Talk Money Week (November 7-11) is an industry-wide campaign, led by the Money and Pension Services (MaPS), to get the nation talking about money. Data suggests that nearly one in two adults don’t feel confident when talking about money.
But why is this? And how can we overcome this to have more open, honest conversations about our finances?
Worryingly, 47% of the UK won’t talk about debt with their friends or family, with 41% claiming they worry if they’ll be able to pay their bills on time.
More than half (52%) of those aged 55 and over – the highest response – remained silent but the figure fell to just 43% and 41% of 18-34 and 35-54-year-olds respectively.
The data also shows that more than a third of adults are thinking about consolidating their debts – 17% of respondents had used debt consolidation loans in the past. A similar figure (16%) said that their views of debt consolidation had changed because of the cost-of-living crisis.
It’s important you don’t suffer alone
Julia has worked for PayPlan for ten years as a debt adviser. She uses her own experience of being in debt to help and support others who want to take back financial control.
How did you find yourself in debt?
My marriage had broken down, leaving me with a bulk of debt in my name.
Over the years, I’d been so impatient wanting to get everything done – things like doing up our marital home – and spoiling my young daughters.
I took out loans and found it easy to pop things on a credit card or add to a loan.
If I wanted something, I wanted it now. But I’ve since learnt this isn’t the way to be.
When did it become a problem for you?
My debt became a problem when my husband left and my Mum died. Mum used to support me financially too, so I’d effectively lost two incomes. I was drowning in about £26,000 worth of debt.
What would you say to other people in the same situation?
I tell clients I know what it’s like to be in debt and there is a way out. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning with the hourly phone calls and letters landing every day. I also know what it’s like to have young children, lose a parent and go through a marriage breakdown – all at the same time.
I let clients know that I’ll help them to sort out their financial situation, just like my advisers did when I contacted PayPlan.
Jane, who has worked for PayPlan for over 20 years as a debt adviser, has also shared her own experience of being in debt to help and support others who want to take back financial control.
How did you find yourself in debt?
I had been self-employed for many years, successfully running courses for children who wanted to study English as a second language. But in 2001, my business failed due to circumstances beyond my control.
I was soon back in employment, working for a language school that was running courses over a 12-week period for students coming from as close as France to as far away as Japan. However, as I was self-employed and the only income into the household, I’d been finding it hard to make ends meet for some time.
One day, I tried to make my mortgage payment, but the payment didn’t go through. I had loans outstanding to the bank which they’d taken the money for first, so there was nothing left to pay my mortgage. I realised I’d been running at a deficit of £500 for some time and I didn’t know what to do. On top of that, I had other debts that had got out of control, which ended up with me having a CCJ and bailiffs knocking on my door. My husband was a stay-at-home househusband, and he was in a terrible state. I knew I had to do something.
Help if you’re struggling to keep up with debt repayments
If you’re struggling with debt repayments and want to get on top of them, PayPlan can help.