given the way money can impact on our lifestyles, mental health and wellbeing, it’s time we were able to talk more candidly to our nearest and dearest about it. And we don’t mean, ‘aren’t cuppas in Costa getting pricey these days?’
But there’s a host of reasons why we should.
You might feel pressure to keep up with the Joneses
Your circle of friends may plan activities, holidays or days out that are beyond your budget. But if you aren’t honest, you might feel coerced into spending more than you can afford. Let them step into your shoes by speaking generally about your situation. At least then there will be an understanding and you can develop a supportive environment with your peers.
Circumstances can change
Perhaps you used to be more financially secure than you are now? Maybe you’ve helped your children get on to the property ladder or have cut your working hours to help care for your grandchildren. Your friends won’t know unless you tell them. And there’s always cheaper ways to enjoy each other’s company.
Your friends could be very money savvy
Finances can be a minefield. Getting to grips with investments, interest rates and equity is no mean feat. But sometimes your friends can be a great source of knowledge. Maybe they’ve been there, done that! Talking to people about best deals and tips for money saving can be hugely insightful.
Worried about a friend?
If you’re not convinced a pal’s spending ways tally up with her finances, it might be time to broach the subject. Yes, it’s awkward but no-one wants to see someone they care for spiralling into debt and stress. Try sharing any of your own experiences first, rather than preaching.
Be honest with your family about money
There might be expectations and presumptions made about how financially secure you are, in or approaching retirement. Family members may have been used to a certain lifestyle courtesy of the bank of mum and dad and perhaps that just can’t continue. If lump sums or regular handouts for your grown-up child’s rent just isn’t feasible anymore, you need to be able to tell them this.