I play poker on the second Tuesday of every month, with basically the same group for the last 13 years. My friend and old neighbor is gracious to host the event each month, cook gourmet food for us and let me be part of it. The group is made up of older friends, most pushing their 70’s in age. Our favorite activity, even more than playing cards, is eating incredible food and talking. We talk about everything and one of the common topics is money. Most of the group are well heeled, some VERY well heeled, and they love to talk about money. No bragging rights, or one-upmanship, just open and honest dialogue about the importance of money. How much is enough, where they are investing, what to look out for, what exotic destination are they going to next, and so on so on. I’m very lucky to have been invited into this group because I see how rich people have handled their money to become rich. Without a doubt, removing fear from your money situation and being open to discuss money with your friends is a key component to the rich.
If you can’t talk about your money, you can’t make more money. And if you can’t make more money you are screwed. The richest people I know have ZERO problem talking about money. In fact, they love talking about money. The poorest people I know will leave the room the minute you bring the topic up.
But how can you start the dialogue inside your circle of friend or family? How can you get your own significant other on the same page so you too can will at the game of money? Here are some tips that I have used and highly recommend you start using.
- Why does money matter to you? Start with the end in mind. Why do you want more money? Is it freedom, security, travel, toys, charity, etc.? It’s your why, so take the time to get crystal clear about why money matters to YOU and what money will do for YOU.
- You are not a money guru. The numbers are. If you want to create open dialogue about money and become great at the game of money, you need understand that it is not you…it is the numbers, the results, that are the guru. If your needle of net worth is increasing at a rate that is meaningful to you and your why, then you should be pleased. If the needle is not, and you still consider yourself a guru, then you will alienate the people around you and be looked at as a blow hard.
- Don’t be an asshole about money. If you have knowledge and money then take time to offer learning assistance to someone who doesn’t have it. If you don’t have money, cowboy up and ask for learning assistance from someone who does. Humility opens doors, being a jerk closes them.
- Schedule a meeting at home. Get everyone together to discuss your family money situation. Here is a KEY POINT – don’t spring it on them. Give them 1 week to prepare. Give them the time, the rules, the guidelines and the desired outcome of the meeting so they can be prepared and less defensive.
- Share it all. Don’t hold back, lay it all out to yourself and your trusted supporters. The credit card debt, including the “secret” cards, the hidden cash account, and the unpaid tickets. All the outstanding bills should be on the table so everyone is clear on the current state of affairs.
- Write your money down on paper. You need to have a simple balance sheet and income statement for you to know where you stand. Keep a list of your assets vs. liabilities and your revenue vs. expenses. Rich people know their money numbers. Poor people hide from and guess at them. Refresh these often so you can see the positive trend moving forward and upward.
- Figure out how to be team. Being a money team does not mean you are on the same page on everything. As the great coach John Wooden said, “It is perfectly fine to disagree, it is not fine to come across as disagreeable.” Your team should, over time, be supportive and helpful. If they are not, then you have two choices. 1) Don’t reach your financial potential. 2) Change teams and win at the game of money.
Remember, who you hang around matters. In addition, who you communicate with matters. Open communication about money puts you, your family, your spouse on the same page. Lack of communication about money puts you in the poorhouse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Manero is the Founder and President of Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc. (CFF) located in Dallas, TX. CFF is celebrating its 21st year in business and provides financing for commercial fleet vehicles such as box trucks, cargo vans, big rigs, tow trucks, dump trucks and construction equipment. CFF is a 3-time winner of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Inc. Magazine Top 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Matt has helped dozens of employees and thousands of small business owners move closer to the money they deserve. He is the author of, “The Grit”, and his forthcoming book, “I NEED MORE MONEY” will be out in 2017. Learn more at www.cffnationwide.com or call 972.247.8447 phone or on all social media platforms via @Matt Manero. www.mattmanero.com