Why talking about money is important?

November 8, 2021

“How much do you earn?”, “How much does your house cost?”, “How much did you pay for those shoes?”

A lot of the time, these are the types of questions that make people cringe (and even judge the person asking!)

In the UK, whilst many people see money as a key indicator of success (used a symbol of status), they struggle to talk openly about money itself.

According to studies, nearly 50% of people have said that they feel embarrassed to talk about their personal finances with family or friends.

In the recent years, the conversation around mental health has become an important topic (we still have a long way to go, but it is a great start) yet talking about finances is still largely frowned upon.

Why don’t people like talking about money?

Over years, we have been conditioned by our environment and people around us that it is ‘crude and inappropriate’. Perhaps your parents never spoke about money in front of you, or your employer has told you to never discuss your salary with your co-workers.

For many, money conversations may have led to arguments between partners or awkwardness between friends and it becomes something they never want to revisit!

And on top of all of that, whether we like it or not – money is emotional. We attach our sense of self-worth to our money – having debt or a low salary can make people feel embarrassed and ashamed.

It is apparent that it works in both directions too, as there are many people (you have probably met a few of them) who have a high net-worth and for some reason choose to act superior to you… they are not!

Why is it important?

When we talk about money,  it  helps protect our mental wellbeing. Around a third of UK adults have felt stress or anxiety around money and by not talking about it, these feelings are kept bottled up and un-dealt with, usually leading to worse financial situations and mental health issues.

Talking to a partner, friend, family member or even a professional can be invaluable – it shares the responsibility and helps you work through any issues you are facing with support.

The words we use have a huge impact on our behaviour and actions – if we say to ourselves constantly, we are ‘bad with money’, our brains will try to find evidence to support this narrative, reinforcing this idea. The best way to break this cycle is to become aware of how we feel and talk about money – when we replace negative language with positive alternatives, we can create changes that help us feel more confident in our ability to manage our money.

How to start to talk about money?

Having a conversation about money requires honesty and active listening. All judgements need to be left at the door. We need to hold space for each other so that everyone involved in the conversation feels safe and supported.

People can find it hard to discuss your financial situation or worries with a partner, especially if in the fear of judgement but it is important to have these conversations. You can try to tackle topics such as your money goals and money fears, and the feelings you have towards money and ways you can support each other. Essentially – the more we talk about money, the better our lives will be. Our mental and financial health will improve, our relationships are strengthened, and our confidence grows.

Blog by Laura Moore. Check out more of her blogs at https://www.lauraannmoore.co.uk/