Family communication about money is important
by Cecelia Hostillo, Columnist
Aug 08, 2012 | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Why should families talk about money? Arguments over money are a common problem in many families, regardless of income, age, and education. Sometimes a lack of income to meet basic needs is the cause of the problem, but many times inadequate communication about money is the reason for arguments. Many financial problems occur because family members do not understand their money situation. If family members don’t talk things over, even the most workable spending plan is doomed.

Values are the basic reason behind everything we do. Values represent what is the “good life” to each of us. Values shape our standard of what we want our life to be. We show our values in the way we talk and act, in how we spend our time and effort, in our actions at work and leisure, and in our spending choices.

Knowing what is important to us helps us understand ourselves better. Knowing another person’s values makes it easier to understand that person and why they do things as they do. Living and working become easier when values are understood.

As individuals we all have different values and attitudes toward spending and saving money. When the values of family members differ, there is potential conflict. What is important to you? What are your values? It may be helpful to list them from the most important to least important. Consider your values toward family, work, home, transportation, recreation, and your future financial security.

Each of us has our own set of values. When there are differences in values within the family, efforts must be made to agree on common goals. Talking about money is not always easy. However, the more open your family is about “money talk” the more satisfied all will be with how family money is spent.

In some families, the person who earns the money, makes all the decisions about how is it spent. These families often have problems sticking to a spending plan. If both husband and wife work together to make money decisions, there are fewer arguments. If parents openly talk with their children about finances, their children are usually more willing to carry out decisions.

Some tips for family communication about finances are:

Be honest about your money situation.

Know that each family member will have different values and goals.

Know that conflict may arise. Respect your differences and work toward a decision agreeable to all.

Allow each family member the opportunity to state their wants, needs, feelings, and thoughts without interruption.

Listen to one another.

Be sure to understand what the others are saying.

Be flexible. If necessary, compromise your wants for the good of the family.

Children learn about money by watching their parents. They also learn by practicing money management. Children who take part in regular discussions about using the family income learn how to make decisions. Children influence the family’s spending even if they do not earn money. The wants and needs of children are a part of the family budget. How can you help your children become responsible with money?

Preschoolers learn by active participation. Provide your child with a choice among three items in a store. Accept the child’s decision. Then, let your child hand the sales clerk the money. Your child has made a simple decision and spent money. If your child is disappointed with his or her choice, don’t give more money. We all learn from failures, too. Allow your child to do small chores, without pay. This teaches your child that he or she is part of the family and therefore shares in the workload.

Some school-agers hoard money. This means your child is beginning to understand that money resources are limited. Use this time to teach them about wise spending and saving. Work together to determine how much allowance your child should receive for his or her needs. Avoid “paying” for good grades, chores well done, or good behavior. Your child needs to develop personal satisfaction from good grades, and “payments” interfere. Your child will learn proper behavior best through other people’s enjoyment or irritation concerning his or her actions.

Teens want and need to decide how to spend their money. Peers may influence their choices. So, provide plenty of practice through the family’s financial decisions in long-range planning, record keeping, and credit. Help your teen develop his or her own spending plan. Remember, when your teen makes a poor choice, he or she will learn form that decision, too!

Remember, the more knowledgeable family members are about finances, the fewer the conflicts that may occur.

Recipes at the end of this article are both budget and family friendly! I hope you enjoy them.

For more information contact Cecelia Hostilo at the Trigg County Extension Office by calling 522-3269. Information for the article was obtained from a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service publication by the same name adapted for Kentucky use by Suzanne Badenhop, UK Cooperative Extension Service Family Resource Management Specialist, retired.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.


Vegetable Variety Pack

2 small zucchini, washed and sliced

2 small yellow squash, washed and sliced

4 small potatoes, scrubbed and sliced

1⁄2 onion, peeled and sliced

1⁄2 green bell pepper, washed, seeded, and sliced

1⁄4 cup light Italian dressing

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir vegetables and dressing in large bowl. Spread vegetables in the center sheet of aluminum foil. Bring together and seal to make packet. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Yield: 5 servings

Nutrition Facts per serving: 130 calories, 1.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 26 g total carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugars, 3 g protein.

Source: USDA Recipe Finder


Barbecue Chicken Pizza

6 English muffins

3⁄4 cup barbecue sauce

11⁄2 cups cut-up cooked chicken

3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 bell pepper, chopped

Wash hands and any cooking surface. Heat oven to 450°F. Slice English muffins in half and place on ungreased, large cookie sheet. Cut up bell pepper. Spread barbecue sauce on English muffins to within 1⁄4 inch of edges. Top with chicken, cheese, and bell pepper. Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrition Facts per serving: 130 calories, 2 g total fat, .5 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 360 mg sodium, 19 g total carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 9 g protein

Source: USDA Recipe Finder


Oven Fried Chicken

3⁄4 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 each chicken breasts, drumsticks, and thighs, skin removed

1⁄2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

Cooking spray

Combine buttermilk and chicken in large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine flour, salt, peppers, and cumin in second zip-top bag.

Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Add chicken one piece at a time to flour mixture, shaking bag to coat chicken. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour. Spray lightly with cooking spray and return, one piece at a time,t o flour mixture, shaking to coat. Place chicken on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 450° F for 35 minutes or until done, turning after 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 265 calories; 5 g fat; 1.2 g saturated fat; 110 mg cholesterol; 754 mg sodium; 15 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 38 g protein

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