Do you struggle to open up about money? Do conversations around bills, debt, and pensions with friends or family make you want to run away and hide?
This is why it's extremely important (for both others and ourselves) to be open and honest about our finances - no matter where we're currently at in our financial journey.
As part of Talk Money Week, we're determined to spread the word and take action to improve these statistics.
Talking about money can help to break down the stigma and also deepen our own financial literacy - keep reading for some helpful tips on how you can start a conversation with your loved ones about money.
1 ) Set the Scene
The first and most essential step to having a conversation about money involves choosing a time and place. MoneyHelper advises the following to help with this step:
When - there's never going to be a perfect time, so try telling the person you'd like to chat to that you'd like to speak with them later and allow them to make space in their day.
Where - find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed e.g. at home or go for a walk.
Who - decide who needs to be present for the conversation (this depends on the situation)
2) Use a Conversation Starter
It’s helpful to bring up a topic that the two (or more) of you share in common. For example, maybe you both have a passion for investing or have impulsive spending habits that have landed you in debt with store credit cards.
Alternatively, look around you and use what you see as inspiration for the topic - a piece of new furniture, unopened bills on the table, or maybe even an advert you’ve just seen on the TV.
Want something more direct? Try saying “I’d like to talk to you about __ as I think we have different opinions. What’s your point of view?”. Ask questions to make sure the conversation stays two-way.
3) Be Understanding
Most of all, try and maintain a sense of understanding and compassion for the other person.
Be mindful of any negative emotions that arise such as judgement, and avoid statements beginning with ‘you’ - use ‘I feel’ instead.
Showing consideration and empathy for the other person’s circumstances, as well as any conflicting views, can help you to have a more productive, calm discussion.
Talking about money doesn't have to be scary and the more we engage in these conversations, the more we can help each other.
Follow us on Instagram for more tips on talking about money, as well as advice for handling common money problems such as debt, budgeting, and more.
Money Advice Helplines:
Money Advice Service - Call them on 0800 138 7777 for free and impartial money advice;
Step Change - Available on 0300 303 2469, Step Change offer expert advice on debt;
National Debt Line - Get free advice for dealing with your debt on 0800 808 4000;
Citizen's Advice - Call Citizen's Advice for free on 0800 144 8848 to get general money advice.