According to a Wells Fargo survey, personal money is more difficult to discuss with others than topics like death, politics, and religion for 44% of Americans. Time magazine estimates that 40% of couples fail to discuss how they would handle their money before getting married, despite the fact that money is a major source of stress in relationships (and frequently regarded as the main cause of divorce).
Lack of communication about money can have serious negative effects on our health, prosperity, and happiness. Our objective when conducting fieldwork with the Common Cents Lab is to better comprehend financial decisions and reasons. In our interviews, we frequently come across people who build up severe debt, miss out on saving opportunities, or lack knowledge of simple financial techniques that might enhance their well-being—often because they were ashamed to contact their friends and family for financial guidance.
It is very obvious from the research that being more forthcoming about money can have positive effects. Our friends and family are frequently the most readily available resources and can aid in launching wise financial judgments.
Therefore, how should we handle this delicate subject? Here are some tactics for talking to our loved ones about money and how they might be of most assistance.
Better financial outcomes may result from a more open attitude to financial conversations. In a 2009 study, researchers discovered that students from homes where money matters were discussed openly had considerably lower credit card debt and were less likely to struggle with impulsive spending. Asking friends and relatives about their personal finance methods and experiences can also provide them with insightful information about what they have discovered.
Additionally, you might encourage your loved ones to take a more active role in your daily financial decisions. Make people hold you responsible for your actions as one approach to do this. Peer groups assisted Chilean microentrepreneurs in saving more money, according to researchers Felipe Kast, Stephan Meier, and Dina Pomeranz. Their research revealed an astounding 3.7-fold increase in the quantity of deposits made by individuals who had the choice to make their savings goal public and were subsequently tracked in weekly meetings. It’s simpler to follow through on a pledge when we feel responsible to someone. Fortunately, the study revealed that text messages were almost as efficient as face-to-face meetings at holding people accountable!
SPOUSE OR PARTNER
Couples should make an effort to be more honest about their financial problems and plans given that money can cause so much conflict in relationships. Another justification for transparency, though, is that it can increase our risk aversion and decrease our propensity for mistakes.
The University of East Anglia study by Ian Bateman and Alistair Munroe, which contrasted the risk profile of financial choices made by individuals vs couples, served as evidence of this. They discovered that sharing decision-making reduces financial risks.
Because avoiding unnecessary risky financial decisions can have good results, such as a greater nest egg for retirement, involving a spouse or partner in financial decisions can be a significant financial health approach. Joint decision-makers are also less likely to fall victim to cognitive biases like framing effects.
Even while many people intuitively know that having open discussions about finances with friends, family, spouses, and employers is important, taking the initiative can be challenging. A decent beginning step can be as easy as designating a set time for a chat. Use this straightforward application to commit to a time and even to remind yourself of it.
- When a day and time are set, it can be helpful to prepare questions beforehand. The nervousness can be reduced and the talk can stay on course if you have a few questions prepared in advance.
- What is the best financial counsel you have ever heard?
- What long-term financial objectives do you have?
- How would you rate your level of financial success?
- What is a money-related query you’ve always wished to ask someone?
- How much of your gross income do you spend on housing? How did you choose that sum?
- How would you handle a significant unforeseen expense? Do you have money set up or a resource you may turn to for assistance?
- Do you have any retirement funds saved up? Do you like the amount you are saving?
- Do you and your partner establish a household budget for money? Do you have any helpful hints for locating something effective?
- Have you ever negotiated successfully? How you did it?
- What one financial decision do you wish your parents had made differently?
We frequently discover that we’re not the only ones with queries and worries when we boost transparency surrounding money. After all, navigating the world of personal money can be challenging. Gaining allies that assist us stay on course to accomplish our goals can be accomplished by being open about the topics we feel comfortable sharing.