Chat

Chat

Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.

 

How to stop hiding from money trouble

By Dan Wilderness from 'The Financial Wilderness' shares his thoughts on how to have a tough conversation about money when things have gone wrong.

We’re just past Halloween, but there’s one thing nearly all of us find more terrifying than all the ghouls and ghosts combined – the idea of talking about money.  

If you’re in a situation where things haven’t quite gone to plan and you’re suddenly in what feels like significant debt, the fear element can be very real and overwhelming. 

So, in this post we’re going to look at how to handle the situation where you need to have a tough conversation and jump to the soothing “and everything was all right” bit at the end of the movie! 

It IS good to talk 

The most important thing to do is simply to find someone you trust to have the conversation with – keeping everything to yourself and letting it eat you up isn’t helpful to your mental health and means we can miss out on ideas from others to solve our problem.  

Worse, being forced to deal with something ourselves can sometimes lead to us avoiding the problem and not taking action to solve it. 

Think about those close to you. Who has your back? Who looks out for you? That person should be your choice for your conversation. 

If you don’t have someone like this in your life, there are many excellent organisations you can speak to anonymously – such as Citizen’s Advice. You’ll find compassion and help. 

There’s no judgement 

We often don’t talk about money because we perceive it as personal, and we worry that whoever we speak to will judge us for our choices. In fact, this is often a mental distortion, and those looking out for you in practice will simply want to help. 

You may find the initial reaction from who you speak to is an emotional one though (especially from parents!) and you may face an initial wave of anger which makes you feel very defensive. It can be difficult to do but anticipate this and try and stay calm – you’ll find that after a short period of time they’ll respond in kind and get on with the serious business of helping you. 

Honesty is key 

It is important you be honest about your situation – one of the biggest barriers to helping people with debt is finding out you don’t know the full story. 

Keep things simple, and break things down into the simple components – what you owe, when you owe it, and how much it’s costing to you pay.  

It’s these quite simple things that often form the basis of working out a solution, so don’t get too tied up in back and forth on the why it’s happened unless it’s relevant to getting it sorted. 

Have a plan, man 

It’s important to keep your discussion focused on how you solve the problem. It’s often a case that your friend may be able to offer support and existence, but not have the technical knowledge to know the best way to help you out.  

When this happens, ask them to help you research organisations that know their stuff. I’d suggest focusing on speaking to debt charities – one idea is that you can find a range of Government-supported options at the Money Advice Service. 

I suggest avoiding search results for “debt management solutions/consolidation” companies found online – sadly, not all of these are going to work in your best interests.  

We’ve also got some excellent advice on the Wilderness on how to form a debt reduction plan.  

Make talking about money more normal 

Talking about money doesn’t have to be just about difficult situations as well. It’s also healthy to speak to friends and family when you come across something you don’t understand or want another perspective.  

In conclusion: 

When you get in a tough situation, it’s easy for the bodys anxiety response to take over – we can feel paralysed with fear and not know what to do.  

Don’t live in this fear. Share it with someone and it’ll make it easier for you. Just make sure you take the initial step of speaking to someone – dealing with a complex situation on your own is never fun. Good luck! 

 

by The Financial Wilderness 

Chat

Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.