Talking about money can get awkward – but that doesn’t need to be the case. Whether you need to discuss ways to reduce household bills, how to spend the family holiday budget or discuss a loan with a relative, here are some ways to have easier, more confident conversations.

Plan ahead

The key to any good money conversation is the what and when.

  • A regular look at your finances can help you keep on top of what you might need a conversation about – for example, have your outgoings been creeping up?
  • Choose a time when everyone’s comfortable and doesn’t feel rushed.

Not sure where to start? Viewing your transactions online can give you a really clear view of your money.

Come prepared

Know what your ideal outcome would be. The more facts and figures you have at hand, the better you can make your case – and you’ll feel more in control of the conversation. For example, if you want to talk about the family budget:

  • Bring details of the last few months spend. Internet Banking or a mobile app can help you gather useful information on your finances, and give you quick access to it wherever and whenever you’re having the talk.
  • Put some thought to where you think the issues are, and what changes you’d like to make.

Think about ‘how’ as well as ‘what’

The way you talk about money is as important as what you’re talking about. Stay friendly and positive, and consider your choice of words. Try using ‘I statements’ instead of ‘You statements’. For example: “I don’t think we can afford that” is less confrontational than “You can’t have that”.

Be direct

Be clear about what you need or want. If you need that £20 you loaned to a friend returned, 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 best if one or both of you had a conversation with your bank.

Give it time

Not all money conversations can be resolved in one go. If you’re talking about significant figures or budget changes:

  • Make sure no one feels rushed into a decision.
  • Give yourself time to look at your finances and consider how any changes might affect you. A budget calculator can be helpful.

Be clear on the outcome

Once you’ve wrapped up the conversation, make sure that everyone knows what the next steps are. That way, you can avoid a more awkward conversation in the future.