Money conversations can and should be fun and productive.  Here are some best practices The Pledgettes have learned from each other, our awesome guest speakers, and increasing our financial literacy. 

  • Tailor the conversation to the participants. You know your boss, your partner, your family, and yourself well. So, tailor and customize the conversation to those that are participating. 
  • Start with the outer layer of the onion. Money conversations are like pulling back the layers of an onion. Start with safe questions and don’t dive into “what are all your balances on all your accounts?” Instead try, “what is your first money memory?” “When is a time you have taken a risk and it worked out?” 
  • Take your time; you don’t need to solve world peace in one talk. Instead of cramming everything into one talk, start with a short talk. And over time, as you build trust and credibility, go deeper with each conversation. Talking about money experiences that feel distant is safer than divulging the most personal, vulnerable details.  
  • Set safe boundaries so nobody has to use their emergency parachute. You can create boundaries on the length of time, topics covered, locations, date/time. I realized that my partner likes to plan. So we add our State of Our Unions on our shared calendar with an agenda. Either of us can add to the agenda. One time, he added “dog” to the bottom of the agenda, and the next month we adopted a dog. Some money conversations start with one question and a 5-minute timer. After the timer goes off, you can keep talking or either person can end the conversation without judgment or repercussions. 
  • Make it a positive experience by leaving out judgment and shame. If your goal is better money conversations, check judgment and shame at the door.  While you may not solve all your financial problems in one conversation, starting with a positive one is a step in the right direction. Make sure you are only talking about your feelings (not your assumptions about others) and your experiences. If this is new for you and you want some help, bring in a Financial Therapist (yes, those exist). Send me a message if you want some recommendations.
  • Develop a goal or commitment together. You will probably have individual goals and commitments too. It’s good to work on more than one thing at a time. What is a shared goal or commitment you can both work on?  It may be, scheduling another money talk or it might be saving up for a vacation. Working together may improve your finances, your relationship with money, and your relationship with each other.

There are many benefits to having healthy, wealthy money talks including:

  • Celebration! We celebrate so much with our friends already, let’s add Financial Success to that list!
  • Shared Experiences. Don’t let fear make your personal financial journey a solo one. We can learn so much when we hear how people we know are navigating their own journeys.
  • Healthy, Wealthy Communities. Each money move we make has a ripple effect on our family, friends, and community. When you make money moves in alignment with your goals and values, your community benefits too. We want the best for our friends/family/peers and the communities we live.
  • Finding Accountability. If you have ongoing accountability meetings you have a 95% likelihood of achieving your goal! Now how big can you dream knowing that you have a 95% likelihood of achieving that goal!
  • Demystifying Wealth. Learn and grow with your friends by expanding your Financial Literacy together.