Setting financial goals for your family can be a great way to de-stress the conversation around money. It sets clear expectations, helps avoid disappointment, and allows family members to understand each other’s wants and needs. But how do we discuss a topic so many of us tend to avoid?
We Can Help
Sendero’s discovery process is a great way to help develop your financial goals. These conversations give a powerful voice to each individual. Going through this as a couple can create a sense of mutual achievement and harmony; bringing kids into the conversation gives them tools and skills they need as they head into adulthood. Kids get left out of these conversations, then we expect them to manage their own money. But how?
Where to Start?
We don’t begin by talking about budgets. We start with big-picture questions. What are your priorities? What’s keeping you up at night? Our discovery process helps identify what you want to achieve. The goals could be long term (retirement), intermediate (college), or short-term (vacation). Some goals may be financial, others might be emotional. The point is to take pressure off the family. Then we look at the numbers, and ask, “How are you building toward that goal, and where might you be sabotaging it?” We use software to track headway and identify potential pitfalls. Helping clients benchmark their progress gives them peace of mind.
Why is Talking About Money so Hard?
We all come to the table with baggage regarding finances, and we have to learn to unpack it. People have different styles of communicating, and often it’s not what we say, it’s how we say it. Untangling our emotional reactions to the facts of the situation can help. “This is important to me, because…” “This sets me off, because…” Most of the time couples have more in common than they realize. Money is a tricky conversation, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right translator, people often find there’s a lot they agree on, they just say it differently.
Setting goals provides clarity to all parties involved. It also allows for conversations that may otherwise be awkward to initiate. Getting on the same page about goals, and particularly money, may improve your communication and reduce the stress we are all bound to feel around money.