Nickolas G. Muscat

Written By Nickolas G. Muscat

On: August 28, 2019


Your Big Problem With Money


The biggest issue plaguing our society when it comes to our financial stability is the huge taboo surrounding the discussion of anything money. Whether that be income, savings, debt, investments, super or absolutely anything else related to personal finance.
Today I want to do something a bit different and delve into this taboo around finances and why it is such a problem.
Let's begin with the biggest and most obvious issue. It leads to poverty, the inability for people to discuss their finances means more people remain without financial education which therefore leads to poverty. Dr. Bruce Lipton attributes the number one reason that people are poor to their upbringing and this is not an unheard-of concept. Check out a great book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki which covers this idea in depth. So how do we get around this if most people are and remain poor as a result of being brought up by equally (financially) uneducated and hence equally poor parents? The answer to this question is we talk about our finanical situations. We get comfortable talking about finances, so we can learn and then consequently better our financial situation. This silence is what keeps the poor people poor and the rich people rich.
Let's discuss a more specific example, the workplace. Dishonest employers love it when you enforce this taboo because it opens a massive opportunity for dishonesty surrounding your salary/rate of pay. If no one is willing to discuss their rate of pay the employer could easily pay each person what they think is good and tell everyone to keep quiet about it. Resulting in massive pay gaps for people potentially doing the exact same job. This is just one of what I can see are many potential exploitations.
Another may be more simple things that can have large effects on one’s financial situation. Let us look at how much we pay for things, we could go our whole life’s being totally ripped off by our internet provider and not know it because we don't want to discuss it with others. Fortunately, the internet has made this sort of issue much easier to manage as there is copious amounts of information online about certain topics such as power bills and phone bills but there still exists many where such information is so easily fell upon. This may include water bills, school/university tuition, interest rates, insurance, etc.
Research from Suncorp supports this information citing that openness surrounding finances greatly helps people and particularly children develop a strong financial education they otherwise would not have.
These sorts of disadvantages have so many more dimensions depending on whether this taboo is being extended to the home or between friends. Looking at a 2016 study by The University of the Free State, South Africa that surveyed about 160 financial planning students on their behaviours surrounding the discussions of their financial situations. More than 60% did NOT talk about their financial situation despite almost 60% agreeing that it should be talked about. Furthermore, while most did talk about their finances with their family most did not discuss them with people outside their family with a dip in numbers when it came to discussions in the workplace. Similarly, an Australian study by ME bank showed almost 30% of Australians do not like talking about their finances with 16% not talking to anyone about them and most only opening up to partners (64%), parents (27%) and friends (23%)
So, the conclusion here is that we should try to feel more comfortable talking about money and everyone who is trying to change their financial situation must become comfortable discussing their own and others financial situations if they want to change it.

Summary:

-There is a taboo surrounding the discussion of money

-This taboo has negative effects on the financial situations of many

-We should work together to talk about our finances and break this taboo

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It is important to note as always, while all the information is provided in faith that it is accurate and reliable. It is to be noted I am NOT a financial adviser and information given is purely my opinion on discussed matters. It is always recommended you speak to a financial adviser before making any financial decisions you may not be sure of.
Wondering how you can make more money?
Information cited:
https://www.mebank.com.au/news/sex-and-money-are-our-top-taboo-subjects/?r404=1
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0950422216670065
http://www.richdad.com/
https://www.suncorpgroup.com.au/news/features/money-talk-is-still-considered-taboo

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