Discussions around planning your will or managing your daily budgets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a romantic date.
However, gaining your significant others’ view around money and their current financial situation could help indicate whether you are destined for financial harmony further down the line.
Talking about money and personal finances is perhaps one of the most classic British taboos*. As the old saying goes: “There are two things you never talk about in life: money and politics.”
However, in an era where people are much more open to talking about a variety of topics, why must ‘money talk’ still be kept a secret? Is it still considered a taboo and crude to discuss your taxes and incomes over the dinner table? Is there anything that can help us get the conversation going, especially in relationships?
43% of people do not know how much their partner earns, and 36% are unaware of how much their other half has managed to save. ** Not only that but many are seemingly unaware of the size of their partner’s pension. Those over 55 seem to have a greater awareness of this figure, and it seems that couples aged 18 to 34 were more likely to have shared this information than those in middle age. 43% of them said they knew what was in their partner’s pension compared with 34% of 35 to 54 year-olds***.
This is an important topic to discuss, as when it comes to assets shared between couples, pension wealth can often rival property wealth. Not being aware of each other’s pensions can affect planning your financial future, or even difficulty in retirement if one person’s pension pot falls short. If you were to divorce, an asset split should focus on all areas of assets, including pensions, however this is rarely the case.
It seems that people would rather talk about almost literally anything else, from marriage problems to religion, than bring up the topic of money. It is possible that these feelings towards ‘money talk’ are simply a hangover from an era where all money worries were pretty much handled for you. A more patriarchal era where your company watched over your pension, and even those on modest salaries could afford to buy their own homes. ****
But as we all know, times have most definitely changed, and the responsibility for financial security often falls as a deadweight on an individual’s shoulders (shout out to high house prices, student debt and insecure job prospects for that one!). These troublesome times may have left many struggling to even build a savings account that they feel rivals their peers. Investing accounts seem like an untouchable deity. However, with i-stock, an ISA or GIA account with no account fees can be opened from as little as £50 a month.
You can read more about how society changes influence on different generations in our blog, ‘millennials vs baby boomers’.
If you are not talking about money, there are simply too many things you may be missing out on or paying way over the odds for. Talking about things like rent, expenses, what higher salary could be available, are all topics that, if discussed, could help improve your financial situation. We are not saying share the inner workings of your tax return with the stranger next to you on the tube (although, of course, you are more than free to do so if the mood so takes you), but it could be important to talk to your nearest and dearest about costs you are questioning, simply to get another perspective.
Talking about money is also vital for our health and relationships. It ensures people make better financial decisions, develop stronger personal relationships, help children form good lifetime habits and feel less stressed and more in control of their finances, and in the long run, their life. *****. Financial collaboration can also help couples achieve the milestones they set, both individually and collectively. It is important to articulate a joint vision of the present and future, providing a balance of short-term and long-term goals.
Building money conversations into our everyday lives could help make us resilient to whatever the future may throw at us, be it a sudden change in income or a dramatic life event.
However, it seems in social circles that people do not like to talk about money, because it all becomes “too real”. Perhaps there is a certain level of self-awareness that comes with bringing up the topic; a sense of bragging or, if you’re short of money, awkwardness.
i-stock’s easy to use app could help take the pressure off and make the ‘money chat’ a conversation that people look forward to. However, it seems in social circles that people do not like to talk about money, because it all becomes “too real”. Perhaps there is a certain level of self-awareness that comes with bringing up the topic; a sense of bragging or, if you’re short of money, awkwardness.
Another reason for avoidance could be confidence, or a lack thereof. UK school curriculars may soon feature financial education******, meaning perhaps the next generation will be clued up about money. However, there are many adults now who feel they lack a basic understanding of money and therefore do not want to discuss it and avoid it at all costs.
The world of finance is daunting (at Tavistock Investments Plc we understand that), but it doesn’t have to be. The i-stock app is accessible 24/7, withdrawals and deposits can be instructed at any time with no penalties and it is all free to set up, hopefully making the investing world less frightening to those currently too nervous to approach it. You can also read more of our education blogs here to see how understandable the topic can be.
If things like average salaries, how much rent someone is paying or even car insurance are shared, knowledge around the subject builds, and the whole topic becomes less daunting. These comparisons may even lead to more savings for individuals.
So this Valentine’s day, why not spend a little time opening up about your finances with your loved ones. As the world changes, so must our attitude towards money and our willingness to open up about our finances. The only way to change tradition is to go against the norm. Start the process today and join the revolutionary thinking of i-stock.