You’re at the front of an auditorium facing 500 people. The stage lights are in your eyes, and all these people are staring up at you, demanding you answer one of two questions, either: 1) How many people have you slept with or 2) How much debt do you have?
Two very different numbers, and you only have to give one before following the exit sign. Easy, right? Because if you’re like most people, you probably would choose to divulge your number of sexual partners, no question.
Let’s simmer on that: when did debt become more personal, more vulnerable, than sex?
There’s no doubt, money problems = anxiety. It’s hard to open up about any situation, but especially when things aren’t perfect. That’s why, when times are tough, it’s often easier to pretend the opposite. In this day and age, we tend to create an expectation of prosperity. Open Instagram, and what do you see but your friends’ vacation photos from exotic beaches, a celeb’s hot new designer digs. But they never post the bills they racked up to build this lifestyle, to maintain it. We don’t ask and they don’t talk about it.
But the truth is, having debt doesn’t make you an outcast– it makes you human. Almost everyone you know has more debt than they want to admit. The average American has over $5,000 in credit card debt, $16,000 in personal loans and over $38,792 in student loans combined.
Debt is a struggle for almost everybody. You’re normal. So, don’t feel embarrassed asking for help. Financial wellness is something you can achieve. Just start taking the first steps today.
Overcoming your anxiety about your financial issues is one of the biggest challenges you have to face in solving them. And that’s a good thing! Because once you’re over the emotional hump (pun debatably intended), you can finally see you and debt and your situation as normal. And then you can talk about it and actually make moves with your money.
It only took until 2021 to normalize sex talk. Let’s not take a few decades to do the same with debt.