Talking about money and personal finances in general is perhaps one of the last classic British taboos. As the saying goes: “There are two things you never talk about in life: money and politics”. The Money Charity believes it is crucial to talk openly about personal finances, and it is a great way to make a big positive change in your life.
Breakthroughs in talking openly about politics as well as sexuality and mental health have occurred across the UK. Events such as Brexit and the snap general election, Prince William and Harry’s Heads Together campaign, and compulsory sex education have encouraged debate and discussion. However, there is yet to be a similar movement when it comes to talking about money. If teenagers and parents and teachers can all begin to talk openly about sex, you would think we could all do the same about money.
Last year’s Financial Capability week focus was on talking about money. The week was dedicated to opening up conversations about personal finance, and helping people feel comfortable chatting about money. It isn’t hard to see why such an issue was the focus for the week.
Simply put, talking about money is empowering. Whether you have lots or a little, being open with the people around you about money, including the successes you have had and the barriers you face, is vital. Talking about money and sharing stories leads to everyone becoming more knowledgeable about personal finance, helping people get on top of their money, and stay on top. A problem shared, is a problem halved, and talking about your own financial situation could relieve stress and anxiety. You may even pick up some handy tips along the way!
Also, you aren’t alone! You realise others have similar worries and stresses when it comes to finances. You can also share tips and advice about similar experiences you’ve had and how you dealt with it, or at least on how to relieve some of that tension and stress. One part of our adult workshops is just getting people to start talking about money in an open and positive way. An activity we carry out in a workshop involves attendees plotting their outlook and priorities on finances, and then doing the same but plotting their significant others outlook and priorities. We find this is a great way for people to start an upbeat and constructive conversation about money with the people who matter to them most.
Money is such a big part of all of our lives, so it is just plain odd that we don’t discuss it more openly in the UK. If we all did, we would be one huge stride closer to financial empowerment for many. So this year, The Money Charity is telling you to start talking about money. Feel confident about your money, have a chat about it with your family and friends, empower yourself and look forward to a brighter, financially capable future.