In a recent blog post, It’s (Mostly) About Priorities, I noted that after two years of running this blog and three books I had changed my belief with respect to why too many people never achieve financial freedom. Whereas I formerly believed the problem was a lack of interest, I have modified that belief, slightly, and have settled on the idea that the problem for too many people is that there isn’t enough interest to make personal finance a top priority.
As I noted in the title of that previous post, I believe most fail financially because they fail to make it a priority. What might be a lesser reason – or perhaps more accurately – a supporting reason contained within the primary reason, is that a lot of people are afraid to talk about their finances (i.e. income and savings/investing practices) with others.
I suspect that part of the reluctance stems from the fact that in our society the norm is to not discuss money, whether that be salaries or savings. Perhaps the more significant reasons are that people are afraid their ignorance with respect to money matters will be revealed if they say too much and they will be unfavorably compared to others if they reveal their salary, savings, portfolio balances, etc.
I am firmly convinced that one of the reasons I have found financial success is because following my separation, and subsequent divorce, I put my pride aside and spoke to friends – who appeared to have found some measure of financial success themselves – and shared details of my financial situation at the time and I asked their thoughts on how I might turn my financial life around. I often spoke in detail with one friend who provided incredibly useful information and guidance. Even today, fifteen years after I started to make serious changes to my financial life, found success and have a solid, proven plan in place, I still have a very close friend with whom I speak frequently about financial matters and we often bounce thoughts/ideas off each other.
If you are committed to assuming more control of your financial life and finding relief from financial worries, make personal finance a priority. And as part of that education process, don’t be afraid to open your mouth, ask questions and have free-wheeling conversations about all matters related to money.