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Let’s ALL Learn To Talk More About Money

September 24, 2013

best-friends-350x232You share everything with your best friend from excitement to heartache.  The joys and challenges of jobs, family, sex, and health to name just a few. But I’ll venture a guess that neither of you can face the subject of money.

Why is it that money is one of the hardest things to talk about?  It’s a subject full of emotions, insecurities and uncertainty.  Especially if we feel we are struggling to make ends meet.  It can be scary when we lack the confidence in our own ability to manage our money wisely.

Imagine having to be smart about money when we didn’t learn it in school?  Our parents, teachers, spouses and friends never talked about it.  It’s socially unacceptable to talk about salaries , debt levels or how tough it is just to pay the bills.  And uncomfortable when your friends are buying things you can’t afford. Perhaps talking about money is a bit like talking about mental health or sexual orientation.  But these topics have actually come out of the closet!  Maybe one day, money will  too?

Let’s face it.   Everyone, at some point in their life, has made a poor choice with their money.  I described my own in a previous blog post- buying a cheap, unreliable car that I spent too much money on before I finally replaced it.

Sharing thoughts, ideas and behaviours around money, both the good stuff and the bad,  might just be therapeutic.  Isn’t it better to learn from the mistakes of others before making the same ones ourselves?   None of us have all the answers, but collectively our wisdom around money is powerful.

I remember having a conversation about travel with a neighbourhood friend many years ago.  I have always considered myself frugal but I was shocked what I learned from my friend.  The cost-cutting efforts she went to when planning her family vacations made my own attempts look feeble in comparison.  I learned a whole other level of “thriftiness” that I had never before considered.

I am not suggesting that thriftiness should be the new norm in vacation travel.  But I do suggest that you can learn a lot about money and priorities from others.  I realized that incorporating a few new ideas or habits can make a difference in the affordability of a much-needed vacation.

What strategies do you use to save money?  What is your investment philosophy? What do you wish you knew about money when you were a young adult?  How do you balance multiple savings priorities?

When the time is right, think about asking some trusted friends these questions.  You might be surprised what you learn.

I plan to write some blog posts on these questions, so stay tuned for more.

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