Talk Money Week 2021: How to tell people about your debt
We’re in the middle of Talk Money Week, an annual event that seeks to raise awareness of money problems and give people the confidence they need to approach family, friends, and loved ones about the financial issues they’re facing.
In this article we’ll explore what Talk Money Week is, why it’s important to talk about money issues like debt, and give you five practical steps you can follow if you feel like you can’t face talking about your debt problems with the people you’re closest to.
What is Talk Money Week?
Talk Money Week (TMW) is an event that’s held each November with the ultimate goal of helping people kickstart important conversations about money, in particular any financial issues they may be facing.
TMW, which is taking place between the 8th and the 12th of November this year, encourages organisations to get involved in money advice seminars, financial drop-ins, and other events that help break the stigma around financial issues like debt.
Why is talking about debt important?
There are millions of people in Britain struggling with debt. Some feel able to broach the subject with family and friends and get the support they need. But for every person who takes the plunge, there is another who is suffering in silence.
Debt is an issue that thrives on neglect. The longer you leave it in the hope it sorts itself out, the more your debt grows, and the worse your situation will get.
As uncomfortable as it might be, debt is a problem you have to deal with head-on, and that starts with acknowledging the issue and talking about it with someone. That’s why events like Talk Money Week are so important – if it helps give a single person the confidence they need to start dealing with their debt, then it’s well worth it.
Telling people about your debt in 5 steps
1. Take stock of your situation first
Talking about your debt is hard, so don’t make it harder on yourself. Before you take that first, all important step, make sure you’re armed with all the information you need.
That means taking stock of your financial situation. If there are unpaid bills you haven’t had the heart to open, or emails from the loan company you just couldn’t click on, it’s time to get on top of them.
Whoever you decide to open up to about your money problems will have questions. You can’t answer them, or begin to deal with your money worries, until you know exactly where you stand.
2. Approach someone you trust
It makes a real difference who you first decide to share your money problems with. No matter who it is, it’s going to be a difficult conversation. That’s why it’s important you start with someone you trust.
That might be your partner, your best friend, or a parent. But whoever you choose, make sure it’s someone whose advice you value, and who isn’t likely to fly off the handle if your situation turns out to be worse than they had realised.
It’s also important they can be trusted to keep the information you share under wraps. While money problems are nothing to be ashamed of, many people feel more comfortable starting off small and letting more people in as and when it feels appropriate.
3. Reach out to anyone who will be affected
Unfortunately, your debt isn’t yours alone – it can have a massive impact on the people around you. It’s one of the reasons so many people feel too ashamed to bring it up with those closest to them. But those are the exact people who will be hurt the most the longer you wait.
If you’re struggling to pay the bills, for example, your kids are going to notice. If debt collectors come to your home, it will be hard to hide it from your family. Worse still, if you share a joint account with your significant other, they might be legally liable for your debt.
That’s why you need to reach out to anybody likely to be affected by your money worries as soon as possible. It’s not going to be easy – there’s no way around that – but as long as you’re open, honest, and demonstrate that you’re working towards a solution, you might be surprised how understanding they are.
4. Consider getting professional debt help
Opening up to your loved ones about your debt problems is a huge step, and can lift the weight of the world off your shoulders. But unfortunately, talking alone won’t make your debt go away. It’s just one part of a larger process.
If you’re consistently struggling with debt and failing to meet your repayments, you may be at risk of falling into a debt spiral – a vicious cycle where defaulted payments turn into late payment fees and charges, which then turn into further debt.
If you’re reaching that point, it’s time to talk to the professionals. Carrington Dean is Scotland’s debt specialist. Our team of specialist advisers have helped more than 35,000 deal with their debt, and will be happy to talk to you about budgeting, take you through your debt relief options, and give you all the support you need.
To get free initial advice today, just give us a call on 0800 043 1320.
5. Give yourself a break
When you’re trying to deal with your debt, it can feel like there are a million thoughts flying around your head, and a million things you need to do, so it’s easy to forget one important truth – having money problems is nothing to be ashamed of.
Because money tends to be a taboo subject, debt has a way of making people feel alone; like it’s a problem they have to deal with all by themselves. In actual fact, millions of people in the UK are facing problems very similar to yours.
You’d have to be very lucky (or very rich) not to face money issues at some point in your life. So give yourself a break. If you’ve reached out to the people you trust, sought the help you need, and are working towards a solution, then you’re doing everything right. You’ll get through this.
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Talk Money Week 2021: How to tell people about your debt
We’re in the middle of Talk Money Week, an annual event that seeks to raise awareness of money problems and give people the confidence they need to approach family, friends, and loved ones about the ...