You’re sitting at happy hour and then all of sudden that one friend brings up a conversation that has to do with money. All of a sudden you start fidgeting, sweating and feeling completely awkward. But why do so many people feel this way when it comes to discussing personal finances with friends?
We literally discuss every taboo subject in the world with our friends. Whether it’s someone going through a divorce, rumors of infidelity, your kids driving you crazy, how much you can’t stand your spouse, etc. We’re even more than happy to discuss other people’s finances.
So why is money that much different when it comes to our own situation? Is it because that’s how we measure ourselves against our friends and we’d rather not know if we are “losing.” Maybe it’s because we don’t know how the other person will take it if we bring it up in conversation.
Certainly, one thing that steers people away from talking about money is when they’re in the presence of those friends who flaunt they have a lot of it regardless of whether it’s actually true. Maybe they are the ones who make it awkward for everyone else when it’s brought up.
Whatever the reason, why should it be different than any other conversation? With friends, almost anything is up for conversation. We love having dialogue, being open and getting advice from them on just about any other issue, so again, why shouldn’t personal finances be the same?
I feel most of us are capable and willing to talk about it. However, I just don’t think we are sure how to approach it. I believe it should be something you can openly discuss to those close to you because you never know what you’ll learn.
Maybe they have some great ideas or apps they use that could make your financial life better. Maybe they have a completely different mindset and have totally different ideas that you’ve never thought of before. Maybe they have an amazing Financial Planner they work with who could be a huge benefit to you (had to throw this one in there).
Not only could you learn something you’ve never thought of before, but maybe you were already thinking about doing something in which one of your friends already has experience with it. I totally feel open communication with friends and family will only help us to become better stewards of our money.
How are we going to learn from others if we never talk about it? How are we going to learn what’s worked for them if we never talk about it? How are we going to learn what didn’t work them if we never talk about it?
You will certainly want to do some prepping with your friends before jumping into the conversation. Some may still be uncomfortable, but simply preface it with the questions I have already presented here today. Get your friends to begin asking the question, “Why haven’t we talked about this before?” I think most of them will feel that it could certainly be a learning experience.
Discussing personal finances with friends isn’t taboo unless we make it feel that way. Get out of your comfort zone and have a meaningful money conversation with a friend soon. You never know what you’ll learn.