On Talking About Finances
Thursday, February 7, 2013
I've started doing something that makes people around me uncomfortable: I've started openly talking about my finances.
Now while some may think it's rude, and others may think it's impolite or inappropriate, I made an active decision to start talking about my finances for a few reasons:
1) So they can't control me.
2) To make myself vulnerable, and therefore grow.
3) To better understand them.
So they can't control me.
When I never spoke about my finances with anyone, it was out of fear and shame. I was afraid I'd be judged if people knew how much I spent here, or how much we owed there...
The fact of the matter is: WE HAVE STUDENT LOANS. And that's OK.
If I admit it out loud, take a deep breath, and get the understanding nod from the person I'm talking to, I feel better and feel more able to tackle them. The fear and shame isn't there anymore, and my finances are no longer something that controls me. I have started to control them.
To make myself vulnerable and therefore grow.
After I got over my fear of talking about my finances, and actually shared them, I noticed something: there's always a brief moment after sharing where the person I'm talking to has the opportunity to tell me off, brush me off, respond negatively, or respond positively.
In that brief amount of time, I learn a lot about myself.
I've grown so much by putting myself in these learning situations. I'm learning how to prepare myself for an unknown outcome, how to respond properly in any given situation, and how to not be ashamed or afraid of where I'm at.
To better understand them.
In school, I was a note taker... you know, the one with the ridiculous amount of different colored pens and highlighters, who wrote and re-wrote them? That girl. I made flashcards, read them out loud, highlighted the books, etc.
So it's really no surprise that until I started being active with my finances, I didn't quite understand them. Talking about them helps to drive that point home. This is real. This is not make believe. It's an exercise of belief and understanding for me. To make it real, so that I won't brush it off.
Actively deciding to talk about my finances has proven to be an amazing step in my life. It's my year of purpose. So far, I think I'm doing OK.