While the festive season can be fun, it can also be a minefield of family get-togethers and no-holds-barred questions. So, the key is to be prepared with a good answer! Here are some suggestions for handling Nanna’s interrogation with style.
Awkward question 1: When are you going to tie the knot?
If you’ve been in a relationship for more than … about a week … chances are, this question comes up. People love a good wedding, especially if they aren’t the one footing the bill!
If this question comes up, put a financial spin on it, rather than delving into the pros and cons of lifetime commitment.
You could mention that the average cost of a wedding these days is more than $36,000[i[i. (Although, if you want to do it cheaper, you can! Check out these tips for cutting the cost of weddings)
For many modern couples, buying a home is a more urgent priority than splashing cash on a big love party. That $36,000 could go a long way to a deposit for a home. With the right advice and a solid plan, that first home could be within your reach. And it will very likely give you a better return on investment.
Awkward question 2: When will you have kids?
If you thought weddings cost a lot, kids are a gold-plated investment. The Suncorp Bank Cost of Kids Report found the average Australian parent spends more than $297,600 raising a child to the age of 17[ii] So, two or three kids can add up to almost a million dollars.
If kids really are on the agenda, it helps to plan for the costs – from hospital bills to childcare – and MoneySmart has some useful tips.
On the other hand, you can always talk to your family about getting a pet. Dogs only cost around $1500 per year to look after. And these days, dogs can become instafamous and actually make you some money!
Awkward question 3: When will you get a real job?
It depends what you mean by ‘real’. If you have thousands of Instagram followers and get paid to post, that could seem a little confusing to Nan and Pop. Even Instagrammers with 50K to 200K followers can make more than $1,000 per post, according to Business Insider [iii]
Or perhaps you’re getting heat for the side hustle you hope will one day be your payday. More than 1 in 4 millennials are working on a business outside of their main job [iii]and other generations are catching up.
Whether it’s selling jewellery on Etsy or writing sponsored blog posts, there are millions of people worldwide who are relying less on ‘working for the man’ and more on building a mini-empire.
Awkward question 4: “OK, where’s my real present?”
Maybe you and your family had different ideas about how much to spend on Christmas. Maybe you thought this year everyone was . But sometimes we have a moment where it’s clear that our loved ones expected a little bit more.
What to do? There is a solid case for having a spare gift on hand – a bottle of wine never goes astray. Maybe it’s a beautiful candle that would like nice in anyone’s home. The trick is to have it in a gift bag already, and choose something obscure, that only cost $20 but could easily have cost $50 or more.
The key here is to put it under the tree with all the other presents, but no label. Then if you get through gift time without needing to use it, you give it a surprised look and proclaim ‘oh I must have picked this up by accident! It’s for my friend’.
However, prevention is the best medicine. Have a conversation with family and set spending limits, so everyone is on the same page.
[i] https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/simple-ways-to-save-money/how-much-can-a-wedding-cost /
[iiii] https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/07/millennial-side-hustle-statistics.html and other generations are catching up/