Talking about money with anyone isn’t often top of our ‘to do’ list. But why is this the case when money is such an unquestionable part of our lives?

Maybe we don’t believe we have the right level of financial insight to talk to people without worrying about sounding foolish, or perhaps we think that the ins and outs of our personal finances hold little interest for them. Or is it simply down to good old etiquette – we simply don’t talk about money with other people? 

Taking a collaborative approach

Our finances are like most challenges we face in life. It can make a real difference when we listen to alternative points of view so we’re not going it alone. If we think about money in the same way we do about our health and fitness, our careers and even our holiday destinations, conversations offering guidance and insight have the potential to influence our decisions and financial situations in some way.

So how should we start talking about money, particularly if sharing personal information doesn’t feel all that comfortable? Getting started is nearly always the hardest part. Here’s a few things to think about that might help.

1. Be patient

It might sound obvious, but approaching financial conversations with patience is key. Most of us will have different levels of comfort when it comes to discussing money – it’s important to respect the fact that our friends might be willing to share less information, if any at all. But it’s worth sticking with it.

They could be relieved that it’s something you want to talk about. They might have questions or even worries you can help them with and vice versa. Like anything, getting good at personal finances and even the conversations around it, takes practice.

2. Stay open-minded

Speaking with friends might enable you to pick up some new habits or help you become more disciplined with your own savings. By being open to thinking differently about how you save, whether you invest, getting financial advice, could mean you take a different approach that might offer greater potential for long-term growth or better value for money.

But please remember, the value of any investment can go down as well as up and you might not get back what you put in.

3. There’s no harm in asking

While your friends may not be the font of all knowledge when it comes to pensions, investments, or money if you don’t understand something, ask if they do! The friend who’s confident they’ll retire at 50 – why not ask them how they’re planning on doing it?

Hearing the real-life context of someone’s financial decisions in an informal and engaging way can help to bring it to life, which could ultimately help you with your own financial planning.

4. A problem shared…

Finances can adversely affect our mental health especially in times of crisis. The age old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is often true.  If you are having financial difficulties, then talking to friends could help. They may be able to offer support, help find practical solutions or just listen.

5. Are your friends getting financial advice?

Financial advice can help people make the most of their money and get you on track for saving for the future.  We often trust the recommendations of our friends especially if they are happy with a product or service. It might be that you could benefit from financial advice as well and do that through someone your friend trusts with their own financial situation.  

Finding help additional sources of help

If you’re in financial difficulty or struggling in other ways with the cost of living crisis, you may find it useful to visit the Citizen Advice Service. They have information on debt solutions, ways to get help, mental well-being, support available from the Government and more. You can visit their cost of living page.

If you are thinking about financial advice and don’t already have an adviser you can find one here.