3 Great Reasons to Talk About Money With Your Friends

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Open and honest communication can improve your life in so many ways.


Key points

  • A poll in April 2022 showed that 56% of adults polled believe talking about money with others is “taboo.”
  • Your friends can be a source of financial advice and cheerleading.
  • They can also be a sympathetic ear to vent about financial mistakes and mishaps.

Talking openly about money can be uncomfortable or even scary, even now in the year 2022. A study of 2,000 adults conducted by Questis and OnePoll earlier this year found that 56% of those polled believed talking about money with others was “taboo.” What’s more, 58% admitted to faking their money situation on social media so they looked more financially stable. Yikes!

I’m a big believer in open communication, and in the course of getting better with money and paying off debt this year, I’ve also become an advocate for talking about personal finance with the important people in your life, be they family or friends. Read on to learn why it pays to get over your money hangups and share your financial wins — and losses.

1. You can get or give advice — for free!

If money is a topic you can get more comfortable discussing, you can ask for money advice from a knowledgeable friend. A quick caveat here: unless you’re lucky enough to be friends with finance professionals, it’s best to take all free financial advice with a grain of salt. Social media is rife with folks who have a free platform, and as a result, there is some truly terrible money advice out there. So if your friends advise you to apply for a particular credit card or use a certain brokerage firm, it’s a good idea to do some research of your own first, to see if that product is truly a fit for you. On that note, consulting with a financial advisor is also an excellent idea.

That said, if you’re on the hunt for a new credit card and you know you’ll be doing a lot of your spending at the grocery store, it’s a smart move to ask around in your friend circle and see if anyone has a great recommendation for a card offering cash back for grocery spending. It’s nice to get a real user’s opinion from someone you know and trust. Similarly, if you’ve never invested before, you likely have a few questions about how 401(k)s and IRAs work, and your investment-savvy friend might be willing to give you a quick rundown.

If you’re more open about money matters, you might also become the person that others turn to. I’ll share an example: A few months ago, a dear friend was having trouble with her banking situation and was faced with needing to pay off a pile of accumulated overdraft fees. Knowing that I work in personal finance content, she asked me for information about personal loans and how to get one. I was happy to point her to useful resources. It feels good to help a friend.

2. You can find allies

Just as it’s important to have financially knowledgeable friends in your life, it can be great to have some money cheerleaders too. If you get comfortable talking about money, you can share your financial gains, and maybe get some encouragement to chase your money dreams. No one wants to be nagged about money, but if you can be honest with your friends about your intention to spend less on eating out or buying clothes, they might be willing to help you with that goal (or at least not actively work against you ). If you normally go shopping and then for lunch on the odd Saturday, you can all work together to come up with a less-costly alternative way to spend time together. And unless you exclusively hang out with the wealthy, it’s likely your friends would also appreciate getting encouragement to save money at a time when inflation is so high and the cost of everyday living has skyrocketed.

3. You can vent in a safe environment

Again, unless all your friends are wealthy (and sometimes even if they are!), chances are good they’ve experienced money frustrations from time to time. If you apply and get turned down for a credit card you really wanted, or you have a car mishap and have to scrounge up your auto insurance deductible so you can get your car fixed, it’s nice to have people you can vent to. Sometimes you have a bad financial day (or week, or month…), and a sympathetic ear can make all the difference, even if that friend can’t actually help you in a concrete way.

Let’s end the taboo against talking about money. Being open and honest with your friends about your financial situation can help you improve, help them improve, and can even make your friendships stronger. For all these reasons and more, it can be really good for your finances.

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