We’ll talk about most things won’t we? Even politics, sex and toilet habits don’t seem that taboo. But for some reason money isn’t one of the topics that people feel free to discuss. But it’s possibly the most important topic to share and debate.
This week, as part of Financial Capability Week, organisations across the country will be encouraging you to #TalkMoney. That could be at work, down the bank or with a community group, so keep an eye out for events near you.
But you can also get talking at home. Here are some of the topics it’s worth opening up about.
#TalkMoney with your partner
One of the most important people to be really open about money with is your partner.
It’s key to understand each other’s financial attitudes and behaviours. Even if you feel money can sometime be the cause of arguments, it’s better to be clear about worries now than have bigger problems further down the line.
The big one is spending vs saving. Is one of you constantly worried about getting through the money, while the other more likely to spend as soon as you are paid? If you can understand each other, you can hopefully find a solution that works for you both.
Other topics to talk about include how to manage joint finances, who pays what bills and whether you should split things 50/50 – particularly if one of you earns a lot more than the other.
Don’t forget to discuss your future too – from having kids to buying a house to retirement. Do you want the same things? And if so, how will you save for them?
You also need to be frank with each other about financial problems you might have had before you got together (or even since).
#TalkMoney with your kids
You might be avoiding talking about money with your children – perhaps you want to shelter them from it, or maybe it’s just because you’re waiting until they are a bit older.
Well Money Advice Service research has shown it’s best to begin talking about money to children from the age of four. Starting them early on basic concepts can have a huge impact on how good they are with finances when they become adults.
#TalkMoney with your mates
Often the biggest pressure to spend money you don’t have comes from your friends – even if they don’t mean it. From nights out to holidays, so much disposable cash goes towards fun activities with friends. And that’s fine if you can afford it.
But if you’re getting into debt as a result, then it’s time to be honest and tell your friends. Together look for alternatives which don’t cost as much, or share that you’ll need to pay for your own food and drinks rather than splitting the bill evenly or joining in rounds.
#TalkMoney with your parents
You might think your parents are doing better than you – in fact you might still be tapping up the bank of Mum and Dad to help you get by. But they will likely have their own concerns, particularly once they retire and their income reduces. By talking to them you may be able to help.
And as difficult as it might be, you need to talk to them about their wishes when they die. Make sure they have a will in place and ask them about funeral plans. It might seem callous, but it’s important not just to ensure they get what they want, but to lessen the burden at what will eventually be an emotionally difficult time.
#TalkMoney about your money worries
Finally, if you don’t feel you can talk to your friends and family about bigger money worries, then you can talk to an independent debt advisor for free. It’s all confidential and it really helps.