Welcome to June! Time flies. We are now down to the last six months of the year.
So today, let us talk about one of the most taboo topics that you can discuss with your family – your finances. This post is relevant to our blog last March, which is quite an argument about whether you should tell your loved ones about your debt. If you haven’t read it yet, you can check it here: Should You Tell Your Loved Ones About Your Debt?
Money is an awkward topic. Like religion and politics, this is hard to discuss because it is not the norm, and maybe we are afraid that it may start a little disagreement.
However, having healthy financial discussions with your family can be one of the best decisions or habits you can build. It has plenty of benefits such as:
- You will be informed about the financial status of each family member;
- You can assess the situation and offer help in case other member needs it;
- You are at peace everyday because you are not blinded, and most importantly;
- You can have a better relationship with them.
But in our daily busy and chaotic lives, how are we going to start and implement it? See below tips, especially if you are the head of the family.
1. Convince Your Spouse First
Let’s say you are a mom who would like to initiate a regular financial discussion with the family, it would be great to convince your spouse first. Gently let him know your reasons. Mention everything. The main goal here is to make sure that both of you are on the same page.
If you have a similar goal and mindset, it will be easier to implement it to the whole family.
2. Make it a Real Meeting
You can take it lightly but keep it seriously. If you and your husband already agreed on the specific day of the week or month, let the family member know this.
Announce to everyone that you will be having your first financial discussion on a specific date and time. I believe it’s better to do it at home so you can keep it private.
Like how you discuss it with your spouse, let your children also know what it is about. You can have a teaser on what you will talk about to have an idea and prepare themselves.
One thing that you can do is to keep it special. You can cook dinner and gather everyone. Just make sure that it won’t fall on a special occasion such as birthdays or anniversaries to keep the dialogue focused.
3. Discuss in Smaller Crowd First
This tip varies on the size of your family. If you are only four, you can do this in one sitting/ discussion.
If you are seven or eight in the family, you can group them into two for easier discussion. Let’s say your eldest up to your fourth child are already working, you can sit with them first, followed by the younger groups.
In this way, everyone can participate and speak their mind.
4. Be focused and Listen Intentionally
The purpose of the discussion is to encourage everyone to be mindful in managing their finances because this single step will significantly impact the family’s growth.
Keep the conversation going. Do not interrupt if someone is telling their opinion or perspective. Let everyone bring their thoughts to the table and analyze which can be applied to the current situation or even improve your finances.
Listen to where they’re coming from. Understand them first before you share your insight.
5. Stay Calm
This conversation may surprise you. You will discover a lot of things from your spouse or children. You may find out who is good at managing their finances, have a good income source, savings, or investments.
One thing is for sure, not all conversations would be best. You will also notice who has a not-so-good spending habit. You may also discover that a family member may have debt or a shaky financial status.
At this moment, make sure to stay calm. In fact, you should be thankful because the person became honest.
You can hold yourself, lead, and see how each of you can help. You can solicit advice from the rest of the family, but you also need to make sure that it will serve as a lesson to everyone.
6. Learn from Each Other and Take a Step Forward
Great! Now that your first conversation is done, you need to take a step higher. Make sure that all of you will improve and you have learned from each other.
You can keep some notes on what you have tackled, just like in an actual meeting. Take down notes and save them as a reference. You can also let them commit to specific activities to improve their finances.
For example, you can encourage each to commit to saving 20% of their income. Then, you can check if they were able to meet it every meeting.
Another strategy is to assign them with a buddy. If you have six children, you can group them into three, so their buddies can remind them with their commitment. In this sense, they will be more mindful.
While money is a sensitive topic, starting to discuss it with your family members can be one of the most significant decisions you can ever have. It will keep everyone updated, at peace, and even strive for better. Most significantly, the whole family will have prosperous finances and a great relationship with each other.