It's Good to Talk About Money
It's good to talk about money
by Tanya Gersiova, CAS lead project co-ordinator.
This article was first published in the Herald on 10 December 2022.
Last week, I sat down with my friend Claire for a coffee date. At 8 months pregnant, rather than the much touted ‘pregnancy glow’, she gave something more like a Frankie Boyle vibe.
After taking a seat at the table, which seemed to take her no less than 8 minutes (1 minute per each month of pregnancy, apparently), the soft, sweet, gentle girl I remembered went on a very angry rant about the miracle of pregnancy.
‘I knew what was going to happen to my body,’ she said, “I just hadn’t quite realised what having a child was going to do to our finances.’
She told me how she and her husband have been struggling to make ends meet, especially now that she’s on maternity leave.
She’s been trying to figure out how she can stretch their income for childcare, baby food, clothes and toys, all while feeling the impact of her body changing, and the stress of taking on a new mortgage and managing their existing debts plus rising food and energy bills.
Then she said it. ‘I have always found it so difficult to talk about money. It’s hard enough to talk to my husband or you – not to mention to share things like this with a stranger!’
And she’s right. Talking about money is hard. Research has shown that money is often more difficult for people to discuss than death, religion or politics.
As the cost of living crisis deepens, and with Christmas just round the corner, money becomes tighter and the stress on families intensifies. Opening up about money can have great benefits. Talking with an expert can lead to material solutions to your money problems.
The Money Talk Team (MTT) funded by the Scottish Government was built on the long experience of CAB advisers in helping people with money problems and aims to support people to increase their income and decrease outgoings.
One of the barriers to talking about money is the complexity of information. The benefits system for example is complicated, which is why many people switch off and end up not claiming what they’re entitled to. The MTT aims to cut through all the complexity and help you make the right choices for you.
MTT advisers understand that money issues are not isolated and come with a host of other problems. This is why our advisers provide holistic support. You don’t even have to attend a face-to-face meeting – that can happen later if needed. You can browse our service offer on the Money Talk Team website, try our ChatBot feature, or call your local CAB on 0800 028 1456.
Since 2018, the MTT has supported over 55,000 people in Scotland, helping them put over £50 million of extra money into their pockets. A chat with MTT is free, confidential and impartial. We don’t judge, we just help.
So if you are struggling financially, talk to someone about it. Perhaps the Money Talk Team. That’s what I recommended to Claire anyway. I can’t help with the back-ache, heartburn or the squeezed bladder, but if we can help with bills that may at least bring her some relief.
Claire – and you – can contact the MTT at your local CAB or here.