Communicating effectively about money is just about the most important thing you can do on your road to financial success.
And no, I am not talking about analyst reports, shareholder communications, or strategy newsletters. I am referring to the ability to speak the same language about personal financial matters to the people who matter most.
Take the most mundane topics, such as spending, insurance, or investing — if handled poorly, you might have a thermo-nuclear reaction. The problem is we rarely take the time to understand what another person believes; and whether it is the same as yours.
When two money lives become one, it’s critical to take this valuable time to communicate.
I hate to say it, but the majority of consumers haven’t really thought out what they believe — and why.
Let’s take the topic of life insurance as an example.
How much coverage is appropriate? What is enough and what is too much? The answers are not necessarily quantifiable. Through analysis, you might discover that enough protection is $500,000. But the beneficiary — the one who will rely on the policy should some tragedy befall the owner — might not feel safe unless the amount is $1,000,000. You see, it’s just not as simple as “the formula says X.”
It takes so much more than analysis or online research.
Our feelings, beliefs, and fears play into how we produce an outcome with which we can live comfortably.
The same is true for how we communicate with each other. Our unique experiences as children set the stage for a money mindset that formulates our feelings of comfort, security and valuation. It’s fair to assume that, since everyone has a unique upbringing, we all have unique money mindsets.
Let’s look at the topic of spending. Here’s an example of a discussion that I have witnessed countless times.
“We need to spend less money.”
“I agree. Where should we cut?”
“Well, we can get rid of the premium cable, it’s a fortune.”
“Hey, but I really like the shows I watch. I don’t want to give that up.”
“What do you suggest we cut?”
“Your car lease is coming up in a few months, why don’t get a less expensive car?”
Here’s another iteration.
“We need to spend less money.”
“Absolutely. Where should we cut?”
“Gee, I am looking at the bills and the cost of hair care, nail salons and makeup is extraordinary!”
Need I go on?
Rather than making your money conversation a test of wills or worse, a battleground, here are 9 tips to create money success:
1. Agree on a time, place and time limit to talk. Make it somewhere without interruption and private. (Your local coffee shop is probably not the best place.) Don’t make the conversation open-ended – agree on a time limit before beginning. And remember, less is more. The longer you go, the more the conversation will probably lose its focus or turn into blame and shame.
2. Agree on an agenda. Pick one topic on which to focus; not two, three, or seven.
3. Center your conversation on sharing and clarifying your values. Focus on where you both are in agreement for a more productive conversation.
4. Acknowledge that everyone judges based on individual points of view; and try and stay away from negative judgements.
5. Begin the conversation with an agreement that you will both commit to listening without interruption. If you hear something that pushes your buttons, you are liable to react, which will undoubtedly make the rest of the conversation tenser.
6. Ask questions that begin with, “Help me understand,” or “Can you explain that a little more?”
7. Avoid hot-button issues; begin with the easy stuff and rack up the victories for positive energy.
8. Celebrate the victories, no matter how small. (Your favorite cup of coffee or a walk in the park both count.)
9. Expect setbacks; there’s no such thing as perfect. Avoid blame at all costs.
Related: Driving Your Financial Life Forward
Communicating effectively about money can move you to positive changes, living your values, deeper intimacy, and understanding. Great communications can make your life happier and your financial life more successful because you can work through obstacles.
Money doesn’t have to be a mystery, a taboo topic, or a source of conflict. It’s up to you and your partner(s) to forge a positive pathway in a loving and supportive way. It begins with a mutual decision to engage through listening and communicating your values.
7 Workplace Wellness Ideas That Boost Employee Spirit
How To Encourage Confidence and Control Ego
Can HP Instant-Ink Program Save You Your Hard Earned Cash?
Posting the Wrong Image Can Ruin Your Message
6 Ways to Realize That You’re an Over-Talker
5 Metrics to Stay Positive During Your Job Search
Discover Multi-Generational Planning That Doesn’t Compromise Your Lifestyle
Are You Ready to Approach the Race for Your Future Financial Life?
6 Proven LinkedIn Marketing Tips
Reinvention, Personal Best, and the Path to Legacy
Equities15 hours ago
This Is the End of Trump’s Economic Sugar High
Development15 hours ago
When You Cannot Think of a Better Way to Market Yourself, Try This…
Global15 hours ago
It’s Time to Reconsider Risk
Forward-Looking Investing2 days ago
2019 Outlook: Don’t Fight the People’s Bank of China!
Financial Podcasts2 days ago
How to Qualify Prospects and Increase Your Success Rate
Behavioral Intelligence2 days ago
Why Index Funds Can and Likely Will Underperform
Advisor3 days ago
21 Tips on How to Evaluate an Investment Adviser
Marketing4 days ago
Do You Have Entrepreneurial Persistence?