We all need it. Some of us have more than others and some of us have a lot less than others but will we ever get to the point that we can talk to the lads down the pub about your misfiring wallet as easy as your misfiring Nuevo? Most likely not, as we men have a problem. We find it difficult to talk to each other about anything that is actually important. We will have a moan about work and our employers and we realise this is both cathartic and healthy, and once in a while marital issues come up, but the one thing that never comes up beyond “I don’t get paid enough” is we the issue of money.
Our younger Millennial brothers have been leading the way on creating a better place for mental health issues.Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets are full of relationship issues, job problems and family squabbles, but even here they have a problem with talking about money issues. The main problems Millennial are have is that they haven’t been taught the basics of money management. If you have just moved out of your parents’ house where the biggest thing you had to worry about was a phone contract, you will undoubtedly end up in the kaka. But don’t worry, you are not the only person your age is in debt because of the fear of missing out.
Us older but maybe not wiser people, may think these problems are tiny compared to what we are going through, but the culture of keeping money worries to yourself has been passed down from generation to generation. This needs to stop. It is unhealthy and damaging to all of us. We fill our attention span with things that do not really matter to block out what is actually important. Now here comes the analogy. You are the wildebeest grazing away when you see a giraffe for the first time. You stop chewing and ask your mates around you what it is. One of the wildebeest at the back says he was told about it and it’s an elephant. Another one says it’s an antelope so a discussion goes on about who will look it up on bovine Google but in the meantime everyone has completely forgotten about the pride of lions hiding in the undergrowth. The next thing you know you have a set of teeth hanging out of your rump.
We all have money issues, but let’s start dealing with the problems that are in plain sight that will bite you in the behind. As with any problem, the first way to fix it is to admit there is one. I am not saying that we should all it in a circle of truth and burn basil and chime little bells, but if you can talk to your mates about marital problems, why not say, “you know what, every month is way too long for my pay cheque, have you been there yourself?”.
Women have been shown to be better to opening up to their peers than us men, but for the good of our health and the good of our relationships, maybe we should give it a try once in a while. Also, we just can’t have women being better at something than us.
Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org