Help Your Family With Their Money Questions (Without Freaking them Out)

Family and Money, Financial Independence, Personal Finance Goals

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Our question of the month comes in from Paul from Michigan:


Hi Andy,

I’ve been into personal finance and financial independence for years. I often have family and friends that approach me about investing and other personal finance topics. 

Money can be such an emotional topic and evoke feelings of shame or guilt. It can also be a very overwhelming topic.

How can I speak with people in my life about financial independence, investing and money without alienating or overwhelming them?

Thank you!

Paul


Thanks for reaching out Paul!

I included my good buddy, Elle Martinez, in on the action today so you can get two different perspectives on how to navigate this situation. Together, we came up with 3 easy ways to help your family with their money questions (without freaking them out).

Family and Money, Financial Independence, Personal Finance Goals,

1. Only Provide Financial Advice to Those Who Ask You For It

You wouldn’t want to approach an unhealthy family member and start giving them advice on exercising and eating right. This is doubly true for conversations about money.

Since personal finance topics like investing and financial independence are so personal, you’ll only want to give advice to a family member when asked.  And if you are asked, give advice in small doses so you don’t overwhelm the advice seeker. If you unleash a fire hose of information, they might get confused, intimidated or simply turned off from the conversation.

2. Instead of Telling Them What They Should Do, Share What You Do First

After a family member approaches you for advice, build trust with them by sharing how you currently approach the situation in question.

For example, if your sister asks you for advice on getting out of student debt, tell her what you did to kick Sallie Mae to the curb. Once you’re sharing your thoughts, experiences and failures, your sister will feel more open to your advice.

3. If You Don’t Know The Answer, That’s Okay – Suggest Professional Help

Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to your family’s financial questions. If you’re not a tax professional and your Mom wants you to help her with filing her detailed paperwork to the IRS, it’s okay to say “I’m not the right person for that Mom.”

If you still want to help, you can help seek out the right professional for her situation. Sometimes all that’s needed is a loving person to Google a good CPA in her area.

Perhaps the issues are more in your wheelhouse, like helping someone figure out how to live on a monthly budget (Tiller rocks by the way) or make a plan to pay off debt. The exercise could be extremely helpful for them and be personally gratifying for you.

I hope these 3 suggestions give you something to ponder the next time a family member touches base with you, Paul!


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Peter Polson, Founder of Tiller

Peter loves designing great products and creating tools and systems that help people live better lives.

He was a founder and president of Junxion (acquired by Sierra Wireless) and later CEO at Dashwire (acquired by HTC). He enjoys most activities around mountains and water, especially skiing and hiking with his family. His kids gasp in amazement at the pennies he can magically pull out of their ears.

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Show Resources

Elle Martinez’S RESOURCES

WebsiteCouple Money

Our Money Master of the Week’S RESOURCES

Susanne from Arizona’s Website:  The $76k Project

Emily from Washington’s Twitter Handle@DigInDigOut

MKM PODCAST RESOURCES

MKM Meet Up in Royal Oak, MI: Come for a beer and some money talk on July 19th, from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Royal Oak Brewery in Royal Oak, MI.

Thriving Families Facebook Group:  Join our new FREE Facebook Community!

Young Family Wealth Playbook (FREE):  7-Steps to Solidifying Your Family’s Future Wealth

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Have you ever helped a family member with money their questions?

Please let us know in the comments below.


Author: Andy Hill

Andy Hill, a mid-30’s father of two living in the metro Detroit area, pens the MarriageKidsandMoney.com (MKM) blog taking you through the trials and tribulations of being a young parent and husband who is planning for his family’s future and winning with money.

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