Top 3 money talks I wish I’d had

Speak no evil emoji

1. In my first ‘proper’ job

I often remind myself, “You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time”. While in most situations this is a good philosophy, in the case of pensions, it isn’t strictly true.

Who I talk to now

I love the clean, simple presentation of brands like PensionBee, Hargreaves Lansdowne and Vanguard. It makes it simple (and dare I say enjoyable?!) to check in on my pension alongside the rest of my budget each month. With time, I’ve become confident enough to ask questions about my pension to ensure I’m making the most of it. Three of my four grandparents totted up 90+ years, so Future Me is going to be very thankful for this. While I do my budget, I envisage a kick-ass old lady, which makes me chuckle.

2. With my parents

I come from quite a practical family, but when my mum died suddenly, it became clear how little I knew about this side of money. While the loss of a loved one in itself is devastating, there is also a practical element that is rarely talked about — financially, what happens when they die? What about their bills, debts, savings, insurance and pensions? And how much is a funeral?

Who I talk to now

While I haven’t fully figured this one out, the experience has definitely made me approach money differently. Now, I read job contracts with an eye to things like life assurance and death in service benefits. I’ve set up a beneficiary for my pension (now that I have one), so that I know who will get it when I die, and I’ve worked to clear down debts so that those close to me won’t have to worry about it.

3. With mental health professionals

More and more we’re learning the words to wrap around our everyday experiences of mental health, whether good or bad. But I don’t ever remember talking about money and mental health together. No-one told me how my health and mood might affect my spending or income, and vice versa.

Who I talk to now

It’s great to see the two strands of money and mental health becoming more entwined. The NHS has social prescribing to help with the root problems that impact your health, like the stress symptoms caused by money worries. So your GP might signpost you to free money guidance.

Honourable mention: With lovers

The saying goes that opposites attract and, unsurprisingly, money opposites are no different. Spenders may look generous, glamorous and free-spirited to savers. And savers look, well, I don’t know how we look. I like to think secure and sensible, a safe pair of hands… although I suspect that in some circles we may be considered ‘boring’.

Talk Money Week logo, wiht the dates 9–13 November 2020 and the hashtag # Talk Money

Have the talk

Talk Money Week is an awareness week run each November to help people build financial wellbeing by opening up about money. It’s co-ordinated by the Money and Pensions Service, a provider of free, impartial money guidance. Get your organisation involved or get support to start a conversation.

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