What is it about money that is so taboo?

The other day I went out to lunch with a friend. (I promise this was before I vowed not to eat out.) She mentioned that she’d like to go somewhere cheap since things were kind of tight.

“Of course, cheap sounds great to me!” I said, always thankful for a frugal food suggestion. As we were eating, she disclosed a little more on how “tight” things were for her.

“I just found out I was late paying my rent and now I have a $35 late fee on top of that,” she moaned. “I’m going to have to ask my dad again to pay for me this month.”

“Oh no! How late were you paying rent? Surely if it was a couple of days they could waive the fee?”

“Well, the landlord emailed me this morning saying I

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  • Absolutely I’ve had uncomfortable conversations where I had to restrain myself from becoming too enthusiastically involved in their financial lives, they simply are not as interested.

    It’s a little weird, but I’ve learned to be very upfront about my willingness to help out with advice or tips and left it at that.

    I used to check my bank accounts (and credit cards) every single day but I’m not that obsessive any more. I don’t generally have so much activity that I need to keep daily tabs on, but I did that for about ohhh, 5 or 6 years?

  • I always regret the conversations I have with others about money. Instead of sounding helpful, and wanting to make myself available should they need help, I feel as though I come across as a know-it-all. I always feel awkward too….I don’t want to say something that would give the wrong impression. As a result, I steer clear about that topic unless someone DIRECTLY asks for my help or opinion.

    As for my bank account, I USED TO check it nearly every day. Now I check it at most every week, usually every 2 weeks just to make sure things are as they should be. I think it’s because before I was automatically transferring so much each week, any mishap could lead to some big problems. Now I have less transfers, so it’s not really necessary.

  • Well, when I was in a situation where I was having so many overdraft fees and my money was a mess and I was overspending $200-500/month – I probably only looked at my bank account every two months. Mainly because it depressed and scared the shit out of me. So I thought that if I ignored it then it would go away.

    And the first step to my “recovery” was just going to my bank accounts and LOOKING at them. Analyzing where my money was going. Seeing how much I was REALLY spending. And just looking and knowing was SO hard. Because I wanted to believe that it wasn’t true and if I ignored it that it would all go away.

    But while money does go away while you’re not looking, debt doesn’t.

    So I can understand where your friend is coming from, because for 8 years I was there too.

    Now I check my account weekly (up to about 3 times per week). When I was really afraid of going over and cared about it, I would check my accounts daily. But now things are a little bit more on autopilot so I just check every 4-5 days to see exactly how much is left in my checking account and go on from there.

    I think it is fine to tell your friends (in a non-preachy) way that you’ve started to get your finances under control. I had a friend who did that with me when I was out of control. And he was the first person I called when I knew that I needed to take charge because I knew that I could count of him for good advice. He was never pushy about my finances, but just casually let me know that his were going well and that he was saving a lot of money. I couldn’t be more thankful for him as a friend.

  • I check my bank account at least once a day and my other accounts multiple times per week.

    The other day I was talking with a coworker about our retirement plan and she told me that a) she hasn’t started contributing and b) has no plans to because she’s young and her boyfriend is going to take care of all that stuff when they get married.

    WHAT??? Keep in mind that she is a bright girl, heading off to med school and has a good head on her shoulders. I couldn’t believe my ears so I kinda just let it drop after I nudged her a little bit about it. It’s weird to talk about money even within my family, but I’ve gotten used to at least talking openly with my boyfriend and even some good friends.

  • I didn’t have enough in my emergency account and I had to spend $400.00 on my car. :( I really want to keep some boots that I purchased, but I know that I need to return them. Maybe I should just ask my family to give them to me as my Christmas gift. :)

    As far as talking about finances with my friends, I have found that if I just am open about my money situation, they usually come to me to chat if they want to. I am totally against hiding my finances. One exception. When I first date someone. I think that is to personal. :)

  • Some people just like to live with their heads in the sand when it comes to their finances. Drives me nuts. Sometimes, I talk to my friends about what they’re doing, but don’t really get into it too far unless they seem receptive to some constructive criticism.

    I check my bank accounts and balance my checkbook a few times a week. Anything longer than that is asking for trouble!

  • Not checking your bank account when you don’t have stable finances is like avoiding the mirror when you are not ready to face up to the weight you’ve gained. In both situations, avoidance creates a feeling of security… but all it really does is make matters worse.

  • Having my finances organized is extremely important to me, so I find it hard to relate to people who don’t do the same. I can have healthy, open and honest conversations about money with most of my friends, but there are a few that it just doesn’t work with. It’s been a hard lesson to learn, but in general I’ve just stopped trying to give advice or be sympathetic to the ones who can’t seem to figure it out. If they really need my help I’ll be there for them, but until then, it’s an issue better off left alone.

    p.s. Great post by the way!

