Do You Manage Money Differently Than Your Parents?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chase. The opinions and text are all mine.
As I look back over the past few decades, it’s amazing to see how much our society has changed. Family life, the traditional job market and money management strategies have all shifted. Few things have escaped that change, which is a good thing in a lot of cases. I believe one of the biggest changes we’ve seen has to do with money. As a child, money was not discussed much in my home, but now, as a parent, money is a regular part of conversation.
I don’t think I’m alone either, as a new study from Chase shows.
Managing Finances As A Couple
Managing money as a couple can be tricky. If you’re not financially “naked” with each other, it can lead to significant stress.
I saw this as a child with my parents. They’d mismanage their money, saying that if they had $50 left in their bank account at the end of the month they’d wonder who they forgot to pay. This often led to fights and caused me to swear early on that I would not repeat my parents’ money mistakes when I grew up. Findings by Chase bear out this tension further; 75 percent of Millennials and 72 percent percent of Gen-X-ers have money-related conflicts with their spouses, compared to 62 percent of Boomers.
We’re not perfect, but my wife and I rarely argue about money. We view ourselves as a team, working toward mutual goals we’ve established. That requires sacrifice for both of us at times, but the success we see as a result of it is worth it.
You too can a similar dynamic with your partner by simply being honest. Open up about your thoughts, desires and goals in terms of finances and ask them to do the same. That will do a lot to get you both on the same page.
Breaking the Taboo
I’ve heard more times than I can remember that money is a taboo subject. Heck, it was taboo in my family. We didn’t discuss it because it was “personal” and was lumped with religion and politics on the list of things NOT to discuss. “Boomers were raised in an era in which talk about dollars and cents was taboo. Parents rarely discussed money with their children: only 34 percent of boomers reported that their parents had the ‘money talk’ with them,” says Chase – and I saw that as a child.
Thankfully, I believe we’ve seen change in that area. We’ve seen younger individuals actively take more responsibility with their finances. In the latest Chase study, they found that 71 percent of Millennials claim to be the person responsible for financial decisions vs. 53 percent of Boomers.
This may be because some sort of societal change or not wanting to repeat mistakes by their parents, or both. As someone who was taught to be passive when it comes to money, this is an encouraging development to see.
Managing Money is as Simple as Ever
I think the societal changes we’ve experienced have brought about something good with personal finance, as managing money has become simpler than ever. We have at our fingertips a wealth of resources, often free, that allow us to manage our money effectively. Whether you need to pay off debt, save for retirement or have a specific financial goal you want to meet, there’s almost certainly a bevy of technological tools to help you.
While managing money has become simpler, that doesn’t mean we should be passive. Managing our money requires work, responsibility, education and communication.
You may have noticed something I didn’t say. I didn’t say you have to be an expert to manage your money. You simply need to step forward, take responsibility and open up to those around you – whether that be a partner, a child or a parent. You’ll notice in time that you’ll be on the financial course you want.
What’s one way you’ve noticed change in managing money today? Did your family talk about money when you were a child? What are some tools you use to manage your money more effectively?