I was making a snack today and thought, “We don’t talk about grilled cheese enough.” Wait, that couldn’t be it. That’s right, it was how talking about money is just like talking about grilled cheese. Only its not like that at all. When is the last time you were snubbed after bringing up your favorite grilled cheese topic at the table? Probably never, but bring up money and watch everyone scatter like roaches when the lights come on. Money shouldn’t be any different. There are times when it could be inappropriate to talk about, but I think that’s mostly about attitude and intentions. Talking openly about money can lead to a better understanding of how it works and how you can become better at managing it.
It’s easier to talk about sex…
Its true, maybe. I guess it depends on your friends. I don’t particularly shy away from either topic, but some people are really turned off or secretive about money. When I was a teenager I was really curious how people afforded things. I still am! “What do you do to be able to provide all this for your family?” “How much do you make to be able to provide this?” Other interests could be about savings rate, mortgage costs, utility bills, etc. These questions would be met with a smirk and brushed off. I think it’s exceptionally important to be open to talking about money with young developing minds. Odds are that the kid isn’t asking to take advantage of you. More likely they are trying to understand how money works.
I remember my dads salary was a big secret. It may have been insecurity, the paychecks probably weren’t substantial and were spread pretty thin supporting a family of seven. But still, when your shoes no longer fit and are worn through, you want to know why we can’t just go buy a new pair. Thats a good teaching moment! Had money been openly talked about through several generations it may not have been such a big deal. When money is kept secret their is no learning. Bad money habits are passed along, only to be repeated over and over again.
They’re after all my dough!
I’m not so ignorant to think you should go around bragging about all the money you have. Actually, if you have a “YUUGE” ‘stache you should probably keep that to yourself. It would be difficult to not feel like someone is bragging or talking down when they boast about all their millions. If your financially independent then that’s a good way to talk about your money. Unless you have a good reason to bring up your actual number, keep it to yourself. However, talking about and encouraging other people how they can have similar success is encouraged. Teach others how to manage money and be smart so they can get a leg up in life! You probably shouldn’t get on a soapbox, but don’t shy away from the topic.
Money, it’s just like grilled cheese, or at least it should be.
Money is a numbers game, just with lots of emotion attached to it. If it were just simple math (it is) then we would all be pretty good at managing it. But it’s not just about the numbers. All the factors that are associated with money should be discussed. What do you need to know when you rent an apartment, buy a car, sign up for utilities, etc. What are the long term consequences of signing for this? There are lots of things that we learn through trial and error and through experience. Wouldn’t it be better if your first exposure to these things was not when you it was happening to your for the first time?
Beyond basic money management comes what to do with money when you finally start having some left over at the end of the month. Here is a great overview of what to do with your extra money. The entire sentence is a hyperlink, it’s that important! JLCollins gives a thorough synopsis of stock market investing and how to manage your money. Read it, live it.
I know money feels personal, try to take a little bit of the emotion out and let it be an open topic. You don’t have to reveal how much you make or how much you’ve saved, but do talk about management and what to do with money when you start making it. Only then can we progressively breed out the bad money habits we have developed.
Money, it really is just like grilled cheese.