Is Talking About Money Tacky? (Exploring This Social Stigma)

Talking about money is still considered tacky in our society.  Before discussing this, we need to understand what is meant by talking about money.  Does it mean saying the amount of money you earn per month or in a year?  Well, that can be tacky.  No one wants to talk about their income.

However, people normally talk about the things they’re buying, their financial plans for buying a house, how much they spent on their last holiday, or how much they’re going to spend on their child’s education, and so on. 

Money is an integral part of our existence.  Yet, people even prefer to talk about their sex lives, but not money – something to think about, right?


Why Is Talking About Money Tacky?

Let us see why money, such an important thing, is still tacky in our society.


It Is Attached To Etiquette & Manners

All of us want to show our best etiquette and good manners in public.  You will find that even among the quite wealthy people, talking about money can be considered tacky.  As for the less privileged households, the parents often want to shield their children from the actual financial scenario.

What about the middle-income households? 

Well, there also, talking to kids about money is not a very usual thing.


Success Is Often Linked To Money

In our society, money represents success and status.  It is regarded that a person is powerful if he/she has relatively more money or wealth.  Often success is measured in terms of money.  No matter whatever educational qualification you have, what job role you perform, you may not be regarded as successful if you are not a millionaire.

We often tie our self-worth with money.  We feel we will have to accumulate wealth to increase our self-worth.  That is the reason we fear to disclose our money matters to others.

A person always fears that if others come to know about his/her debts or problems to meet daily necessities, he/she will be looked down upon.  Therefore, people usually avoid discussing money matters with others and as a result, often fail to manage it properly.


Views Vary Among Men & Women

It is also surprising that the views of men and women vary while talking about money in a relationship or with others.  Most women are not comfortable discussing financial matters even if they are running their household.  They even hesitate to discuss money issues with a financial adviser.  It might be because they’ve learned that it’s not polite to talk about money.

A study conducted by Marketwatch in 2018 stated that about 41% of women said they can understand their investments well as compared to 56% of men.

So, here also, gender issues play a role.

Financial experts are of the view that this can affect a woman’s financial stability.  The reluctance to talk about money can also lead to wage gaps.

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Money Plays An Important Role In Personal Relationships

Yes, very few people say, let’s talk about money, while they date each other.  It's not even a common subject to discuss after marriage.  Spouses hesitate to reveal their financial life to each other.  As a result, money is one of the most common reasons for misunderstandings and divorce.

Financial counselors often stress disclosing money-related issues to one another.  For example, if a spouse has debt, he/she should reveal it before marriage to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.  If they can do it successfully, both spouses can plan to repay the debt and plan for a brighter financial future together.


How We Can Make Talking About Money Less Tacky

Now, let’s see how we can overcome this issue and how it will help us manage our finances better.


Come To Terms With Money-Related Stress

Stress is one of the main things associated with money.  Observe whether there is a change in your behavior due to money stress.  Are you eating more, drinking, arguing, due to money stress?

If so, then talk about money issues with someone you trust.  The person can be your parent, your trustworthy friend, or a financial adviser.  If required, you can also take a course to manage your finances in a better way.  Also, make sure to educate your family that talking about money is a good thing.


Take Help From A Community

If you are not comfortable discussing money with your friends or family, you can lean on a community.  Part of my mission is to help you manage your finances better.

You can start by taking advantage of all my FIRE Resources and Reading My Most Popular Posts.  I am also on Instagram @Inspire.To.FIRE with frequent updates.


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Lastly, enjoy the podcast on your way to work or while exercising!  I interview leaders in the FIRE Community and each episode has actionable takeaways to improve your finances.


Learn About Money While Driving Or Working Out

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I never consider talking about money tacky, so go ahead and leave a comment, send an email, or reach out on social media.

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Set A Time To Talk About Money In Your Relationship

Just like you plan “we-time” with your significant other, likewise, you can schedule a day the month to talk about your financial matters with each other.  Instead of making it a stressful situation, try to make it interesting.  Plan a budget together to attain your goals.  Talk about your financial management strategies with each other.  You can also listen to a podcast while making dinner.

Lastly, make sure to disclose important financial aspects with each other.  It will help you avoid misunderstandings in the future.


Talk To Kids About Money

According to your kid's age, it is important to talk to them about money and how they should manage it.  Getting them started from a young age will help them manage their money like a pro when they become young adults.  They will know what smart money moves to make in their 20’s for a better financial future.

Schools really don't provide the necessary financial education.  So, teaching them basic money management concepts at home can give them a real advantage in this world.  This can spark money-related discussions with their friends as they get older. 



Yes in certain cases talking about money is still considered tacky.  Ideally, the tips shared in this article will make talking about money less tacky in the future.  At the very least, people should be open to a discussion about money and seek help from friends and family members when needed.

We can all benefit by removing the social stigma that is associated with talking about money.  It would likely lead to higher financial literacy around the world and on a personal level.


I want to thank Mia Jones for this great guest post!

About the Author: Mia Jones is in freelance writing for the last few years and she mostly covers various fields of personal finance, Frugality, Minimalism, etc.  While not writing, she spends most of her time exploring new places, people, and culture. Get in touch with her on Twitter at @MiaJone96792889