Conversations About Money: Overcoming the Fear

Imagine being at the peak of your career, a financial planner by trade, yet finding the subject of money uncomfortable to discuss. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? That was the revelation I had when my father, a man with plenty of financial knowledge, admitted his aversion to talking about money. It was a moment of clarity for me; if someone so well-versed in the language of finance hesitates to speak on it, it’s little wonder so many find the topic daunting.

In today’s world, financial literacy is not just a skill, it’s a superpower. It’s about making informed decisions that not only sustain your lifestyle but also enable you to thrive. Financial literacy is the bedrock upon which wealth is built and a worry free retirement is realized. Yet, many of us, including seasoned professionals, shirk from discussing “it” confidently.

Talking about money does more than just demystify financial concepts; it creates a culture of collective learning. As humans, we thrive on sharing ideas, successes, and challenges overcome. By opening up about different financial strategies and objectives, we foster a community of learning and growth. We can learn about new possibilities. Yet many people avoid discussing finances due to the fear of judgment or embarrassment, worrying their financial decisions will invite criticism. This is especially prevalent where wealth is equated with personal worth, leading to silence on financial matters to avoid perceived scrutiny. But that’s another topic for another day. 

Tale of Two Sisters

To highlight the significance of an open dialogue about finances, I share the contrasting approaches of two sisters, Lucy and Sarah. 

Lucy, living for today, sees financial freedom as the ability to enjoy life without much thought for tomorrow. She saves money “leftover” money at the end of the month. She takes her time in paying off her credit card. Lucy’s conversations about money might include phrases like, “You can’t take it with you,” or “I prefer to enjoy my money now rather than save it for a rainy day I might never see.” Lucy’s approach to talking about money reflects her belief in living fully in the present and trusting that the future will take care of itself.

Sara, on the other hand, represents the quintessential entrepreneur – analytical, purposeful, and viewing savings as a commitment to her future. She might discuss her financial goals, the importance of saving and investing wisely, and the strategies she employs to ensure her money is working for her both now and in the future.  Sara could talk about the behavioral cash flow plan she’s implemented, emphasizing the importance of seeing savings as a commitment rather than an afterthought.

Our approach to discussing finances often shifts depending on our audience; while Lucy’s more immediate, enjoy-the-moment philosophy might appeal to many, it’s Sara’s strategic and future-focused approach that truly captures the spirit of financial literacy and planning. This variation underscores the significance of tailoring our financial conversations, emphasizing the power of astute financial management to both relish the present and ensure a future where our finances serve our aspirations and ultimately a worry free retirement.

How to Embrace Financial Conversations:

So, how do we move from reluctance to confidence in talking about money? Here are three ideas.

  • The Power of Knowledge
    I firmly believe that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to finances. Whether you’re just dipping your toes or ready to dive deep into the world of financial education, there’s an abundance of resources at your disposal.  The more you know, the more empowered you become. A great starting point for your financial literacy journey is the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki. As with any recommendation, take what is useful and leave the rest.
  • Consider Building a Community
    Navigating financial planning shouldn’t be a solo journey. Participating in communities or forums dedicated to financial discussions may offer invaluable support and insights. Engaging with peers, regardless of your experience level, promotes a culture of learning and growth. Sources such as entrepreneurial networks, financial forums, and discussion groups provide a wealth of knowledge from diverse experiences. It’s crucial, however, to approach these spaces with caution, avoiding unrealistic advice and prioritizing practical, reliable insights.
  • Seek Personalized Financial Advice
    Seeking personalized financial advice is essential, as a trusted advisor can provide guidance tailored to your unique situation, helping you achieve your financial objectives. The right advisor not only understands your aspirations and concerns but also transforms your financial fears into actionable plans, leading you towards financial mastery. Finding such a professional may seem challenging, but trusting your instincts is key. Ask friends and family for a recommendation. Choose someone with whom you can communicate openly, without fear of judgment, and who supports rather than impedes your progress.

We all have a financial story. By embracing discomfort, seeking knowledge, and getting tailored advice you pave the way to transforming your financial future. For further insights, explore our website and subscribe to our newsletter.

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