When you begin seriously planning your own estate, it will likely make you more cognizant of the financial practices of those dear to you. You will inevitably notice loved ones practicing destructive or unproductive financial behaviors. It is highly possible that the ones you notice will be the very ones who will be the beneficiaries of your own estate. This may give you the desire to address those bad financial practices, but you do not want to insult them or be condescending to them.
There are a few specific strategies that you can employ in order to alleviate the awkwardness of these financial discussions.
- Address a group of family members in a non-confrontational way. Rather than make a specific accusation against a specific loved one, you can mention in a general way a recent news story or article that you have noticed. Offer it as a helpful suggestion to everybody in the room. Don’t make it personal if you can avoid it.
- Be a shining example. Look for opportunities to share encouraging stories with the relevant family members. Happily share how you saved money with coupons or inexpensive sources. Talk about how good it feels to pay off a debt or build a savings account for a specific purpose.
- Look for opportunities to educate on basic financial principles. Teach the costs that are involved in bad financial practices like credit card interest, rent-to-own plans, and late fees.
- Explain the rewards that accompany sound financial management.
- Discuss the value and strength found in solid budgeting principles.
- Encourage loved ones to develop appropriate spending priorities.