Happy 2023 - Resolve to Talk About Family Finances!
The beginning of a New Year is traditionally a time we take stock and make resolutions, from health, to careers, to our finances. But according to a recent study, talking about money in our families ranks below discussions about a host of difficult topics, despite evidence that understanding finances empowers individuals to create financial health and manage their money better. But why is this such a hard topic for some? Perhaps it’s not what we’re discussing, but the way we approach these conversations. HPBU Financial Education Center is here to empower you and your family for long-term financial health.
Kitchen Table Conversations
The best way to break down barriers around family financial talks is to make the discussions a part of regular family discussions. One way to ease into these conversations is to determine each family member's comfort level with finances. HPBU has a short financial quiz which can shed some light on how everyone around the table feels about money and talking about finances.
As well as gauging comfort levels, take into consideration your children’s age, as well where you are in your own life. The earlier you start financial discussions with your children, the more likely you will be setting them up for having a realistic and healthy attitude toward money. Being transparent and open with your children will help understand that financial discussions are a normal part of your family dynamic. Think in terms of financial modeling, setting family priorities and strategies, and don’t forget the importance of learning together for generations of financial well-being.
Take Small Financial Conversation Bites
Talking about money can be complicated and overwhelming. By breaking it down to short conversations, you’ll be more likely to be successful and achieve more participation. Remember, the goal is to financially inform, educate, and empower all members of your family. As your children grow, think about shared roles in leading the financial discussions. Below are some ideas for topics to cover to help build a solid family financial foundation:
Earning and Budgets: Have open conversations about how money is earned and its relationship to your family’s budget, financial priorities, and planning
Borrowing and Debt Management: Start the conversations early so that your children (and you) understand one-time vs. recurring debt, credit cards, home mortgages, financing items from cars to higher education.
Spending, Saving, Giving: When you discuss the difference between wants and needs with young children, you set up a foundation of thoughtful financial planning early on. Think about opening a family savings account for things like holiday spending, vacations, or toward a charitable organization you all support. This practice models that all aspects of finances are worth planning for and can benefit others.
Generation to Generation Financial Wellness
It’s natural for parents to think first of our children and their financial future. However, it’s equally important for parents to attend to their own financial well-being and planning, regardless of your financial situation.
Location, Location, Location: Make sure that your family knows where key financial information and documents are located. In addition to digitizing this information, print out the copies, and put them in a binder. Better yet, provide a binder for each family member, depending on their age.
Healthcare Needs and Wishes: Be proactive and create a plan before an illness or ongoing healthcare needs arise. By creating a plan in advance, your wishes will be honored and your family will be saved from sorting things out during a potentially stressful time.
Planning for the Future: It’s important to know when expert advice would benefit your family’s financial conversations. High Plains Bank Trust, Estate, and Investment Services team is happy to help you plan for your family’s present and future financial needs.
HPBU - Financial Education Center is available whether you’re a High Plains Bank customer or not. The no-charge offerings are short and a great way to jumpstart your personal financial education. Feel free to share this useful resource with friends and family!
High Plains Bank – 100 Years of Friendly Banking
High Plains Bank’s commitment to support the vitality of our communities began more than one hundred years ago. The bank is explicit that its first goal is to make a lasting impact in our communities while empowering people to manage their financial moments of need and life events. As a family and employee-owned community bank, High Plains Bank places the highest value on relationships with our customers and our employees. High Plains Bank was founded in 1908 in Flagler, Colorado with physical branches in Bennett, Flagler, Keenesburg, Downtown and Northwest Longmont, Wiggins, as well as digital banking services through HPBGO.com.