“Money makes the world go round.”
“Don’t share your income.”
“Don’t talk about your money goals.”
“Spending money will make you happy.”
Money is part of my life whether I like it or not. Yet, I’m not supposed to talk about it. I need to be smart, invest, save, spend, etc. But by default, seeking advice is tough as people get cold feet when talking about this hidden divinity that is cash.
Just like everyone else I dream of Financial Independence. Imagine being able to work for pleasure not thinking about having to make ends meet. Money Taboos are counterproductive.
How am I expected to reach freedom, if I can’t be open?
I was lucky, my family always talked freely about finances. Whether it from downturns to investments. It made money mundane instead of some kind of deity. We need it to live — but it’s nothing more than a tool. Vicki Robinson’s “Your Money or Your Life”, completely transformed my understanding of money.
What relationship do I want with it?
Should it govern my life?
How much do I need?
That last question hit me hard. When am I going to have enough? I’m not a dragon… No need to hoard as much as I can. What would be the point? Her book helped me realize that juggling multiple side-hustles, a normal job — isn’t making a living. We are dying at work. When do I get the time to live?
No More Shame - No More Taboo
How many times have you bought something on a whim?
How many times did you look at the object shamefully?
Yeah me too…
The number of times I spent money on a “must-have” is unmeasurable. When I started questioning why I didn’t share my expenses more. I realized it was because of this inherent shame.
What are they going to think about me?
Who spends that much on tech?
It was much easier to keep it for myself. At the end of the day it’s none of their business, is it?
That’s that I’m not sharing. But what if I did? I couldn’t shake the thought off. Some day I took the step. I started small. Talking about my overall rent with some colleagues. My gosh… it’s like a weight was lifted. By listening to their tips, tricks, and struggles. I felt like I was seeing light. Then the dreaded “Why?” came. Why do I spend this amount? Why not more or less?
This epiphany made me realize that not only am I not alone. But we are all going through this existential crisis.
Opening up about my expenses allows me to understand why I’m spending. The need for a strict budget has passed me over. I must understand what my values are. As long as my spending reflects them — I’m doing well. No point in being ashamed either. Ridding myself of Money Taboos made me realize: What is spent is spent. Discover more about this thought process with my article Why I Was Wrong About My Financial Goals.
What Am I Worth?
An intense yet important question. We are encouraged by society to keep our income to ourselves. It’s simply bad etiquette to discuss salary. Truly the most engrained of Money Taboos. But how am I supposed to know what I deserve if I can’t talk about it?
Another head-scratcher. The answer was easier. I didn’t want to sell myself short. How are the different roles compensated? Opening the discussion with my colleagues, friends, and family was a mixed bag. It was easier with my generation. We have similar roles. We were all in the same ballpark. On the other hand, it meant we had less to learn from each other.
Although starting a conversation with older generations was tough. It was beneficial when the shell started to crack. Not only could I learn about future potential earnings within my job. I learned a lot about multiple income streams. Whether it was rental income, dividends, or general freelancing.
This topic is paramount when it comes to blogging and freelancing. As we all adventure on our journey to creativity we are blind. The community and people being open about their revenue online is what gives us referral points.
By opening up the conversation around income. I discovered options for future revenue streams. It set expectations for my financial future and a benchmark for my blogging. But most importantly, I understood my worth isn’t tied to my income.
Let's Get Rid Of Money Taboos Together
Understanding money is a tough nut to crack. You can’t do it alone, yet sharing is frowned upon. By opening up about my finances – I liberated myself. I realized that I’m not alone. Sharing both my fears and my successes means they become real. The only way to deal with something is by acknowledging it.
Not only has it empowered me it has helped people around me.
Having money talks is beneficial. It made me understand that my income doesn’t represent my worth. It is a building block I use to reach fulfillment.
I would love to hear from you. What helped you break the Money Taboo? How to you go around Money Talks?