This is a sponsored guest post.
On the one hand, having poor money skills is seen as something one should be ashamed of. On the other, discussing money is regarded as something polite people do not do.
Here’s the thing, though: If it isn’t cool to talk about money, how are you supposed to learn about ways to improve your money management skills?
Moreover, why do people think that talking about money is rude in the first place?
1. Many Believe You Are What You Earn
While it’s true to a certain extent that what you earn can determine how you live, it should not define you as a human being. Oddly though, far too many people judge others by the amount of money they bring home each year.
One of the first questions people ask when meeting someone new is, “So, what do you do?” This is little more than a veiled way to try to determine where to place that individual in their own personal social hierarchy.
Other forms of this question are, “Where do you live?” “Where did you go to school?” “What school does your child go to?” People tend to equate a significant income with a better life — which is far from being true.
What you earn should have no bearing on your sense of self-worth.
2. Lacking Financial Resources Is Considered an Embarrassment
Getting back to number one for a moment, many people also believe those with financial issues bring their problems upon themselves.
For them, seeking the assistance of a consumer credit counseling service feels like an indication of irresponsible spending. Meanwhile, regardless of what you earn, odds are you’re just one or two missed paychecks away from experiencing a serious downturn in lifestyle. What’s more, this can come about for any number of reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with recklessness.
Unexpected medical expenses have debilitated many a family’s financial situation. As this is being written, a broad swath of the economy has been hamstrung by the need to suspend business dealings in order to get a pandemic under control with many people losing their livelihoods as a result.
Yes, you can argue people should have had enough savings to get them by. However, increases in the cost of living have outpaced wage growth year after year. This has left many people far more vulnerable financially than they would otherwise have been.
3. Employers Know It Will Cost Them More
Nearly every workplace has rules against employees discussing salary with one another. Do you really need to put a lot of thought into figuring out why? How will you react if you learn your co-worker doing the exact same job — possibly with the exact same level of experience and exact same education and competence — is being paid more money than you?
Employers are well aware of this and it’s why they demand people keep quiet about their earnings — even though insisting they do so is illegal.
4. The Power Structure Believes It Creates Civil Unrest
The compensation of corporate CEOs was not disclosed for many years. However, that information is easy to find with a simple internet search these days.
One of the results of this change has been a strong social outcry about the huge gulf between the pay of a CEO and the person making the product the CEO guides into and through the marketplace. This disparity had led to a groundswell of protest as the rich continually get richer while the middle and working classes struggle just to maintain.
Finding solutions to these problems will remain difficult as long as people continue to think talking about money is rude. In a fair and just society, everyone would be paid according to what they contribute, as opposed to what they can negotiate. However, that will only happen when people become more open about money and financial matters in general.