Communicating Financial Values

Summer time, with family vacations and kids home from school, can provide a special opportunity to pass on financial values from generation to generation and encourage children to develop their own financial values and priorities.

Depending on your stage of life and the ages of your children or grandchildren, consider discussing the following with your family this summer:

  • Your early childhood experiences and the role that money played in your family life
  • Your experience when you started making your own saving and spending decisions
  • Financial lessons you learned in your high school and college days
  • Financial mistakes you made along the way and what you learned from them
  • The role of education in preparing one for more than just a job

Remember that the most effective communication is not lecturing, but rather telling stories in a personal, meaningful way that is not condescending. We are all tired of hearing the "I grew up in the depression" stories (don't blame me for being born at the wrong time), but stories and lessons about simplicity and frugality are important to convey.

You should recognize that it is a different world today and that we live in the digital era where financial transactions are processed differently (young people write few, if any, checks by hand), but the principles of earning an income, spending wisely, making charitable gifts, and saving and investing for personal goals are important fundamental values that transcend generations.

Enjoy these final days of summer!

About Bruce J. Berno, CFP®
Bruce J. Berno, CFP® is the founder of Berno Financial Management, Inc. a fee-only comprehensive personal financial planning and investment advisory firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1993, Berno Financial Management has been helping individuals and families achieve financial peace of mind. For more information about Berno Financial Management, visit