How to talk 'money' with family
MANILA, Philippines - Money talks and so should people when it comes to handling their finances, especially between married couples.
It may sound simple enough but according to experts, a lot of Filipinos have difficulty with talking to a family member about the tricky subject such as money.
On ANC's "On the Money", experts shared their thoughts and tips on how to successfully manage your money to ensure that debt and other expenses aren't the main topics at your dining table.
"Know how your future partner plans to make a family fortune," said Dr. Estrella Magno, clinical pyschologist.
According to Magno, the most important thing for a married couple is to be "upfront" about their plans for the future so that they can further know each other's attitude towards money.
"Couples should be honest about any financial baggage they have," said Jesi Bondoc, registered financial planner.
Financial baggage includes debt incurred and any extended family members that a spouse supports.
"Effective communication is really important in order to have a healthy financial life," he added.
Bondoc also advised couples to decide on an emergency fund.
Newlyweds can use the cash they received as wedding gifts in order to prepare for such emergencies involving health, disasters and those regarding extended family members, according to Bondoc.
"If you are committed to supporting your extended family, discuss how much will be given. This will not only affect you but it will also affect your partner," added Bondoc.
Magno also warned about the inevitable nature of emergencies. "You must be able to say we're prepared."
Be able to say no to a family member.
"I have a simple rule for that: if you can't afford it, don't help out," quipped Bondoc.
But be able to say no...properly. Apart from telling them no in a straightforward manner, why not suggest jobs suited for that family member, Magno said.
"The important thing is timing. You talk to them when the time is right. Not when they're grumpy. And the manner in how you do it."
"Timing, manner and method," Magno reiterated.
"Its kind of tricky especially if you cannot afford it," warned Bondoc.
Filipinos have been known to put family ahead of themselves and Bondoc suggested that if you really want to help out your extended family members, then "create a separate budget" tailored specifically for such situations.
"Allocate certain portions of your monthly income to it and if a certain extended family member asks for help, that's the fund that you're going to use," said Bondoc.
Magno also suggested that if you have the capacity for it, then why not ask for a loan in your name to help out your extended family.
"The "utang na loob" that we have, they will pay it back little by little," explained Magno.
Be frank with your family.
"Sometimes you cannot avoid being confrontational especially with issues involving family members. But the one thing that spouses shouldn't do is to be a "Mr. or Mrs. Right," said Bondoc.
According to Bondoc, the first thing that you need to do before you help out is to make the other party realize his or her spending patterns, money behavior and overall attitude towards money. It will be more beneficial for that person in the long run.
"It's not really about being right. It's about being understanding and accepting of your financial situation," he explained.