Why do we find it so hard to say the M-word?
What is the M-word?
The M-word in this case stands for money. Conversations about money can be difficult. Most of us don’t feel very comfortable talking about our finances with our loved ones. We try to avoid the conversation, change the subject, or put it off until another time. But sometimes those conversations are the most important ones to have.
Starting the conversation
Below you'll find some valuable tips from Relate, the leading relationship support charity, to help make M-word conversations easier for you to have.
6 Tips to help you start conversations
- First, go over your finances and understand what you need help with
Perhaps you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start. It’s important to take the first step - for example asking a family member to look through your finances with you.
Gathering all the information you need together can also help. For example, if you are struggling to get a deposit together for a home, it will be easier to start the conversation if you know how much you’ll need to borrow. Once you’ve established all the facts, working out a plan will be much easier.
- Be prepared to talk, but also be prepared to listen
Understand and acknowledge the other person’s point of view. It’s only by listening that you’ll be clear on what’s important to the other person and be able to make a plan together. A calm exchange of views is a lot better than one person giving their point of view and not giving the other a chance to be heard.
- Find a place where you feel comfortable talking
It may be that home isn’t the right place to have the discussion. A neutral location is often a good idea.
- Feelings around money can be strong, but they don’t have to lead to arguments
It’s not unusual for families to argue about money. There can be a lot of intense feelings, but the important thing is to have a calm conversation about the issues. Imagine you were explaining the situation to a friend. Tell them how you feel rather than focusing on what they are doing wrong to avoid coming across as critical and accusatory.
- Remember that talking about money can strengthen relationships
1 in 3 couples did not talk at all about money before moving in together, but it’s never too late to start. Talking openly about money can help you to take shared responsibility in deciding how to handle your money, and make plans for the future. This can be a positive experience for everyone involved.
- Make a plan together
Reach an agreement about what to do next, and keep talking about it. Occasionally the relief of having talked about money is so overwhelming that people don’t mention it again, and don’t really convert words into action. Take the first step together and then keep talking about it.
Sources: The Single Financial Guidance Body. Our research was conducted with YouGov. The total sample size was 2,041 adults, of which 494 were under 35. The survey was carried out online.
The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council. Jan/Feb 2019.
Important legal information
Lloyds Bank plc. Registered office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales No. 2065. Lloyds Bank plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278.
Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Telephone calls may be monitored or recorded in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help us improve our quality of service.