23 August 2008

5 reasons to talk about money

credit cardsImage by s e l v i n via Flickr It seems strange to me that, in an age where you can talk about sex on public television and swear words are accepted everyday vocabulary, money is such a taboo subject. It would seem obvious with the recent economic downturn that this strategy has not panned out too well for most individuals.

We need to get over our embarrassment and start a dialogue about money. We need to talk openly about money with our kids, our partners, our friends, neighbours, financial advisors, work colleagues and bank managers. We need to talk with those in the know so we can understand money better. We need to pass on our accumulated fiscal wisdom - or ask for help if money management is a skill that has passed us by.

Why? Take a look at this list and start a conversation about money today!

1. In June, Consumer Debt in America rose $14.33 billion (in New Zealand they fell in June - but rose for the first time in 3 months in July). Having high levels of consumer debt - such as credit cards, hire purchase agreements, mortgages and personal loans - limits your choices about how, and even where, you choose to live. It ties you to working long hours, and steals away time you could be spending with loved ones. Sure, you might have more 'stuff', but wouldn't you rather have more choices?

2. The gap between the haves and have-nots is growing, globally and within countries. We can't address the unfair distribution of financial resources if we can't talk about money. Discuss what you earn, what you spend, what you buy, what you give . . . these conversations all help guide us to a decision on what is enough and what is fair.

3. We need our children to learn good financial management. If we can't openly discuss our fiscal failings and money management successes, we can't prepare our children to go out into the world as responsible, financially savvy citizens.

4. The more people we talk to about money, the more we learn and the better we can become at managing our own money and helping other people to manage theirs. We can learn more about how we can use our money to help those less fortunate or to enrich our community. We can learn how to make sure we always have enough to live comfortable and fulfilled lives.

5. According to the experts couples fight more about money than anything else. Talk about your feelings in regards to money, talk about your spending habits, make financial plans together. Being open and honest about money with your partner could save your relationship!

Join in the conversation at the Beating Debt Group at Care2!

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Doctor S said...

The hardest thing people wrestle with is actually "talking" about money. Getting that conversation started, whether its with your wife, parents, friends, or even YOURSELF! People are embarassed by it but everyone has issues with it! Great post! You are not alone and I am not afraid to admit my faults about money or share my embarrassments! Its why we blog!

kiwimeg said...

Thanks for stopping by! I can see from your blog that you are indeed quite happy to talk about money!! Love your work :)

Holly said...

Hi Meg,
Great post! I agree that discussion about money management is something that is sadly lacking these days. In order to achieve our dreams, we have to be on top of our finances, and everyone has to take accountability for themselves. The thing is, a lot of people don't know how to do that! Good for you for raising awareness, so that people can take the first step.

kiwimeg said...

Thanks Holly! You are so right - by sorting our finances out we are able to achieve so much more. Its not that money is everything - but when your life is not hamstrung by money problems you have so many choices!