While we are recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and facing the cost of living crisis, it is more important than ever to talk money.
Research conducted by Ciphr revealed an 810% increase in monthly searches for ‘interest rates’ and ‘energy bills’ in August 2022 compared to August 2021. Moreover, the average monthly Google search for ‘cost of living’ hit 110,000 this August.
So, what does it mean? It means that the more people are affected by the rising costs of living, the more money is on our minds. It means that people are becoming more worried and are looking for answers. Considering recent events, we are all wondering ‘what will happen next?’... But, are we ready to ‘talk money’?
A report conducted by the Institute for Global Prosperity revealed that 36% of respondents had found it difficult to find support for their money issues. What is more, 19% waited more than a year to seek support. And according to research by the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS), 52% of adults still struggle to talk openly to someone about their financial situation.
Therefore, it is clear that overall, we are still not always able to turn for help when our financial situation gets out of our control.
Why we should talk about money
So, what are the benefits of having a conversation about your finances? According to Money & Pensions Service, talking about money will allow you to:
· Make more conscious financial decisions.
· Improve your personal relationships.
· Help your children develop healthy financial habits.
· Feel in control of your finances.
· Reduce your stress and anxiety.
And, we could not agree more. Paul Raine, Money Coach Adviser at Money A+E, said:
“The more financially literate and knowledgeable the people are, the better shape their finances tend to be in. Many people in financial difficulty suffer from anxiety, stress and decline in overall wellbeing. Therefore, talking about money with the right people can drastically improve an individual’s mental, physical and financial health.”
A tool for social mobility and racial equality
At Money A+E, we believe talking about money is crucial to building financial resilience amongst Diverse Ethnic Communities, disadvantaged groups and young people – those hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.
The impacts of this crisis are felt most by those from diverse and ethnic communities; a poll of 1,639 workers by People Like Us, found that 34% of professionals from racially diverse backgrounds said their salaries were not enough to cover their mortgage or rent and energy bills, compared to 27% of those from white backgrounds.
At Money A+E, our delivery staff team is made up of people who have all faced money challenges at some point in their lives, in many cases turning to our service for support.
Like Nadine, who lived with nearly £7k in debt. Today she is a businesswoman and fitness instructor. Once not knowing what to do, now sharing money guidance with others. And a key part of overcoming her financial difficulties was in actuality opening up and talking about money, in a safe, supportive environment.
How can we #TalkMoney?
So how can we create that safe space to start a conversation about money? According to the Money A+E delivery team, it’s best to:
· Always be respectful of yours and other people’s feelings.
· Try to stay calm and not interrupt others.
· Don’t judge.
· Consider the environment – some people will need privacy.
· Listen more than talk.
We understand that it’s not always easy. There is help available if you do not feel safe to talk about money.
The case for more support
In March 2022, nearly a quarter of adults reported difficulties paying their usual household bills. That means a quarter of adults in the UK are struggling to pay for their essential needs. At Money A+E we have seen large increases in the number of people living on a ‘deficit budget’: meaning that their monthly income does not cover their basic expenses like rent, energy bills, or food.
We believe that is not right. No one should choose between heating their homes and buying food. We are experiencing record levels of demand for our 1-2-1 debt, benefits, money and energy advice service, and our advisers are doing all they can to support people at this incredibly difficult time.
And we think that the conversation about money should start much earlier, helping people manage their money and avoid financial hardships. Our Money Mentors School programme teaches young people basic money management skills and sets them for prosperous financial future. Learn more here.
This year, we are celebrating Talk Money Week. We want to talk money. We want to talk money advice & education.
If you need support
Five days a week our team members discuss best money management practices with people who need help with money urgently. So, if you have no money and need help contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org/0208 616 3750 for advice on debt, benefits, money and energy. Let’s talk money.
About Money A+E
Money A+E is an award-winning social enterprise that builds the financial resilience of Diverse Ethnic Communities, disadvantaged groups and young people.
Our Money Coaches services provides free, expert 1-2-1 advice on debt, benefits, money and energy.
During the cost of living crisis we are fundraising to provide emergency grants to households in the most severe need, to help with essentials like food and energy bills. Support our fundraiser.
Money A+E builds long-term financial resilience through our financial education workshops for adults in the community and young people in schools. For more information click here.