The purpose of this activity is to investigate attitudes, beliefs and values about money, life, and relationships (in your own family).
Interview someone in your own family, preferably a parent, aunt, uncle, or Grand Parent. Use the following questions to open the communication between the two of you. Write a brief summary report describing what you learned after completing your interview. Remember the words that we unpacked in class and how money management is a discipline that grows muscle and gives us (men) a sense of empowerment and purpose. Money is tangible but its also emotional in nature. Some of us (women especially) have a deep need for financial security and when the spouse fails to provide for the family, a lot of painful emotions (fear, anxiety, hopelessness) can become part of the “financial reality” for all people (men and women). Be careful and considerate in how you ask the questions. Be respectful but be direct. Let the interviewee know that you are trying to learn some hard lessons and their story can be a wonderful gift to you. Let them know why you chose to trust them with this very special assignment in your Personal Finance class. (Remind them that Personal Finance is very “Personal”.)
Questions about marriage and money:
- Which spouse was “in charge” of the money in your marriage?
- Did you discuss money before you got married?
- What were the first few years of marriage like in terms of managing money together?
- Did you have money fights?
- Describe your first house, how much it cost, and how you “created a budget” to pay for it.
- What were each of your views on debt?
- Which one of you is the financial geek? The financial handicapper? How did you two communicate about differences? (Be sure to make this question funny. Don’t be judgmental – be curious to learn more about what we discussed in class about how money can cause a sense of achievement and “Taho-Aloha” or Hakuna Matata vs. Regret, Depression, Shame, etc.)
- Did you worry more about money or did your spouse?
- What advice would you give any college student about marriage and money?
- What did you teach your children (us?) about money?
- What is a good age to start teaching my kids about money?
- What advice would you give a college student regarding money, life, and relationships?
The Impact of Money Management
Remember, in your summary, explain what you learned about the impact of money management on the relationship between your interviewee and their spouse.
Be Considerate, Respectful, and Compassionate
Be a thankful learner and let them know how much their story has helped you take important steps forward in your life. If the interview becomes emotional (for you or for them) don’t be surprised. Handle their emotions (and your own) with compassion and courage. You will be the one who directs this interview. It can be a boring, basic, waste of time, or it can be one of the most important interviews of your life – and theirs.