How much time do you spend talking about money with your spouse or partner? (Not counting fighting about money!) You may not have grown up with the same views on money at all. Maybe you pride yourself on being a saver and you bemoan your partner’s spending habits. No matter, what, consider getting on the same page with these conversations:
- Talk about your individual values. What does money mean to each of you? If your partner loves classic cars and has spent a fortune restoring a classic car of his own, there’s more going on there than just “spending money for money’s sake.” It’s a passion. Talk about the role of money in your lives and agree on it and you’ll hit on the higher purpose of money in your lives.
- Don’t fib. Don’t tell your partner that you only spent $50 shopping when you actually spent $550. Those kinds of conversations can really hurt your relationship. Vow to stay as honest as possible, no matter what.
- Talk about your money goals. What do you ultimately want to work toward together? A vacation home on Lake Tahoe? A Colorado ski vacation every year? Talk through your long-term and short-term goals and don’t forget to talk through your retirement. What do you want that to look like?
- Talk about how you can be the most financially responsible possible. What do you need to do to make sure you have all your financial ducks in a row? Do you need to get life insurance? Set up a will so your children and assets get cared for? Meet with a financial advisor so you know what your goals should entail?
Take a look at the last point again. You may need to meet with a financial advisor to help you get to your ultimate goals, whether they involve getting out of debt, increasing your income, investing or simply saving up for the future. Ask around in your area to find the best advisor for your needs and your goals.
Have the Right Conversations at the Right Time
You don’t want to rush any of these conversations with your young children, teens and even your spouse. Give yourself plenty of time — years! — to have these conversations over time. As kids grow, hopefully, they’ll realize how you’ve developed their money management skills and habits over their entire lives and make great decisions with money. (It doesn’t hurt to have the conversation that you won’t bail them out their whole lives, either.)
Don’t forget to have the right conversations at the age-appropriate time so your kids can digest the information and appreciate it for what it is — golden wisdom.