Did you know that financial stress is as common as mental ill-health?*
Yet we speak about our money worries even less than we speak about emotional struggles.
Money is still a bit of a dirty word, still taboo to talk about.
(The exception of course is talking about the latest get rich easy scheme. Ironically, those schemes tend to attract people in financial stress and often lead to deeper money troubles.)
Looks are deceiving
One of the problems of money being a taboo topic is that we don’t realise how common it is to struggle with money.
All we can see is everyone else’s apparent external success and we compare that to the internal chaos we may feel.
To borrow a phrase from mental health:
be careful comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides.
The external signal based on the stuff we see when we visit our friend’s houses or on their social media, may not reflect the reality of how fragile their finances are, and how stressed they feel.
In late 2019 Fidelity surveyed Australians and found that two-thirds of us worry about money at least monthly. Half of Aussies worry about money weekly and for a quarter of us, money is a daily worry.
It’s not you
Struggling with money doesn’t mean we’re dumb or hopeless.
It just means that no-one’s yet taught us how to navigate the very tempting spending buffet.
All humans struggle with that until they learn how.
It’s ok to be not ok with money
Money stress is very common but not normal or healthy.
It’s ok to ask for help.
Just like we have been doing with mental illness and mental health, let’s break the taboo so we all can get more happiness out of our money.
Let’s start talking openly about money with each other.
I’m curious, who do know and care about that may appreciate you sharing this message with them today?
* References: Productivity Commission 2020, APA 2015, Fidelity 2020, Choosi 2019, FCA 2020