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 big budget buys or lending cash to a family member – 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 – 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 suggest that once-in-a-lifetime holiday:

  • Research travel costs, accommodation, living costs and payment deadlines. Maybe there’s a little luxury you could give up for a while to help save up?
  • You might find it useful to bring along bank statements to refer to. Online banking and mobile apps can be great for accessing useful information 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, if a relative often wants to borrow cash in the run up to pay day: “I think there might be a better way to manage money” is easier to hear than “You need to get better at money management”.

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 think someone’s forgotten about that cash you loaned them, just 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

Not all money conversations can be finished in one go. Make sure no one feels rushed into a decision – including you. Take time to look at your finances and think about your options. You might find a budget tool 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!