Money can be a touchy topic any time of year. But during the holidays, when the whole family has gathered and spending is higher than usual, conversations about finances can become downright polarizing.
There has to be a way to keep the Grinches and Scrooges at bay, right? If personal finance talk rears its head at your holiday gathering, try these six conversation starters to help keep the scene festive.
1. Financial wins
Rather than focusing on economic woes, why not celebrate financial victories? Did someone recently get a promotion, pay off a car loan, or refinance a mortgage? Even the most minute money milestones can raise the room’s spirits.
2. Gift gab
Be sure to read the room for this one. In most cases, sharing stories about an expensive gift you gave or received probably won’t go over well. Instead, joke about the funniest or weirdest gift you can recall. (Again, read the room. You don’t want to offend anyone.)
The holidays are a great time to show your appreciation to those closest to you. Acknowledge a family member who chose to be resourceful during a money-related crisis or show your gratitude toward another relative who helped you through a rough patch.
4. Lessons learned
If you’re just getting started on your financial journey, lean on the elders at the table. Ask your parents, aunts, uncles, or grandparents how they battled through challenging times. What were their biggest takeaways? Would they have done anything differently? Sure, the financial landscape has changed over time, but financial wisdom can be timeless.
5. Cool tools
People love to talk tech. While someone is showing you a close-up of the moon that they shot with their smartphone, try slipping in something about all the financial tools out there. Budgeting apps like Mint and YNAB, financial literacy apps like Zogo, and other financial wellness tools make it easier than ever to be financially savvy.
6. New year’s resolutions
After comparing ugly sweaters, take turns sharing your financial goals for the following year. Whether it’s hunting for a home, saving for a big vacation, or getting out of debt, putting your intentions out there can help kickstart a healthy brainstorming session with your loved ones (and can help others keep you accountable to your goals).
Talking about money with your family doesn’t have to be stressful. With these family-proof financial topics, you can help keep the spirits high during the holidays.