Tis the season for food and family financial planning

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By Teri Williams

Contributing Columnist 

Holiday dinners, a time when we come together, can be a great time to discuss our financial wellness. Let’s bypass the taboo, take a deep breath and have a family conversation about money.

As you carve the turkey and enjoy the sweet potato pie, pass a healthy serving of financial planning. A multigenerational conversation about money can make a great family recipe. 

So, grab your spices along with money tips and family wealth-building strategies and let’s go.

Ingredient No. 1: Grandparents, the Storytellers

Where better to understand the complex rollercoaster of money lessons than with those who have experienced the most on their journey? Start with a discussion on what generational wealth looks like for you and your family.

Grandparents can share their wealth building wins and moments where they wish they had been better prepared. They can also share your family history and how their parents and grandparents made or even lost money.

A top priority topic should also center around different components of estate planning like wills and life insurance. Those two topics can be difficult to discuss but are essential to help your family cover expenses when an elder passes.

Ingredient No. 2: Parents and/or Guardians

As guardians, financial conversations with children can frame their relationship with money for life. Your family can expand the conversation into the importance of having a budget, creating profitable businesses and managing credit.

Tools like online money management can help establish a budget, track spending and increase saving. Once an emergency savings account is created, consider an investment portfolio. Parents and grandparents can discuss their financial management skills and experience.

Focusing on Black business growth is a way we can close the racial wealth gap and increase our net community worth. Parents and grandparents can share their involvement with Black-owned businesses and their business management expertise.

Take it one step further and discuss the importance of home loans and how credit scores can affect your ability to build wealth.

Ingredient No. 3: Younger Generations

The children have the most to gain by starting young — savings, investing, budgeting and more.

You can conclude your family holiday dinner with some of the top things children can keep in mind as they enter into adulthood.

A top action item can be to have your children set a savings goal for next year; something challenging but achievable. The practice of savings requires sacrifice and a forward-thinking perspective. It will teach them the importance of seeing money as a tool to invest rather than spend.

Younger generations may have already started entrepreneurial efforts without really knowing how to navigate them financially. Connect them with resources that can help them monetize their work.

Embrace the holidays as a teachable moment. Gratitude and sharing financial wellness strategies are some of the most important ways to center your family in the communal spirit of the season.

Start the financial wellness legacy. Lead the holiday conversation with authenticity and transparency, so you can surpass your goals as a family.

Happy Thanksgiving from the OneUnited Bank family to yours.

Teri Williams is the president and chief operating officer of One United Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the United States.


Focusing on Black business growth is a way we can close the racial wealth gap and increase our net community worth.

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