Manners aren’t just for the young—manners, and minding them, is something we can actively choose to do each day. And, sometimes, when things get heated or stressful, basic manners go right out the door. When it comes to money manners and how to and how not to talk finances with others, it can be hard to remember what to do in different circumstances. Here are a few tips to help you mind your money manners.
4 money manners everyone should follow
- Show gratitude. Just like your basic manners, showing gratitude is a big money manner to remember. Be intentional about recognizing the care, effort and money someone else has spent. Whether it’s a small gesture, such as bringing you a home cooked meal when you’re not feeling well, or something bigger, like giving you tickets to a big event you’ve been dreaming of attending, be sure to thank the giver. Make eye contact, use their name and share why you are thankful. For example, “Sara, thank you so much for bringing me some homemade soup. I am so tired and the thought of having supper already made really lifts my spirts. I really appreciate you taking the time to make and bring me dinner.”
- Say “please.” While this seems like a no-brainer, it can be easy to get caught up in the fast-paced world in which we live. It can also be easy to only think of ourselves and forget all others involved in whatever it is that we are doing. Take a minute to think about the others involved and make your request with the addition of a please. For example, try, “May we please talk about how we are going to split the check before we order?” instead of, “I’m not ordering until we decide who’s paying for what.”
- Ask clarifying questions. Whether you got a bit distracted and weren’t as focused on the conversation as you should have been or it’s a crowded and loud environment, be sure to know what’s really being discussed before adding your two cents. It’s OK to ask someone to repeat themselves or to repeat what you think you’ve heard to be sure you are on the same page before jumping in or answering a question. For example, you can say, “I want to make sure I am following the conversation correctly, did you say…” and then follow it up with your question or thoughts after they have clarified. This is especially helpful if you are being asked to join in on something that will impact you financially.
- Be respectful of differences in habits. It can be easy to see someone’s spending habits, or even the way they talk about money, and want to speak up. How someone else handles their money is their business. Keep your thoughts to yourself unless they specifically ask for your opinion on something.