Do Family Dinners Improve Your Finances?

July 2013

Easy

We’ve heard it a million times: Sitting down for a family meal is good for us. Studies show it keeps us connected, instills healthy eating habits, and even helps our kids get better grades.

But here’s a new twist: It can make you wealthier.

It’s true: A soon-to-be-released study from professors at the University of Georgia looked at 8,000 families over the course of a decade, and found that those who ate together at least four times a week were more likely to be financially secure.

The families in the study who dined together may or may not have discussed money at all. Instead, the study points to their one common trait: self-regulation.

In plain English, that means they excel at establishing good habits and sticking to them.

While that may sound like psychobabble to you, it makes perfect sense: If you’re able to prioritize family meals (while balancing work, school, and all the other life demands), you’re probably able to prioritize making smart financial decisions.

But if you’re not the dinner-on-the-table-at-7-every-night kind of parent (we all end up there sometimes) all hope is not lost.

The study notes that self-regulation is like a muscle. And like any other muscle, you can strengthen it with exercise.

Try committing to some healthy routines, like aiming for at least two family meals a week to start.

Do you gather regularly for family meals? Do you think it has helped your family—and your finances?

Thanks, Mint & Beth Kobliner!

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