Hey Taylor - Any tips for how I can talk about money more comfortably? I find myself not hanging out with friends because I’m trying to cut back on spending, but I hate the idea of my finances hurting relationships. Is there a way to broach the subject?
Hey Charlotte - Yes! There are many ways to open up this conversation, and it’s a shame, so many people feel like money is an untouchable topic. I promise you’ll feel better if you talk about your finances with friends. Let’s look at a few ways you can get started.
Be as honest as possible. The very thing that’s keeping you from opening up - the idea that people will know don’t have a lot of money - might be exactly what you need to bring up. Almost everyone has their form of financial struggle, making this a universal issue that really won’t alienate you in ways you think it might. When you tell people you’re trying to spend less and improve your financial situation, they’ll probably be sympathetic and might even offer helpful advice. I know it’s uncomfortable feeling like the person who doesn’t have any money, but people have varying incomes. That’s just life, and it’s not as big a deal as we make it out to be.
Talk in terms of goals. If you feel uncomfortable because you don’t have much, you should find a way to put a positive spin on the conversation. Instead of focusing on not making enough money, talk to people about your savings and retirement goals. When you approach frugality from a place of responsibility, there’s no reason to feel ashamed. If you seem excited about the money you’re saving and the path you’re on, friends and family won’t question it. More likely, they’ll be happy for you.
Ask questions. Sometimes the best way to kick off a difficult conversation is to let another person do the talking. Without being too heavy-handed or invasive, ask your friends if they budget, what their financial goals are if they have an advisor they like working with. If they feel comfortable with the conversation, it will be easy to discuss your personal situation and get on the same page. Best of all, you and your friends can learn from each other. If more people spoke freely about money, people would probably have way fewer financial woes.
I won’t lie and say it’s easy to start this conversation. Finding your angle takes a little time, but at some point, you just have to rip the band-aid off and start talking. Come at the conversation from a positive place, and you’ll definitely feel better after the talk.
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