5 Money Talks You Need to Have
If talking with others about financial issues makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Most people would rather do just about anything than have the “money talk.” But avoiding talking about important issues won’t make them go away, and can actually end up damaging your financial future. Here’s who you should have a money talk with soon, and what you should talk about.
Your Significant Other
If the sight of those words along with “money talk” scares you, keep reading, because this will actually be fun! You need to talk with your other half about any travel plans you need to make during 2016. Do you have family events like weddings or reunions lined up? Do you each go on getaways with groups of friends? Or maybe you need to take a nice, relaxing getaway just for the two of you. You want to plan far enough in advance so you can start putting money aside for travel this year and not get into debt by waiting until the last minute and using a credit card to pay for it.
You will probably have a formal performance review scheduled at some point during the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for it to talk with your manager about your future. Schedule a one-on-one meeting to check in on your plans and goals for the year and find out what you should be doing now to ensure a glowing review — and accompanying salary increase— when raise season arrives.
Your Middle or High School Student
Conversations about whether or not your child plans to attend college should start as early as seventh or eighth grade. If you have been saving money in a college fund, let them know that help will be available should they decide to attend. Talk about student loans, and why they should be used in moderation. Encourage your child to research scholarship opportunities and apply for them when the time comes. Nothing needs to be set in stone, but beginning these conversations early and following up regularly will keep everyone on the same page about future plans.
Your Retired Parent(s)
Seniors are especially vulnerable to identity theft and financial scams. If your parents (or grandparents) use a computer, be sure they have current virus protection installed and teach them how to recognize phishing scams and other ways thieves (identity or otherwise) can try to get access to their financial information. Also let them know to beware of phone scams asking them to disclose personal or banking information over the phone. Here are some of the most common financial scams that target seniors.
OK. So you don’t actually have to talk to yourself (unless you really want to). But you do need to take stock of where you are financially, where you’d like to be by the end of the year, and make a plan for how to get there. You’ve probably heard the saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” and that definitely applies to your financial future. Break down your goals into realistic, achievable steps and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make every month.