So its #talkmoneyweek and the focus is on encouraging open money conversations. Why? Research shows time and again that talking openly about money leads to improved financial, emotional and mental well-being.
It also leads to empowerment and the opportunity to change your own financial situation for the better, especially within families.
So my challenge for you as we begin the run up to Christmas is to start a l money conversation with those you love; so here are 4 money conversation ideas to get your started.
1. Festive Finance with Partner
In our house one of us is a spender and the other a saver – you can guess which is me! This isn’t unusual in relationships, nor is having different backgrounds, values and beliefs in and around money. This issue comes when two or more different beliefs or habits clash, and Christmas is a prime time for this.
Topics to talk through:
- What are your bigger goals beyond Christmas with your shared money
- What budget is the right one to set
- If you have children from previous relationships do you plan to treat them all equally or should do different rules apply ?
- Who is responsible for the buying/spending or are you creating a joint save to spend fun for everything
2. Christmas Money with Family
Having different beliefs and traditions within one family can be challenge enough, let alone adding more people into the equation! When families blend, separate or remarry traditions on gifting, budgets, Christmas visits and present opening don’t always match up which can cause further issues.
Challenges can arise where you and other family members have different income levels and therefore budgets, or want to buy or reciprocate for different people.
Try these approaches:
- Start openly, ask about their thoughts, listen to why that’s important to them
- Share your thoughts, what’s important to you and why
- Compromise is not always the answer (my Mum used to say ‘compromise is where no one gets their way!’) but it can work on issues less important to you or for battles you choose not to fight
- It’s ok to set boundaries and make your choices on the areas really important to you. Just be compassionate and honest
3. Giving and Receiving with Kids
There are so many conversations Christmas lends itself to with Kids, and they are often much easier to have than with other adults. Whatever the topic engage and involve them in tasks, play and example. For younger children keep it fun and for older children let them enjoy some responsibility.
Here’s some themes you could explore:
- Talk about the individual and combined cost of items on their Christmas list.
- Introduce the ideas of Value and Cost. Which cost more/less and which are more/less valuable to them
- Introduce the idea of Needs verses Wants. Ask them to prioritise those they wants or need more/less
- Ask what they plan to do with any Christmas money they receive. It’s a great opportunity to encourage them to spend some and save some or invest
- Encourage them to set a budget to buy or make gifts for other people
- Give them the opportunity to earn some extra pocket money toward their Christmas spending budget
4. Financial Future with Yourself
When was the last time you were mindful about your own thoughts, feelings and habits around money? Have you sat and talked to yourself about what you want with your money? When you have ideas or dreams, what are the words that come up in and have you considered if those messages are affecting how you act with money?
Use this week to:
- Listen to the things you hear yourself say to yourself about your value, worth and what you deserve.
- Are there parallels with your relationship with money?
- What would you like your money situation to be?
- Are you happy with things as they are? What could be different?
- As you prepare for a Christmas and the New Year list what you’d like to do differently. What would you like your money habits and successes be this time next year?
Tips for a good money conversation
Starting any money conversation can be hard at first. So keep it friendly, general and calm. Steer clear of it being about one person being right or wrong. If it doesn’t go so well first time, leave it for now and come back to it again at a later, positive time.
Take time to really listen to the other person perspective but don’t lose sight of what is valuable and important to you too.
When we openly talk, without judgement, to those we love and explain our money situation and values and why they are important to us, people that love us will listen and vice versa.
Drop me a comment below or head over to Instagram and let me know what you talked about and how it went!
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