Charity urges people to talk about money

A north Northumberland debt-counselling agency is urging residents to start talking about their finances early in 2016.

Sunday, 17th January 2016, 10:30 am
Chris Friend

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) says having ‘the money conversation’ with a partner can be one of the hardest things to do, but it is a move that can really change your year ahead.

Chris Friend, centre manager of the Alnwick CAP branch, said: “I see people who have fallen into crisis debt every week and I can tell you it is crucial for your health and happiness in 2016 that you have a reality check of your finances as soon as you can in this new year.

“It might be nerve-wracking to bring those bank statements out into the open, but until you both know what’s happening, you can’t start to tackle it.

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“Working at your finances together, setting goals together and resolving to sort things can be an amazing step forward for the whole family.”

The Money Advice Service found in a poll of more than 2,000 UK adults that nearly half weren’t always honest with their partner about finances, while a quarter were lying about spending.

CAP’s latest research shows three in four debt clients said their situation had caused arguments, while nearly a quarter said debt directly led to their relationship breaking down.

CAP’s top tips include: Pick your time to have the money conversation when things are quiet at home and no one is dealing with any immediate stresses;

○ Agree that you want to make it a year when you get on top of finances together;

○ Acknowledge that money management can be hard and remember your attitudes to money might be different;

○ Decide on a shared goal you want to aim for;

○ Use one of the many online tools, or book into one of the free CAP Money Courses, to begin to build your budget;

○ Don’t delay in getting help from a free debt-counselling agency like CAP, Stepchange, National Debtline, Citizens Advice, Payplan, the Money Advice Service or, if self-employed, Business Debtline;

○ Review how it’s going on pay day and make budget adjustments where necessary;

○ Avoid credit wherever possible and begin to save as soon as you can.

For details, visit or call 0800 328 0006.