It's time to talk about money

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By Katie Frazer, UniSuper Assistant Product Manager

Have you been bragging about clearing your credit card debt or talking about ways to get ahead financially? Didn’t think so.

Everyone knows there are topics we should steer clear of to keep conversations flowing—religion, death, politics, sex and money.

While we’re happy to ‘be on the money’, talk up our ‘money for jam’ ventures or even put in our ‘two cents’ worth’, we’re just not comfortable openly discussing the topic of money with our friends, family or even our partners.

So why is money talk still taboo in this age of over-sharing?

Largely, money is a loaded topic because it’s tied to our emotions, power, status and levels of happiness. How we’re raised can also have a powerful influence on our relationship with money.

But while there might be a number of reasons holding us back, there’s a downside to not talking openly about money.

Not being open about money issues can do us damage—leading not only to poor financial outcomes, but stress that can harm our health and relationships.

So how do we remove the secrecy and talk openly about our finances? It’s not as scary as you might think. Finding your voice to talk about money can start with understanding some basic financial concepts like investing, saving methods, and planning for the future.

This can be as easy as logging in to MemberOnline and checking out MoneySavvy, our online financial education program. Here you can find tips, calculators and activities on a range of money topics.

You can also get the kids involved by tapping into the handy money conversation starters listed on T. Rowe Price’s Money Confident KidsTM site—again located in MemberOnline. The site also teaches kids valuable money skills through money-themed games and activities.

If you need help actually sorting out your finances, you might be best to chat with a qualified financial adviser. It’s their job to help people better understand their finances and advise on strategies to get them ahead financially.

Once you know more about how money works and the role it plays in your life, you’ll feel more comfortable talking about it—which could lead to better financial decisions, better long-term outcomes and less conflict.

Now that’s something to talk about.