Money’s too tight to mention: cash is a conversational no-go for Britons

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  • | by Kristian Dando

What’s the most difficult thing to talk about? Unexplained feelings of overwhelming and insatiable carnal lust? Violent impulses towards the heavy-breathing bloke with the smelly lunches who sits next to you in work?

That embarrassing rash that won’t go away, however much ointment that the doctor prescribed you apply? Maybe those nights you wake up screaming, in cold, clammy sweats wondering where it all went wrong? No? Well, maybe that’s just us, then.

In fact, research pensions and investment company Scottish Widows has found that money is the biggest taboo subject for people in Britain. It found that 43 per cent of people would not be prepared to discuss their finances with friends, while nearly a quarter of people would even be unprepared to talk about their money situation with their family.

When asked why finances are such a secretive subject three quarters of people said it's simply a topic that shouldn't be discussed with their friends and work colleagues. Just over one in 10 said their other half wouldn't like them to communicate their financial situation to their friends.

Catherine Stewart, savings expert at Scottish Widows is of the opinion that not wanting to discuss money comes down to good old British reserve. "We are a nation who simply do not want to discuss our money worries, and much of our personal lives are off limit even to our nearest and dearest,” she pondered. “It is a very British trait to avoid discussing personal and taboo subjects such as money, particularly for older generations that have been brought up in this way," she continued.

The research also showed that people are most willing to ask for help on their relationship, but even then only a small percentage (28 per cent) of people would ask their friends for advice. Stewart continued: "When it comes to asking for advice, friends and family are often the go-to sounding boards, but while they might say what you want to hear, it's important that when it comes to your health, wealth and happiness you always seek advice from the right source."