When To Talk About Money

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Oh hi! Is this a good time to talk about money?…

I was out to eat right before Christmas. December 21st, I believe it was. There was a young couple with a baby at the table next to mine. (Blue Barn at Corte Madera Town Center, if you like to picture all the deets.)

So it was about 7pm on that weekday and for some reason I got the sense that the mom/wife had been working in an office all day. She just had that look. The dad/husband definitely looked fresher and more energized, for whatever reason.

In between feeding the baby bites of food, this guy was delivering a strong ongoing sales pitch to her about how much sense it would make for them, financially, to buy the new car he had researched that day. Those were literally his words, that it would make so much sense for them financially.

I was hoping they would lean over and ask for my opinion; alas, they did not. So I will share my professional opinions with you, dear reader! See if you notice any of these tactics in your repertoire.

1) Did any of you watch A Christmas Story again this year, as I did? During the frozen-tongue-to-flagpole scene, Schwartz oversteps kid etiquette and jumps ahead to the sinister triple dog dare**. I noticed that Husband did not give Wife a chance to connect in to the conversation, and amped it up rather quickly.

2) I noticed that he was talking about 4 times more than she was. It got to the point of sounding like begging. I wondered if she for some reason has more control of the purse strings than he does. It did not sound collaborative. It sounded like he assumed she had the power to say Yes or No, and….

3)….along with that, it started to seem like he was arguing with her, when she hadn’t said no. He hadn’t even given her a chance to really catch her breath, much less say yes, no, or I’m not sure. I know what it’s like to feel passionate about something, and to want to transmit that passionate belief to someone else. But talking over them is like speaking louder to a deaf person. It’s not necessarily the best tool and you’ll probably wear out your vocal chords.

4) When she would ask a question to clarify, sometimes he would change the topic. It was a bit manic-seeming from the outside. I wondered what was going on inside of him that he couldn’t just hear her questions and answer them, especially considering all the times he repeated how much research he had done that day. When you feel yourself wanting to pop right out of the conversation, it can be a very wise idea to slow down instead of speed up.

5) I noticed she got very resigned and more quiet the longer it went on. They just stopped talking about it. I wondered if they both had a sense of when they might pick it up again, or when and where would be healthy places for them to talk about it next.

Granted, it’s always easier to armchair quarterback, than it is to do it live in “the field”. AND, it’s a great starting point to just see what you notice about what methods of communication seem to make you feel more or less connected to what you are wanting financially.

** in case you want to see the flagpole scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIR759wIjdg

I recorded this video for couples~

It includes some tips to hopefully stay out of your own situation like the one described above.

There is a fascinating spectrum of behaviors and coping mechanisms that couples use to navigate their finances. Each couple is a bit different, even though there do seem to be pitfalls that come along with certain strategies.

May you find your best communication tactics and decision-making methods!

Watch my video for couples here:

https://vimeo.com/195499397

(This one is 6 minutes long…)

If you’d like to make sure you pay consistent (yet non-obsessive) attention to your finances this year…

I have some space available in my 2017 financial wellness program.

We meet quarterly over the phone or by Skype. You pick the time that fits your schedule.

Open to individuals and couples.

At each meeting you will leave with prioritized homework and a scheduled plan for when you will complete each item on your financial wellness checklist.

Email me at beth@financialwellness.coach if you’d like to receive this support~

Do you enjoy John Oliver’s work, too?

What a cool, clear guy. Money magazine also honored him as one of the most influential people in personal finance last year! Check out his videos on money if you like to learn AND laugh…

This one is about the retirement industry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY

(Please note I do not endorse denying elf-spotting school, but I am very amused…)

Great Event Coming Up in the Bay Area

I’m registered for the Women, Money, and Spirit Conference that my grad school, California Institute of Integral Studies, is holding on April 29th.

Join me if this calls to you, as well!

http://www.ciis.edu/public-programs-and-performances/public-programs-event-calendar/women-money-spirit-sp17