With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s common for anxiety levels to rise. Festivities inevitably revolve around family, and often include conversations that spark concerns about retirement plans, the fiscal responsibility of in-laws, and the financial well-being of our children.
These concerns all share a common thread: money mindset – the relationship we have with money, whether our financial chest is brimming or empty.
Fostering a healthy money-mindset with your family
It turns out, your beliefs about money significantly influence your financial outcomes. Dr. Brad Klontz is a financial psychologist and author of books with titles like Mind Over Money, Wired For Wealth and The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge. He addresses money mindset in a tidy little list that is actually deceptively simple-looking. Here it is.
- Reflect on Your Past: Delve into your upbringing and observe how money was handled around you as you grew up.
- Uncover Your Money Scripts: Identify unconscious beliefs about money, often passed down through generations, that you absorbed during childhood.
- Embrace Honesty: Assess your financial health without judgment — an essential step toward understanding your true financial situation.
- Envision Your Financial Goals: Gain clarity on your financial aspirations, a crucial step in translating them into reality.
- Seek a Financial Mentor: Connect with someone knowledgeable about different aspects of your financial life to guide you.
If you unpack this list fully, you will go on a journey of self-discovery that will have you smacking your forehead at times and forgiving yourself at others. But for purposes of this article, let’s see what we can do as a family over the holidays to trigger some financial growth, for starters.
- The Past: Set a collaborative tone by asking each adult to share a brief, inspirational story during a festive dinner, focusing on a family member who overcame challenges. This helps anchor family history and instills the belief in the family’s strength to strive.
- Money Scripts: Spark non-judgmental conversations by casually discussing common money beliefs. Encourage family members to share their thoughts on statements like “all rich people are greedy.”
- Honesty: Build trust by having one-on-one conversations about personal money lessons. Share your experiences, fostering an environment where open discussions about money are welcomed.
- The Power of Vision: Teach financial responsibility to a young family member by opening an online savings account in their name. Offer to match their savings until they can afford something they desire, teaching the valuable lesson of delayed gratification.
- Mentors: Recognize that seeking professional guidance is not a sign of weakness. Encourage family members to connect with financial planners for tailored advice, addressing hidden money traumas or unexplored financial self-control.
True financial well-being transcends mere wealth; it requires comfortable and open conversations about money. This Christmas, let’s take these healthy first steps toward fostering a positive and informed financial mindset within our families.
Looking for ways to support your loved ones dealing with grief this holiday season? Download our guide, Holiday Support for a Loved One