We talk about our personal lives with our good friends all the time. Our dating lives, our health, our family, juicy gossip about things at work, and our passions and dreams.
These are all very personal subjects that some are very willing to talk about even on a crowded subway or a quiet elevator.
We put ourselves in a vulnerable position when we share this information. We make a stronger connection with the people we share this information with. We may even get some good advice in return.
What makes personal finance any different?
Personal finance as the name implies "is personal".
Is that why we don't talk about it?
The fear I used to have was that the same people I share every other aspect of my life with will treat me differently if they know my money situation.
When you read stories of lottery winners who lose half of their friends when people find out they have money. It casts a negative shadow on talking about money.
Likewise revealing that you are in debt may make you think your friends will treat you differently.
The reality is, they will treat you differently.
When I know a friend is in a tight spot or working towards paying off some debt. I will suggest spending time together in a way that is affordable or free for both of us.
We don't need to go out to a nice restaurant when we can make a nice meal at home for a quarter of the cost. Or we can just go for a walk or hang out at home playing a board game. We don't need to spend any money to enjoy each other's company.
Real friends that know you have money will not expect you to pay for their meal and they won't expect you to help them pay off their debts.
But they might ask you for advice.
And maybe you are in a position to help give some smart personal finance advice. Just like you would tell your best buddy to get the courage to ask that girl out on a date.
It's like we talked about yesterday, the only way to get good at something is to practice. That same formula works with getting good at talking about personal finance.
Don't be afraid of losing a good friend because you talk about money.
A good friend is a good friend is a good friend.
Talking About Money With Your Spouse
As the featured image implies, talking about your personal finances with your spouse is the very least you must do. If it's not a deal breaker now, it will be a deal breaker after you are married when things are way more complicated.
One team, one dream.
If you expect to spend a meaningful life together, it's a requirement that you each take full responsibility for understanding how much money you have as a team, where you are spending all your money as a team, and work together to pay off any debts that either of you are bringing into the marriage. And when you know where you stand at the beginning, you can work together to save money for an early retirement.
Imagine being married to someone for 10 years, having two kids together, and finding out that your spouse has had a significant debt since before you were married and still hasn't paid it off.
When you are married, it's one big pot that you have to stir, together.
Save Money Retire Early is written by Jon Lo, a barely 30 something change optimist, and personal finance guy. I believe anyone can be rich or poor, it's what you save that makes the difference.