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Talk Money Week 2023

Talk Money Week is a brilliant initiative that runs in November every year, which encourages UK consumers to be more open about their finances

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 10 November 2023

6 min read

Talk Money Week 2023

It’s not always easy to talk about money, even with the people we care about most. Talk Money Week is a brilliant initiative that runs in November every year in the UK, which encourages UK consumers to be more open about their finances (and reach out for support if needed).

Many people in the UK will understandably have worries around money, particularly with the ongoing cost of living crisis we are currently experiencing. The sad fact is that essential items like food and fuel are becoming more expensive, leaving many UK families struggling and more needs to be done to help.

Here at MPO, we believe this week is a great opportunity to talk more openly about money and share useful resources and information with friends, colleagues and family members.

QUICK SUMMARY – Talk Money Week 2023

Talk Money Week happens in November every year and is a great time to look at our finances and encourage open conversations about money and financial management.

  • This year’s theme for Talk Money Week is ‘Do One Thing’ to improve your finances, which can be as simple as making a monthly budget or opening a savings account.
  • There are some amazing resources available online to help with money management and any financial worries. You can access these resources from organisations like Citizen’s Advice, Money Helper and more..
  • Planning ahead can make a huge difference in your financial situation. Many people find it useful to have savings accounts or insurance policies in place to support them with important bills if anything goes wrong.

Most of us tend to find conversations around money or financial difficulties awkward and so these are conversations that don’t tend to happen. Talk Money Week aims to remove some of the stigma around talking about your financial situation to encourage people to reach out for help if they need it.

Let’s be honest we’re all going to have concerns about our finances at some point in our lives, especially with the current cost of living crisis. I know it’s not always an easy conversation to have and this is exactly why talk money week exists.

Talk Money Week isn’t just for people who are struggling either, and it’s also a time for reflecting on how well we manage our money and if we can make improvements.

Talk money week will usually have a theme attached to it every year and this year’s theme is ‘Do one thing’. With this team we’re all being prompted to do just one thing in the next 12 months that could help us improve our financial situation.

this could be something as simple as:

  • Working out a set monthly budget so we can manage our expenses better
  • Downloading a money management app
  • Opening a savings account
  • Having a conversation about money with a friend or family member
  • Cancelling any extra expenses that we don’t need e.g. a gym membership or streaming service subscription aren’t being used very often

Talk Money Week happens in November every year and this year it is running from the 6th November – 10th November 2023.

You can get involved in this year’s talk money week activities by:

  • Having a conversation that you’ve been putting off about money
  • Using the hashtag #TalkMoney on social media
  • Sharing any helpful resources that you know about online or in person
  • Encourage other people to take control of their financial situation

You would think that it would be easier to talk to close friends and family members about money compared to talking to people you don’t know very well. generally this isn’t the case though, and many people find it much harder to talk to the people they care for most about money as they don’t want to worry them.

I completely understand this and have definitely felt this way myself in the past, but there are some tips that can be useful if you need to have these conversations with your loved ones:

1.Don’t wait for the ‘perfect’ time to have the conversation

Realistically there may never be a ‘perfect’ time to have a difficult conversation about money and waiting to talk about it might just make things harder.

It can be helpful to choose a location for this conversation which is comfortable and where you’re not likely to be disturbed.

2. Take small steps (talk to one person)

If you’re not comfortable with talking openly about money, it can be helpful to start with a small step such as bringing up money related topic with one friend or family member. It doesn’t even have to be the topic you’re concerned about, but it opens up the conversation and can make it easier to talk about what you actually are worried about.

If you’re worried about talking to your partner, child or parent about money, maybe try speaking to a friend first who isn’t directly involved in the situation. Their outside perspective may allow you to figure out what you want to say and the best way to say it.

3. Relate the conversation to something the other person understands

The person you’re speaking to you may have previously experienced similar issues or know someone that has. you could start your conversation by mentioning this, before talking about your own situation.

This can help put things into context for the other person and can be a more comfortable way for you to open the conversation.

4. Listen to what the other person is saying to you

When it comes to talking about things that we are worried about such as debts or big expenses, sometimes we just want to vent and this is OK. However, it’s important to make the other person feel valued and listened to in the conversation.

If you’re opening up to them and then you are dismissive of their advice or suggestions, the other person may be hurt and not willing to have these conversations again. This isn’t to say you should always do what they suggest, but you should make sure they feel heard and that you’ve taken on board what they have spoken about.

5. Be honest

As much as it might be difficult, sometimes the best approach is just to tell your loved ones exactly what’s going on. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy, and they won’t be able to offer you the right support and advice with money management or debt if they don’t have the full picture.

Most of the time your family and friends will just want to help in any way they can. You might worry that they will judge you or be disappointed but usually this isn’t the case.

6. Have open conversations (even when things are going well)

You don’t have to be having a hard time with money to discuss money, even in a more general sense.

If you’re already having conversations every now and then about topics such savings accounts, pensions or mortgages, this can make it easier to approach more difficult topics if they come up.

7. Don’t judge other people for their financial decisions

Most of us will want to help and offer our support if our friends and family members are struggling with money. The main thing to avoid is judging or lecturing them about what they could be doing better.

Often people just want someone to listen to them and building this sort of relationship where you’re supportive can make it easier for you to discuss any issues you’re having in the future.

8. Don’t be afraid to talk about money

Sadly, there’s still a definite stigma around talking about your financial situation whether it’s good or bad. There’s this idea that talking about the amount of money you make is wrong and that people won’t want to hear about it if you are having trouble with money.

This simply isn’t true, and it shouldn’t be the assumption that people won’t want to have these conversations. That is exactly why initiatives like Talk Money Week exist, to try and break barriers and make it more acceptable to talk openly about money.

Note: MoneyHelper has a great guide to how to talk about money and what to do if people react negatively that many people find useful.

Budgeting is tricky for many people (myself included), but luckily there are now some great resources available online that can help with this:

  • Monzo bank accounts allow you to have savings parts so you can divide up your money each month into essential bills future savings and even apart for all the fun activities you want to take part in that month
  • Emma budget planner is a popular option for UK consumers as it allows you to link up all of your bank accounts so you can keep track of your spending
  • Leading mental health charity Mind understand just how much money worries can have an impact on our overall mental health which is why they have a full guide with useful tips for managing your money
  • Citizens Advice is a brilliant and trusted resource that’s been online for years and has a range of different guides that can be useful if you are struggling with debts
  • The Government website also can help signpost you to the best available resources for debt advice

A main area of concern for a lot of people is what they would do if something happened to them and they weren’t able to work. If this happened it could make paying all your important bills such as mortgage or rent payments much more difficult which is understandably stressful and worrying.

Many UK consumers choose to have insurance policies in place which protect them if something like this happens. Income protection insurance is a popular choice, as these policies will pay out a regular ink on if you are ill or injured and unable to work.

Income protection insurance is a financial commitment though so you’ll have to think about if you can afford to pay for an insurance policy and if it’s worth it for you and your situation. Other options include having savings account specifically for unexpected expenses or if you need time off work.

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