A JOURNEY OF CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MONEY

Hello there! I'm Ernestina and welcome to our new financial wellbeing blog series: Helping you to Be Money Well.

Money has always been part of my life, yet I often find it challenging to open up and talk about it. From early days of seeking advice from my parents and grandparents to my current conversations with friends and colleagues, my relationship with money has evolved, I've realised that discussing finances openly can be a powerful tool in achieving overall financial wellbeing.

 

THE 'M' WORD

Despite money and personal finance being connected to almost every part of daily life, to most of us, the word money remains taboo and it is a topic that few feel comfortable to discuss.

We want to break down the barriers to talking about money to help encourage individuals like you to see the positive benefits that talking about your finances - whether good or bad - can have. Getting other people's opinions and perspectives, and sharing any worries you may have, could take the weight off your shoulders and strengthen your relationships, especially if your financial responsibilities are shared.

In this blog, I'll take you on a journey through others' financial learning curves and share valuable insights. So, join me on this quest to embrace financial wellbeing through open and honest conversations about money.

I’ve asked a few of my colleagues to share some of their positive experiences when it came to talking about money to help inspire you to see the benefits of doing so. Here’s what they said…

 

TALKING ABOUT MONEY WITH FAMILY

Susan talks with her brother

In a recent conversation with my younger brother who is in his late twenties, I broached the subject of saving for retirement. “I will think about that later” was his response (which I understood as he had recently bought his first house).

What struck me though was that he hadn’t joined his workplace pension, believing this would shrink his disposable income. So, I tried to reframe this for him.

Can the ‘problem’ be reframed?

Can the ‘problem’ be reframed?

Sometimes explaining a different angle of a situation can help to reveal the benefits of a seemingly bad situation.


I explained that he’d actually receive more than the amount he was required to save from his salary thanks to tax relief and employer contributions.

The penny dropped! (excuse the pun). This gave him an immediate rush of dopamine and financial empowerment and has helped his future-self secure a better retirement!


Big sis had done her job! It serves as a powerful reminder that sometimes, the path to a secure financial future begins with a simple change in perspective.

SOMETIMES, THE PATH TO A SECURE FINANCIAL FUTURE BEGINS WITH A SIMPLE CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE

 

Susan

Jill supports her teens and older relatives

Talking about finances has become a hot topic in my household.  Whether it’s supporting my teen get to grips with having access to money or helping older relatives navigate the world of online banking, helping and educating with clear and concise messaging has never been more important.  Having financial control gives confidence and comfort.

Don’t assume everyone understands the jargon

Don’t assume everyone understands the jargon

Check your friends and family understand and explain things clearly if they don’t.



TALKING ABOUT MONEY WITH FRIENDS

Rachel’s friends share their mortgaging experiences

When I bought my first flat in 2020, even though it was an exciting time in my life, I didn’t know what the process involved so I felt slightly anxious. I had a mortgage adviser to help me through the process, but I quickly became confused and overwhelmed at the pace the conversations moved and the different financial aspects involved.

Terms such as “Land and Building Transaction Tax” really confused me, and I didn’t have the confidence to admit I didn’t know the ins and out of what I was doing.

Speaking to friends who had recently gone through the process really helped me feel more at ease and able to take joy out of this very exciting time. Hearing from their own experiences and their understanding in a language I was more familiar with really helped.

 

Niamh opens up to her friend

Only recently, I felt a sense of frustration that I was struggling to meet my savings goals for a holiday I so desperately wanted to book next year with my friend, I was embarrassed to admit to my friend I didn’t know whether I would be in a financial position to afford the trip. I felt so relieved when she told me she was feeling the same.

We were both too embarrassed to admit that with the cost of living at the moment, we needed to rethink our plans to something more attainable, and ultimately less stressful!!

All in all, it really is important you are open and honest with your friends when you’re trying to plan activities around money.

Remember

Remember

Be honest and open with friends when planning activities that involve money.




BE MONEY WELL RESOURCES

Sam helps his brother with our tools and guides

Recently, my brother and his partner were taking steps to prepare to buy their first property. They believed they had enough for a good deposit but had been hit by a number of large vet bills recently. These concerns were exacerbated by rising interest rates on a variable rate loan.

After a number of months sitting on their worries, they were brave enough to speak to myself and my family about their position. This gave me the opportunity to point them to some of the budgeting tools, the debt, borrowing and credit learning, as well as the home purchase preparation support in the Life’s Money Moments section of Be Money Well.

These resources really helped them in preparing to take the step to make the purchase and I am delighted to say that they are now happy homeowners!

IF IT'S NOT SAFE TO TALK ABOUT MONEY

If someone other than yourself controls access to your money, or runs up debt in your name, it's financial abuse. But there's no need to struggle alone. The Money and Pensions' Money Helper service has support to help you

Spot the signs of financial abuse and leave safely

How to take back control after financial abuse

HELP IS AT HAND


The Money and Pensions' Money Helper service has lot of tips to help you start conversations about money with friends and family

Talking about money to your partner

Talking about money to your kids

Talking about money to your friends

Talking about money to your parents and grandparents