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Money as a subject is one that we Indian’s have been taught to avoid discussing. Money talk is considered to be a social taboo and hence, we are advised to keep it personal and confidential.
Money talk is discouraged between individuals. It is even considered impolite to ask or talk about one’s finances. One such reason relates to discomfort. It makes people uncomfortable to discuss money matters with friends and family. Some others might even say it sows the seeds of inferiority and discord between friends or one might be judged as being flamboyant about one’s income. People also fear one might not be able to offer the best solution to their problems. These and many other reasons and excuses force us to make money a private affair and refrain from discussing it.
But times are changing and millennials are becoming more open about their needs and want. Money matters are also becoming a concerned topic and people are slowly warming up to open discussions on such matters. In fact, it is imperative that people, young and old, are taught the importance of not only managing their finances but be allowed the freedom to seek help and guidance whenever they feel the need.
One can start by taking small steps towards making money talk an acceptable notion.
1. Confide in your loved ones
If you feel uncomfortable about disclosing your money worries, who better to talk to than your loved ones, at home. Talk to your parents, your sibling, your spouse and openly discuss your qualms about money. Discuss your assets and liabilities with your spouse and let him/her know about your finances. If you are unmarried, seek your parents’ guidance and discuss your finances with them; you’d be pleasantly surprised by just how much knowledge they have to offer. If you feel you’d want to get professional help, you may want to reach out to a qualified finance professional to speak about your concerns. We live in a time where there is no dearth of information and people to be sought by just a quick search, and we should make good use of it.
2. Start small
You don’t have to worry about revealing all your financial details at once. Start small. Start with emphasizing the need for savings and investments. This is a safe topic to discuss because savings is essential for all. Thus, when you talk about savings you wouldn’t have to worry about being judged. Learn from people who are good with finances, and ask them about their habits and rules. And once you know those tips yourself, share the importance of saving with your circle of friends and family; share with them the importance and the ease of saving money in creating wealth for their financial goals.
3. Be humble about money
Here’s the important bit. Talking about money is important but bragging is not – it is often frowned upon. Talk about your wealth, income or savings with the intention to either learn and grow, or to help and guide the other. Always be humble when talking about money. Make people feel welcome to come and open up about their questions and concerns. Be empathetic and honest in your approach so that people can relate to you and feel confident about speaking up. Money is a delicate issue for many and it requires to be treated with care.
4. Negotiate with confidence
Negotiating your salary can turn out to be a harrowing experience for both parties. This negotiation can sometimes become aggressive if you are not mindful. Money talk relating to salary must be handled with the utmost care. While you should insist on a fair wage, putting it across in the wrong way may put off the employer. At the same time, not doing your best in negotiating will leave you feeling unheard. In order to avoid either of the situations, learn to be comfortable about this topic and follow through with logic and confidence.
5. Do away with self-doubt
Opening up about money matters can be difficult. Many times, we feel vulnerable but also fear being misled or judged. And you are not alone in harbouring these feelings. We often feel our questions may sound absurd or the answer might be obvious yet evades us. Remember, you needn’t wait for your money issues to become insurmountable to finally feel like you need help. No question is a wrong question. Your doubts and concerns may not be grave in nature but it will be a learning and you’ll build a strong foundation for the future.
These simple steps will help you come out of the shell when feeling uncertain about money talk. You should always remember that understanding your issues and facing them is the only way to address them and that the sooner you do that the better off you’ll be.