Let’s talk about money and debt NOW!

Fewer topics are more awkward to talk about than money. That’s why this November, the Money Advice Service will launch their third Talk Money Week campaign. We invited Raminta from MAS to tell us what it’s all about…

Do you feel awkward when talking about money? Are you scared of being judged, or that people will treat you differently?

What if we could chat about our money worries as easily as we chat about the weather, royal babies or whatever we watched on telly last night?

At the Money Advice Service we not only think this is possible, but essential, and it all starts with you.

Let’s Talk Money!

This year, as part of our Financial Capability strategy, we’re launching our third Talk Money Week campaign.

The idea’s simple; let’s start a conversation on money and see where it goes. By talking, we could:

During Talk Money Week, we’ll also be looking at:

  • How to deal with a partner who’s controlling over money
  • How to teach our kids about money
  • How to talk about our savings goals, and put them into action

…and lots more.

What are the benefits of talking about money?

Talking openly about money is vitally important for our health, wealth and relationships.

Research shows that people who talk about money tend to:

  • Make better and less risky financial decisions
  • Have stronger personal relationships
  • Feel less stressed or anxious and more in control

By bringing our money problems into the light, we could save ourselves – and each other – from making bad decisions. We can beat the stigma around being in debt, and even save money over time. If that conversation becomes regular, those benefits will just grow and grow.  

How do I start the conversation about money?

Start as big or as small as you like. It could be as easy as a chat about starting to give your child pocket money, or sharing money-saving ideas with your friends on social media. It could be as casual as sharing a blogpost on money-saving tips, or telling a family member how much you saved by switching to a cheaper energy provider.

Or it could be the Really Important Conversation you’ve been meaning to have about life-changing issues, such as retirement, long-term care or problem debt.

You could also get the conversation started by:

  • Sharing your savings goals with your friends or family. Putting your plans out there means that you’ll (hopefully) get support from those around you. They could also help you stay on track, or share their own savings goals, so you can help each other.
  • Talking to your kids about money. Children’s money habits are formed as young as seven years of age. We’ve put together a guide to with lots of fun, easy ways to start talking to your children about money
  • Getting confidential debt advice from a free organisation such as StepChange Debt Charity

What if I can’t talk about money right now?  

Not everyone’s going to feel ready to talk about money right now, and that’s okay.

Sometimes, it’s not simply that we can’t be bothered to talk about our finances. For some people, money is an extremely emotional topic that can make us feel upset, stressed, anxious, fearful or angry. Once these emotions get in the way, they can become a barrier to really opening up because we don’t want to feel bad, stupid or judged.

Our friends at StepChange Debt Charity have found that on average, it takes a year for a person to get in touch with them for debt advice. Often, it takes a problem to turn into a crisis before a person will seek help. This can cause so much stress that could’ve been avoided if the conversation was started sooner.

How do I get involved with Talk Money Week?

There are lots of ways to get in on the conversation. You can: 

  • Use our map to find out about fun Talk Money Week events that are happening near you
  • Look out for our posters in your local bank, government buildings and where you work
  • Follow Money Advice Service on Facebook and Twitter
  • Tweet your money thoughts with the hashtag #TalkMoney

Looking for more ideas on how to talk about money? Read our article on questions you should ask your partner before moving in together, or how to bring up your debt or money worries with your partner. 

We’ve also got an article on what you can do to support a friend who’s in debt, or how to avoid falling out with family members over money.

Posted by in Living with debt