Money ‘the hardest word to say’

Amanda Jarvis

February 7, 2006

On top of this, the survey found a third would rather discuss sex or their previous relationships than their bank balances.

In response to this, the FSA has launched a website to help people get to grips with their finances and feel more confident about the subject of money. It includes tips on how to manage your money, how to plan ahead and where to get further help. 

The survey, which questioned over 1,400 people across the UK about their attitude to money, also found that despite an unwillingness to talk about money:

– 27 per cent of couples regularly argue when they try to discuss their finances.
– 32 per cent of couples lie to their partners about how much they spend on their credit cards
– 35 per cent of British couples are kept awake at night worrying about their money situation

The site also contains two simple interactive tests, the Debt Test and the Financial Healthcheck, which help people identify their financial priorities so they can start to take control of their money.

Relationship psychologist, Christine Webber, said of the results: “Not knowing how to bring up the subject of money with a loved one without sounding accusatory, mean, or overly serious, can cause incredible relationship stress. But there are some very simple steps couples can take to open up the lines of financial communication – it’s vital that people start talking.”

Vernon Everitt, director of retail themes at the FSA said: “Money is a very difficult subject to talk about but ignoring financial problems can make them worse. To help we have created a friendly, straight talking website which gives people impartial information about the world of money and offers tools to help sort out their own individual situations. It will hopefully be a stepping stone to a healthier financial future.”

Further findings:
Money seems to be the hardest word:

Men are prepared to do anything to avoid talking about finances, with 29 per cent preferring to answer questions about their partners’ personal appearance rather than ones about money.  Women, on the other hand, are more likely to ask their partners for careers advice (44 per cent).

Financial insomnia:

More women are kept awake worrying about money than men – 38 per cent compared to 29 per cent of men. Finances are top of the list of night time worries with other concerns following:

– 21 per cent stay awake thinking about their careers
– 20 per cent worry about health matters

The honest truth

– 43 per cent of couples lie to each other about how much they spend on luxuries for themselves
– One third of women are dishonest to their partners about their credit card spending habits, compared to 29 per cent of men admitting not always telling the truth.

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