How to Discuss Financial Changes with Family
Finances and family sometimes do not mix. They can get especially tricky if you have decided to make a financial change in your life like getting out debt or trying to save more and start investing. The rest of your immediate and extended family may not "get it" and the good news is they don't have to! However, if you must discuss it, here's how you can speak to your family about your financial changes:
1. You Have Made this a Priority
When you change your bad money habits, most likely they are impacted and shared with those around you too. If you are finding yourself being pressured to overspend you should inform your family you have made changes to your financial life. This does not mean you are seeking their opinion on the changes. You can tell them that you have made your finances a priority this year and will not be able to do some of the "overspending" activities any longer. This may bring about a wave of discomfort but it's necessary if you are tempted to overspend when you are with them.
2. You Don't Have to Agree
When your family inevitably gives you some push back you can also let them know it is okay if they don't agree with your new lifestyle changes. Why? This forces them to take a look at their overspending and they may not like what they see. Let them know it is okay to disagree about your financial changes but that doesn't mean you're going to stop changing them. Reinforce this if money keeps coming up during holiday's or get togethers.
3. Some of This is Temporary
If you are missing out on big events or can't fully participate in the holidays due to the cut back you can let your family know that some of this is temporary, especially if you're trying to get out debt. Not all the changes you make will be for forever but right now it's a priority that you get on a better financial track. Once your debt has been paid down or you have met your savings goals, you will start to be able to incorporate some of your old spending habits into your new.
4. You're In It For the Long Haul
If they really start to pressure you to understand why you're doing this you can be honest and say you are simply not in a great financial place and you want to do better. Yet again, this may receive some push back especially if your family is not well-off and views you trying to better your financial situation as a slight against them. You can let them know this has nothing to do with anyone else, this is a goal just for you.
Bottom line: Making financial changes can be hard and can sometimes show you where you stand in your relationships. When you try to make a difference, expect pushback but do not give up just because of it. In the end, you will thank yourself for trying to secure a better financial future for yourself.