A question I’m asked a lot is “why is talking about money still such a taboo?” So today, I’m going to talk about why this taboo still exists, why it’s important that we break it and how to feel confident talking about money.
Why is money a taboo topic?
Traditionally, it’s seen as a bit tacky to talk about money, and rude to ask someone how much they earn or have paid for something. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, it benefits the wealthy and allows class divides to exist. If we’re all dissuaded from talking about our finances, we can’t compare how we’re doing to others or know when someone is struggling.
Most of us grew up in households where money wasn’t discussed openly, so we’ve always had the notion that it’s something that we aren’t supposed to speak about directly. However, we will have seen the issues caused by money and may not have felt able to ask about them or been told off for asking, hammering in the idea that money isn’t a topic that’s open for discussion.
It’s easy to feel alone in our financial situations, so it can make us vulnerable or embarrassed to open up or ask for help. But this is harming us.
Why does this taboo need to be broken?
Talking about money openly and honestly can improve our lives in so many ways. It allows us to see whether we aren’t being paid enough and to ask for more, stops us getting ripped off and helps us to be more smart with our money.
A problem shared is a problem halved, and having a frank discussion with a friend or family member about money will often show you a different perspective and open you up to new options which will help you financially.
Finally, this taboo keeps those living in poverty silent and unable to seek help to improve their situation. Feeling unable to speak honestly about money causes feelings of shame and prevents people from learning how to manage their money and accessing support and resources that could really help them.
How to feel confident talking about money
It can be really awkward talking about money, especially when you need to ask a direct question, or you need to discuss your prices with a client.
Test the waters by having a private chat with someone you’re close to about something money-related. Maybe you’re thinking of asking for a rise or increasing your business prices and need advice, you’re thinking of buying a house and aren’t sure how much you’ll need to save, or maybe you’re simply a bit stressed about your finances and need to share it. Make sure you read their cues - if they look uncomfortable, leave it. But what you’ll probably find is that they are more than happy to share their advice and that you’ll both feel relieved to have be able to have an honest discussion about it.
Find people who talk about money and surround yourself with them. Some great women to follow who are opening up the conversation around money are Emma Gannon, Sarah Akwisombe of the No Bull Business School, Otegha Uwagba and Sara Tasker.
The more you practice, the easier it gets. Pretty soon, you’ll have no issue chatting openly about money.
Why do you think money is such a taboo topic? Are you happy to talk about it or does it make you feel a bit icky?
I'm a financial coach helping women to to manage their money and live fulfilling, financially sustainable lives. If you're ready to take control of your money and reach your financial goals, click a button below to find out how I can help you to master your money.
I also create courses and resources to help female entrepreneurs to manage their business finances.