What if talking about money was as natural as talking about boys? We talk about our periods, sex, love handles, our jobs”yet for some reason, the one thing that actually allows us to live and function in this world, we never talk about. I’ve been told it’s rude to talk about money. I’m fairly certain not too long ago it was also rude to talk about what happens between the sheets and abnormal bodily functions; yet our convos (at least mine) frequently go into rude territory.
When I was backpacking across Southeast Asia, everyone talked about money. It was literally a budgeting pow-wow every morning at breakfast. I have just over a grand left in my travel budget, and I can live off of $20/a day in Koh Phi Phi, which means I can travel for x more days and still be able to afford my flight home. That. Easy. No one felt ashamed about how much they had in their bank account, nor did anyone feel awkward to share with strangers. Why? Because making and spending money is human nature. And we all learned about budgeting and proper wages from one another when we discussed it.
Here’s why we need to talk about it:
- You’re held accountable.
We frequently latch onto a workout partner to track our goals and successes, and to also be a lifeline when we really want to grab a cookie instead of an apple. So why don’t we have a budgeting partner, or a money group, as Oprah has openly discussed to being a great solution for those who enjoy spending more than saving? When you have someone to talk to about money, whether it be an individual or a few people, you’re held accountable for what you say you’ll do. If you’re still not convinced, read The Smart Cookies’ Guide to Making More Dough, and you’ll see firsthand how much you can benefit.
- Other people are aware of your goals.
Whether your goals are saving for real estate or even just a larger purchase like a DSLR or a new laptop, it’s important to set them. And when you set them, you’ll be that much closer to achieving them. If you let your partner or best friend know your goals, they’ll help motivate you to focus and achieve them.
- It will help you at work.
There’s been a lot of discussion lately on the gender pay gap, which brings up many other questions like fair pay”regardless of gender. If you talk about your salary with your coworkers (and your friends), you’re more likely to know and understand how much you’re worth and how much your industry pays. It also allows for more factual information on industry standards when you’re negotiating a new or existing contract.
- It will help your relationship.
Whether you’ve just started a new relationship or are months away from walking down the aisle, you need to talk about money with your partner (if you don’t already). Not only will it help you develop a stronger relationship, it will create a healthy financial relationship to prepare your lives together.
So go ahead, start a conversation about money. Because charging that dress you can’t afford is just as bad”if not worse”as eating the last cookie.