Sharing our financial challenges and insecurities can bring relief and ideas on how to take control of our financial futures.
Many of us were taught as children and young adults not to talk about money. “It’s vulgar,” our parents would say, or “That’s rude to ask someone what they make or how much their house costs.” Instead we ruminate in private about these things, slyly looking up our friends’ houses on Zillow to know how much they paid or visiting Payscale or GlassDoor to guess at how much we should ask for during a compensation conversation.
While the internet and information economy has brought transparency about many things, we still harbor a shame and distaste for talking about money. A 2015 Study commissioned by Fidelity Investments cited “eight in ten women confess they have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to” and “only 47% of women say they would be confident discussing money and investing with a financial professional on their own”.
“Eight in ten women confess they have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to.” — Fidelity Money FIT Women Study 2015
We can break the “money taboo” together. Although the Fidelity study cited that women are “most inclined to speak with friends about shopping tips (65%), parenting issues (46%), issues at work (44%) and health issues (43%) than investment ideas (17%) and spending habits (25%), we can break down these barriers by taking the first step ourselves.
My business partner and I finally shared our whole financial situations before we entered this next stage in our careers. It was a relief to share my financial insecurities with someone else who would listen and counsel
me. How did we start? We both agreed to reveal our salaries at our current jobs and how much we had in savings as we took the pivot into our next roles.
“It was a relief to share my financial insecurities with someone else who would listen and counsel me.”
How can you start taking control of your financial future and become more comfortable talking about money? Ask a close friend if she or he is willing to be your financial accountability partner. You should agree that you both will share your salaries, budgets, debts and savings rates with one another. You should also agree that the sharing will be a “judgement-free” zone and you are open to suggestions and ideas on how to improve. Get access to Fairlight’s “Money Talks Tips” here to prepare for this conversation.