In many families, money isn’t talked about much. According to this survey, 36 percent of Americans are uncomfortable talking about money. Eighteen percent say money isn’t talked about in their family.
The benefits of involving the whole family in money discussions are numerous. It can help set your kids up for a healthy future relationship with money.
If you’re not already treating your financial planning like a family activity, here’s how to get everyone more involved:
Start with your Spouse
There are many households where one partner makes the majority of money decisions. One person might make more or have a more natural inclination for money management, so it’s easy enough to fall into that habit. However, leaving all the money choices up to one person can spell trouble down the road.
You want to make sure you’re both on the same page, so that you can move your family ahead in a way that’s cohesive.
Here are some steps to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page:
- Talk about your long-term goals: It’s going to be a challenge to hit big goals if you have different ideas about how you should spend money. Make sure you can come to an agreement about where you’d like to be one, five, ten years down the road.
- Create a money management system: Once your big goals are finalized, it’s time to look at day-to-day spending. This will help both of you live according to your priorities.
- Check in regularly: Maybe you’ll check in weekly, or sit down monthly to work on a budget. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you agree to continue the money conversation and collaborate on your spending and saving.
Involve the Kids
You and your spouse are the foundation of your family’s financial wellness. However, involving your kids is a smart idea, too.
Let them in on some of your goals and your family’s spending plan. Not only will that help them learn how to have healthy conversations about money, but they’ll have a better idea of why they can’t have that new video game right now.
You can even involve them in contributing to your family goals. Maybe you’re saving up for a family vacation this year. Let them be a part of it by saving up for their own souvenirs or an activity they want to do.
Try setting up a simple budget to help your kids learn to divvy up their money. For example, start with saving, spending and giving. This is an easy way to help them learn to put some money aside, while considering their own money goals.
Working with the family
Bringing your family together to be a part of money planning is a good way to foster open communication about finances. Use some of these tips to get the conversation started and treat financial planning as a group effort.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes everyone should have access to financial resources and coaching. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.