As March comes to an end, International Women’s Day celebrations drove conversations around the role women play in money matters. When all the feverish marketing around the event died down, you would have figured that for things to change and for women to have a more active role in personal money management, money conversations at home need to evolve.

It’s not just women who benefit but also the men who can share the burden of financial decision making and the younger family members who become a lot more money aware early in life. 

Evolving money conversations at home should begin by involving these discussions. 

money conversations three

1. Are we saving enough? 

This is the primary question that needs to be answered. In a family, one or both parents may be working and savings from both incomes have to be considered. You earn, you spend and what’s not spent is saved. 

Why is it important to save? For two reasons. You have to cater to any uncertain life circumstances and your future financial needs with your savings. 

Rope in all family members into healthy discussions around money in a way that each is incentivized to contribute to the family pool of saving. Even the children can be encouraged to save from their pocket money. While this will be a random amount, the family savings can be more structured and thought through. 

Work backwards and see how much you can save jointly every month, put it aside in a separate bank account to help monitor the balance. Each family member can be enabled to check the accumulation in this account on a monthly basis; it helps to note the change in micro time periods at the start to understand the benefit. 

A broad discussion around the investment options used and available can make for a comfortable dinner conversation once a month. It’s not about which asset or product you choose, but broadly what proportion of the money is tied up towards long term goals and how much is there for needs which may be around the corner, plus, how much in physical assets like gold and real estate. 

2. How can we grow our savings?

Then comes the discussion around how savings can be put to better use by investing them. This is required to address the need for future financial health, as money loses value over time thanks to inflation. 

A broad discussion around the investment options used and available can make for a comfortable dinner conversation once a month. It’s not about which asset or product you choose, but broadly what proportion of the money is tied up towards long term goals and how much is there for needs which may be around the corner, plus, how much in physical assets like gold and real estate. 

A broad discussion will enable the family to understand the kind of financial security there is. Every other month, throw in additional details around life and medical insurance to ensure that everyone is aware of the protection available for the family. 

These don’t have to be detailed conversations, rather it’s about the broad outlines.

3. Do we have too many loans?

This is perhaps the most important part of the discussion. A family with high liability as part of their net worth will end up saving and investing less thus, putting their future financial health in jeopardy. The knowledge of loans can help in bringing down any excessive spending that family members may be tempted towards. It can also nudge everyone to try adding to the income kitty through smaller gigs and alternate income. 

Discussions about money can only help strengthen family finances. Awareness will push family members to take the right steps towards enhancing the positive impact of savings and reducing the burden of liability. Spending today should not be at the cost of lifestyle tomorrow and this can be best implemented if all members are equally aware and onboard.