Why I Talk About Money All The Time — And You Should, Too
I love talking about money.
People may say they would rather talk about their weight than money, or that it’s unattractive to share their finances, but I say that’s BS. Who really feels more comfortable talking about the number on the scale than their monthly mortgage payment? Exactly.
Whether it’s with my boyfriend, friends, family, co-workers or even new acquaintances, I find that every time I talk about money with someone, we both truly benefit from the conversation. We learn a new savings tip or realize we’re not alone in the amount of debt we’re working to pay off. We often share our savings goals, from buying a house to leasing a new car to even starting our own business in the future. Talking about money bonds us in a way that chatting about our fave Netflix shows or workout playlists just doesn’t.
My boyfriend and I are closer than ever because of how open we are about money. We’re stronger because we know that finances aren’t an issue in our relationship. It amazes me how many couples don’t communicate about their finances, yet consider money one of their biggest relationship challenges. Research shows that money problems are a leading cause of divorce, while couples in healthy relationships are twice as likely to discuss their finances and money dreams. I’d much rather be in the latter group, so I make it a priority to discuss money with my boyfriend, and also share that I do talk about it so much with others.
We’ve been dating for five years now, and we bought a condo together in New Jersey when we were just 25. Our mutual checking account is what we use to pay for all of our combined living expenses (mortgage, groceries, utilities, laundry, Hulu, Netflix, etc.), but we still have personal accounts for our own wants and needs (and we could probably tell you exactly how much we each have saved in them at a moment’s notice). We don’t keep spending secrets from one another and we don’t judge each other for how we manage our personal finances, because we know we both always have the common financial goals we’re working toward together in mind (hello beach house). I’d say we talk about money on a weekly basis, and it might even be one of the strongest aspects of our relationship.
Maybe it’s helped us grow stronger because money is power. By learning more about money and how to best manage it, we can increase that power. It’s given us the power to move out of our parents’ houses, pay for car repairs, or get out of debt and have one less bill hanging over our heads every month.
Money is freedom, too. It’s the freedom for people to leave a really shitty living situation, explore Thailand with your BFF or treat yourself to those $200 heels that make you feel like a badass at your new job.
Everyone can have power and freedom if they focus on making the smart moves to increase their wealth. Start by creating a budget. I use a spreadsheet for mine, but there are so many budgeting apps out there that can automate the process for you. Always negotiate for a higher salary — it’ll allow you to make the money you deserve and pay those bills with a little less stress. Start investing. I have my accounts with Ellevest, and I love knowing that my money is doing the work for me. It’s growing and not just sitting in a plain, old savings account.
We need to be talking about these financial topics and more — all of us, together. If talking about money can help others gain power and freedom in their finances and life, then I don’t ever plan to stop. I’ll keep talking about money, and I hope you will, too.