Five ways to make talking about money easier
Chances are, you know someone right now who is really struggling due to the cost of living crisis. But would you know what to say or do if they opened up to you about their worries?
At Christians Against Poverty, we’ve got 27 years’ experience having these kinds of conversations and helping people find hope in any situation. So here are five ways to make talking about money that bit easier.
1.Understand it’s not an easy topic
In the UK, we don’t always like talking about money. It’s important to remember that whatever someone’s background, they may feel really uncomfortable even bringing up the topic, let alone admitting that they are struggling. The best thing you can do is set aside any awkwardness you may feel about discussing money to put them at ease. Allow the person plenty of time to open up and be mindful that this could have been a huge step, so they need your undivided attention and compassion for this conversation.
2. Be open about your own experience.
Debt and poverty can be isolating. We often think we’re the only ones struggling, and that everyone else is doing fine. A little bit of honesty goes a long way here. By sharing that you also have worries, or want to get better at budgeting, or have been made redundant in the past, you make it easier for someone to open up with vulnerability.
3.Don’t point fingers
There are many reasons people get into debt. One of the comments we regularly hear at CAP is the sheer surprise callers feel when they phone our head office and find out our team aren’t judgemental and just want to help. We’ve seen the huge impact that a compassionate, accepting attitude can have on someone. The same can be true for you when you listen to a friend without assuming their money troubles come from overspending or irresponsible behaviour.
4.Point them towards support
Once someone has opened up about financial struggles or worries, it’s important that they find the support that will help turn the situation around. After all, listening may go a long way to help them feel less isolated or overwhelmed, but we also want to fix the underlying problems so they don’t have to deal with that stress anymore. At CAP we can offer help getting out of debt, finding employment, budgeting and managing on a low income. We have trained experts who can look at all the options available and take the pressure off someone who’s struggling. Find out what free services are available near you.
5. Offer to pray
If they’re a Christian, or comfortable being prayed for, this is a great way to bring a hopeful perspective into the mix. You can pray for God’s provision and peace to break through and transform the situation. CAP’s Debt Coaches often offer to pray with people and find that it gets a warm and positive response.
So when you find yourself talking about money worries, don’t panic and think that you need all the answers. Instead, remember that kindness and sensitivity go a long way in making these conversations easier.
If you’d like to support someone financially to get free from debt in this cost of living crisis, £12 a month could help us to continue supporting people struggling to cope with debt.
Every person’s route out of debt looks different. CAP takes into account each person’s situation, and our professional Debt Advisors establish a bespoke, structured route out of debt that’s suitable for each and every person’s individual circumstances.