The awkward conversation that you MUST have
How do you feel about talking about money?
Does it make you uncomfortable? Or maybe it's totally neutral?
Is it something you can only talk about with certain people?
Research shows that if you're like most people, you really don't like to talk about money, and you'd rather talk with friends about just about anything else.
The Financial Health Institute defines financial stress as: “A condition that is the result of financial and/or economic events that create anxiety, worry or a sense of scarcity, and is accompanied by a physiological stress response," and recent studies show that 65% of respondents see money as a significant source of stress, with 72% of Americans reporting that they felt stressed about money at least some time in the prior month.
So clearly our financial well-being is closely related to our emotional and overall well-being, but we simply don't want to talk about it. Isn't that interesting?
But here are some reasons that it's so critical to talk about money and build healthy financial habits that support you and your long term goals:
1. When you talk about money, you can learn helpful tips and strategies to manage money better. Some of us didn't grow up with a lot of money, so it's incredibly helpful to demystify it and learn about it from others.
2. Talking about money helps dispel some of the stigma that comes up around money conversations. Even when it's uncomfortable talking about money, it's something that everyone has to deal with. Talking about it can feel very freeing and can free others up as well.
3. You can be a role model for others, including your children, about financial literacy and money management. Teach those around you that money isn't something to be feared; it's simply a part of life and "adulting." It's also something you can learn about and "do" better the more you know.
4. It helps close and prevent wage gaps, including gender pay gaps. As Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, an investment platform geared towards women, said: “If women suffer from a gender pay gap, how do we close it without knowing that we have one, how much it is, how much we should be asking our boss for and what approaches worked for others in the past?”
5. Talking about money (or even just journaling about it) gives you a chance to identify the emotions you feel related to money. And as you might know from coaching with me, our thoughts about something cause our emotions, so digging into those thoughts and emotions is critical to taking different actions and seeing different results. (I thought this article was particularly interesting on the topic of mental health and money.)
Let's stop letting awkwardness keep us from talking about something that impacts our well-being so much. We can manage our thoughts. We can manage our money. Let's do it together this week!