Start Conversations About Money

Who is reading this stuff? Who should be reading this? Are we reaching the people who need this information?

Thanks to a submission to the Carnival of Debt Reduction #61, I stumbled across a post by The Simple Dollar: The Wrong People Are Reading Personal Finance Site.

I feel that TSD’s point is right to an extent; these are topics and subjects that many of us have a real grasp on – but not all of us. We have looked at our retirement options, savings options, debt reduction options, income options – but not all of us.

It is the ‘others’ that we need to be reaching and this reader’s comment reminds us we are. Maybe our influence isn’t always visible, but it is making a difference. How many bloggers have been inspired to address financial issues after reading a pf blog? I was and I even started this site after reading a friend’s blog.

But perhaps these posts help us more in our individual personal relationships and discussions about money. Recently, there have been posts about finances and relationships, including reactions to parents’ spending habits and concern over sibling’s money problems. Maybe we need to move beyond the myob (mind your own business) approach and start financial discussions with peers. Perhaps then we’ll be reaching those who “need” to be hearing this information.

I can say that pf blogging has prompted me to ask more forthright questions about finances, breaking away from that unspoken rule that money is off-limits. In fact, the partner and I got into an investing and savings conversation over a post soccer-game lunch with other parents we knew nothing about and had no real relationship with – we just brought finances into the conversation and it was well received.

We need to set the bar for making conversation about money acceptable, non-threatening, non-comparative, enlightening, and educational. We need to get the word out, on the web and in our communities and families. We recognize that we are not experts, we just recognize the importance of respecting our finances as an important part of our life. This is how to reach others with the wealth of information that we’ve accumulated in this community.

3 Responses to “Start Conversations About Money

  • Everybody Loves Your Money » Blog Archive » Carnival Of Personal Finance #75
    November 19th, 2006 22:25

    […] I’ve had a few calls on this article today. I’d check it out now before it’s GONE! Donna @ The Weight of Money points out that we should all try to work personal finance discussions in to our daily lives.  I agree.  I LOVE to chat about it and frequently do with others around me.  Little by little, I think it makes an impact. […]

  • Donna
    November 21st, 2006 05:10

    People HATE to talk about money with others. I work in a job where our salaries are public knowledge (teacher), and, we, therefore, have much less incentive to refuse to have financial conversations. However, while some people love to give and receive financial advise, many others are very unwilling to discuss financial issues — even those about using the “flex” plan for example. After I researched it and figured out that by not fully funding our flex plans for medical expenses, we were wasting money, I decided to discuss it with others at work — just a question to see if I was right in my theory. Do you guys use your flex plans; how much do you put away, etc. One person knew nothing about them at all, and most of the rest were very reluctant to use them for fear of throwing away the money. They made me “hesitate” in the decision my husband and I had reached about funding ours more. But, many of these people had no idea what was covered and did not want to be bothered to figure out how much they spend on those things and how it would reduce their tax bill by using pre-tax dollars. It was interesting to note the different personality types: the oh, wow, I never knew that to the I wouldn’t use those things, you CAN waste your money (and, the implicit, and no one can tell me otherwise). In other financial conversations, often started by me, I have seen similar patterns emerge; however, except for one person, no one seems to be interested in “LEARNING” more; many really feel compelled to stick with decisions they have made, even bad ones. But, one woman and I have sort of started looking at debt reduction — I’ve given her some ideas and she’s given me some. It’s fun to talk to her, we both enjoy those conversations. With the others, we’ll have to stick to recipes or babies, students, teaching, history and politics: money is off limits. I think we all get the feeling that we are judged for our money decisions — choices we make and fear that such choices will be viewed as stupid. So, I think you’re right, most people reading this have already decided that they want or need these conversations in life.

    In fact, I think I started my site because of just how few such conversations I could have — I learned things and had no one to bounce the ideas off of. I started the site and joined an instant community of people who want to talk about what they do with their money. Not only has that saved me money at times, but it has allowed me an outlet and kept me focused especially during difficult financial months.

    Good article. Thanks for allowing me to reflect.

  • Talk To Other People About Finance » Blog Archive » - "Live Better - Get Your Think On!"
    November 21st, 2006 23:34

    […] Inspired by The Weight Of Money’s Start Conversations About Money and the conclusion of Ask Uncle Bill’s Don’t Read This By Suze, I started just leaving comments on their posts and decided to expand my thoughts into a full post. […]

Leave a Reply