Nearly half of all Canadians keep their stress about money private according to the Financial Health Index. And this silence around money isn’t doing us any favours — we stress, lose sleep and ignore potential issues.
That’s why it’s time to break the silence — here’s a few reasons why talking about money actually helps to reduce your worries about it.
1. Reminds You That You’re Not Alone.
People often think that if they’re bad with money others will judge them. Turns out, feeling shame about money is pretty normal. So is making money mistakes. “The biggest piece of information that I’d like to let people know is that their financial troubles are not the result of them being lazy, crazy, or stupid, and they’re not alone,” says Brad Klontz, author of “Mind Over Money” in an interview with Headspace. “If you’re stressed out about money, you’re the average …” So the next time you feel bad about making a money blunder, give yourself a break!
2. Helps You Learn
Don’t know the difference between your credit score and your social insurance number? Very few people understand their finances completely. In fact, according to a study by MNP, 67 per cent of Canadians don’t feel confident handling their finances. Talking about money lets you exchange knowledge with your friends and family. That way if one of you understands how to file taxes and the other has details about how to apply for a credit card increase — you can both help each other!
3. Changes How You Feel About Money and Yourself
As we start talking more openly about money, share with and learn from others, we empower ourselves to change the narrative around our money situations. Having others to learn from and bounce off ideas with helps you re-frame how you talk about money; making conversations more positive, proactive and focused on your goals. Talk about what you would ideally like to be able to do with money. Laugh at your money foibles (if you’re far enough removed from them to find them funny).
4. Gain Allies
When you open up and share, you become less isolated. Before you know it, you’ll have built a support system that helps you keep up smart money habits. Value these allies, challenge and cheer each other on to take steps towards achieving your goals.
5. Take the Power Away From Money
So often we connect money with feelings of safety, love, fear, and security. We give it a lot of power. Many people approach money in highly emotional ways. For example, if your parents were always short on cash and that created stress, you might be extra thrifty or afraid that you won’t have enough money. Or maybe you felt deprived of things you wanted as a child and now you spend every cent that comes within a few feet of you. It’s important to understand how our experiences and emotions influence how we view and use money. Talking openly helps us build that awareness and use it to take control of our money, instead of the other way around.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.