Talking with Family about Money | Money Management | Exodus Lending - Exodus Lending

Talking with Family and Friends about Money

By Kaitlyn Szabo December 19, 2019

At Exodus Lending, we believe in the power of story-telling. Sharing your story is compelling – even if it’s a little scary. But talking about money? Downright terrifying. Money is one of the most challenging topics of conversation. But there is power in speaking up, and these strategies can help you begin talking about money with your family and friends.

Why is it so hard to talk about money?

A lot of the shame people feel around money is about a fear of judgment. Many people worry that others will think less of them due to their financial problems. To avoid this, they keep their struggles secret.

Living with deep-rooted shame is not healthy. One way to release this burden is to talk about your finances. Money conversations can be an excellent opportunity to relieve stress, learn from others, and improve your habits. Once you start sharing your story, you will likely find that you are not alone

Where do I even begin?

Assess your and the other person’s situation before starting the talk.

  • Be honest and confident in yourself. Have a clear understanding of your finances so you can be transparent about your present circumstances. Beyond that, do your best to detach your sense of self-worth from your bank account. Money does not define you.
  • Be comfortable with the other person. Ask yourself if you think they will be supportive and non-judgmental. Be sure to have a back-up plan if your conversation does not go as expected.

How do I talk about money with my loved ones?

Preparing what you’ll say and when you’ll say it can help lessen the fear around challenging conversations. Here are some topics and conversation starters for all the different relationships you may have in your life.

– For conversations with children, create learning opportunities connected to life events.

  • Talk about the value of money when spending on birthday presents.
  • Share the importance of savings when planning for a school trip or family vacation.
  • Discuss debt and how student loans work if they are thinking about college.

– For conversations with a spouse or partner, make an ongoing “money date” to talk about your finances.

  • Set-up time regularly to sit down together and talk openly about money.
  • Split responsibilities so that each person contributes financially. (Housework may be unpaid, but it is work that contributes to the entire family’s economic well-being).
  • If one person manages most finances, have them walk through the process with the other.

– For conversations with parents or other adult relatives, begin the dialogue by talking about yourself. 

– For conversations with friends, ask to become “money buddies” to help hold each other accountable

  • Share your short and long-term goals. Discuss how you each plan to reach them.
  • Get together for “check-ins” at a neutral location, like a coffee shop or library.
  • Encourage each other with positive feedback, and avoid criticizing one another.

If you’re not comfortable speaking with those closest to you, speak with a financial counselor or journal. 

Money Management E-Newsletter: December 2019