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Talking about money

Wanting financial security is a basic human need. The more you talk about money – even the difficult conversations – the better your life and relationships will be.

Why should we talk about money?

Not communicating about money can hurt those around you. For example, do you and your partner have joint accounts or both of your names are on household bills? Then your money mistakes could affect their credit rating and financial future, and vice versa.

It’s vital to know where you stand if you want to protect your finances – during a relationship and when coming out of one.

Not talking about money with other family members can also cause issues. With older people, for example. If you haven’t talked about their financial future and an urgent issue crops up – you might not know how they would like you to deal with the situation.

Sometimes figuring things out and getting them in perspective can be much easier if you’ve got a little help. It can be from an expert or the people closest to you.

Why don’t we like talking about money?

There are lots of reasons why we don’t like to talk about money. For many of us, it’s a taboo topic. And it can often be seen as rude to bring up.

These are some of the main reasons people give for not talking about money. If you recognise yourself here, maybe it’s time to take a new look at why you feel the way you do:

“Everyone knows I’m hopeless with money”

Just because you’ve been one way with money in the past, doesn’t mean that’s how you’ll be in the future. As you grow as a person, priorities change and those around you will understand that.

The first step to becoming someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about, is sorting out your budget.

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"Life’s too short, so why deal with it? It’ll take care of itself"

Life is short and enjoying it is important. But it’s not going to take care of itself. However, putting a bit away now doesn’t need to be hard.

Perhaps consider starting a pension, if you haven’t already. And if you join a workplace pension, your employer might contribute too.

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“I know I should talk about my finances, but I have no idea who to turn to”

Knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. You can talk to us – we’re free and impartial. And if you need more help we can pass you onto other organisations that you can trust. Find out how we can help on our Contact us page.

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“I’ll look stupid”

If you’ve made mistakes, the sooner you deal with it the better. Feeling stupid isn’t worse than losing your home or worrying about how to put food on the table.

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“People will think badly of me”

Very few of us like the idea of sharing our spending habits with others, and sometimes people can be judgemental.

But don’t let them stop you from moving forward with your finances. This might be a communication issue with someone you love.

"Fortunately, my partner is good with money, so I don’t have to deal with it”

We all have different strengths, but being good with money comes with practice. So allowing someone else to look after everything to do with money means that you’re not going to be in the best position if you find yourself on your own and you have to do it.

“My partner doesn’t allow me to deal with money”

It’s one thing to consciously allow someone to take care of the finances because you prefer it that way. But if someone has deliberately taken away your financial independence against your wishes, this could be financially abuse. It’s important to know there are things you can do to stop this.

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“I don’t want to worry my family”

There are people you can speak to first before talking it through with your family. They’ll be able to advise you on your specific situation.

However, in some cases, getting your family to help can be a really positive step because you can work together to solve the problem.

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“The situation is too bad. There’s no turning this around”

All the debt advisers we recommend have spoken to people who have been in challenging situations. Some have felt better simply by talking. They’ve then been able to get help. Talking is the first step towards changing your financial circumstances.

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“I can’t afford professional advice”

There are lots of places you can get free guidance from professionals. If you’re looking to get free debt advice, check out our Debt advice locator tool.

If you want free pensions guidance, read our guide on Understanding what Pension Wise is and how to use it.

Whatever the reason you’ve been putting off talking about money, the hardest part about tackling a difficult conversation is often finding a way to start it. It gets easier from there.

How to talk about money

If you need to talk to someone about money but aren’t sure how it will go, download our How to talk about money guide (PDF, 4.5MB) to help you get started. It includes tips on how to get a good outcome, share money goals and what to do if you think the conversation may be tricky or it doesn’t go as planned.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
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