I’m not much for keeping secrets. I pretty much feel like any topic should be up for discussion. Not with strangers perhaps, but with your close family – why wouldn’t you talk about things?
This made for an interesting introduction to my husband’s family. While I thought I was very liberal about talking about anything and everything, I soon realized it just meant that I was trained about what was appropriate to discuss in my family and what wasn’t. That didn’t necessarily translate well to knowing the acceptable boundaries in a new family.
And they were different.
For example, while circumcision may be a dinner table conversation over Thanksgiving with my relatives, it startled quite a few people the first time I brought it up with my in-laws (I was pregnant with a boy at the time.) On the other hand, my husband has no qualms discussing money, not just in general terms, but our specific finances – whether about his wage, or about how much we paid for our house – he shares with friends and neighbors with no hesitation. It drives me crazy.
My parents’ philosophy is that discussing your money with others is always a bad idea. Either the person you’re talking to has less than you (or makes less) and they are jealous of what you have or they have more (or make more) and pity you for being excited about what you have. Either way, it’s a losing proposition. So, it gets under my skin when I husband starts discussing our personal finances. Just like I know it gets under his skin when I bring up circumcision with his family.
Somehow we’ve managed to muddle along together either by ignoring each other or brushing it off – but there is a kink in that solution:
What Do We Teach Our Children?
While we’ve managed to ignore each other’s idiosyncrasies when relating to each other, how and what we teach our kids can be a struggle. I found it interesting to know that we aren’t alone. Parents find it harder to talk about family finances and investing than dating, drugs, smoking, or alcohol. Only topic to beat it? Sex. (Source survey by T. Rowe Price on Parents, Kids and Money)
Why is it so difficult to discuss family finances and investing?
(Hold on because I will be asking your opinion for a chance to win a Great Piggy Bank Adventure Flip Cam.)
I have a theory that it mostly boils down to embarrassment.
Why would you be embarrassed? Here are three ideas off the top of my head.
- You were raised in a family like mine where family finances just aren’t discussed.
- You aren’t confident about the state of your own finances so don’t want to talk about it.
- You’ve never invested in stocks so don’t want to look foolish trying to talk about them.
Any of those ring a bell? If not, what did I forget?
This post was sponsored by T. Rowe Price who collaborated with Disney to create an online game to help parents talk about money with their kids – The Great Piggy Bank Adventure®. They are giving one lucky reader a FREE Flip Camera just for reading and answering a question about discussing money.
Here are the details:
Open to US Residents ~ Winner will be chosen August 18th and notified via email ~ Leave a comment for each entry.
MandatoryEntry: Post a comment with your answer to one of the following questions:
- Is it easier for you to talk about drugs and alcohol than your family finances? If so why?
- Why do you think it is easier for parents to talk about drugs and smoking than family finances with their kids?
- Was the topic of money “taboo” in your family growing up?
- What advice would you give to other parents talking to their kids about the family finances?
For additional entries (leave a comment for each):
- Like Mom in Management on Facebook.
- Subscribe to Mom in Management via email or rss
- Follow via twitter
- Follow via Google Friend Connector
- Follow my other site – Saving to be Rich – via Facebook,email, twitter, or rss (extra entry for each)
- Tweet the following -
I just entered to win a Flip Camera on @mominmanagement and you should too! http://www.mominmanagement.com/?p=3675
**A gift card and the Great Piggy Bank Adventure-branded Flip camera have been provided courtesy of T. Rowe Price. T. Rowe Price is not involved in or responsible for the outcome of this giveaway.