Money is a significant source of stress.
More than half of Americans feel embarrassed talking to others about their finances, according to new research done by Questis. But not talking about it doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there.
A survey of 2,000 adults examined their relationship with money and found that 56% believe talking about finances with others is considered “taboo.” 81% of people are not sure why money talk may be “taboo”.
Only half of the of respondents were likely to discuss finances with their spouses. Sixty percent of respondents reported having woken up in the middle of the night thinking about their finances.
Respondents also said they would rather watch a scary movie (30%), speak in front of a large audience (27%) or sit in two hours of traffic (28%) than think about their financial issues.
These financial worries affect other areas of our lives and relationships.
Still, 66% admitted they only learned what they know about finances by making mistakes first.
Having financial conversations are necessary
Talking about money has many benefits. Bringing concerns into the open reduces the anxiety associated with financial stress. Good communication improves relationships.
Couples can reduce arguments around money by sharing their money histories with their partner–what they each learned from their families about money growing up. Understanding your partner’s background and beliefs about money builds empathy, which also tends to improve relationships.
When having these conversations, stay curious and avoid being judgmental. Most money beliefs have deep roots and sometimes we aren’t even aware of them until someone sparks a reaction.
“Having open and non-judgmental financial conversations can make such a difference for people because everyone does money differently.” – Dr. Martha Menard, head of financial coaching at Questis.
Talk to someone you trust
Not having money conversations means that we are doomed to learn lessons the hard way. It is costly not only from a financial perspective. Your time is a finite resource. Anxiety about finances consumes a lot of your time, energy and attention in a way that reduces the quality of your overall well-being.
Having conversations with someone that you trust will free up your headspace to redirect your energy to other areas of your life that need your attention. Awareness and clarity of mind will ensure that you bring intention to your money decisions.
Facilitating these conversations require a different skill-and mindset. A trusted advisor, as your objective “thinking partner”, can guide you on your life journey.
When enacted skilfully, this results in clarity, peace of mind, clear objectives with well-articulated plans that are feasible and that you can commit to.
The alternative (fully costed for your money, time, and attention) is way more costly.
This is one instance where we don’t have to learn through our own mistakes.
It truly costs too much.
The above article was written and adapted by Marius Kilian.
*“Talk Money to Me: How to Have Conversations That Will Improve Your Relationships”, questis.co, 14 Oct 2022