Chronicles Of A Father With Cents

Simple Life. Personal Finance. Family

Interactions about Personal Finance (or lack their of)

adam-przewoski-193

I’m probably not alone in saying that the subject of money is not a popular conversation topic.  Wherever I go to meet with people and want to discuss various topics like the weather, current events, sports, etc…but when the topic of money comes up, some cringe or change the subject altogether.  I am guessing the reasoning is it’s a personal issue with most hence the word ‘personal finance.’ It feels like an unwritten rule to almost never talk about it in any social setting.  Everyone has their dealings with personal finance albeit when they receive income, spend money, negotiate how much you want to earn at their job and when you reflect on why you wasted your money on a certain item(s).  But why can’t a lot of people want to discuss it with others?  I may have a couple of reasons:

  1. They just want to keep it to themselves – Some feel ashamed or don’t want to feel like they are bragging when talking about money simply because their own financial situation is something that is personal. They only want a very small amount of people to know their financial situation.  I am in a way on this same boat but when it only gets to details of it( ‘How much you have saved up’ or ‘What is your salary?’) but if we are talking about how to build your income and certain ways to do it, I am more than happy to discuss it with you.  Whenever I try to bring up building up your retirement account or looking into investing in the stock market and open up an index fund account, my friends seen to nod in agreement but immediately change the subject.
  2. Do not have enough information about personal finance –  The lack of education in personal finance especially in high schools have made some people seem to think that living ‘paycheck to paycheck’ is the only way to get by or investing in the stock market is a big gamble. These same people have no idea the opportunities that are out there to build your wealth and you do not have to be an financial expert.  Investing, side hustle, budgeting, being frugal are just some of the ways you can not only get away from that paycheck to paycheck mentality but have that financial freedom.  You just have to sit down and take the time to learn how to create a bigger income.

I was at one point where I did not want to discuss my financial situation at all because I was in credit card debt, had to pay student loans and was in the red in my net worth.  I felt ashamed and embarrassed even thinking about it.  But that was before I became more educated in the subject of personal finance where I took a community college class, read books, articles and listened to podcasts.  I was more aware of how to bring down my debt, pay off my loans and create a reasonable net worth.  And I also discovered an online personal finance community where a huge amount of bloggers openly discuss their financial situation and ways they got there.  They want to provide advice for anyone that needs guidance to get out of a bad financial situation.  With this blog, it’s a sign that I am in the beginning stages of being in that community and hope that it will help others to provide information of not just financial freedom but a lifestyle.

I think that giving lots of people the knowledge of personal finance in high schools and blogs will at least bring more conservations about money at the next party you attend.

25 Comments

  1. Those are great reasons! I also feel that people avoid talking about their salaries or debt, which is totally understandable. I think that’s why personal finance blogs have become so popular. PF bloggers talk openly about their debt (payoff), income, and expenses without feeling judged by others. I’m glad you finally took the plunge. Looking forward to hearing more about your stories! ^.^

    • It is great that personal finance blogs are getting popular because it’s showing more people have a sense of controlling their money. I just hope that high schools will consider making personal finance a class subject because students will at least be aware of the basics of controlling their wealth.  

  2. Yeah I have so many friends in the red and they don’t talk about it. At all. The discomfort is written across their face because it feels like failure. I just stopped bringing it up, it makes me come off as a jerk. I blog anonymously (I blocked my friends from social media pages of Frugal Gene.) Even my best friend, it’s crazy how forbidden this stuff is.

    • It’s a shame that your friends don’t want to talk about it as well. It probably roots back to the lack of knowledge when we were growing up in high school. I believe more of your friends would have been open to discussing it if schools were teaching it because they would have created some sense of how to control their wealth and wanted to gain more ideas of how to build it.

  3. Yeah it’s a taboo subject. My close friends have told me before to stop talking about money. Not everyone’s comfortable with it and it can come off like you’re bragging. And you’re right in that they may be struggling financially so they just don’t want to even think about it. But it’s just one of those things where putting your head in the sand won’t make your problems go away. And yet. That’s kinda how it’s treated.

  4. This is the story of my life!! I feel like when I talk about emergency funds or the importance of savings, people usually say “Must be nice to have savings, it’s not possible for everyone.” Umm, the truth is everyone can save! But of course, no one likes to hear about how they can save money by bringing lunch, cutting the cable, etc.

    Talking about salary seems to be especially taboo- I’ve seen Facebook threads where people get angry when someone is thinking about leaving a six figure job when they’re deeply unhappy.

    So happy I discovered the PF community- now I get to talk about money all the time!

  5. I think there are a lot of people that think they are the only ones that have made mistakes with money and it’s hard to admit that in front of people. It’s a type of shame that they’re not willing to face. I think when you remove the stigma that it’s completely freeing and helps get people on the right path to freedom 🙂

  6. My experience is that people are more willing to talk about religion or politics than money. I don’t get it. I do have 1 or 2 people that are open with me about where they stand. I’m open to sharing our numbers with anyone that’ll ask though. My wife on the other hand prefers to keep things private due to friends, family, and some of her coworkers reading our blog. I get it. Especially from a coworkers perspective. But I’m hoping she’ll stop caring. I’m kind of wishing now that we would have started our blog anonymously. LoL.

