In recent decades, the British have finally learned to open up. Now we are happy to talk about parenthood, sex, mental health, our worries at work and our relationship issues.
There is only one subject that still makes us talk faster than we can say “share with the group”: money.
Even though we all need it, use it, and most of the time don’t have as much as we would like, when it comes to cash we keep a low profile, fearing that we will be judged on. our income or our debts, and rather jump off a fully clothed diving board than ask a friend to pay off a loan.
Three-quarters of Britons find it difficult to talk about money in conversations with friends and family, according to a new survey conducted by alternative banking solution Suits Me.
The company surveyed 2,000 UK adults about the money issues they find most bothersome and looked at what people thought about asking for reimbursement, splitting a bill and calling those who don’t pay their money. path.
Alarmingly, a horrified 16% would never ask to be paid back from a friend, no matter how much money had been loaned. Whether it’s the fear of confrontation and loss of friendship, or the fear of appearing â€œmean,â€ it seems there is a whole secret economy based entirely on unpaid loans from friends.
Read more: How to lend money to family and friends
Even those who ask for it in return say it’s the most delicate money conversation they can imagine having, according to 45%, as the average Briton is willing to write off a Â£ 65 debt rather than never ask for it in return.
Men are slightly more willing to lend a larger amount of money before expecting repayment (Â£ 69) compared to women (Â£ 61).
All of those unpaid loans would be more than enough to hire sky-writing planes to circle Britain, dragging ‘pay me back, you hold tight banners’.
Clumsiness around money is rampant in the UK, with millions without a pay rise due to fear of humiliation and rejection, while the horror of sharing bills in a restaurant means that cheeky people “I only had a salad and a drink” far from it as a quarter of Brits feel uncomfortable calling family or friends who don’t pay their fair share on outings nocturnal.
Meanwhile, only 13% of 18-34 year olds feel comfortable talking about their finances, as do 25% of those 35 and over and 43% of those over 65.
It seems the older you get, the less you worry about discussing what you have – maybe because at some point you’ll have to decide who gets named in the will.
Those who earn the most, however, find it the most difficult to discuss money with family and friends, as only 1 in 10 (11%) of those who earn more than Â£ 60,000 a year will readily mention conversations about money with friends and family.
Watch: More than half of Americans agree you should always split the bill on a first date
In contrast, nearly a third of those earning less than Â£ 30,000 will be happy to discuss difficult money matters with their families.
On the bright side, when it comes to that national pastime, the pub, most Brits are happy to share the cost of a drink with friends and family.
However, some cities are less likely to pay their full share: Edinburgh (95%), Sheffield (93%) and Newcastle (93%) are the most likely to join a drink tour, while Belfast (59%) , Birmingham (85%) and Bristol (85%) are the stingiest when it comes to getting involved.
Read more: No more drama – how to talk to your family about money
Still, Bristol residents are the most embarrassed to tell people to cough, while Southampton residents are happy to give borrowers a helping hand.
Richard Lynch, Managing Director of Suits Me, said:
â€œBritons are often faced with the stereotype of being polite to the point of embarrassment and our research has shown that it is no different when it comes to financial matters, with most countries finding money an uncomfortable subject to discuss. .
“What is of particular concern is our uneasiness in approaching friends and family for the money we are owed – something that could leave us in great difficulty.”
Fortunately though, whatever our division on how best to split a bill in a restaurant, we’re pretty united when it comes to going on a drink tour, which shows that while we can be awkward when it comes to food. ‘it’s about talking about finances, we are a generous nation at heart.
Even though we would rather lose the house and the business than ask a friend to pay us off this temporary loan.
Watch: What to do if your loved one just made a huge money mistake