Of all the emotional subjects in the world you can think of, money is probably up in the top 10’s of the list. It is one of the top reasons couples seek counselling and a leading reason for divorce. So, it is pretty normal to want to avoid talking about a touchy subject.
But how do you start talking about money with your spouse and loved ones when perhaps it’s been taboo for most of your life except for with your trusted bank manager or financial adviser? Also, how do we talk about money to the younger generations in your family when you consider we are in a climate where bank branches are closing? Plus, they have grown up in an era when banking can now be done remotely over the internet and online through apps without conversing with a single soul.
As tricky as money conversations are to initiate, they are essential for the following reasons: we are living longer and leading more complicated lives, some examples being second marriages, stepfamilies, and cohabiting couples being the fastest growing family type, according to the Office of National Statistics. Money conversations are necessary.
How to do this:
Choose a suitable time and place to have the conversation, a quiet place where you feel comfortable talking about sensitive matters. Avoid crowded restaurants.
Be prepared to experience some resistance to the conversation in the form of being told, “don’t be so morbid”, which was what I said to my mum when she initiated a talk about her plans for her funeral, will and assets. Do persevere.
Have a copy of your will available to share with your loved one and talk them through your wishes or at least let your loved ones know where they can find it.
If you have a financial planner or adviser, bring your loved one along to the conversation. They may need to do some financial planning of their own at some point.
Make money conversations part of everyday life with your loved ones; if your loved one has gone for a new job, ask if they negotiated the salary. If you have opened a near inflation-beating saving or investment account, tell them to check it out for themselves, they may get the same great interest rates.
On the point of savings, interest rates on savings accounts are very attractive right now due to the bank of England repeatedly increasing the base rate. Banks have been passing these interest rates on to savers, with Interest rates on accounts at a 10 year high. now could be a great time to save and build an emergency fund to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
Back to talking about money, if you read an interesting blog post on the Ford money website, forward it to your loved ones. The more you normalise money conversations, the easier it becomes.
From experience as a second-generation Black British Caribbean money writer, I have gone from being told at the dining room table as a child not to talk about money (a story I relay in my personal finance book), to being the go-to family person for money conversations, like most things it does get easier the more you practice.
Start the money conversation today – why not forward this newsletter to them?
Selina Flavius is Author of the personal finance book – Black Girl Finance- Let’s Talk Money (Quercus)