Last Updated on May 25, 2022 by Neera Bhardwaj
The social stigma around money is strong. Many have felt embarrassed or even anxious when it comes to discussing income or other topics on personal finance. A lot of couples avoid an open conversation about building a financial future together.
But it’s 2022, and about time to break some common money taboos. Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
Talk about finances with your partner
Gone are those days when the man/breadwinner was solely responsible for handling finances for his family. Earlier it was almost customary for partners to combine their personal finance into joint accounts. Sharing everything was the norm, but not anymore.
Today, it is common among couples to have separate finances. Some, however, also prefer the hybrid approach of having individual accounts while also maintaining a joint account. The bottom line is that your financial goals should be in sync, and you should be upfront about your financial aspirations with your partner.
Married couples don’t necessarily need to have a joint account today; what they need to have is a joint vision of the future. Being open and truthful about your finances, debts, or other liabilities will further fortify your relationship. Keeping your partner in the dark about your financial status or financial infidelity can surely derail your financial future.
No matter what, strive to maintain open communications around finances with your partner and advisor.
Debts are bad (all debts are not the same)
The stigma around the word ‘debt’ is so strong that people often feel stressed to talk about it even with their closest relations. One of the major reasons to break the taboo around the subject is not only to ease the mental burden that comes with it but also to educate people about debts.
We cannot put all the debts in the same bracket — some debts like business loans/student loans are powerful financial tools that help you achieve your ambitions.
One should not be too quick to demonize debts. Instead, one should meticulously study different loan types, terms, credit scores, and interest rates to inculcate good money management habits for our finances.
Moreover, debts are not at all uncommon. At some point in their lives, every person draws loans, which again could be for various reasons. However, it is paramount to monitor and repay your loans to have a clean financial spreadsheet.
It is time to talk about debts without baggage and normalize the fact that some debts are extremely valuable when appropriately managed.
Providing independence to kids on money matters
Indian parents are never too comfortable letting their kids independently manage their finances. But encouraging your children to become financially independent is essential to build their future and confidence.
Many parents, even today, support their children with a monthly allowance and look after their personal finances well into their 40s. However, as difficult as it may seem to cut off your children and walk away when they need your support — you have to ask yourself if being too helpful and supportive is detrimental for your children.
It’s unthinkable for many parents to let their kids manage finances without their guidance, but it is about time to break this taboo.
Not discussing money matters with children
Some parents also find it taboo to discuss ‘money’ with their children.
But, in today’s world, conversations about personal finance need not have to take place behind closed doors. In fact, including your children in age-appropriate conservations will help you make them more responsible. Having a healthy dialogue about round finances encourages discipline and inculcates healthy saving and spending habits.
That said, parents need not reveal every aspect of their bills and finances. But teaching your kids early on the basics of taxes, how to pay bills, and manage money can go a long way in ensuring they remain financially sound and never depend on anybody.
You need to leave your kids an inheritance
Another taboo revolving around the parent-children relationship is the fact that parents feel the compulsive need to leave their children some assets after they pass, no matter the number of sacrifices they go through as they live.
While the general idea behind inheritance is nice and the parent’s intention is also justified, parents often hold on to this long-held tradition out of emotion and put their own well-being at stake for their children’s future.
Times are changing, and children today would rather want their parents to live in comfort than struggle to provide for them later. Of course, the choice of leaving an inheritance to your children is personal, but if you can’t, it’s about time to break the taboo.
Investing in financial instruments other than FDs
Many Indians have never been comfortable with the idea of investing in stocks, mutual funds, and other such instruments. It is only in the past decade that Indians have started to look beyond traditional investing options.
Fixed Deposits were considered safe, and investing in other instruments attracted negative attention from family and friends. But, now is the time to break free from this taboo. With advanced research, expert opinion, technology, and sound risk management, one can earn excellent returns from equities and various other instruments.
Money is a touchy subject, but you can break this taboo with your partner, family, and close friends if you start talking more about your finances and management in a healthy way. Talking about your personal finance can fortify your relationship and improve the quality of your life.
So isn’t it about time to break some taboos?