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Talking About Money

Couple Discussing Bills HALF

Money is an emotional issue. In fact, conversations about money are almost never only about money. They're about self-worth, security, anxiety, independence, status, safety, priorities, and so much more. For most of us, figuring out how to have open, candid conversations about money can be stressful.  As we start the planning process, we have to talk with the people who matter most to us.

Your Spouse:  It’s no coincidence that most marriage vows include the phrase “for richer or for poorer.” Financial matters can make-or-break a life-long relationship. Most couples discuss their goals and dreams in life together, but they often don't talk about their financial attitudes.

Your Parents:  At first, talking with your parents might be even harder than talking with your spouse or children. You - and they - may feel an uncomfortable shifting of roles.  But this could be one of the most important money conversations you ever have because it’s the only way you can know for sure that your parents are financially secure and safe.

Your Kids:  For a surprising number of adults, what we know about money results from the sum of our experiences - both good and bad. Many of us want to help our kids avoid our own pitfalls and to grow up with financial confidence and good money habits.

Believe it or not, some parents find it easier to talk to their kids about drugs or sex than they do talking about money! At first it might be scary to talk about money with your kids. But it’s actually much scarier for your kids if you don’t. Because if you don’t talk about money with your kids, there are plenty of people who will - advertisers, sales people, peers, and others who don’t have their best interests at heart.  See the Right on the Money program for more tips and suggestions about talking to your kids about money.

Finally, there's no right way to talk about money. Approaching your family might feel awkward at first, but it gets easier. Every family is different and it's ok to do it your own way.  A few things to remember are to listen, be clear, and most of all keep it honest, respectful, and judgment free. 

Next up:  Money Values & Decisions