Talking About Money With Family

It’s not difficult to understand that talking about money is awkward to most people.  It can lead to disagreements and details that we tend to protect out of pride.  So we avoid discussing it, which leads to more problems.

The awkwardness is usually at it’s worst with family though.  I’ve met with so many parents who have kids old enough to understand but the parents are terrified to let the kids in on the state of the financial house.

No matter how hard we try to avoid it at some point the subject of money is going to come up.  The kids will be shocked to find out their parents are broke, or maybe even wildly wealthy.  I’ve heard countless stories of people who had no idea their parents financial position until they died and were presented with either a mess or a fortune, both of which they were unprepared for.

Parents who are broke might be thinking they’re protecting their children from hard facts they don’t need to know, and parents who are doing well might be thinking they’re protecting their children from a sense of entitlement.  Regardless of the reason the ultimate disservice is the fact that the parents are choosing not to effectively communicate the value of money to their children.

Have you helped your kids understand the correlation between hard work and money?  Do they understand the idea of delayed gratification?  Do they know what it means to have discipline when making financial decisions?  Do they know that money and stuff doesn’t equal happiness?

It’s worth it to face the awkward moments together.  Lay it all out.  Be real and honest.  No matter what the state of the financial house is it can be a truly humbling experience, and it will prepare everyone in the family to avoid problems in the future.

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