Talking money is still a bit of a taboo in society. People don’t want to disclose how much they earn, what savings they have or even discuss money worries with others — likewise, it’s poor form to ask about any of those things.
When it comes to family and money, things have the potential to get even more awkward. However, there will be a time or two when you may have a financial matter you have to discuss — perhaps care costs for a parent, the financial matters of a will or the debt problems of a family member.
The last thing anyone wants as a family is to fall out over finances. If and when there is a time where you need to sit down and seriously discuss money matters, try and approach things in the right way.
Get the timing right
‘Timing is everything’, as they say, and scenarios where money needs to be discussed are no different. One of the issues for mature families is they often spend very little time together, perhaps only seeing each other on significant holidays or family events. Naturally, most people want to talk in person, which is why you must be aware of appropriate timings.
Don’t decide on Christmas dinner to bring up financial concerns, or indeed any other time that is supposed to be a point of celebration. Likewise, don’t leave things until the absolute last moment and spring a financial crisis upon people out of the blue. Choose a suitable time and place and warn people what to expect. This way, the discussion comes as no surprise to anyone.
Be goal oriented
A good old dose of positive mental attitude is required to carry out a successful discussion around money. Don’t talk numbers, instead talk goals of yours and the people around you. Remember, everyone’s situation will be different, so be receptive and sensitive to each others’ ambitions, limits and opinions.
Whatever you’re talking about, you want to come to a collective agreement, so it’s important to come to a respectful conclusion that takes everyone into account. Creating shared goals will avoid confrontation, as well as setting out the best possible plan going forward.
Finally, be completely honest with your loved ones. If you have money problems, don’t hide details from your nearest and dearest. Similarly, if one of your family is in trouble, encourage and respect their full transparency. If you’re discussing financial plans, be clear in your opinions, as well as about what you can realistically offer to the situation.
The fact of the matter is, any home truths will always come to the fore in financial situations, so it’s better to get them out in the open before others find out about them the wrong way. This way, you avoid any unnecessary conflict and create the best plan possible according to your needs. After all, if you can’t be honest with your family, who can you be truthful with?
Life is full of financial twists and turns, and you and your family will all face significant financial challenges along the way. When it comes to talking money with them, nail the when and where, be respectful, talk openly and explore your options carefully. This approach will keep your relationships stable, as well as help achieve your collective goals.