How to talk about money

Money Talk

Every household has to talk about money now and again and it can be a bit awkward sometimes. So, if you need to have a conversation about splitting the bills or borrowing some much-needed cash from your parents – we’ve got some simple tips which could help you maintain a happy home.

Step 1

Know what to talk about

It helps to work out what conversations you need to have as early as you can. That way you can fix little issues before they become a bigger problem. Looking at your household and personal finances regularly might help you see what’s worth talking about – for example, are household bills creeping up? If so, it might be time for a chat.

Don’t know where to start? Exploring your bank statements can give you a good view of your money.

Step 2

Do your homework

Know what you want and be ready to make your case. Say you want to borrow money from a relative:

  • Bring details of what you need and why. For example, if your washing machine has broken down and you need to buy a replacement, show you’ve done some research and found the best price you can
  • Make it clear you’ve thought about how and when you’ll repay it. You might find it useful to bring along bank statements to refer to. Online banking and mobile apps can also help you have useful information at hand, wherever, whenever you need them.
Step 3

Think before you speak

Talking about money can get a bit emotional. Keep your tone calm and choose your words carefully and keep things friendly and upbeat! Try using ‘I statements’ instead of ‘You statements’. For example: “I want to make sure we pay our bills on time” is easier to hear than “You’re always late with your share of the bills”.

Step 4

Get to the point

Being direct isn’t rude. If you tiptoe around the point it can make the conversation frustrating and confusing. If you need your friend to return that £20 for last week’s takeaway, tell them. If you can’t or don’t want to spend money on something, say so.  And be upfront if you think it’s time for a conversation with the bank.

Step 5

Don’t push it

You can’t always expect an answer on the spot. Some decisions take time, so give people space to look into their finances and make up their mind. Let them know you appreciate them considering it. They’re more likely to be happy to talk to you again. You might want to review your own finances too - a budget tool might be handy.

Step 6

Wrap it up

Make sure that everyone understands what’s been decided and what the next steps are. That way, you can avoid a more awkward conversation in the future!