- Do you have one of those friends who is always forgetting their wallet at home?
- Or maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend who puts everything on a credit card?
- Any of those people you just want to take by the shoulders and shake for a while when it comes to what they're doing with their money?
Money management is one of those issues that, if not confronted head on, can totally ruin a once-great relationship. Below are some of my best tips for how to navigate uncomfortable money conversations.
So how do you get started? Here's How to talk about money with people you love
First know (and own) your financial situation. What are your goals and strategies? How do you keep your money organized? If you're going to have a conversation about money, you need to know what your personal money strengths and weaknesses are.
And then comes the "awkward money chat" itself. Not everyone has the luxury of hosting a YouTube series where they talk about money with people, so actually opening a conversation with someone about their money can seem daunting.
Think of it as trying to learn more about your friend, partner, or loved one. This is where a little bit of strategy comes in. Unless you're planning an intervention-type confrontation, you probably want to approach "the money talk" from a positive place. If you're like me it may be easier to ask about their experience with money, or maybe open the conversation with some info about how you handle your money. You want the conversation to be a two-way street!
Don't rush it. If you're considering joining your finances with a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, etc., this is going to be a big talk, so settle in. There is a lot to consider when money is involved in a relationship, such as personal debts, assets, joint accounts, and how you both spend your money. Use this post to set up guidelines if you're in a couple and considering joint finances.
When it comes to conversations about money, it may be better to do several smaller talks. This will keep the discussion from getting mentally exhausting and upsetting. It may not seem like it now, but talking about finance issues for too long can turn even the most affectionate couples into passive-aggressive jerks.
If it seems like your loved one is upset or confrontational, it may be time to take a step back and evaluate why they are feeling that way. When it comes down to it, understanding how someone manages their money is an intimate conversation and you want to make sure that you are both trying to help one another. Is there a certain topic that seems to be upsetting them (or you?).
Figuring out finances with a loved one is a marathon, not a race, so don't be discouraged if you just scratch the surface on the first talk.
However, if they fail to acknowledge any issues or won't talk about money it may be that they don't have your best interests at heart. If a friend doesn't see an issue with constantly asking for money or not repaying you, it could be that you are being taken advantage of. Learning to say no to loved ones will help you become more confident and take control of your finances, and if they have a problem with that there might be a larger issue in the relationship.
Lauren writes about money, emotions, and how they're all connected a Lbeeandthemoneytree.com.