NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Communicating about $'s

Communicating about $’s

Conversations about money are usually not our first choice for a topic to discuss with our spouse, significant other, children, elderly parents – basically anyone.  Sometimes it can be helpful to start those conversations with open-ended questions. “What if” questions can be a good indication of an individual’s attitudes and emotions toward money, budgeting, investing, saving and finding a compromise that allows everyone to have input on reaching your financial goals.

1. If you received $5,000 tax free, what would you do with it?

2. Rank the following activities, using 1 to indicate what you would enjoy doing most and 6 to indicate what you would enjoy least.

- An evening at home with the family

- Involvement in physical activity

- A night on the town

- Spending time with friends

- A few extra hours on the job

- Some quiet time to myself

3. If you had to make a major cut in your current spending, what area would you cut first?

4. Do you agree (A) or disagree (D) with the following statements?

A ❒ D ❒ I’m basically too tight with money.

A ❒ D ❒ My spouse is basically too tight with money.

A ❒ D ❒ Equality in family decision making is important to me.

A ❒ D ❒ I feel good about the way financial decisions are made in my family.

A ❒ D ❒ Sometimes I buy things I don’t need just because they’re on sale.

A ❒ D ❒ I believe in enjoying today and letting tomorrow worry about itself.

5. I’d like to see us spend less money on __________  and more dollars on _____.

6. What money problem is the most frequent cause of argument?

7. What was the most sensible thing you’ve done with money?  The most foolish?

8. Do you know the dollar figures for each of the following items related to your family’s income and expenses?

Family take-home income ________

Money spent on food each month _________

Rent or mortgage payment _________

Monthly car payment __________

Student loans ___________

Utilities ____________

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