The M-Word ? Shh …

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uang2Most of us grow up in families where nobody talks about money. Most people will immediately protest: “Not true. My family talked about money all the time”. When I ask, “My father worried about not having enough, and the he yelled at my mother for spending too much.”

The fact remains the people do not grow up with education or philosophic conversations about what money is and isn’t, what it can and can’t do. We don’t examine the societal messages telling us that gratification lies in spending or that keeping up with the creme d la crime is important. Information-based money discussion are so taboo that we usually reach adulthood without a realistic sense of our family’s finance.

Here are important tips on talking about money with the family:

Deliberately set aside time

Serious talk about finances is certainly not something we want to talk about casually while watching a movie on Netflix or eating a meal. Tell your partner, parents, or anyone else you need to talk to about the plan, hoping that the parties can clearly discuss and reflect. You don’t want to blind someone with a conversation about finances, because that might just put them on the defensive. You naturally want this to be a collaborative conversation. You don’t want it to feel like an attack at all.

Make sure you are all in one page

When talking about money with your partner, consider more than just counting the numbers. Talks about money is electrically charged with feelings that many people consider ignoring it. But that would usually lead to the exclusion of important information. Having a conversation about emotions around money is a very strong foundation to set yourself up for in the future, because no matter how good your relationship with your partner is when it comes to money, you will often fight without this foundation. Talking to your partner and making sure you are on the same page is the solution for clearing up any misunderstandings about money and preventing future disagreements. 

Teach about satisfaction and gratitude

Children in their teens may be easily influenced by their social life. Comparing themselves to their peers or wanting to have something their friends have is common. Some examples like comparing a friend who bought a motorbike or a new car, comparing their friend’s birthday party which is more lively, or also wanting to have a friend’s smartphone that is more sophisticated.

Now, it’s time to teach them that satisfaction comes from the heart. If you continue to compare, there will be no end. Make them grateful for what they have.

Pace your emotions

With all the emotions that can be attached to a single conversation about money, keeping yours in check is also very important. This can be hard to do, for there are many people that talk about money when they’re facing a crisis or having end-of-life conversations. Doing this forces you to face your own mortality, and that’s never comfortable for anyone. Which is why both you and the person you are talking to must maintain your emotions.

Coordinate these talks as often as you need to

Whenever you have a successful conversation about money, set another time and topic for the next discussion. By doing so, you will be setting a conversation that is deliberate, specific and supportive rather than wishy-washy. At this stage, you should be more understand, with listening skills. Both of these skills are crucial aspects to lead a successful conversation.

What do you think about these tips? Share your experience with us in the comment section below!