Talking about money may still feel taboo, but it’s one of the most important conversations you can have – with your partner, with your family and with a financial advisor, who can help you to change your financial future.
When it comes to money, even the best of communicators sometimes falls short. Most of us were raised to believe that talking openly about our finances – from asking what someone earns to divulging that we’re in debt – is not socially acceptable. We need to rethink that idea though, because having honest conversations about money is one of the best things you can do for your relationships and for your financial future.
Why you need to talk about money
Financial stress is one of the most common causes of conflict within a relationship. In fact, according to research by financial-counselling company Ramsey Solutions, money arguments are the second most cited reason that couples divorce (after infidelity). While talking about your financial worries won’t magically make them disappear, getting on the same page with your partner or family means you can work together to solve the issue – rather than fighting about it.
How to start talking about money
So, how do you have a money conversation?
- Know what you want to achieve during the conversation. Are you opening up about your money worries? Conveying a decision to start saving more? Asking the other person for advice?
- Schedule a dedicated time. Whether it’s with your spouse, children, parents or a financial advisor, you want to make sure you both come to the table prepared for the conversation.
- Keep the conversation focused on goals and next steps, rather than apportioning blame to any parties.
Who should you talk to about money?
- Your spouse. Remember, talking openly about your finances as a couple is the best way to avoid arguments further down the line.
- Your children. It’s never too early – or too late – to start teaching them good money habits.
- Your friends and colleagues. The more conversations we have about money, the more we smash the social taboo. It’s also a great opportunity to learn from each other about budgeting, saving for retirement, getting out of debt or advocating for yourself. ‘Not talking about money can have sweeping social effects, like stopping women from getting equal pay for equal work in the workplace,’ says New York financial journalist Korrena Bailie.
- A financial advisor. One of the most important money conversations you can have – even before expressing yourself to your partner, family or friends – is with a trusted financial advisor. They’ll be able to put your financial problems into perspective and provide expert, tried-and-tested solutions that you may not have thought of yet.
May Challenge: Express yourself
We’re listening! Join our May challenge and tell your coach how you really feel about your financial life.
Simply click here, fill in the form and don’t forget to tick the box that says ‘I would like to be contacted by a financial coach’. They’ll be able to offer you solutions to improve your financial situation and take charge of your money future, and help you practise having money conversations with your loved ones.