It’s OK to Talk About Money

by Kristina Tahnyak on July 22, 2010 · 5 comments

red lips smooch

It may be because I work in Finance but I have never been shy to talk about money.  My friends also all work in finance. We are used to dealing with money, therefore we are all very open about money.

We discuss everything including when we are broke and how we are planning to spend our next quarterly bonus. When I say I’m broke it doesn’t mean that my bank account is at 0; it just means that I have already spent my disposable income this week.

Historically it has been a faux-pas (literal translation Do Not) to discuss money in public, outside the walls of our private homes.  However, in more recent years and especially since many people have fallen into hardship because of the global economic crisis; it has become more accepted to discuss money with others.

My whole life revolves around money. This is what I do for a living; I help people plan their money.  My sister Tara also works in the financial services industry, therefore she is also very open about money.  My sister and I discuss money with our parents all time.  We especially discuss personal finance with my Dad because he has recently retired. My Dad is currently adapting to his new financial life on a fixed income.

In my opinion people should not be ashamed to talk about money.  Whether we don’t have any money, if we are working towards building our personal wealth, or if we are swimming in our millions, people should be open to the discussion of money.

Here are 3 reasons why it’s OK to talk about money:

  1. Be proud of what you have accumulated, but don’t brag about it. You worked hard for it, but one wants to talk with a self centered bragger.
  2. Do not be ashamed about your bank account. If your current financial situation is less than a millionaires do not be shy to discuss your hardships.  Many people (I’m sure) are also living through the same situation, and therefore we can learn from the experiences of others.
  3. Advice is priceless. Before people make a decision they like to discuss their options with others.  It is ok to give your opinion on the subject of money, even if you are not an expert. It may be nice for people to hear the opinions of other people and not their financial advisor.  In the end we all make our own financial decisions.

(Photo By TaniaSaiz)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 benjamin bankruptcy July 23, 2010 at 3:21 am

My grandfathers advice on talking about money was “never tell people how bad or how good it is”.

He came from a family where if you had some extra money and someone was short (generally through drinking it) you were expected to give it to them.

2 Tim July 24, 2010 at 1:35 am

You Canadians…obviously not a french canadienne, because faux-pas = misstep, not DO NOT as a literal translation. A literal translation would more resemble not done vice do not.

i don’t think it was a matter of being ashamed to talk about money, as it was about not comparing yourself with others. unfortunately the social convention turned out far from not comparing yourself with others, and became about lying to others through the demonstration of your wealth or non-wealth.

the real reason we should freely talk about money is because we should have confidence in ourselves and our lives, with what we have and have yet to achieve.

i agree, no one likes a bragger, but no one also likes an accumulator. no one likes to hear about other people’s hardships unless they are doing something about it. it comes off as telescoping sympathy and whining. sometimes advice is unwanted, unwarranted, and too much. sometimes listening is good.

3 Pauline July 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

Faux-pas means “false step” or “mis-step”, not “do not”.

4 Kristina July 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Thank you Tim and Pauline for your comments. I verified with my boyfriend Nick (who is European French) and he did confirm that the literal translation of faux pas is to mistep such as stumble. I stand corrected. I guess over the years, us, Anglo Canadians have used the phrase as a warning of something to no do, or don’t do. Thanks again.

5 Tim July 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

we can forgive you Kristina…after all you are a nation full of loonies = crazies (not that weird sounding bird at my lake). I cannot believe you had to verify from your euro french boyfriend (who probably googled it anyways) instead of taking Pauline and my word for it ;o) a faux-pas is something that social convention says you should not do, because it is a misstep, so the logic of you anglo canadiennes is the same as the rest of the world (you all aren’t that special :p) you just went to the effect vice the cause.

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