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Why Talking About Money Is So Hard

March 25, 2013

What do money, sex, drugs and alcohol have in common?

They are the hardest things for parents to talk about with their kids.  In fact, a 2009 Globe and Mail poll of over 600 parents showed that parents feel better prepared to discuss sex, drugs and alcohol than to broach the topic of finances.  Who knew?!

Turns out that money is an incredibly emotional topic for most people.  And, talking about your emotions is hard work!!

Ask yourself how you really feel about money… and be honest!  Emotions around money, both positive and negative,  span the entire spectrum… hope, happiness, confidence, fear, greed, guilt, confusion and infinite other possibilities.   These emotions are often the result of long held beliefs from our early experiences and learning.  Some serve us well and some don’t.  For example, if you grew up in a family that had trouble making ends meet, you may be scared to spend money.  On the other hand, if your parents never talked about money, you may feel unprepared to make your own financial decisions.  Or, maybe your love of the finer things in life has created a problem with overspending that you have ignored for too long.

Making important financial decisions when your emotions are running high is never a smart move.  Have you ever treated yourself to a new pair of designer shoes to cheer yourself up after having a bad day?  Many of us have.  But, two days later, if you are stressed about money and don’t love the shoes like you thought you would, it was a poor choice.  Imagine your stress level if the purchase was a new car!

Recognizing our  feelings towards money and taking steps to change the ones that aren’t working can make a big difference in our lives.   Don’t be afraid to share these feelings with others…you’ll be surprised what you might learn!

Over time, I really hope we can all talk more openly about money…it will do us a world of good!

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