Talking about money is becoming increasingly the “on trend” thing to do in Australia, but whether it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses or a sign of economic times we’re not so sure.
Research by CoreData and commissioned by insurance comparison site Choosi found that of 1000 people surveyed, over 70 per cent regarded themselves as being financially savvy and they’re not afraid to say they’re in control of their finances.
The study found that three in four Australians are comfortable discussing personal financial matters with others, while specific details about people’s earnings are to be avoided, conversation around savings, deals and investment tips were common.
Almost 40 per cent of respondents said they received financial advice from friends, while around 33 per cent said they found a lot of useful money and budgeting tips on social media.
Unsurprisingly, this number is much larger for the younger generation with almost two thirds of Gen Y respondents reporting to have gained a better understanding of finance and the economy via social media.
But what’s behind this surge in the trendiness of money conversations?
If anything the global financial crisis put money-issues front and centre on the news agenda, and social media has increased the chatter.
The fall out from having too much debt was huge overseas and in Australia, we’ve also seen jobs lost, share market crashes, property market pull backs, government purse strings tightened and record low interest rates affect cash savings and borrowings.
What’s been the role of women in this chatter?
Recent studies show the number of Australian women seeking financial advice is growing, which suggests that more women are engaging with professional money conversations.
In the six months to February 2016, 18 per cent of women surveyed by ASIC said they had discussed their finances with a professional, compared to 14 per cent in the previous six months.
Add to that there’s also a growing lists of social media groups which encourage women to ask money questions of their “social connections”, and whilst this advice won’t necessarily be tailored to your individual needs, it’s sometimes all the help that people are seeking.
Natasha Janssens from Women With Cents says more women are certainly engaging with social media money talk.
“Money has always been a taboo topic, but social media, especially through private Facebook groups, allows people to connect and learn in a safe and non-confronting manner.
“Those who don’t feel comfortable asking questions are usually able to post a question anonymously via the group admin or can simply sit back and learn by observing the conversations that are taking place in the group.
“And responses are pretty instant, not to mention free.
“I think social media has helped to raise awareness of the extent of the challenges that women are faced with as opposed to men, but also once they have children there is no shortage of mother’s groups out there and this is where the money talk typically starts: from discussing household budgets and living on a reduced income, to affording childcare fees and the cost/benefit of returning to work, and from there it naturally also evolves to more complex topics such as tax, Centrelink, investing for kids,” Ms Janssens said.