    • Yeah that’s kind of weird people are more willing to discuss religion and/or politics than money because religion/politics are very sensitive topics especially when you are talking to others who have opposing views than you. Talking about money should be more neutral since everyone deals with it and wants to build their wealth. And it doesn’t have to be about how much you make, just giving tips on how to invest in stocks, deal with your retirement accounts, ways to save, etc..is good enough to make it a civil discussion.

  7. Personal finance is definitely a taboo subject. It makes me wonder that if it wasn’t taboo a lot of people would probably be in better situations because they could learn rather easily from other people’s mistakes. But at the same time, there has to be a willingness to learn unless it’s something that’s taught at a young age or at least in high school or as a freshman in college.

    • I just read a few articles on how more states are requiring personal finances courses in high school, it’s just a matter of finding qualified teachers. So hopefully more teachers are confident to gain the knowledge in PF and pass it down to students in ways that can make it interesting to learn. Just knowing the basics of personal finance: budgeting, compound interest, and investing can go a long way for HS students.
      Let’s hope the generation of kids are more concerned in building their wealth rather than being in debt all the time so that the subject of money would less taboo

  8. I think having a personal finance blog has really helped me bring up personal finance as a conversation topic, and people are oddly more receptive to it than I thought! People actually get excited knowing I’m writing about it! I even had a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while who messaged me today saying she’d be secretly following my blog, which really made my day 🙂

    I think it’s strange how pf has become such a taboo topic, it seems so natural to talk about along with the other things that are HUGE factors in our happiness.

  9. That’s cool more people are open to talk about personal finance to you and seem to enjoy that you have a blog dedicated to it. Hopefully we have more interaction about it down the line to the point personal finance will not be such a taboo topic.

  10. luxestrategist

    July 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I think one reason it’s difficult to talk about is because if you share numbers with people, one person will always feel bad they have less. Either a lower salary or fewer assets. I think that’s why I don’t talk specifics with my friends.

    With that said, I felt the only real way to share numbers online is by going anonymous. Otherwise, I would have never felt OK with co-workers, etc. finding out how much I’m packing. But seeing others’ numbers online have continued to inspire me to do better. It’s a tricky balance.

    • I definitely agree with you about anyone cringing when the topic gets to the details of what your net worth is, it can get dicey. Just providing general advice on money matters like how to handle your 401K or ways to track your spending are good enough to discuss amongst friends/co-workers but for some reason are not.
      It’s great that some PF bloggers are showing their numbers because they want to let us know they achieved wealth and continue to build on it and want others to do the same.

  11. That’s so right. I personally have come across so many people who treat money as a secret not to be mentioned in gatherings. It baffles me sometimes. And then there are misunderstandings due to this lack of communication which further aggravates the problems. Only by discussing things with the concerned people can you maintain some transparency and a healthy relationship with your money.

    • Thanks for stopping by pfgeek. It’s unfortunate their is not a lot of people concerned with money and don’t bother even discussing it. I hope their comes a day when finances comes up in conversations, a lot more will be open to listening and learning between each other because you would want people you interact with to be in a good place with their finances and have at least the basic knowledge of how to increase your wealth.

  12. This post truly resonates the reality of personal finance in a social setting. I totally get how you feel about this and its understandable why a lot of people in the debt free community want to stay anonymous. I am somewhat anonymous….meaning, the web knows my name and face but my friends and family doesn’t lol. I never understood the contrast until I started a blog to hold myself accountable and yet see people just don’t want to talk about this kind of stuff in person. They just don’t want other people to know what’s going on with their finances behind closed doors.

    This was interesting read, thanks for sharing!

    • Yeah I’m guessing to lot of people their finances are a private matter and do not want to discuss in person. At the same time by just discussing ways to increase your net worth or ways to get out of debt it can benefit others and be in a better financial situation and you do not have to discuss what you have in your bank account or how much you owe. Thanks for commenting MF.

  13. That’s why I liked having a PF blog. Even when I talk to my sisters about personal finance they seem a bit sheepish about it. I just found out they are planning to invest in Fidelity mutual funds (this is after I set up an index fund account for both of them!) because a nice mutual fund lady was buying them coffee regularly lol! People don’t want to listen to me I guess!!

    • Outside of Mother of Cents, the people in PF community are the only ones I feel okay with talking anything finances. It’s great that we this community of people we could discuss ways to build your money or anything that can help us get ahead in our personal finances. At the same time it’s sucks that we can’t discuss it in a casual manner with anyone else like in your case with your sisters.
      Maybe you should buy them coffee everyday and then they will invest in index funds….hahahha!!

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