Have a conversation with your friends

Your friends very likely have at least somewhat similar lives (and therefore similar finances) to you.  Talking with them about money can help lessen the stress associated with the topic.Remember that old Faberge shampoo commercial? The one that went: I told two friends about Faberge organic shampoo and they told two friends and so on and so on and so on? You probably saw it and thought (as I did) that it was pretty downright accurate. But it was only recently that I learned why we women like to share information so much? It not only makes us feel smart, it reduces our anxiety. When we sit down to dish with our friends, particularly about a subject that makes us tense or makes us anxious, the sharing of information brings the level of stress right on down. There doesn’t even have to be wine involved.

To me, that is an excellent reason to discuss money with your girlfriends. Add it to the fact that your friends very likely have at least somewhat similar lives (and therefore similar finances) to you, and you have plenty of ammo for scheduling a financial powwow. Among the things you’ll want to raise?

What are you doing (that’s working) with your kids? I may catch some flack for this one, but at a recent lunch with my girlfriends I fessed up that I was paying my son – to exercise. My logic: He asked for a raise in his allowance because of higher gas prices. I was willing to grant the extra moolah but I was sick of nagging him to do something physical so I put the two together and voila. It’s working beautifully. He’s working out four or five days a week and has plenty of money to fill the tank. My point is not that you should pay your kids to work out, but that if you’re doing something that works with your kids, it might be of use to your friends – and vice versa.

What are your goals and challenges (and can I help you get there?) Your friends may be trying to save more for retirement or for college. They may be trying to get out of debt. They may be trying to learn how to build a portfolio that makes sense for them. Whatever those goals happen to be, you may have information that they need. Whatever your goals happen to be, they may have information you need. The point is to share.

Good luck!

Jean Chatzky

About Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s TODAY show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP’s personal finance ambassador, and a contributing editor for Fortune magazine. Jean is a best-selling author; her eighth and most recent book is Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security. She believes knowing how to manage our money is one of the most important life skills for people at every age and has made it her mission to help simplify money matters, increasing financial literacy both now and for the future. In April 2013 Jean launched Jean Chatzky's Money School , a series of college-style, interactive online personal finance courses that give men and women across the country the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with her. Jean lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.
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One Response to Have a conversation with your friends

  1. Jennifer says:

    YES! Awesome. I took an entire class in my Master’s program on how/why women communicate the way they do. Love this.

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