Don’t be afraid of ‘the talk’
“If I could give out one piece of financial advice, it would be to not be afraid to talk about money. Do you know that issues around money are one of the top causes for divorce? Most individuals have a tendency to create a lot of stress around money and not addressing concerns or getting answers to questions creates a lot of unnecessary stress. Money is a tool, it is a means to an end. Understanding and viewing it as a tool, and not a basis for judgment could potentially alleviate a lot of problems. It isn’t how much you have or earn, it is what you do with what you earn that matters. Having thoughtful conversations about how money works, and understanding the value of a dollar will go a long way. Teach your children how to handle money. Help them understand things like cash flow, net worth, balance sheets, good credit, responsible borrowing, etc. I’ve believed for a long time that money management should be taught in schools as a course, as part of a math program. ‘Fiscal fitness’ is as important (if not more) as physical fitness.
“Think back to where you first learned about money. Who did you learn from? Did you grow up hearing a lot of arguments about it, or was it a non subject? Were you taught things like ‘money doesn’t grow on trees,’ or ‘if you talk about money it means you are greedy.’ Give some thought to your relationship with money and where you are today. Don’t bury your head in the sand by avoiding the subject. If you have questions about your net worth, cash flow and credit rating seek the help of a trusted adviser.”—Therese R. Nicklas