It’s not very British to talk about money is it? It’s up there alongside politics and religion as the top three things not to converse about at a dinner party for sure!
But is that really the best way to live life? What damage can discussing money really cause? Yes bragging may be a little bad taste, and asking for proof of bank balances and incomes on a first date may not get you asked back for a second, but would being more open about our finances in general really be that bad of an idea?
Would it mean less debt, especially in the 18-25 age bracket? Allow freelancers and self-employed people to speak more freely about what rates they charge to keep their industry working off the same rate card? Encourage couples to be more open about their credit history before loans and mortgages are hard to come by.
This month has seen the national launch of Legal & Generals’ Money Taboo campaign. Over the past few weeks Legal & General have been visiting shopping centres around the country (including Lakeside here in Essex) with money expert Annie Shaw to find out why people don’t want to talk about money – among other awkward topics – with their partner/ parents/friends. Annie and her team have been trying to get to the bottom of why talking about your finances isn’t ‘the done thing’ and handing out helpful hints and tips on how start those awkward conversations about money.
Setting up a ‘Taboo Tent’ in major shopping centres across the country, Legal & General invited people to come in and discuss the subjects that they have avoided talking about with their friends and loved ones….some of the results were extremely heartwarming.
I agree with a lot of what was said in the film. I struggle to talk about how much I earn, worrying I’ll be judged or treated differently. Coming from a fairly decent salary pre-motherhood to now building up a business from scratch, my financial situation has changed and sometimes that’s hard to face up to. I don’t like thinking about life insurance needs and wills either as I am trying so hard to spend more time ‘living in the moment’, but I know with two young children it is something we need to face up to.
Do I think us being more open about money in the UK would be a good thing? I’m not sure. Yes I think it shouldn’t be so frowned upon when people do want to bring it up, a problems shared is a problems halved after all, but forcing people to be more open wouldn’t sit right with me. Some things are personal, and that’s just fine.
What do you think? Talk about it? Shout about it? Or keep it to yourself?
The Great British money debate….it’s fascinating don’t you think?