With social media now playing a big part in our lives, we, as a generation of millennials are sharing more than ever. As mums, it only takes a few minutes to pop over to Facebook and ask a large community for help or advice on sleep, weaning or how to tame your wayward toddler and confirm that your kid is the same as everyone else’s.
So why can’t we be this open about money? It seems that as a generation, we are more than happy to let people in as long as they see the “good” side of life.
Among as mums, there’s a real culture of us keeping our money worries to ourselves. We feel ashamed that we can’t afford to cloth our kids or go to the new soft play because this months budget just isn’t going to the stretch.
Even in the tight-knit WhatsUp groups, or within my own friendship circle money is never spoken about. It’s seemed as boasting if you CAN afford to stay at home or just “cringe” if you’re scrapping every penny trying to afford the next school trip.
As a self-employed mum myself, money isn’t talked about. My friends assume that the business is always doing well, and don’t ask if Dominos is ok for dinner tonight or if we can afford a week away in Blackpool in half term. They assume we can so we, as a family, feel like we should be able to, so go.
In reality, we can’t. What they don’t realize is that Matt is working 50 hour weeks so I can be home for the girls, do all the school homework and club drop offs and then work every single evening so that the kids get the life we’ve always wanted for them.
It doesn’t matter if I’m walking around with holes in my trainers or Matt has the same oversized coat that’s been clinging on for six years because we just haven’t got the spare fifteen quid to replace it.
Before Christmas, it got to the stage that I was just too embarrassed to say that we couldn’t afford another trip so ignored the text, Facebook message, Whatup message, and call.
I can’t tell you why, but I just couldn’t face telling my friends that I can’t afford another 20 quid plus lunch playdate this week.
Then there’s the FOMO (Fear of Missing out) effect that comes with living your life on social media like I do. In fact, 1 in 3 Millennials like me say that they would borrow money to avoid missing out.
Shockingly, 42% of us have hidden debt from our family and friends and 35% of us grown-up millennials are afraid that a loved one will find out about the debt.
There should be no shame in asking for help. As a mum, we don’t think twice about asking a Facebook group of 50,000 mums for advice but can’t face telling our nearest about money issues.
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I think what shocks me more is that 55% of us feel more comfortable seeking mental health support online than financial help.
So please, there is no stigma in asking for help. There’s no red line that says that you can’t ask for help in till you’re neck deep. We all have different levels of debt and what it means to us. Speak out, get help and remember that you’re never alone.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly managing money ideas, then head over to the managing money section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find loads of handy tips and tricks to help you shop wiser and keep more money in your pocket. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family tips for managing money Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to budget and live more of the life you want; Managing Money for Families, Managing Money Printables, and Family Finance.
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