How to Discuss Your Finances as a Family
educating-myself | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Vernita Dorsey | Published: July 2023
Discussing finances has long been thought of as a taboo topic for many.
A recent WSFS study found 71% of regional consumers wished they had received more financial guidance and education. Having open and candid discussions with those closest to us about our finances can go a long way in helping to increase confidence in money management skills, particularly when started at a young age.
Here are tips to help you discuss finances as a family and build your confidence.
If you have young children, involving them in monetary discussions from an early age can help build their comfort level when it comes to discussing finances and instill early money management skills.
Once your child is old enough to count, have them help you with things like your grocery trips so they can grasp the value of money and how it will play a role in their lives. These early life lessons can pay big dividends down the road when it comes to building the knowledge needed to achieve their financial goals.
Know Your Personal Situation
Whether you need to discuss group finances with your spouse, fiancé, children, roommates or more, reflecting on your own personal financial situation first is a good starting point.
Ensure you have a clear picture of your finances, such as your income and investments, regular bills, and outstanding debts so you know where you stand before talking about how you will handle finances together.
Once you have a full understanding of your own finances, you’re ready to discuss with others. Just ensure you’re forthcoming in your discussions. Secrets are no fun, and withholding information, even if your finances aren’t in the greatest of shape currently, will only be detrimental in the long run.
Find the Right Time
Talking about money is stressful for many people, so when it comes time for these important discussions, it is vital to find a time free of distractions and other stressors to ensure a productive conversion.
Set aside time for your conversation outside of work when you’re also free from other responsibilities like household chores to ensure everyone is coming to the table ready to talk.
Set Goals and Put a Plan in Place
Whether you’re planning how you and your friends will afford your shared apartment or you’re a newlywed looking to put a plan in place for your family, it is important to set financial goals and then work together to achieve them.
Once you have identified your goals and your plans created, divide and conquer on the responsibilities to ensure the burden isn’t falling on just one person.
There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to your finances, so remember that your goals and roadmaps don’t need to be the same as others.
If you find you need more help creating a plan, consider scheduling an appointment with your local banker, who can help set you on a path toward achieving your goals.
About the Author – Vernita Dorsey
Vernita Dorsey is Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS Bank. She has more than 39 years of experience as a community banker and has actively served her community throughout her career.
The study was conducted by research company Opinium. The sample includes 1,000 national respondents and 1,001 in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region who reside in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia), four southern New Jersey counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), and all three Delaware counties (Kent, Sussex and New Castle). All respondents were ages 18+. The online survey was conducted from February 28-March 8, 2023, with a combined regional and national margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
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