Time to Talk Day 2023: Let’s Start the Conversation
When was the last time you chatted with your partner, family, or kids about money?
If you’re like many of us, you avoid the topic because it feels awkward and confrontational, or you feel judged for the financial choices that you’ve made. Perhaps it’s simply tradition or the fact that money is one of the most taboo topics of conversation out there?
If you feel like this, you’re not alone. It’s no secret that money can be one of the biggest sources of stress in our lives. From everyday expenses to unexpected costs to long-term financial goals, managing our money and making sure we have enough can really take its toll on our mental health. Mind, the mental health charity has found there is major link to mental health and money.
But given the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever to break the taboo and open up the conversation about money so we can reduce stress, take control of our finances, and there is no better time than ‘Time to Talk Day’.
What is Time to Talk Day?
Time to Talk day is an important event that encourages people to have conversations about mental health. The day, which takes place on the 2nd of February 2023, was established by Mental Health charity ‘Time to Change’ in 2014 and has since seen hundreds of events and activities held across the UK, including online conversations and open discussions.
The primary reason for creating this special day is to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. By having conversations about mental health, it helps to normalise it in society and make it easier for people to seek help if they need it. Discussing these issues can also be a great way for those affected by them to feel less alone and more supported by those around them.
This day is also the perfect opportunity to start talking about money in general so we can get better at managing it and make more informed financial decisions.
How to start the conversation about money
Money isn’t the easiest topic to bring up, especially as it’s something that most people shy away from discussing.
However, if you want to become more open about money with family, friends, and colleagues, there are certain steps you can follow that can help ensure the conversation runs smoothly, that no one feels too uncomfortable, and you get a satisfactory outcome.
General tips on talking about money
If you want to talk about money, make sure you pick a good moment to start the conversation. It can be an emotional topic to discuss so avoid moments of stress or worry because it will only make matters worse.
It’s always a good idea to think about exactly what you want to discuss, any key points you want to mention, who you want to be there and whether you have a certain opinion that you’d like to share.
Consider dropping it into the conversion casually, first talking about something you’ve seen on TV or in the news, mentioning a recent purchase or even sharing your dreams for the future. Then you can naturally guide the conversation onto the topic you want to discuss.
Make sure that the other person participates in the discussion at all times and is contributing their own thoughts, not just listening to your opinion.
This might be tricky, especially if there are sensitive topics involved. But try not to get emotional, judgemental, angry or interrupt and allow them to express their opinion.
Talking about money with your partner
If you’re living with your partner, paying bills together, buying a house, starting a family, getting married or separating, it’s helpful to communicate openly about money. This will help you avoid future conflict and create a financially solid future for you both.
It’s also a good idea to discuss your attitudes towards money openly and share whether you have any personal or financial goals you’d like to achieve. Whenever possible, create joint money goals to help nurture the bond between you and ensure you’re on the same page when it comes to your spending.
Talking about money at work
Do you know how much you get paid compared to your colleagues? Or whether you’ve invested in the right pension fund? Or whether there are better options for your financial future?
The best way to find out is by talking about money with your colleagues and employer.
If you can do so, you’ll feel less stressed at work, more secure in your financial future and be able to make savvy financial choices that help you protect your future.
When speaking about money at work, choose the right time, find the right person or use a confidential service from your employer, and then request a meeting at a convenient time when you won’t be disturbed. Even if you feel uncomfortable, make sure you’re clear and direct and project as much confidence as you can.
Your next step depends on what you hope to achieve. If you’re asking for a pay rise, make sure you have facts and figures to back up your request including the value you add to the organisation and perhaps how your salary compares to others in the company.
Employers can also be a useful source of financial information such as pension planning, dealing with debt, building an emergency fund, and so on. If these are topics you’d like to discuss, make this clear before you request your meeting.
This Time to Talk day, we want everyone to start talking about money with friends, family, and in the workplace, so that we can break the taboo and move towards a healthier relationship with money and mental health.
If you want to receive guidance and support for financial wellbeing at your organisation, book a free Financial Wellbeing Lunch & Learn for your workplace.