May 29, 2007
Why are personal finances a taboo subject?
Why is it no big deal to admit to seeing a therapist or that your kid is a mess but not to admit you are swimming in credit card debt or don't have a clue how to pick the funds in your 401(k)? This is the question posed by a good article in the New York Times (found on financeprofessor.com - thanks Jim!)
Example … every year for the last eleven years, a group of women friends, including my Mother and me, have taken a four day trip up into the mountains on horseback. We call ourselves the Durango Saddlebags.
Most years we camp in tents and spend evenings around a campfire, eating, drinking and having a great time. This year, we have rented a ranch up in the mountains and we'll ride out each day from there.
Over the years, a number of games have been invented. Most years we have the Cowgirl Olympics. Last year my friends Jill and Lisa invented "Cowgirl Trivia."
(You would really have to know these women to appreciate where I am going with this. These are all amazing, powerful, accomplished women I ride with.)
So anyway, back to Cowgirl Trivia. Sample questions include things like, "Which Saddlebags have tattoos?" and "How many Saddlebags are still married to their first husband?" Some of the other questions are far more intimate but I will spare your sensibilities. Just let your imagination run wild with all the questions someone with zero inhibitions might come up with and you'll get the idea.
Although ... I guess no inhibitions is not quite right.
My friend Jill will say practically anything to anybody. But she doesn't include questions like "Which Saddlebag has come closest to declaring bankruptcy?"
By the way, that would probably be me but I don't know for sure. Which is exactly my point.
I know the most personal details about these women, their lives and their families. I know things about them, and they about me, that seem far more taboo than my credit score. And yet, I don't think one conversation around the campfire, in ten years, has ever been about money or personal finance.
Why is that? Why do you think money is possibly the last taboo? What would it feel like to openly discuss money matters with your friends? Do you think there is a difference between men and women's openness about money? I'd be curious. Leave your thoughts and comments below.
Kim Snider, Kim Snider Financial Communications, Chronim Investments and/or Snider Advisors make no representation that the information and opinions expressed are accurate, complete or current. The opinions expressed should not be construed as financial, legal, tax, or other advice and are provided for informational purposes only. Call 866-952-0100 to request the Snider Investment Method™ Owner's Manual, which includes a description of the Snider Investment Method, investment objectives, risks, suitability and other information. Please read and consider carefully before investing. All investments are subject to risk including possible loss of principal.
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Kim Snider is an author, speaker and host of Financial Success Coaching, Saturdays at noon, on KRLD Newsradio 1080, Dallas - Fort Worth. This blog is primarily devoted to empowering individual investors with information to help them be good stewards of their money. Above all, it is about achieving true financial success. Kim's book, How To Be the Family CFO: Four Simple Steps to Put Your Financial House in Order is in bookstores now. Order yours from Amazon or other fine booksellers today.
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