T is for Talking About Money: Dos and Don’ts

T is for Talking About Money: Dos and Don’ts

Most of the time, people can be funny when talking about money. And while it is a societal norm not to talk about your salary, mortgage, or investments with friends, family, and strangers, sometimes it can be valuable to have a conversation about money. 

But why? And how? While it’s probably OK to keep your salary private from your acquaintances, it’s probably not a good idea to keep it from your spouse, especially if you share a joint bank account and a mortgage. Communication can be essential when making big decisions or in making choices that may affect your finances for a long time to come.

Here are a few simple dos and don’ts as you begin to throw away taboos and start talking about money:

Do be open with long term partners and spouses, especially those you live with, about your finances. If you aren’t ready to disclose too much specific information, that’s OK. Just be clear about what you can afford on housing, food, vacations, etc.

Do teach your children about money before they leave the house. You may try giving them an allowance when they are young. As they grow, make sure they have a part-time job and a checking and saving account once they are teens. Talk to them about basic finances to set them up for a successful future.

Don’t brag about your financial success stories or whine about your financial woes. While it’s healthy to celebrate and vent to close friends and family, doing either too much can irritate others. Or it may make them feel as if they are failing, or worse they may come to you to ask for money the next time they are in need. 

Don’t seek financial advice from friends who seem wealthy. Frequently, many people live above their means. Just because someone has a big house and a fancy car doesn’t mean they are who you should turn to for investment advice. 

Everyone’s situation is different, and these are not hard and fast rules to live by. If you need financial advice or someone to talk to about it, look into visiting a fiduciary financial advisor who only has your best interests in mind. When it comes to conversations about money, don’t be afraid to have them. But use your judgment and follow these dos and don’ts as you start to explore!

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