We also found that nearly a tenth of Brits (9%) don’t know how to tackle difficult conversations about their money issues.We’re taking on the ‘money chat’ taboo, breaking down those Great British boundaries, and (hopefully) giving you the clear, straight-talking advice you’re after to help you sit down with your friends or family and spill the beans on your money worries.
Why talk to friends and family about money?
Over a quarter of Brits (28%) believe talking about money issues is important, but nearly one in ten (9%) say they often lie to family and friends about the state of their finances, and 7% of us would even rather pay extra to avoid talking about money with friends and family.
Despite knowing it’ll likely help, so many of us feel too embarrassed or worried to talk about our financial situation with our family and friends – the people who care about us the most.
Remember, talking about debt can get more difficult as time goes on; make up your mind to act now.
What’s stopping you?
Talking about money with your friends and family can lead to them helping you emotionally and, in some cases, financially, but starting the conversation can be difficult for many reasons.
Embarrassment or shame?
With over one in ten citing embarrassment as the reason they wouldn’t speak to anyone about their money issues, it’s time to shun the shame.
Money worries are so common, at some time or another, pretty much every single one of us will find ourselves stressed about the state of our finances.
It’s always better to reach out and speak to others, rather than staying silent and letting the issue escalate. Beside, secrets are no good for your stress levels!
Top tips for talking about money
Be in the present. As mental health network Psych Central puts it, all embarrassment is in the past. Here, in the present, you’re ready to address the problem. Think of it as ‘past you’ if you have to, and present you is here to break the cycle.
Remember you’re not the only one. So many people have and will have debt issues – if we talked about it more we would soon find that we’re not alone! Until then, just remember that other people have been in this situation, maybe even the person you’re planning on speaking to.
Your debt doesn’t define you, it’s just the situation you’re in right now. Your friends and family will still see the same ‘you’, and will still care about you.
Don’t know how to start the conversation?
Nearly one in ten (9%) of Brits say they don’t know how to tackle difficult conversations about their money issues. Let’s get the conversation flowing
Five steps for a successful money talk with friends and family
Write yourself some notes so you can stay on track and get your point across. We all know it’s easy to waffle when we’re nervous.
Pick the right time and place. You’ll want privacy, enough time to talk things through, and a setting where you both feel comfortable and relaxed.
Tell them how awkward you feel. It’ll remind them to respond more sensitively to what you’re saying, and will show you are taking your money struggles seriously.
Give them all the information they need to understand your situation.
Be clear about what you need from them, and say it (don’t assume they’ll understand!) – whether it’s advice, financial help, or for them to simply stop planning things that cost a fortune!
Tips and advice
Create a culture among your friends where you support each other in saving, and celebrate each other’s financial successes. We often encourage each other to ‘treat ourselves’, but real friends wouldn’t want you to be in debt, if they knew.
Don’t compare your financial situation to your friend or family member’s; since we already know we Brits don’t often share, you probably won’t know the full story anyway, so just concentrate on addressing your own situation.
Think of some free or cheap things you and your friends or family can do together, and share them with the group. That way it’ll shift the focus from the expensive things you might need to skip, to all the fun things you will do together in future.
Be ready for your friends or family to use your honesty as an opportunity to open up about their own financial struggles. If this happens, it could be the perfect opportunity to support one another – setting savings goals, sending motivational texts – whatever works for you.
At 118 118 Money, we’re dedicated to helping you better manage your finances, and our blog is filled with money-saving tips and advice.
Take a look here.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2030 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd and 24th March 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).