How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents
Affording Your Social Life Podcast Episodes
Home for Thanksgiving
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Here what Pete and Alex have to say about having some delicious Thanksgiving financial discussions with your parents to go along with your delicious Thanksgiving meal.
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Thanksgiving comes at the perfect time for reviewing your finances to determine whether or not you’re on track to meet your financial goals. If you’re ahead or on track, then you might not need to make any adjustments and can manage the rest of the semester. If you’re not on track, then you can take some time over the break and figure out what you can do to get yourself back to where you want to be.
If you’re not sure whom you can talk to about your money if you’re struggling, there’s a pretty simple answer: talk to your parents.
Of course this is easier said than done. Talking to anybody, let alone your parents, is an incredibly difficult subject because of the potential embarrassment and the fact that you’ve never really done it before. So how do you go about talking to your parents about money so that it doesn’t end up awkward with everybody on the defensive? Well…here are some tips/topic ideas:
1) Don’t just spring up a money conversation out of thin air…schedule the conversation ahead of time.
This is true of any relationship and the money conversation you want to have. Money conversations that come out of nowhere are never very productive because nobody is really prepared. If you let your parents know ahead of time that you want to talk about finances, that gives you and them time to get everything together so that you can have a productive conversation.
2) Be Honest About Your Situation
Your parents do not expect you to be perfect all the time, and this is true when it comes to financial matters. Nobody goes through life making the perfect financial decision every time, so your parents will understand if you’ve made a few bad choices here and there…and so there’s no need to hide those decisions from them. If you’re open and honest about what you’ve done (even if you’ve only done good things), you will end up having a productive conversation where your parents can give you helpful advice and tips to better your current situation. Again, you just have to be willing to tell the truth.
3) Be up front about your goals
Your parents can only help you if they know what you’re striving for. And if you don’t know, then this conversation with your parents could help you figure out what some goals might be. Regardless, being open and honest about your goals can help you developing a spending plan for the next semester so that you stay on track to get what you need to succeed. Your parents can bring all sorts of experience to the table that could help you figure out ways to save money so that you can do what you want to do.
4) Ask them about the money struggles they’ve faced in their lives
Of course, if we’re going to ask you to be honest then your parents need to be as well…and this all goes back to not having the conversation suddenly. Everybody needs time to prepare. In this case, you have the opportunity to learn how to navigate your finances by finding out what mistakes your parents have made and how they were able to find their way through those mistakes.
5) Ask them how they got to where they are today and what they’ve encountered over the years
This goes along with tip #3 and is possibly the tip that most students ignore. Your parents have not always been in the situation they are now. At some point, they probably drove a crappy car, lived in a sketchy apartment, and had a horrible job where they had to do the brunt of the work that nobody else wanted to do. But with hard work and perseverance, they were able to get to the point where they are now. For you, this is important because it will help you understand that you’re not going to have everything you could ever possibly want when you graduate. You’re going to start low and work your way up through the years. If you look back at our lesson on tempering expectations, you’ll see that the sooner you recognize your position when you graduate, the sooner you’ll be able to start saving money to get you to where you want to be.
Trust us, your parents will be incredibly helpful and appreciative of the fact that you’re willing to have this conversation with them. If you have any further questions about how to talk to you parents about money or any other money questions in general, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.