4 Easy Ways To Talk to Your Family About Money6 min read
How many times have you planned to speak freely on family finances, healthy spending habits with your children, or parents only to back down later! Money isn’t a straightforward topic to talk about with the Family, not even with your partner, let alone the children or parents.
Often, we carry the burden ourselves, and never talk about it, even discuss ways to improve the condition. This takes a heavy toll not only on the economic wellbeing of the Family but also on mental health. Believe it or not, the first step towards the American Dream is to have the most efficient family wealth management and create progress with a plan. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to talk to your family about money.
- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
- Family Financial Workbook: A Family Budgeting Guide by Larry Burkett
Why Is It So Hard To Talk About Money?
Money is a highly sensitive subject as if there is a taboo around it. According to a survey by Wells Fargo, Americans find it harder to talk about money than even death! 44% have said they think talking about money is the hardest topic for them. Let’s dig deeper and try to understand why it might be in such a stage.
“Sex! Wasn’t that a taboo?” you might ask. If we look at recent past activities, we will find how massive social media campaign took place all around the globe to break this one. Even there is a popular Netflix series, “Sex Education,” where a schoolboy named Otis gives out advice, counseling to the school kids regarding Sex life. We all have seen how hard it is to pass through that phase without clear understanding and support.
More importantly, did you notice how two of the main characters, both Otis and Eric, are clumsy in terms of money management, and they can’t handle it without Maeve? Even so, most probably, none of us thought that was a lousy thing, we took it as usual.
While we are focusing so much on Sex Education, we didn’t notice how a Taboo is created around talking about money. There is a misconception that people, in general, do not think about money management or do not like to talk about it. You might consider that money talks make one weak. At the same time, you should know almost everyone you see on the street passing by is wondering about it, thinking of money and money only!
Insecurities and Judgment
Money is a symbol of power, efficacy, and even wellbeing. So, when it comes to talking about money, we might think giving out our financial condition will make us look weak. You might come off as a person who is not happy, and people will start sympathizing with you. Even worse, we fear our near and dear ones will abandon us for not having enough money.
We fear the judgment, we fear the uncharted territories, we fear the risk and what might come of it.
We, the social creatures, love to live a life higher on the social status. We like to push our limits, limit and buy luxurious items, hang out with rich friends, go to expensive restaurants, parties. We love the aura that floats around being in a higher social status, we love when people look upon us rather than down.
Therefore, when it comes to money management, plan out family finance, almost every time we skip it because that will mean cutting off many luxuries!
Happiness in Denial
Let’s say you have a financial struggle, and you can clearly understand that you need to be more creative on finding ways to cut expenses. Perhaps, it will be better if you don’t buy the PS5 for your children if you cut costs on so many streaming services! For this to happen, you will need to have a talk with the children, but that will mean exposing the children to the real world scenario. We don’t want that, do we? We like our children to be protected from the reality of life.
So, we would instead take unnecessary loans, burdens, and a huge risk to keep the children happy by letting them live in a world we can’t actually afford. Whereas we could easily prepare them for the reality of life instead.
4 Easy Ways to Talk about Money
Talking or discussing about money is not something you can follow from other’s footsteps. You must keep in mind, it is not rude to talk about money, but it is considered a somewhat frowned upon topic. Therefore you should advance with it carefully, somethings you should have regard to:
- The right time for starting a conversation. Whether you want to casually put thoughts into mind or go into serious ones.
- For serious ones, it is better to inform and set a specified time for the meeting.
- The Location, again as per the objective it should differ, and you should account for a neutral place for such uneasy conversation.
- The tone, body language, agenda should differ according to your audience’s mental capacity.
To learn some practical strategies in-depth, we suggest reading 2 books for everyone. You will learn how to talk to your family about money, how to manage the money for your family. The books are:
Why We Recommend
1. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
This is not your usual managing asset book; instead, this book has focused more on behavioral science and economics.
“Nudge” is a technique of motivating another person to make the right decision. The authors have tactfully explained with relevant corporate and government examples, how you can influence others tactfully presenting them the choices. A strategy that you can use to control your family in choosing the best option.
The authors are experts, and one of the top figures in behavioral science. Richard H. Thaler is a Nobel Prize winner in economics in the year 2017. Sunstein, on the other hand, is the most cited law professor on the states and the founding director of “Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy” at Harvard University.
So you know they bring a ton of experience and expertise on the board. The book itself has been sold over 1.5 million copies and recommended by the Economist and Financial Times.
You will learn how to lead your family members in making the best decision for themselves on spending money and everything through “Nudge.” This book will teach you about the techniques of family budgeting. It is the best complimentary book for nudging. The book largely bases its theory and example from the Bible. It is a great tool to plan your budget, have a working money plan, also have a spiritual satisfaction.
The author Larry Burkett was a life long advocate on managing Money. He had four radio programs, “Money Matters,” “How to Manage Your Money,” “MoneyWatch,” and “A Money Minute.” His published books have grossed sold over 12 million copies. Larry was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Crown Financial Ministries®.
At The End
It is crucial to talk freely with your near ones about money. Yes, sure it might come off as quite uncanny at the beginning, but over time this taboo will break. We must not be afraid to address our financial insecurities, it is best for our future, long term success and better retirement that we come up with a plan on how to manage our finances better.