Chances are, when you see your friends over happy hour, they complain about rent increases or bemoan their dwindling bank accounts. But how much do you really know about their financial realities or how they budget? It may feel like you’re in dire financial straits compared to your friends, but nearly 80% of full-time workers claim to live paycheck to paycheck—including about 10% of those who make six-figure salaries. Many people—and perhaps that includes you—find it uncomfortable to talk candidly about money, whether it’s with family or friends. For one, most of us have been taught that discussing money doesn’t make for polite conversation (just look at the tagline of Anna Sale’s popular podcast, Death, Sex & Money). Whether you’re rich or poor, money can feel like a measure of self-worth and a way to define yourself. “Because money means something—it reflects who we are as a person, like it or not—it can be very difficult to talk about,” says Meghaan Lurtz, a financial psychology consultant and researcher studying personal finance. “It may be an aspect of your life that you’re not proud of.” That helps explain why nearly 70% of Americans think of themselves as middle class (though only about half… Read full this story
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