The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Dallas! Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.
Growing up I didn’t talk to my parents about our finances. I avoided in-depth money conversations with most everyone until I was in my mid-twenties or so. And even then, it was only strangers on the Internet, who knew me only as PT.
Most of us don’t like talking in detail about our finances. I understand. It’s the last taboo. A recent study showed that 80% of women refrain from talking about money with their friends and family. I’m assuming us guys are right there with you ladies.
It’s tacky. It’s rude. It’s embarrassing. Sure, talking about money can be all of those things. But it doesn’t have to be. I believe that there is a healthy way we can communicate about our financial lives, and conversations with certain people we should be having.
And simply talking about your financial life has one incredible effect: it improves it! Talking about your money brings more awareness and more accountability.
Instead of trying to expound upon how best to talk about money, I think I’ll simply provide some examples.
You don’t have to open up all your financial details to everyone on the Internet like I do. But here are seven people in your life that I think you need to be having open and honest conversations about money with. I’ve also included some starter questions to get the conversation going.
If you’re young, ask your parents about the family finances. Ask them to share how they do things. If you’re older, ask them about their financial needs in retirement.
- How much do you make in your career/profession?
- How do you manage and spend the money you earn?
- How much are you saving, and where does it go?
- What are your plans for retirement?
- Anything you did or didn’t do with your money that you think we could learn from?
If there’s a chance you think you’ll one day be legally bound to this person, then get to know their perspective and reality when it comes to money.
- What are your beliefs or goals with money?
- What are your life goals and how do you expect your finances to change as a result?
- How much debt do you have and what are your plans to pay it off?
No brainer…have regular talks with your spouse about your finances.
- What are our life/financial goals?
- How are we doing in our progress?
- Is it cool if I spend $xxx (which is above our “no questions” threshold) on this item?
Help your kids become financially savvy by including them in the family financial discussions. Don’t shield them from money problems either.
- How do you think Dad or Mom gets money to spend?
- What are your saving and giving goals?
- How do you plan on paying for that?
5. Close Friends
Your good friends are likely going through the same financial issues as you. They’re more likely to relate to your situation and have some helpful information.
- What are some of your tips or tricks for saving money?
- Tell me more about your side hustle to make extra money?
- What are your thoughts about saving for retirement vs saving for our kid’s college expenses?
Our employers hold the keys to our incomes as well as some of our investing and insurance options. Talk to them regularly about your compensation and your benefits.
- What are some ways that I could be using my benefits more to help my financial situation?
- Are there any free or discounted financial services that you would recommend?
- How can I advance my career and grow my salary?
7. Financial Advisor
Chances are, none of the above people are financial professionals. At some point, you need to find an objective advisor that you can trust for advice.
- Am I on track for adequate retirement savings?
- What is my risk tolerance and do my investments line up?
- Am I spending too much (either in fees or taxes) on my investments?
So those are the seven folks I think you should be talking to about your money. Have any more to add to the mix? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…
Want to meet the crew that inspired this article? Join me and team Phroogal in Dallas tonight from 6-8:30 at The Rustic. Or meet them elsewhere on the road.