Let’s Talk About Money: Break the Taboo

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I am just sharing what works for me in terms of personal finance.

Coins on a coffee table

Money is a big part of our lives. We use it everyday to buy our necessities and luxuries. We use it to pay for our education, our food, our house/rent, among other things. So why don’t a lot of families talk about it? There is a mindset that talking about money is rude and embarrassing. This is especially true in Filipino culture, and I bet it’s the same for other cultures as well.

I believe that there are a couple of reasons why we don’t talk about money:

Fear of appearing greedy or boastful

If people aren’t used to talking about money, hearing someone talk about it may make the other person seem greedy for more money, or boastful of his/her wealth. But that’s not the case all the time. Some people are just genuinely interested in talking about money and improving their financial situation.

Fear of offending someone

On the other hand, if you are someone who openly talks about money, you may sound rude or offensive to someone who isn’t used to discussing money matters.

We feel that we are invading someone’s privacy

One’s financial situation may be too personal to talk about for most people, and they don’t want nosy people asking them about it.

We are embarrassed of our own financial situation

Maybe you are buried in debt. Maybe your spending habits need to be improved. Maybe you can barely make ends meet. And you are embarrassed that you are stuck in this situation. But remember, you are not alone. A lot of people go through financial struggles.

But then it becomes a vicious cycle because the reason why a lot of people find it difficult to manage their personal finances is because they don’t talk about it. If parents don’t talk to their kids about money matters, how will they learn? How will you deal with big money matters such as paying your mortgage or preparing for your retirement if you sweep it under the rug? How will you be able to pay your debt if you don’t confront it?

I know that can be difficult for most people to open up about money matters, especially if you were brought up in a household that never discussed it. However, below are a few tips that may help break the money taboo:

  1. Think of money as a tool, as it should be. Money is something that you need in order to survive and to be able to live the life that you want, but it should never be a measure of your worth.
  2. Assess your current situation. Know how much your assets and liabilities are. You can’t talk about personal finance if your own financial situation is a blur to you.
  3. Start with a private conversation with a few people that you trust. This will help if you are afraid that people will shame you because of your financial situation.
  4. Find people who openly talk about money and surround yourself with these kinds of people. The more you are around them, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become in discussing personal finance.

Good luck! 👍

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