Conversations about money are notoriously difficult, and that is often to the detriment of people’s well-being. Throughout life’s stages there are milestones that should be celebrated and information to be shared. So why all the silence?

I have not-so-fond memories of money communication dysfunction from my married days. We would both be so exhausted — because we had no system — that we would pay bills in a sort of abstract, existential way. One hand didn’t know what the other was doing and we had the utility cut-off notices to show for it.

Our non-communication added so much stress to our lives, and we didn’t have any idea it was happening. When I finally got myself out of that situation, I got organized and the rest is history. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that, while spouses may not talk to each other about money, parents don’t talk to kids about money, either.

That’s a mistake when you realize all the things that depend on credit score. That’s why it’s important to celebrate things like a first bank account — or even just reconciling a gift card balance. Being a realistic-enough role model should include a general attitude of capability; a duty to pay bills; and an emphasis on saving. 

Later on in life, a lack of communication may lead to a will contest or other lawsuit. It’s a regular occurrence for an estate to be much smaller than the decedent led their heirs to believe. Personally, I take after my parents when it comes to wills. My heirs know what it contains, where they can find a physical copy, and which attorney drafted it.

Communicating about money becomes second nature after a while — but you have to start somewhere. For tips and referrals, contact us.