Is It Rude To Talk About Money?

By DeAndrea Douglas
is it rude to talk about money

When you were growing up, were you told that money, politics, race, religion, and “what people do behind closed doors” are things you don’t talk about in polite company? I definitely was. I internalized these topics as things I should avoid talking about with anyone or else I would be seen as rude or unladylike. I wanted to be well-liked so I avoided it at all costs. These are still difficult topics for me to talk about even today. I think that keeps me from forming deeper connections with people.

When I think critically about it, the directive to not talk about “impolite” topics is a little suspicious. I know that not broaching these topics can make talking to people easier to navigate because you won’t step on anyone’s toes, but all of those things are integral to who we are as people. We don’t always have to agree, but we should be able to have a meaningful discourse without shouting. That’s what makes conversations fun.

More so, not talking about money in particular tends to hold women back. Sure, the emphasis on being polite and practicing good social etiquette isn’t only directed at girls and women, but culturally there is a lot more emphasis on women getting this right. Not taking about money means that women are generally in the dark about a topic that has the largest impact on our quality of life.

When women talk about money they start to build independent wealth that begets freedom and options. It means that lack of access to funds can’t be used to control them or make them dependent on someone who might like to control them. (Let’s put some emphasis on might. You can absolutely be a stay-at-home wife to a husband who will not use money as a means to control you.)

Not talking about potentially controversial topics tends to be isolating and has a shrinking effect because talking about them exposes you to new ideas and allows you to learn things that challenge your current worldview. You don’t get to have those realizations if you are not sharing your thoughts and openly discussing them.

So is it Really Rude to Talk About Money?

The notion that a lady doesn’t ever talk about controversial topics is a way to keep her small and controlled. Talking about money can make people uncomfortable no matter if they are a have or a have not and women are socialized to put the comfort of others above their own. Women need to talk about money so we can recognize the importance of financial literacy and build lives where we can’t easily be controlled or put in bad situations.

No, talking about money isn’t rude when it is in the right context. It can be rude to talk about controversial topics including money if you’re meeting someone for the first time or you’re in a group setting where you aren’t familiar with everyone present. You will never feel comfortable broaching the topic if you’re not used to talking about it, but I encourage you to learn how to be comfortable talking about financial concepts and putting them into practice. Your life and livelihood kind of depend on it.

lovely newsletter

Add a Little LOVELY to Your Inbox

Subscribe to get exclusive updates, my beauty & style favorites, and curated round-ups of the things that help me make my life lovely.