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Consumers Reluctant to 'Discuss' Finances

Aug 18, 2007
Despite concerns about money management, Britons are generally unwilling to talk about their financial situation, a new study indicates.

In research carried out by Picture Financial, consumers are four times as likely to discuss 'the birds and the bees' with their family members than monetary matters. Overall, finances are ranked fourth on the list of "hot topics" talked about in the home coming behind sex, current affairs and religion. Meanwhile, just under two out of five (38 per cent) households argue more often about money than work relationships, television, family members or politics.

The news comes as more than three-quarters of Britons are concerned about their family's financial management, with half of the population believing that lending through credit cards and personal loans is a good thing. These respondents added that, when used sensibly, borrowing can be an "acceptable means" of maintaining a certain standard of living.

Commenting on the figures, Julia Dallimore, marketing director for Picture Financial, said: "There is a sharp contrast in our willingness to talk about sex and current affairs compared with credit and borrowing. This reluctance to discuss our money can lead to a 'head in the sand' approach to our finances. Being more open with our money management and taking regular time out to review and sort our finances can make all the difference to our financial health".

Behavioural psychologist Donna Dawson added: "Despite being a nation of regular credit users, we tend to shroud our family finances in mystery when we really don't need to and as a result this can lead to unnecessary tension. We shouldn't feel so restricted when it comes to discussing our finances with our family, as a lack of communication can impact not only on family life but also on our ability to take proper financial stock".

The Picture Financial study also showed that younger people tend to have the greatest concerns over credit. Some 19 per cent of respondents aged between 16 and 24 were reported to be constantly worried about their finances, with this proportion falling to six per cent among those over the age of 55. However, young Britons were said they were reluctant to discuss their monetary situation as only seven per cent regularly talk to their family members about this subject.

In addition, older consumers are indicated as having a "more realistic attitude" to money. Just under half (48 per cent) of the over-55s claim that credit can be a good thing if used wisely, in comparison to 34 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds. Britons in the upper age bracket were also reported to be honest about their finances, as 92 per cent have claimed to have never lied about money.

At the beginning of last month, Helen Saxon, a spokesperson for the Finance and Leasing Association, pointed out that credit uptake is decreasing due to the effect of recent base rate increases by the Bank of England over the last year. However, she claimed that borrowing can be "a good thing" if used well as it gives people the opportunity to make purchases they would be unable to do so otherwise and has in the past helped to support the British economy.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans where visitors can apply online for cheap loans. We also specialise in bad credit loans, and debt consolidation loans.
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