Up until the recent financial crisis, money was considered one of the last conversational taboos. While a nationwide shift in the way people think about their finances has helped change this, experts are still stressing that an open and straightforward attitude about one’s finances is a healthy thing to have. Not only can it help alleviate anxiety, but it can also serve to educate those around you.
Miranda Marquit at Money Ning recently wrote about the importance of talking about finances with your family. She points to the fact that for many people, discussing finances with friends is still difficult, but she stresses that you should be open about money matters with your significant other and even your children.
When it comes to your significant other, open communication about your finances is a must. Studies have consistently shown that regular arguments about finances are tied to high divorce rates. While there’s no way to ensure that you and your partner will never have a heated discussion about money, open communication and honesty will help both of you get on the same page and will most likely help these sorts of talks go that much more smoothly. Marquit suggests talking regularly with your partner about financial problems, successes, and goals. Focusing heavily on the goals–the end result you want to have–can help to keep these sessions positive.
Marquit also touches on something that we’ve discussed before: talking to your kids about money. She suggests sitting the entire family down once a month to talk about financial goals. Is there a vacation on the horizon? Are your kids asking for a new video game system or a pet? If so, it might be wise to sit down as a family and go over these costs. Laying out the steps that will help you reach these goals is a financial lesson kids will carry with them their entire lives. It may also be helpful to show them how the family checking or savings account works. Teaching them the concept of interest, spending only what you have and planning for the future will prove to be invaluable.
Do you regularly discuss money with your family? How often do you and your significant other go over your finances?