A free debt counselling service is encouraging Erewashfamilies to have an honest conversation about their household finances in 2018.
Ian Robertson, the manager of the Ilkeston CAP Debt Centre, reports that eight in ten clients in a relationship said debt had caused arguments, with almost a third saying money problems caused a complete relationship break down.
Ian said: “Money is still the taboo subject. We talk about everything else, but nothing, like nothing, causes friction in relationships like money, or the lack of it.
“With the squeeze on family finances getting ever tighter, it’s vital for the sake of your health, happiness and family life to talk about money.”
Run by the West Hallam Methodist and Elim Christian Centre of Ilkeston and charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), the centre offers a range of services to help households.
The team provide home visits for people affected by debt, and ongoing support.
CAP’s head office can also handle negotiations with creditors and create a workable budget for each client.
To help people start difficult conversations and avoid financial heartache, the service offers its top ten tips.
First, pick a time when things are quiet at home and no one is dealing with any immediate stresses.
Second, avoid the conversation when children are around, relatives are visiting or a big bill has just landed.
Third, agree that you want to make it a year when you get on top of the finances together and that the conversation is not about blaming anyone.
Fourth, acknowledge that managing money can be hard, especially when stressed, or if you are on a low income. This is about looking forward.
Fifth, remember your attitudes to money might be very different. Past experiences can shape these but you can play to each other’s strengths.
Sixth, decide on a shared goal, like a day out, a holiday or a new car or just a “getting back in the black” celebration.
Seventh, use one of the many online tools or take a free CAP money course.
Eighth, if you have debts, do not delay in contacting free support from agencies like CAP, Stepchange, National Debtline, Citizens Advice, Payplan, the Money Advice Service or Business Debtline.
Ninth, make payday the day you review progress and make adjustments to your budget.
Tenth, avoid credit wherever possible and begin to save as soon as you can, even if it is a small regular amount.
For more help, visit capuk.org or call 0800 3280006.