How to Start a Family Conversation About Money
Discussing finances with your family can be difficult, but it’s very important.
Whether you are nearing retirement and discussing money matters with your adult children, engaged and planning your future with your fiance, or simply trying to teach your young children how to handle their finances wisely, talking about money doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, being open about your financial challenges and goals can bring you even closer together.
Determine why you want to communicate about money (setting an example, planning for retirement, saving up for a house, etc.) and ask that everyone involved in the discussion be open-minded and honest. Money can be a touchy subject, especially if it seems like there isn’t enough to go around, so be sensitive to one another’s needs and try to be as objective as possible throughout the talk.
Five Tips for Discussing Money as a Family
Here are our top tips for discussing money issues as a family:
- Use a democratic approach. Try to include everyone involved in the finances in the discussions. Individuals are more likely to support decisions if they feel as though their thoughts were considered.
- Hone in on problem areas. Is your family spending too much money? What’s the root of the problem? Perhaps you’ll find that you’re overspending in a specific area, such as eating out frequently, or maybe you’re spending too much at the beginning of the month and leaving too little for the end. Figuring out the issue allows you to directly address it.
- Use “I” statements rather than “you” or blaming statements. This makes the discussion feel like an open forum rather than a direct attack on someone’s financial habits. For example, instead of saying, “You’re spending too much money when you get your paycheck,” you may consider saying something like, “I get stressed out at the end of the month because we spend all of our money in the first two weeks. What can we do to avoid this situation?”
- Take time to listen and validate feelings. If you’re frustrated with a family member who constantly wants to go out to eat, you might say, “I know going out to dinner as a family is important to you, but maybe we could spread it out to once a week instead of two or three times a week to help cut costs.”
- Agree on a solution. Write it down so it’s clear to everyone in your family.
Working together to discuss money matters and solve financial issues can bring your family closer together. Open communication prevents you from getting stressed out and resentful about money matters and helps reduce stress for everyone so you can focus on what’s really important: your time together.
If your discussion makes it clear that you need some guidance on managing your finances and/or building wealth, contact Baker Retirement & Wealth Management, PC today. We’ve been serving the greater Evansville area for nearly thirty years and can provide advice on anything from preparing for retirement to 1031 exchanges.
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