Last week, I was reading a blog by Carl Richards on talking about money. It struck me as an important topic. That is why I want to talk about it with you.
Many Indian families don’t talk about money frankly. Practically speaking family member should know about the savings, wealth etc. When you have a family in which the elders don’t feel comfortable discussing money with each other, you have a family that isn’t clear about what other family members want out of the money they have. This affects the amount of success they have in meeting their financial goals. A family that talks about money does better with money. This is true. Knowledge about money matters is power.
In our experience with families, we found that most of the time one of the spouse is more oblivious of the fact of what’s happening with earned money. This is a dangerous situation to be in. Some of it is ignorance, in some case it is planned ignorance.
Carl has very logically put down why we don’t talk about money, and how we can avoid conflict while talking about money.
He says, “Money is a subject we absolutely can’t ignore. We spend money every day, we invest, we work 40 hours a week or more to make money. Money is central to how we live. How are we supposed to deal with it intelligently if we can’t even talk about it in the first place?”
If talking about money is so important, why don’t we do it well?
Many people are scared of numbers and prefer to be ignorant in this matter. That’s one of the prime reasons financial literacy is very low. We are supposed to learn nuances of money in school of life. Elders don’t teach, school doesn’t cover it, so one learns the hard way through experience.
We don’t talk about money because talking about it can hurt our feelings. When it comes to money, it’s like talking about feelings. It’s hard. Turns out, money is not in the math department. It’s in the psychology department because it is an emotionally charged subject. But just because it is, doesn’t mean we can afford to avoid it. Quite the contrary, actually, we need to talk about it.
To do so, here is one thing to keep in mind, says, Carl – Talking about money equals talking about feelings.
When you’re talking about money with your family, there are bound to be disagreements. But that’s not because either one of you is stupid, irresponsible, or anything else. It probably means you have different values around money. That’s ok. That’s what you’re there to talk about in the first place — how to work together to come up with a financial plan that takes both of those sets of values into account.
If we want to change our behavior when it comes to talking about money, we need to feel safe and non-judgmental. Give yourself permission to be clumsy, but do not quit. If you can talk about money with your partner, the quality of everything else in your life will improve. Guarantee!