Open and honest communication can improve your life in many ways.
- A poll in April 2022 found that 56% of adults polled believe it is “taboo” to talk about money with others.
- Your friends can be a source of financial advice and cheerleaders.
- They can also be a sympathetic ear to financial mistakes and mishaps.
Talking openly about money can be uncomfortable or even scary, even now in 2022. A study of 2,000 adults conducted earlier this year by Questis and OnePoll found that 56% of respondents felt it was “taboo” to deal with talking to others about money. Additionally, 58% admitted to faking their money situation on social media to make them look more financially stable. Oops!
I’m a strong believer in open communication, and as I’ve become better at managing money and paying off debt this year, I’ve also become an advocate for talking about personal finances with the important people in your life, be they family or friends. Read on to learn why it pays to overcome your money woes and share your financial gains – and losses.
1. You can get free advice or advice!
If money is a subject you’re more comfortable with, you can ask a knowledgeable friend for money advice. A brief caveat here: Unless you’re lucky enough to be friends with financial professionals, it’s best to take all free financial advice with caution. Social media is full of people who have a free platform, so there’s some really terrible money advice out there. So if your friends are advising you to apply for a particular credit card or use a particular brokerage firm, it’s a good idea to do your own research first to see if that product really is for you. With this in mind, it is also an excellent idea to seek advice from a financial advisor.
That said, if you’re looking for a new credit card and know you’ll be making a majority of your grocery purchases, it’s a smart move to reach out to your circle of friends and see if anyone has a great recommendation for one Card that offers cashback for grocery expenses. It’s nice to get a real user’s opinion from someone you know and trust. If you’ve never invested before, you probably have a few questions about how 401(k)s and IRAs work, and your investing friend might be ready to give you a quick rundown.
Being more open about money may also make you the person that others turn to. I’ll give an example: A few months ago, a dear friend had problems with her banking situation and had to pay off a pile of accumulated overdraft fees. Knowing that I work with personal finance content, she asked me for information about personal loans and how to get one. I was happy to point them to useful resources. It feels good to help a friend.
2. You can find allies
Just as it’s important to have financially knowledgeable friends in your life, it can also be great to have a few money cheerleaders. As you get used to talking about money, you can share your financial gains and maybe get some encouragement to pursue your money dreams. Nobody wants to be bothered about money, but if you can honestly say to your friends that you want to spend less money on food or clothing, they might be willing to help you (or at least not actively work against you) with that goal. ). If you typically shop on an odd Saturday and then head out to lunch, you can all work together to find a more cost-effective alternative to spending time together. And unless you hang out exclusively with the rich, your friends would probably appreciate it too if you were encouraged to save at a time when inflation is so high and the cost of everyday living has skyrocketed.
3. You can vent in a safe environment
Again, unless all of your friends are wealthy (and sometimes even if they are!), chances are they’ve experienced money frustrations from time to time. When you apply for a credit card that you really wanted and are declined, or you have a car accident and need to raise your auto insurance deductible so you can get your car fixed, it’s nice to have people to let off steam with. Sometimes you’re having a bad financial day (or a week, or a month…) and a listening ear can make all the difference, even if that friend can’t concretely help you.
Let’s end the taboo of not talking about money. Talking openly and honestly with your friends about your financial situation can help you improve, help them improve, and can even strengthen your friendships. For all of these reasons and more, it can be really good for your finances.
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