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How to talk to friends and family about money

13 May 2020

Everyone knows that moment at the end of a dinner with friends, when the bill comes out and all conversation goes quiet. When the reality that a conversation about money is about to occur. Cash is passed around and apologies are made in an effort to end the interaction as soon as it begun.

It's been proven that money is one of our biggest conversational taboos. Which is strange right? Considering it's one of the biggest things we all have in common.

Research in recent years has shown that money is the #1 cause of anxiety among Australians. Anxiety over our financial security ranks higher than any worries we have about our safety. Let that sink in. We're less scared of being hurt than financially struggling. It's no surprise that Australians don't want to talk about their money.

Considering money anxiety is so widespread, you can seek solace in the fact that others will have stories of their own financial hardship. Often opening up and speaking to others can cause us to realise a solution is at hand.

Tips on how to talk to three separate groups of people about money


It's likely that your parents have been through everything money related. They've navigated the cost of getting married, buying a house and having children – some of the biggest financial events that can occur in a person's lifetime.

Nobody wants to admit their financial struggles, it carries an air of defeat and shame. Yet experience is best shared and it's very likely that others have been in the same situation.

Significant other

Honesty will go a long way in a relationship. It may break down barriers to other topics you have previously found uncomfortable.

Joint bank accounts are common among couples. It displays an acceptance of your shared financial position and hardships that may bring. It also helps work towards the goals you have set together, whether it's to get married, start a family or buy a house.

To avoid feeling like you've lost control over your money, determine a certain amount of spending money for each person. You can spend it on whatever you want, as long as the established saving amount is deposited.

As mentioned, your parents have been through every financial test. They did so as a couple, enduring every hard question that has come to them.


Expressing your financial woes to a trusted friend is a significant display of trust. If the conversation can be had with support, empathy and understanding, it will likely strengthen the bond.

Having this conversation sends a message to your friend that you respect them enough to open yourself up and ask difficult questions. This sets a precedent for conversation topics that you will be able to talk about in the future.

Further, everyone has experience they can share. Some of our troubles may feel like they have no possible solution – but it would be very rare if no one had ever been in that position before.

It's been proven that displays of honesty improve relationships between two people. Opening up completely and expressing our concerns may result in shared experience. By entrusting others with your personal problems, you've created a safe space for them to share any future stresses with you.  

Here's a helpful savings tip

Thinking about how to improve your own budgeting and saving? With Suncorp Bank's Everyday Options Account, you can open up to 9 sub-accounts to help you plan and save. Plus, there are no monthly account keeping fees and no minimum deposit, so it's easy to get started. You can open an account online in minutes.

Discover our Everyday Accounts 

Any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document & Terms and Conditions before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.

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