Discussing money is still generally frowned upon. In fact, people are so hush-hush about their finances that they would rather talk about their sex life than their credit card debt at a dinner party, according to a report from Motley Fool’s The Ascent. That survey found that almost 57 per cent of respondents think it’s taboo to discuss personal finances regardless of time and place. And that stigma may leave you feeling lost when you want to discuss your financial goals, understand your setbacks, or celebrate your achievements.
Sometimes, it’s easier to talk about money with strangers, especially those who are in a similar financial situation to yours. Or those strangers may have been in your shoes before and can offer advice without criticising the actions that led to your current circumstances, whether it’s good or bad.
That’s where the power of the internet comes in handy. When you need a jolt of motivation or a place to commiserate about how bored you are already with the lunches you meal-prepped for the week, you can turn to these supportive online groups. Best of all: They’re free.
You’re logged into Facebook already, so why not use that convenience to find a new personal finance community or two?
This group, a companion to the blog And Then We Saved, focuses on using spending fasts (which you might know as no-spend challenges) to pay off debt faster. If you’re laser-focused on getting out of debt, this is the group for you.
The Frugal Friends podcast emphasises that you don’t have to take extreme steps to improve your finances. The show’s Facebook group with about 1,100 participants is welcoming to newbies and frugal pros alike.
This group from the Dough Roller blog keeps it broad, inviting conversations about money and investing, but with a more manageable group size — about 7,500 participants.
The amount of activity on Reddit can be overwhelming, so here are two subreddits I enjoy perusing that can help you dip into money topics.
This is the catch-all for budgeting, saving, getting out of debt, investing and everything in between. If there’s a more specific forum that suits your inquiry (like using credit cards to earn travel rewards, for example), other users will point the way.
Want to save more and spend smarter? This subreddit will teach you how to coupon, work the circular, and make the most of your pantry. You can also read some “frugal fails,” which will make you feel better when your attempts to save money go horribly wrong.
Do you miss the olden days of the internet? Lucky for you, forums still exist. Start with one of these:
Fans of the robust comments section at now-closed site The Billfold (which Lifehacker writer Nicole Dieker used to run) can find that community in the forums for personal finance education site Oh My Dollar. Topics range from budgeting to parenting, and there’s even a thread for sharing your financial victories with the group.
Sure, performative social media can make you feel bad about your money (or lack of it). But if you follow a few select hashtags, you can find motivational posts with lots of tips and strategies for reaching your financial goals.
On Instagram, try #debtfreecommunity and #debtfreejourney to connect with users who are paying off debt or have already achieved it.
If you prefer Twitter, WiseBread hosts a weekly chat, #WBChat, on Fridays to discuss personal finance. There’s a different topic each week.