It’s impossible to ignore that we’re in the throes of wedding season, a time when many people begrudgingly overspend to avoid discomfort and disappointment. We’re all human, we’ve all felt pressured to buy something from a pushy salesperson at one time or agreed to do something we wouldn’t normally spend a dime on. Collectively we can alleviate that awkwardness by being honest with those closest to us and actually speaking up about money and finances. Like most things, talking about money gets easier with practice. Here are some tips:
Be the first to share
Leading by example is a brave and necessary move, someone has to get the ball rolling! An empowering start can be as simple as saying ‘Hey, that (activity/trip/evening out) is out of my budget right now, but I’d love to celebrate with some inexpensive activities like ___’ to the next invitation you receive but can’t afford. Financial awkwardness festers in the shadows – don’t let it. Be the first to broach the subject of salaries, investing and finances with friends because it will encourage others to open up as well. You’ll probably discover ways to support each other’s goals too!
Be supportive of anyone sharing with you
As we know, being the first to broach the subject of finances is daunting, so it’s crucial to offer positivity and supportive to anyone sharing their own finances with you. It’s impossible for you to know the nuances of anyone’s finances, don’t pry and don’t be judgy. Strive to be an empathetic, good listener by asking respectful questions and offering suggestions when asked. Feel free to share your experiences as they relate to what someone has shared (never in a judgmental way).
Be respectful of the time, place and who’s present
Bringing up your budget during a friend’s surprise birthday party is not the ideal time or place. Aim for a time that’s low-key, casual and appropriate. That could be simply asking a friend if they have a 401k while driving to Costco or at the next games night, mentioning that you’re saving up to add to your emergency fund. Opening a dialogue may feel daunting so it’s important to remember to choose a time and place that feels appropriate so your friends feel comfortable sharing.