Money is right up there with politics and religion being one of the no-go topics. Studies have shown that 51% of people don’t speak at all about money with their friends OR family. However, speaking about money is a factor in being financially healthy and meeting financial goals. With women and minority groups throughout history being left out of the conversation, it’s no wonder there are vast inequalities in wealth and access to financial information.  

Not talking about money isn’t a debate – especially these days with the endless growing number of savings, investment and budgeting options. Millennials know this, which is why they’re more likely to speak about the topic of money.  So, when you do decide to talk to someone about money issues, here are tips to get the most out of them. 

Timing the conversation

If a friend asks you for advice or you’re feeling uncomfortable about a certain money matter, neglecting it is never an option. You need to have the conversation. Your timing of the conversation is crucial. If a friend says that they are struggling with student loan payments, this is not the best time to bring up the fact that you’ve just finished paying off yours. Also, don’t blabber on about your finances when the person you’re reaching out to is busy. Instead, schedule a set time to have an open-ended conversation. Maybe even have some questions ready. This way, you’ll both feel prepared to discuss financial matters in depth, softening any  awkward feelings that arise when the conversation occurs randomly. 

Who to have the conversation with

If it’s regarding financial options or information you’re uncertain about, contacting a friend or family member who works within the finance industry is a start. But, we’re often not good at hearing the truth from others. Looking on the internet, on reliable sites, is another often empowering option for financial advice. However, you probably already know the answer but are having difficulty implementing the solution. If this is the case, the 22seven app can be the friend you need. A non-judgemental friend who knows your finances inside out. It’ll help you see all your money in one place, automatically create a budget for you and give you relevant insight. It’ll even motivate you to pay off debt, spend less on items you don’t need and stick to those important goals. To top it all off, it knows nobody is perfect so it’ll remind you of the reason you started saving or spending less in the first place. Not even tinder could match you to someone like this!  

Be honest with your friends (and yourself)

Setting clearly defined financial goals is difficult. We often try to save too much too fast or mistakenly spend on the thing we said we wouldn’t. Friends can help you with accountability and setting realistic goals. Allow them to be honest with you and remember not to feel defensive. Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to money. Friends and family can often see our blind spots and point out scenarios like at after work drinks, weekend get-aways or going to the shops where we spend more than we wanted too. 

When you’ve found the winning formula and you’re meeting those realistic goals, this will open the door for knowledge sharing. If you are honest with your friends about the goals you’ve set, they can offer what they’ve learned from their own experiences too.

Let’s start the conversation

Money doesn’t talk, we do, so let’s continue to learn and speak to each other. Let’s slowly remove the taboo-ness of money talks. Starting with a trusted friend or family member that has been in a similar money situation can invite better financial habits and behaviours into your daily life. 

Ross Reid

Written by .

Ross has joined the 22seven team as a Slice and Blog writer. He's a keen financial writer who enjoys demystifying the world of finance. Ross is currently pursuing the CFA designation and has a background in Real Estate finance and investment. In his spare time, he can usually be found reading, running or on the football field.
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