Straight talk: The importance of discussing finances with your family

Talking about money is one of the most socially taboo conversations in American society. We are startlingly opposed to discussing our finances, even with spouses, children, or close family members. Consider the following statistics:

  • Nearly 70% of Americans say they think it’s rude or inappropriate to discuss personal money matters in a social setting.
  • According to a survey done by Fidelity, 43% of respondents don’t know how much their partner earns, and 36% are unaware of the amount they have invested.
  • Only 17% of parents with an income above $100,000 a year had told (or planned to tell) their children how much they earn or their net worth.

Kimberly Chong, an anthropologist who studies cultures of money at University College in London, points out, “In America, asking someone what they earn is considered taboo because you are indirectly questioning their personal worth.”


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