Everybody knows there are a few hot-button topics that have the power to make even the tamest dinner conversation go nuclear: Religion, health, death and politics. However, it is money that is perhaps the most difficult topic of them all. Even though money is the leading cause of stress in our relationships we all have queries, questions, needs and concerns about money that go unanswered as we don’t feel comfortable discussing them.
In fact, studies show that more than half of the consumer population find discussing money the most difficult conversation to have. The fundamental truth is that people would rather do just about anything than speak openly and honestly about their finances – even with their partner, spouse, their family or close friends. However, there are repercussions of not talking about money that can be very severe – often with a negative impact on our health, wealth and happiness. We are often unaware of basic financial strategies, benefits and insights all because we’re embarrassed to talk about them – missing motives and understandings that can change our lives and our bank accounts.
It is important for us to try address and solve our concerns about money in a sincere and honest way. To bring money to the forefront of our minds and off the hot-button topics list. We often keep our mouths shut about money because we feel alone, embarrassed or scared -but if we are aware that virtually everyone else we see is thinking and feeling the same thing perhaps we would not be so reticent. Research is clear that good things will come from being more open about our finances.
But how do we start to build a better relationship with our finances?
Debtline is here to help by posing to each of us tough ‘would you rather’ questions to help us get to the heart of why we avoid talking about money and the specific areas where we feel financial uneasiness. Everyone has a different relationship with money, and different issues that they face, whether its student loan debt or credit cards – so our contributing factors of financial stress may differ but the biggest money issue we face is – avoidance. We need to stop avoiding and start talking. Exposing our culture of money avoidance is the first step to eliminating our problems. By promoting these types of conversation, we can help each other engage and find solutions to whatever financial challenge we might face – because the truth is everyone has them.
What would you rather do than talk about money?