“Blood is thicker than water” we have all heard this growing up, in fact, experienced it as well with our siblings. Along with this, we have also heard stories in our families or otherwise where siblings ditched each other for ancestral property, did not pay back the loan or diss one another for having more money. Yes, Money is great when you start as you celebrate together, shop together and enjoy everything together but it could also turn into something very complicated.
Money discussions between siblings may not be the most common dinner conversation but it is a good practice to take some time out and start talking about money before things get sour. Here we are sharing our insights on how and what you can talk about:
WHERE YOU LIVE TOGETHER :
Money is obviously an important factor when you live together as there will be some shared expenses between you two. In some families, parents take care of expenses and there this might not be a major discussion. But as the year's pass, the responsibility would eventually fall on the children and it is best to be prepared for that discussion or maybe have it in advance. Usually, the elder sibling takes care of the family expenses (especially where there is a brother-sister equation). However, there may come a point where they would have more responsibility or may be strapped for cash or want to splurge on themselves and then it could end up getting ugly. Instead have a discussion and set certain things right:
- Talk about who will take care of what expenses. How will you split the bills?
- The person earning more can contribute higher but the other one should also contribute some money so there is parity.
- Include the other in your financial plans where you are planning to help the other with their goals like marriage, higher education or setting up a business.
WHERE YOU LIVE SEPARATELY:
Money is not too much of a problem when you live on your own and both are taking care of their individual needs. Over the years though you could have some shared responsibilities like your parents and their retirement.
- Understand from your parents how financially prepared they are for their own health concerns and retirement so you both know what and how much you need to take care of in future.
- Decide how you will both(all) contribute and take care of the expenses of your parents.
- Where one sibling wishes to splurge on parents any financial need, the other should be accommodative and not jealous of the same. Have a talk!
WHERE YOU HAVE AN INHERITANCE COMING:
We could write pages and stories on what all can go wrong with inheritance but we are expecting better of our wealth cafe investors. Do not get carried away by greed to own everything that your parents do but understand what they wish for you and your siblings.
- Have a discussion with your parents, and ask them to have a will in place so there is no fight tomorrow.
- Talk to each other as well, if you feel you are comparatively better off than your sibling, let them have a bigger chunk of the inheritance.
Remember that you are siblings before money. Do not lose your brother/sister for some money that may or may not come to you. Develop some money values between yourselves
- Talk and communicate with each other.
- Be honest. Contribute where you can.
- Do not take undue advantage of the one with more money or otherwise.
- Ask your parents to be a part of this discussion.
- Where you have sisters ensure she is included in discussions and financially aware of things the family is doing.
- When you give loans to each other, have proper documentation in place so you do not have a fight regarding it in future.
We have all seen situations where one brother defies another for a better inheritance or money, we are hoping that the coming generation will be better off. Money can be a major cause of families breaking - up. Hence, the best way to ensure that does not happen is to talk to each other.