Money Silence & Your Money Story

Welcome to HT|TC Wealth Partners’ monthly series, A Time to TalkTM.

Our very first conversation starter begins with an introduction to the concepts of “money silence” and “your money story”.

In this article, you will learn about why you may be uncomfortable talking about money—and how that silence may be prohibiting you from having productive conversations; and how to rewrite your money story to open the lines of communication needed to discuss potentially challenging topics. We will also share some simple action items you can take relating to money silence and your money story.

What is money silence and why is it important?

Each of us has our own life experiences and financial boundaries which can make talking about money difficult, even taboo. Unfortunately, when we avoid discussing our money situation—or only broaching pieces of a financial conversation—our boundaries may lead to money silence.

As we age, the intersection of our finances, longevity, and wealth often creates many important conversations that go undiscussed. The repercussions of communication avoidance can be extreme, impacting everything from our finances to our family unit.

What is your communication style when money is involved? If you’re silent about money, have you ever considered why?

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, founder of KBK Wealth Connection, financial therapist, podcast host, and author, explains that money is complicated. In her book, Breaking Money Silence®, Kingsbury emphasizes that not only is money a medium of exchange, for some it may symbolize “love, respect, self-worth, freedom, power, control, reward, penalty, or enticement.”

Money is also often tied to other heavy topics, including family strife, aging, and even death. 

With so much meaning placed upon money in our society—and the various ways each of us relate to it—it’s not surprising that talking about money can be complex and uncomfortable for many of us.

How do we know if we are participating in money silence?

Some examples of communication avoidance themes we hear from our clients include:

  • “My kids/parents/loved ones/partner don’t need to know.”
  • “I don’t want to upset my (spouse/child/loved one/friend)…”
  • “I don’t even know what I want, so there isn’t a need to talk about it.”
  • “I’m fine. There’s no need for me to talk about these issues now.”

All these comments are understandable since money has such varied and important meanings for each of us.

What is the first step I can take to start breaking my money silence? 

In order to start breaking our money silence, we need to first understand our money story.

As Kingsbury clarifies in her book, a money story is a collection of our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings about money. We start crafting this story at a young age when we become aware of money and observe how those around us manage it.

Our money story develops our money scripts, which ultimately influence how we make decisions, including that of money silence. Since much of our money story is created unconsciously, we often aren’t aware of its powerful influence on our decision-making. And as a result, we often make emotional, irrational decisions around money.

How can I change my money story?

You can start taking control of how your money story progresses whenever you’re ready.

We offer you the opportunity to gain more insight into your money story by watching Kingsbury’s webinar “The Power of Your Money Story in Financial Planning.” This 45-minute replay can help you learn how to uncover and harness the power of your money story to improve your well-being, gain clarity in your financial decision-making, and foster conversations about money and related issues with those you love.

By listening, you can expect to walk away with:

  • A greater understanding of how your money story was written
  • A technique for rewriting the unwanted parts of your money story
  • A simple tool called Money History Questionnaire to help you identify your generational money messages and patterns
  • Tips for using your money story to talk to the next generation about wealth

Here are some additional ways you can take action relating to money silence and your money story:

Our team has experience facilitating complicated discussions of financial matters and can help you initiate conversations, offer financial perspective, and support you at your own pace.

If you’d like support exploring your money story, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help whenever you’re ready and would be honored to join you on this journey.

In next month’s A Time to TalkTM communication, we’ll be talking about what keeps you up at night.


HT|TC Wealth Partners is a group comprised of investment professionals registered with Hightower Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Some investment professionals may also be registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC. All information referenced herein is from sources believed to be reliable. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates make no representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or for statements or errors or omissions, or results obtained from the use of this information. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates assume no liability for any action made or taken in reliance on or relating in any way to the information. This document and the materials contained herein were created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s), and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates. HT|TC Wealth Partners and Hightower Advisors, LLC or any of its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax or legal advice. Clients are urged to consult their tax and/or legal advisor for related questions.

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