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Starting a money talk can be awkward. But these tips may make it easier.

Talking to your boss, partner, or child about money? We got you.

Starting a money talk can be awkward. But these tips may make it easier.
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TD Ameritrade

Talking about money is tricky business.

Think about it. Many of us share the most intimate details of our lives with friends and coworkers and even on social media. But money? That's still as taboo as it's ever been, and talking about it can get uncomfortable really quickly.


I know, right?! GIF via "Maleficent."

That doesn't change the fact, though, that there are important conversations many people need to have about money. Avoiding them can hurt our relationships and our financial health or those of our loved ones.

So where do you even start? And once you start, where do you go?

Whether you're cleaning the house, going to the gym, or asking someone out, no doubt the act of simply getting started can be a tough one. Just imagine having to do that with the money talk!

Luckily, we've gathered some helpful tips to get you started on three essential money conversations: with your boss, your partner, and your kids.

Tip #1: How to ask your boss for a raise

Help them help you. GIF via "The Office."

It may not seem super helpful, but the answer really is just ask (but be well-prepared, of course!).

Sounds easy enough. Yet for some reason, not many people do it. In a PayScale survey, 57% said they've never negotiated for a higher salary. We know it can be a scary thing to do, but you'll never know unless you ask, right?

Luckily, the numbers are in your favor. According to another survey by PayScale, 75% of workers who asked for a raise actually got one. Which is awesome, but don't forget to ask yourself an important question too: Why do you deserve the raise?

Once you answer that, you'll have an easier time getting the ball rolling and will be much more confident sealing the deal.

Tip #2: How to talk to your partner about money

Don't let it go here. GIF via "The Princess Bride."

The answer: honestly.

Clearly, this is a given. But when it comes to money, sometimes we need a reminder.

In a 2014 survey, one 1 in 3 adults admitted to committing financial infidelity on their partner. And that can manifest itself in a variety of ways — whether it's not being upfront about your spending habits, hiding your financial history, or just making secret purchases.

There's a reason money is the #1 cause of stress in a relationship, and arguments about money are a big predictor of divorce. But it doesn't have to be that way. By being honest at the onset and talking about money on a regular basis, couples can start a healthy dialogue that'll give everyone a much better grasp of how to deal with finances down the road.

Tip #3: How to teach your kids about money

This is clearly what NOT to do. GIF via "Black-ish."

The answer: WITH GAMES!

Money and math are rarely the most exciting topics for kids. And that's where playing games comes in! Susan Beacham, CEO of Money Savvy Generation, tells U.S. News, "Games become something you can use to open the discussion, so it's not always you preaching about money."

You can try a classic board game like Monopoly. Or download a fun educational app for them. Or even pretend to be a customer in your kid's make-believe store. The important thing is that kids learn the nuances of what's going on each step of the way, so that they become familiar with financial literacy early on.

It can be intimidating to talk about money, but there are ways to make it a little easier.

Taking that first step can be challenging, especially in this area, but having a plan of attack certainly eases the burden. Now that you have some starting points, the next step is to do just that — start!

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

via Pixabay

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