Many of us have been brought up to believe that money and finance are not issues that should be brought up in polite company.
But honestly, I think it’s time to give up that mindset.
Talking about money with others may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but it can be so beneficial. Financial expert Erin Lowry, the founder of the Broke Millennial Series, focused on their latest book – “Broke Millennial Talks Money” – about difficult financial talks.
I had the opportunity to read Lowry’s book and chat with her on Facebook Live. Here are my main takeaways.
4 Things I Learned From Broke Millennial Talks Money
If you are looking for a solution that will enable you to successfully talk about money with your co-workers, manager, significant other, parent or friends, Broke Millennial Talks Money is the book you want to read.
Discussing money can be difficult. Even as someone who writes about finance for a living, I struggle with it in my personal life.
While Broke Millennial Talks Money has a lot of advice that you might want to bookmark, here are the top four points that I liked while reading this book.
1. Talking about money has real financial implications
If you’ve spent most of your life avoiding tough money conversations, you might be wondering what the big deal when it comes to talking about finance to others.
The thing is, if you can navigate money conversations successfully, it can have a real impact on your bottom line.
The first chapter of the book leads with a good example. A negotiator asks, “How much are you willing to pay to avoid an awkward conversation?”
It’s a rhetorical question, but it really gets you thinking. If you choose not to have a conversation about money, you can end up losing.
For example, if you fail to negotiate a salary with your employer, you may be underpaid. If you don’t talk to your spouse about bad spending habits, you can delay achieving great personal goals.
Lowry expressed it best during our live questions and answers. “You can do anything right to build your financial house,” she said, “but if you can’t communicate effectively, if you can’t set healthy boundaries, and if you don’t know how to get into those tough financial talks so be it. ” Start slowly crumbling the foundation that is your financial house. “
2. You can speak money without specifying exact dollar amounts
If you share how much money you are making, how much debt you have, or how much you have saved for retirement, you are in a vulnerable position. The fear of being judged by these numbers makes many people reluctant to talk about finances.
However, there are ways to discuss money without mentioning a dollar number. In the book, Lowry says chatting with friends about property prices or childcare costs can lead to bigger money conversations in the future. Getting contextual clues about how a significant other is spending money can be helpful in determining if you’re on the same page financially.
Another strategy that Lowry discusses in this book is using the over / under method when asking someone about salary. Instead of asking for the exact number, you can ask if it is over or under a certain amount.
Speaking in percentages is an additional way of discussing money without going into details. For example, you can talk about retirement savings as a percentage of your salary.
3. Talking about money can take practice
Since talking about money can be uncomfortable, it may be better to tear the plaster off and put it all on the table in one conversation. However, according to Lowry, it’s okay to let money talks evolve over time.
For example, when you talk to your parents about their retirement savings, the first thing you may ask is what their retirement savings should look like. In later conversations, you can ask how much money you saved and whether you have the right one Estate planning Documents available.
Keeping the conversation going can make it feel less awkward over time. If you’re not sure how to start a money discussion, Lowry has dozens of sample scripts included.
4. A positive attitude towards money is key
While being able to talk about finances with the people in your life is very useful, it is also important to have positive money conversations with your inner self.
Negative self-talk can lead to problems like imposter syndrome and scarcity that can sabotage your path to financial success.
“Most people begin to code their relationship with money between the ages of 8 and 12, so it can be very difficult to reverse some of the thinking as you get older,” shared Lowry during her virtual chat with The Penny Hoarder .
“It’s just very important that we unearth all of our deeply rooted feelings about money so that we can understand how and why we make the decisions we often unconsciously make about money.”
A healthy attitude towards money means we will make better decisions with our finances and may even feel more confident about discussing money with loved ones.
Why I Recommend Reading Broke Millennial Talks Money
As much as I wished that talking about money wasn’t so taboo, the fact is, too many of us just avoid talking about money to the people in our lives.
We often pay for this avoidance. We go into debt to keep up with friends. We have been working in companies for years without knowing about large wage differentials. We get married without being financially on the same side as our significant other. And we wait until our parents are on their deathbed to find out if they have a will or life insurance.
Broke Millennial Talks Money explains how to have these critical finance talks. Almost anyone can relate to any of the situations covered in this book. Best of all, it was written from the perspective of someone who wants to help make these money talks less awkward and without judgment.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com