Talking About Money

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Talking About Money

Talking about money has always been a taboo subject in the United States because it represents status. The more money one makes, the more it influences how successful they believe themselves to be. Consequently, individuals believe that others assess their success according to the amount of money they generate.

HISTORY/BACKGROUND OF WHY TALKING ABOUT MONEY IS TABOO


HAS TALKING ABOUT MONEY ALWAYS BEEN A TABOO SUBJECT

  • Traditionally, it has always been considered inappropriate to speak about money or ask someone how much they earn.
  • Talking about money has usually been viewed as something that benefits the wealthy and enables class divisions to exist. Also, it has always been believed that the more people are dissuaded from talking about their finances, the more individuals compare how they are performing to others or know when others are experiencing hardships.
  • Most people have resided in households where money was not discussed openly, so individuals have typically lived their life with the notion that it is something that is not to be talked about directly.

WHY TALKING ABOUT MONEY IS A TABOO SUBJECT


SITUATIONS (OR PEOPLE/GROUPS) THAT ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE TABOO RULE


Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "There is one question that most parents seem to dread more than any other when it comes to talking to their kids about money"
  • "How much money do you make?"
  • "I realized that if I told him that I made $1,000 a year, he would think that we were rich. How did he have any frame of reference?" said Pearl, who also made sure her son understood that this was private information that should not be shared with anyone else."
  • "For one, parents are terrified they're not good role models when it comes to money. Many of us make a lot of mistakes ourselves with money, or spend too much"
Quotes
  • "How talking about money become taboo In 1928’s Manners: American Etiquette, Helen Hathaway wrote about conversation that “as to the choice of a subject—we can discuss anything under the sun except money, disease, and personal affairs."
  • "Where did this decision come from, that we, collectively, would not disclose the quantity of our resources, or how much of them we traded for a certain purchase? According to etiquette consultant Jodi RR Smith, our culturally specific (but not culturally unique) taboo around money came from land-owning class in England."
  • "It’s a very small country, there’s only so much land. It was very strict as to who had the land, how it was inherited, and how the land was passed down,” she said, adding that there’s an etiquette guide in England to this day listing who has the land and the titles that go with it. Smith says that as a rule of thumb with money, as with land, “People who have it don’t need to talk about it"
Quotes
  • "Some parents don't want to trouble their kids with adult concerns about their income, debt and savings."
  • "Some parents are afraid their kids won't respect them if they don't make much money and have a lot of debt."
  • "Some parents with a high income and a lot of savings fear their children may become more demanding for material objects knowing their parents can easily afford them."
Quotes
  • "today, I’m going to talk about why this taboo still exists"
  • "Traditionally, it’s seen as a bit tacky to talk about money, and rude to ask someone how much they earn or have paid for something. "
  • "There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it benefits the wealthy and allows class divides to exist. If we’re all dissuaded from talking about our finances, we can’t compare how we’re doing to others or know when someone is struggling"
  • "Most of us grew up in households where money wasn’t discussed openly, so we’ve always had the notion that it’s something that we aren’t supposed to speak about directly. "
Quotes
  • "Many respondents said finances were none of other people's business, while others cited awkwardness and concern about creating ill feelings among friends."