  • I’ve defninatly tried to talk about money with friends before, and when I said something to the effect of ‘isn’t it interesting that money is one of the biggest part of our lives and we don’t talk about it’ she said ‘because we have far more interesting things to say’..

    I check my main bank account at least every day, and my ING savings accounts a couple times a week. I just need to know what’s going on.

    I mostly feel like I’m in control. My biggest problem is relaxing when I know I have a plan in place and just letting it work. Like right now I *think* I’ll be able to put about $1500 on my student loans before 2010 went I ramp up my loan payments, but I can’t stop mucking with my 2010 budget to make it work before the $1500 – probably every other day I’m messing with my planned budget numbers for next year.

  • 1. My mother is terrible with money management is constantly getting help from her church or family members, not paying bills, etc. She’s already filed bankruptcy once. She is a single mom and I learned everything I know about being an adult from her. Needless to say, I have had a rocky road with money. We have had several conversations about what she could do to better her situation and they always end with her getting defiant and high and mighty. This subject is touchy for me because my sisters and I were helping her so much that there was a time where I began to feel extremely resentful towards her and ended up having to talk to my counselor about it. In the end, I resolved that it didn’t matter how much I talked to her- she is who she is and I can’t change that. I had offered her my suggestions and whether she wanted to take them was up to her. However, from then on I resolved not to enable her anymore. I don’t give her money anymore unless it’s an extreme emergency. We very rarely talk about money now and she is being forced to make changes without anyone to enable her. It’s very hard and I hate to see her struggle but we do have a much better relationship in terms of not arguing now.

    2. I check my bank account daily.

    3. Obviously I have struggled with money in the past and literally lived off the change I could find in my couch. Not fun. I have since resolved (after watching my mom suffer) to change this. Bad habits are hard to change and it has taken many many baby steps but I can see now that I am on the road to being debt free (with only $300 left to pay) and that I am much better at budgeting and managing my money.

  • Money is just a sensitive topic to begin with. I don’t think people, no matter if they have a handle on their finances or not, want to hear someone else preach to them about their own money. For your friendship, I think you did the right thing by staying out.

    That said, I check my account after any transaction I make with my card. Sometimes thats zero, sometimes its like 4 or 5.

  • My very best friend’s financial situation is a total mess, and talking about money with her is hard. I have to constantly bite my tongue when she talks about all the stuff she’s buying. On the one hand, I just want to SHAKE her sometimes and tell her to get it together. On the other, I feel sad because I know she’s headed for disaster and there’s not really anything I can do because she doesn’t have any desire to change. In fact, one of the reasons I started my blog is because money is a topic I really can’t connect with other people about in “real life,” especially my best friend.

    I check my bank account at least once every other day, mostly because I’m afraid I’ve made math errors.

    For the first time in my life, I feel like my finances are under control. I’m working on saving more, but I’ve paid off my credit card and haven’t taken on any more debt.

  • I agree, I check my bank account at least once a day. Sometimes if I know I went over board I don’t want to, but I always do.
    I don’t know how people are able to just bury their head in the sand and pretend the problem will go away.

  • I never want to be the person who gets all preachy about money. No one likes that, and I have made the mistake of trying in the past. Also, I don’t like it when people try to give me advice, also some of it is probably a, “Don’t you know who I am?? I have a blog!” response.

    I check my accounts every couple of days, more if I have been shopping a lot recently, less if we haven’t being going to the store often.

  • 1. As much as I may want to talk financial with someone I always wait for them to bring it up. I may hint around the subject so they know they can talk to me, but with the exception of my brothers I will never directly call anyone out.

    2. I am psycho about checking my bank accounts. Some might say obsessive about it. I’d rather have my account memorized and know everything about it than be slammed by a charge or overdraft or something. I have been charged twice by a store before, so I always check to make sure any charges go through correctly.

    3. I feel like my finances are under control. We will hopefully be paying off my student loan next month and will be completely debt free!

  • I check my bank account daily, and I don’t want to be preachy about money, but I just offer my help in a hint

    If they don’t take me up on it, I don’t push it

    My sister was cute though. She told me: I need help, stat

    So I set out a plan for her :P

  • I find myself biting my tounge ALL the time now! People can’t change unless they want to change. And most people aren’t ready to change, they just want someone to bitch to.

  • I check mine a few times a week online. I don’t spend every day though – most of my transactions are confined to a Fri-Mon time period, and on a Wednesday I ensure there’s enough to cover rent and other auto payments for Thursday.

  • Interestingly enough, I’ve found that people who are in control of their finances are generally the ones more ready to openly talk about money – saving tips, budgeting, spending etc whereas those that are not, don’t wanna discuss it at all but rather just complain and moan about their predicament. And if you offer any advice, they’ll just listen but not try it out. It’s frustrating!

    When I first started, I used to check my bank accounts at least once a day. Now maybe 3 times a week? I’m trying to cut it down to once or twice a week when I’m updating my spreadsheets.