Talking about how much you earn is a big taboo. It’s a big no-no for dinner party conversations, or over coffee with friends, sometimes it’s even a bad idea talking about it with family, and your significant other.
Why is such an important topic and massive aspect of our lives not discussed more in the open?
I think that one of the reasons for so many people having money issues is due to the lack of talk among family and friends about finances. I don’t care how much my friends earn. Their earnings don’t define our friendship.
Money ought to be a topic we can talk to our family and friends about without feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed. Honestly, I don’t care if people know how much I earn or spend. Actually, I’m very open about both (my spending habits have been shocking of late, I admit I’m an emotional spender. I’m on about the average annual income in Australia).
It’s funny. You hear people talking about their sex lives over lunch but as soon as the topic of money comes up the table goes silent. If not silent there’s a lot of umming and arring, vague comments that are generally nowhere near the truth. Then they go back to freely and comfortably talking the previous night’s shenanigans.
Talking about sex is ok but talking money isn’t? I don’t get it.
I recall lunch dates with friends where each dollar was accounted for. There were arguments over the bill to the last cent. The situation made me cringe. At the moment one friend who is getting married is accusing another who is supposed to be the maid of honour of demanding the bride to be pays for everything related to the wedding party. There have been no demands. Is it worth losing a fifteen year friendship over misperception?
While you probably don’t want to announce it to any old soul that you just scored on the Gold Lotto, discussing your finances when the need arises isn’t so bad. If my friend asked me outright how much I earned I’d tell her. If she wanted to know how much I spent on a car, a house, or the new pair of shoes, I wouldn’t hesitate. If I had problems and needed advice from a friend on how to curb my spending there shouldn’t be anything wrong with asking for tips and tricks especially if they haven proven successful to them.
We don’t want to revolve all our talk about money, but making the topic less taboo could help rinse away a bit of the financial strife a large portion of the population is in. The truth is that people may look rich with diamonds on their fingers, driving fancy Mercedes Benz and living in a beach front apartment but at the same time their Amex could be maxed out, creditors knocking on their doors and no more than $1000 in their savings account.
Money is money. It’s a means to an end. It’s better that you have some than none at all. Most of our lives are spent earning it and spending it. For some reason we’re afraid to discuss it.
Do you think people should be more open about their finances? Or should it be a taboo topic?