I don’t know how things are in other parts of the world, but here in Western Europe, our
Cultural Relationship with Money
In our culture, it’s not very common to discuss money. I don’t know why. It’s just the way things go I think. However, it seems that things are changing.
Let me give you an example. It seems that generally, lots of people are not willing to openly discuss money topics. The best they can do is semi-joking about things like “oh yeah my salary is too little” and “whoops I’ve spent all my money already”.
In other cultures, it might be absolutely normal to talk about money with almost anyone. For example, in Singapore money is a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation.
Times are Changing
These days it seems our
The same is true with my friends. We openly discuss these things. When one of them was trying to move jobs, within our group we discussed things like salary and how that would impact mortgage approvals and such.
I’m quite open about money. Maybe it’s because I blog about money. Here on my site, I can be fully transparent. I mean, every month I publish my full financial picture. You can read my income, expenses, net worth statements, you name it.
I do feel times are changing and people are becoming more comfortable discussing money. But if it’s a sign our relationship with money is changing, I don’t know about that.
The Value and Use of Money
Part of our relation to money is the way we think about money, not just how we talk about it. I see all around me that people are using money just as a way to buy more shiny things. Especially these days, when the economy is great and people have well-paying jobs, they like to show off and spend all their money on stuff.
I’m not the guy preaching extreme frugality. I like my gadgets, too. Heck, I’m typing this article on a 2,000 euro laptop! Now you don’t call that frugal, right?
Although I’m the last to call people out on spending their money (I’m quite liberal, people should do whatever they want), I do think we could be a little bit more mindful about what we’re spending our money on.
“What are you going to spend it on?”
This is the question that is asked by every radio host, every time a candidate wins a prize in the radio show. This question alone assumes that people are going to spend it.
I would love to hear one day: “I’m going to buy a crap load of VWRL with it”. And then, of course, this person has to explain to the radio host what VWRL is.
No, in reality people are all about spending. Today I had a conversation with someone about what to do about accidentally receiving a double salary. This actually happened to him, and he called his company and made things right by sending the excess part back.
I would have given this person a lot of kudos for being honest with
Yeah, that’s the problem in our relationship with money. We’re terrible savers. I hope my blog and our community are increasing the awareness of the importance of savings.
How would you describe your relationship with money? Would you call it healthy?