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Talk Money Week: How to have positive conversations with friends and family about money

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This week (7-11 November) marks ‘Talk Money Week’, the Government scheme aimed at getting us more comfortable with discussing our finances. Talking about money and having honest conversations is often seen as a taboo subject and some may feel awkward and uncomfortable when the topic arises.

Most of us at one point in our lives have had money worries. Having an open and honest conversation about financial struggles can help with this worry, build your confidence in discussing the topic and create healthier and stronger relationships.

Below we’ve listed a few suggestions to get you started and have better conversations about money.

Choose who you talk to

When you decide to open up and speak honestly about your financial worries, it can be easier to do this with someone you trust. Confiding in an individual you trust can make you feel understood, even before the conversation begins, and that you’re not being judged. It also gives you confidence that the information will not go elsewhere.

Create an appropriate time and setting

It can feel like there’s never a good time to bring up finance, but giving the other person plenty of notice that you’d like to chat will allow them time to schedule it in.

Find somewhere that you won’t be disturbed is important, this can look and feel different for everyone. You might prefer to chat whilst on a walk or in the comfort of your own home, for example, whilst others may prefer a more public place.

Keep in mind if you have documents to share, sitting somewhere with a table may be more appropriate.

Prepare how you’re going to start the conversation and the direction it goes in

Practicing how you are going to begin the conversation and the main points you’d like to cover can be useful and give you structure to ensure you have a productive conversation. Consider making a list of points you’d like to discuss.

While you’re preparing the points you’d like to cover, have a think of what the other person may respond with or questions they may ask. This will provide better clarity to your answers.

Listen as well as talk

Remember, listening is just as important as talking. Allowing the other person the space to speak, to process what they’re being told and time to respond will create a better and more understanding environment.

Keep in mind the other person’s emotions when you’re having a conversation. It’s natural to get emotional when discussing money worries and when it effects multiple people, tension can rise.

Keep calm and carry on

Finances can be an emotive subject and even with the above actions, the topic could illicit some frank exchanges of views. Be prepared for whoever you are speaking to react in a way you may not expect. For example, a person may not understand why you have got into debt and become upset.

Equally, try to remain calm if the person you are talking to offers advice that you may not initially agree with.

Check in with others around you

Talk Money Week is a good opportunity to also check in with those close to you, or even colleagues who you think may be struggling. They may not be ready to talk about their financial worries in that particular moment, however you’ve now opened the door and invited in a conversation about any money worries.

For further help and advice visit Money Helper.

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551