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23 Aug 2011

Family Relations and Money

Trying to keep great management of family relations and money matters in harmony is no easy juggle. Especially when the family doesn't speak in the same financial and investment language.

Charity begins at Home:
I have gone past my mid thirties, and I am yet to hear my dad giving me a financial advice. Any kind of financial advice. Even a really bad advice. Nah, it will never happen. My parents did the best in preaching the "go to school, do well, get a job, live well" gospel. As to the "how to" of the live well part,... that was left out. But I still have to give it to them for ensuring the former three parts. We all had to go to school and do well.
I do wish my parents did have financial conversations with us though. Better yet, I wish they themselves knew better about financial management.

This gave me an interest in teaching my son  about money matters and the value of money. That has helped me escape those nasty screams in the store isles about what toy I should buy. At a tender age of eight, he can give better financial advice than most adults. Very embarrassing to state that, but it is a fact. Its never too late to talk to your kids about money. Like with all aspects of life, the sooner you start your money talk, the better. Its easier to get them a piggy bank, which me and my son passionately refer to as "Cashy". He keeps all of my son's savings until his tummy is too heavy to carry on.

Sibling Rivalry Around Money:
I am so fortunate that I never had quarrels over money with my siblings. Its really not because of our good manners, but the fact that we never see ourselves as trading partners. Whenever a niece, nephew or sibling in both families is in need, we rather opt to give, rather than lend. It happens often, but hey, giving is the whole idea of making money to start with. My idea by the way.
A classic case is when my sister and her new husband were renting my garden cottage, straight from honeymoon. The thought of renting the cottage out had never crossed my mind before they approached me. I never kept any records of their payments, and they did come late, etc. I really didnt mind at all. When they bought their own house and left the cottage, my sister explained how they will pay the debt. I was like "No, you actually don't owe anything". She insisted, until I couldn't say no anymore. Touching gratitude on her part I must say. I'm not sure if the money was ultimately paid or not, which shown my loose approach when it comes to siblings and money. I am happy with it.

Extended Family Relations and Money:
Money does exchange hands in our extended family. But we really give and never have loans with each other. That's my experience at least. I will buy what my cousins sell for instance, even when I have no use for it. It feels great supporting their businesses like that. I end up with a lot of stuff, which feeds my hoarding habit. I probably should stop.
Supporting a family member with a business is just one of the things I feel obliged to do. I do it with love.

I know families that have broken relationships over money. Its a shame when people use others for the love of money and materialism. I take care of my finances but I love my family more. I will not hesitate to give for a good cause. Be it family, charity or church. Ultimately, the whole idea of making more, is to give more.

"And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required..." 
Luke 12:48(ASV)

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