The Backwards Nature of Talking About Money

10.18.06 | Money | 0 Comments | by junger

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There's something completely backwards about the way people talk about money.

People love to talk about the large amount of money they have, they spend or they otherwise use.

People do not love to talk about the money they save, they are indebted or they otherwise don't use.

Why is that?

In communities where keeping up with the Joneses is natural, it's all about the money you spend, earn or invest. Obviously, by discussing the (normally large) amount of money you use, you imply that you're well off.

It's sexy. It's going to make you more well liked. It's going to improve your self-image.

But when the conversation moves to saving money, either for retirement, school or other activities, it's awkward.

Not necessarily because it's a bad thing — obviously it isn't — but because people don't do it. As Americans, we tend to save less money than we should. Talking about saving and being frugal also has the tendency to make you look like a miser — which it shouldn't.

You can't physically show off savings to people. You can show off items to people.

I'm not trying to deride spending — if you have the money and a good financial game plan, then by all means, enjoy life. But you should feel comfortable talking about saving because you're doing it.

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