The importance of talking about money with family

November 3, 2023


✔ As you build your life in Canada, create an annual tradition of getting together and talking about your financial goals.

✔ Being open and honest with family about money builds trust with each other and creates a strong foundation across all generations. 

✔ Planning a successful family meeting starts with the right people, the right place, and the right time. 

✔ Sharing what you’ve learned helps everyone become better at managing money. 

Talking about money with family members isn’t always easy. Many people are raised in homes where money is a taboo subject or their parents simply didn’t see the value of sharing information between generations. As you build your new life in Canada, it’s a great time to start an annual tradition where you get together to talk about money and your family’s goals for the future.

Why it’s important to have the money talk

Whether you’re trying to save for a new home, make the household budget work, or maximize your savings, talking about your financial goals with family members makes it more likely that you will reach them. For example, families that discuss money issues may find it easier to: 

  • Set a household budget that lets you plan with greater confidence. 
  • Save for common goals like a family trip. 
  • Reduce anxiety and tension by having a plan. 

Here are a few tips for opening up the conversation about money with your family members so that everyone can feel good about your plans for a bright financial future. 

Where to meet

Think about a location that is quiet and free of interruptions, like the television or the Internet. If your home is full of distractions, consider going to a coffee shop or meeting in the park. What matters most is that you keep everyone focused on the talk. 

Who should be there

Be realistic about who needs to attend a family money chat. For example, younger children may have little to contribute but they will see that you are being open about money and they will learn from example that it’s good to have these talks from time to time. Invite older generations or spouses when you think they need to be part of a discussion or a decision. You may want to include older people simply for the wisdom they bring to the table.

What to discuss 

Who you invite to a family money talk has a lot to do with what you’re talking about. That’s why it helps to have a list of topics prepared. Below are some common money ideas and topics. You can plan ahead and ask the family what they’d like to talk about. Choose one to three items for your first meeting. 

 1. Budgeting 

All family members are affected by the household budget in one way or another. Even young children influence where money goes. Once you explain there is a limited amount of money and it has to cover all the expenses, kids might understand why they can’t always get everything they want. It can also be easier to explain why and how money gets spent the way it does. For example, everyone may be willing to make sacrifices when they know you are planning for something special. 

2. Goals

Everyone has their own goals and you won’t know them until you ask. If you learn that financial stability is the top priority for your family, you may agree to focus on building an emergency fund or eliminating debt before you make big purchases. On the other hand, everyone may be willing to exchange some longer-term goals for something they need now, like upgraded technology or a training course. is

3. Home & property

Every family has stuff. Whether it’s cash in the bank, family treasures, or property here in Canada or back home. All family members who are old enough must be aware of where your family assets are and what’s to become of them down the road. 

4. Protecting what matters

There are many forms of insurance in Canada. You and other family members who are working may have access to some coverage at work. There are other kinds of insurance that you need to pay for yourself, like auto insurance and renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.

5. Open sharing 

Everyone in your family is meeting new people and learning things about life in Canada. Sharing what you’ve learned helps everyone adapt faster. 

These are some of the common topics families cover in an annual money chat. Add your ideas or ask your family to suggest things they want to discuss. No matter how you go about having a family money chat, you’ll be better off doing it at least once a year. 

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

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