We should talk about money. But how many people do you know actually do this? Here’s how to talk about money with your friends. Grab a glass and read through the Money Do’s and Don’ts to learn how to talk to your friends about money.
What do you talk to your friends about? Your relationships, what you’re wearing, your frustrations at work or your favourite TV show or movie. You know you need to talk about money and most of you trust your friends. But ask yourself this honestly:
Do you talk to your friends about money?
Most of us don’t talk to our friends about money because we don’t feel confident. We’re raised not to talk about money because many parents shut down the conversation and very few of us get taught about money in school in the same way we are taught about Shakespeare, despite money being more relevant to our daily lives than the sonnets.
If you do want to talk about money, your friends are a great participant in this conversation.
Most likely you’ve chosen your friends carefully and you trust them. You also likely already have experiences of money with them including talking about who pays the bill, knowing which restaurants you afford to grab dinner out together and talking about your respective career goals.
These are considerations about money that you make in your friendships and the more comfortable you become in talking about money, the more confident you’ll feel in having conversations about money with your friends. This requires practice and knowing how to talk to your friends about money.
Here are the money do’s and don’ts of how to talk to your friends about money:
DO Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. You are on your own path with money and your friend is on their own path, not yours. Compare yourself only to where you were in the path and how far you’ve come in your money journey.
DON’T stop talking about money forever because you feel awkward. It will absolutely be awkward to talk about money if you’ve never talked about it with your friend. It’s like riding a bike and it will feel weird when you’re doing it for the first time. Persist and eventually, talking about money will feel as natural as riding a bike.
DO start the conversation. You can’t expect your friend to be the one who starts talking about money if you aren’t prepared to start the conversation yourself. So lead by example and start normalising talking about money with your friend by starting the conversation.
DON’T pretend to know something you don’t. You’re not expected to be a financial expert and you will have things you don’t know. Be upfront about what you do and don’t know so that you can learn together.
DO focus on the idea of money rather than exact numbers. People feel very weird in talking about their salary so ease into the conversation by talking to someone about money concepts or ideas rather than asking your friend for exact numbers of their salary from out the gate.
DON’T ignore the person you’re talking to. This is a two-way conversation and you should be responsive to how comfortable your friend is, including not pushing them if they don’t feel comfortable for example revealing their exact salary number. It’s an important conversation but it’s more important to respect your friend and to go at a pace you are comfortable with.
DO support your friends when they win. Celebrate your friend’s money wins including their promotions and milestones like paying off their debt and lift them up when they win.
DON’T make assumptions about your friend’s relationship to money. People come from different backgrounds and are raised with different experiences of money. As a friend, your role is to listen and not assume, to ask questions to learn more about what they are comfortable to share and support your friend as they learn more about money and improve their relationship with it.
DO talk about your goals. Whether it’s paying down your credit card debt or saving up for a house deposit, these goals are important to communicate to your friend. That way, your friend doesn’t keep inviting you out for expensive cocktails and gets offended when you decline the invite. If they know the goal you’re striving for, they are more likely to support you to succeed in reaching that goal.
DON’T judge your friend and their financial situation. Unless you are in their shoes, you don’t know why they are fortunate or in a difficult position with money. Your role is to support them to reach their goals, removing judgment from the conversation.
Talking to your friends about money is incredibly powerful.
Your friends are the family you choose to surround yourself with. Talking to your friends about money is incredibly powerful because you trust them and they are uniquely placed to support you. Use these Money Do’s and Don’ts as a starting point to have powerful conversations about money with the people you trust the most and whose opinion you value.
Read more: Pros and Cons of a Share House