You’ve caught a vision of your financial future, and you know what it takes to get there. You’ve set your goals, and you’re ready to do the hard work and make the extra sacrifices to reach those milestones—and maybe even millionaire status.
But there’s a problem: other people. Friends and family might not know about your dream. They may not know why you say no to those after-work parties and fancy vacations.
So how do you talk to others about your financial goals? Here are a few suggestions for getting friends and family to understand where you’re coming from. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get them to catch a vision too!
Talking to Family and Friends About Saving Money
Talking to extended family and friends about retirement can be tricky, especially when they don’t approach money the same way. Here are a few steps you can take.
1. Set your limits. Financial limits, that is. How many times a month can you go out with friends? Can you afford private school and save for retirement? Decide what you want to spend and save, then stick with your plan.
2. Be honest. Let family and friends know that you’re actively saving for the future, so that means saying no to some other things. Tell them you’re trying to pay off debt or put money toward an emergency fund. Most of the time, people will respect your choices. A simple, “It’s not in the budget this month,” will work just fine.
3. Don’t bend to pressure. You’ll likely be the target of a few snide remarks. You may even disappoint some people—like family or friends who want to go to the Bahamas together. Don’t cave. Just graciously say no. “We have other plans this year.” That’s enough.
4. Look for middle ground. If others want to do something special you can’t afford, look for a way to compromise. Maybe that vacation in the Bahamas could be a trip to the lake or a beach nearby. You can say something like, “Can we find something a little more affordable?” Or, “We love the idea of getting together. Could we plan a weekend getaway closer to home?”
Remember, family and friends might not agree with how you save and spend your money. That’s okay. You can still show respect and kindness in your words and actions. Just keep your eye on your goals and let others do their own thing.
Talking to Your Kids About Saving Money
Whether they’re 6 or 16, your kids need to know why and how you’re saving for the future. Here are few things you can do.
1. Show them how it’s done. Include kids in your monthly budget meeting. Let them see a statement of how you’re saving money for retirement. Model good money behaviors for them to follow. You could be changing your family tree!
2. Set milestones to celebrate. What is your retirement number—the amount you’re aiming to save for retirement? Once you know that, set smaller goals to keep you motivated. Once you reach them, celebrate with your kids. You don’t have to tell them how much you’ve saved, just that you’ve reached a goal.
3. Talk about college costs. Your kids need to know how much you’ll be able to help them pay for college. Don’t get caught in the guilt trap and put off retirement savings until after they graduate. When kids hit the teen years, have regular conversations about scholarships, grants, and working as options for paying for college. Student loans are off-limits!
4. Use success stories to teach. If your parents have saved well and now enjoy their retirement years, talk to your kids about how your parents worked toward their financial goals. Other adults—neighbors or church friends—can be good role models too.
Remember, you are responsible for your financial future. You can’t expect family, friends, or your kids to take care of you in retirement. Being honest and straightforward in talking with others about your money goals can prevent heartache and keep those relationships healthy.
Need more motivation? Check out my Retire Inspired book!