We’re strong advocates of letting people know where you are financially. It is no secret that talking about money is very taboo. We just aren’t used to having serious conversations about finances. It can be seen as bragging or complaining but why is that? We don’t shy away from passionate political conversations, why does money talk freak us out? We don’t believe you need to share everything with everybody, but at least with a few close confidants. There are so many compelling reasons to do so, here are the three most significant.
1. It gives you a healthy distance between you and your money
If you are the only person who knows your financial condition you’ve got a pretty big secret in your closet. If you’re struggling to pay bills or pay off debt you may feel a sense of shame. If you’re successful, you may start to harbor a kind of greed or false identity related to your income. Letting others into our financial lives gives us a sense of release, even when our financial problems haven’t gone away. Keeping secrets is exhausting.
We’re not advocating that you share your story with everyone, especially if money-talk makes you uncomfortable. However, find 3-5 people you trust and tell them what’s happening. Just letting them know the good and the bad can release you from the burden of being the only person in-the-know.
You may even be surprised at how small the problems seem once they’re out the in open.Telling people has a way of releasing you from feeling alone and reminds you that your money is not your identity, it’s just a part of life.
2. You open yourself up to support, encouragement, and maybe a little constructive criticism
Sharing your financial journey will invite people to start chiming in. Advice will come your way some wanted some not so much. You will also have people encouraging you in your goals, sharing their own and showing you resources to help you get there. Those who are more financially inclined than yourself who will offer advice on retirement and different types of investments. Friends may share about other ways to make side income. Why do they think to do that? Because you shared your story.
Letting others know also prevents you from being taken advantage of. There is a risk of people asking you for money when they find out you’re doing well, but we guess those aren’t the people that you’re going to share your story with. If a family member or friend is taking advantage of you, those who know about your finances can throw out their warning signals, ask critical questions and maybe even help you when you need to take a stand. Not letting others in keeps you from a valuable outside perspective and may hurt your financial health.
Going it alone is always harder. It’s far better to learn how to weed through the good and bad advice, absorb the hard conversations and criticism than it is to receive no support at all.
3. You won’t be bitter about others not understanding
When someone is struggling to budget they often say something like this: “My friends always ask me out to coffee or to eat and I don’t want to lose my social life.”
A social life is extremely important. Spending money on relationships is important. However, these friends probably love you a lot and wouldn’t ask to worsen your financial predicament if they knew you were in one. It is not their fault you’re having a hard time, but it is your fault for getting upset at someone who doesn’t know they’ve done anything wrong.
The best part of sharing your story is when you do have to decline an invitation your friends don’t take it personally. They know about your goals and why you have to limit your spending. Invite your friends in if you’re trying to pay off debt so that you don’t build up an unfair bitterness toward their desire to spend time with you, or hurt their feelings when you turn them down a few times. Trust them to take your goals seriously and strengthen your friendship as you creatively find ways to spend time together.
It might be worth the discomfort
We know sharing may make some people uncomfortable. Especially those who believe money is a very private matter and it’s uncouth to bring up in a public setting. Over-sharing can lead to hardships but we’ve found much more joy than pain when you share your story.
We can all benefit from sharing our financial story so that no one feels alone in their high or low moments. We invite you to bring others into your financial picture so that you experience freedom from income, freedom from bitterness and freedom from going it alone.
What do you think? Is sharing your financial story a good or bad thing? How has it helped or hurt you?