Family Budgets: Is It OK to Talk to Other Families About Theirs?
Not everyone will want to talk about their money situation.
Personal finance is a touchy subject for many people. They may not want to admit the financial struggles they're in or discuss their money worries with you. However, talking to other families about their budgets can be extremely helpful to set up yours. They can offer great tips and insights to help you stay on track.
It can be OK to talk to other families about their budgets, but you need to approach the subject with caution. It will also depend on the reason. Here are some tips to help with starting and continuing the discussions.
Approach the Right People
You'll find that some people are more open to talking about their financial situation than others. There are some that are so guarded or worried about their current financial situation that they just don't want to have a discussion over it; no matter how careful you approach the subject. Think about the people you're talking to. If they're open about other things, chances are they'll talk to you about your and their budgets.
Close family and best friends are usually the best people to start with. You know them better and they'll trust your reasons for wanting to find out more about their personal budgets.
Make It Clear You Don't Want to Talk Exact Figures
Start off by saying you don't want to talk exact figures. Tell them that you're having money problems and you just need tips to find out how they manage it. People generally don't want to tell you exactly how much they earn and spend each month. They don't want to admit to you that their thousands of dollars in debt. But they will talk generally with you. They'll share tips on how they've cut their utility bills down and what they've done to save for their new car.
Keep the discussion light and between close friends and family members.
Discuss Your Money Goals
If you want to talk to people about their budget, you need to be open yourself. Lead by example by talking about your money goals and asking for tips on how to get there. You could share how much you want to save and share the ideas that you've currently had.
People are more likely to be open if you've shown that you're willing to be too. You may find that they'll share their money goals too, and could even be more exact about their income and outgoings.
Set Times to Discuss Money
You need to talk to all your family about money, including the children. Make it a regular part of your week and set specific times to discuss the budget and the plans for the next week. You can go over the previous week, discuss what has worked and then discuss ideas to improve on your ongoing process.
Other families may want to join in with this, especially close friends and immediate family, like your own parents or grandparents. You can let them know your plans and give them the options to join in if they would like. Leave it open and don't expect them to say yes.
It can be OK to discuss your budget with other families. The trick is to choosing who you discuss finances with and how you do it. Always start off with caution and be open about your own. Remember, not everyone wants to discuss this matter. It can be very embarrassing, especially if they're in a lot of debt.