Money is kind of a taboo subject. It’s something you’re not really supposed to talk about, but by not talking about it, you could be creating a lot of trouble for yourself.
Whether you are hoping a loved one will send you some money with a transfer service like Remitly or you want to start a small business, which means you have to talk about financing, learning how to talk about money is an important skill that takes time to cultivate.
Schedule Time to Talk About Money
Talking about money can be difficult, which is why so many people put it off, and it’s easy just to keep putting it off. If you need to talk about money, you have to pencil it into your schedule.
Plan a date and time in the future when you will talk to your spouse or business partner about finances. Make sure they are aware of the upcoming conversation so they can prepare as well.
A recurring schedule can work too. For example, families can plan to sit down the first of every month while businesses can schedule a weekly budget meeting.
Part of the reason why talking about finances is so frustrating is because there’s no real goal to the conversation. Both parties often leave the conversation feeling frustrated because everyone talked about money, but no solutions came from the conversation.
Setting financial goals can help you talk about money with a personal or professional partner. A few goals to strive for might include:
- Creating a budget
- Building an emergency fund
- Creating a retirement account
- Paying off debt
Setting goals could also mean saving for something fun. For example, you’ll find talking about money is less painful if you’re talking about it because your family wants to save for a vacation or your business wants to open a new store.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Close Look at the Numbers
It’s alarming how few people really know how much money they have. They spend until the money runs out without thinking about the details. When it’s time to talk about money, make sure you both dig into the specifics.
For businesses and households, that means looking at every penny that comes in and goes out. By tracking your spending closely, you can determine ways you can cut back, or you can at least stop yourself from spending too much so you don’t end up in the red.
For example, a family may realize they’re spending way too much money on coffee while a business may realize they’re spending way more than they’re making. These can be hard realizations, but they’re important to every money conversation.
Talk About Money More Often
No matter what the topic is, talking about it over and over again can be very helpful. When it becomes a part of your everyday conversations, you’ll be less scared to talk about it when the conversation becomes necessary.
That means trying to talk about money more often. An easy way to start talking more about money is to start conversations with your friends.
Don’t be afraid to start a conversation about how much everyone makes and what they’ve done in their career to make more. “Would you be open to talking about how much you make with me?” is a good way to start the conversation without offending your friends.
Plan to Do Something Enjoyable Afterwards
Talking about money is difficult for a lot of people. It can be even more difficult if it means taking a close look at the numbers, starting a tense conversation, or getting real about your situation with an advisor. To make sure you go through with it, plan something fun to do afterwards.
For example, after talking about the budget with your spouse, you may decide to go out and get ice cream and talk about your upcoming vacation. After a meeting with the financial planner, you and your business partner may have a follow-up meeting where you talk about the exciting future of your business. Even the smallest thing, like taking a nap, can give you the motivation you need to start a tough conversation about money!
The conversations that are the most difficult to start also tend to be the ones that are most important to have. That’s definitely the case when it comes to money, but with these tips, you’ll be able to talk about money with ease.