Making money decisions: Part 2

Communication and SMART goals.

Making money decisions involves determining your money values, decision-making, communicating about money, and setting financial SMART goals. Part 1 included how to understand your money personality and ways to make money decisions. Next it is important to understand how communicating about money and SMART goals impact your money decisions.

Communicating about money

Money can be a tough subject to discuss with your partner or spouse, but it is important to communicate about your finances. Are you a good listener? Using an “I-Message” may be helpful to you when trying to express your feelings. The “I-Message” is a great tool for couples and families as it helps you express your feelings in a direct, calm and constructive way. The “I-Message” includes three parts: “I feel…”, “when…” and “because…” For example, if you were discussing paying bills with your spouse, you may say, “I feel nervous when I notice that the phone bill was not paid because I worry about bad information on our credit report.”

Additionally, these steps may help you communicate more effectively about money:

  • Face the problem
  • Find the real problem
  • Talk only about the problem itself
  • Brainstorm options
  • Discuss the options and agree on a plan
  • Support the plan
  • Keep talking

Setting Financial S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Do you have financial goals that you wish to reach, but it seem like you never do? Perhaps you are not being detailed enough or not writing your financial goals down. It is time to get SMART about your financial goals! SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable or Agreed-to, Realistic and Time-bound or Timely.

Specific goals give you a specific path…exactly what you will do and how you are going to get it done. Use our SMART Goals template and start on your SMART Goals today!

Additionally, take the MI Money Health Survey from Michigan State University Extension to see where you are financially and how you can improve your financial health. Be sure to check out Making Money Decisions Part I for more on understanding your money personality and making money decisions.

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