Earlier this week, Mint had the opportunity to participate in a fireside chat at the Future of Money & Technology Summit in San Francisco.
At the summit Barry Saik, the head of Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group (think Mint, Quicken and Check) chatted onstage with Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital and Holly Ruxin of Montcalm TCR on topics that ranged from the future of money management technologies to digitization of money and payments. There was one discussion point on how different generations manage and address their finances that really got me thinking.
Saik said, “Millennials talk about money in a much different way that older generations don’t understand.”
Millennials tend to have fundamentally different needs than the generations before them (i.e. paying down student loan debt) and tend to focus less on the future, but rather, on solving for more immediate needs. Not to mention that while older generations might, quite literally, be balancing checkbooks, millennials grew up with tech at their fingertips.
So how do we bridge the generation gaps when it comes to talking about money so we have positive conversations with each other, our kids, our spouse or our parents? Here are a few thoughts:
Start conversations early and often
There is no milestone age on when to start having conversations about money and saving. Talking to your kids about money whether it is through earning an allowance or discussing the cost of items at the store can help kids understand the value of money early on and make the topic less daunting as they grow up.
Live within your means
What do you need? What do you want? This is an important differentiation when it comes to budgeting and goal setting. If discretionary spending is getting in the way of saving up for a large purchase (home, car, etc.) or expense (student loans) it’s important to take a broader look at what you may want for the long-term.
Most importantly… don’t make money a taboo topic!
You don’t need to share all the inner workings of your wallet, but be open to discussing the topic of money, income and spending with your family and spouse to ensure everyone is on the same financial page and to avoid any costly surprises.
How do you talk about money? Share what works for you in the comments below.