Talking about money is awkward, especially if you’re British. How much you have, what you spend it on, whether you have more than your friend or parent or partner. People don’t want to talk about it and so, for years, we just haven’t. We’ve changed the subject, become embarrassed, angry, or simply got up and left the conversation.
When talking about finances, the word anxiety springs up a lot. Recent YouGov research commissioned by Lloyds Bank revealed that money is an even more sensitive subject for families to talk about than sex, politics or religion. 1 in 3 people reported money-related stress or anxiety in the last month while 63% said they “felt better” after speaking to someone about their financial concerns.
Most families, couples and friends will talk about all manner of private and personal matters yet never embark on a financial discussion. For some, it’s the last taboo. But now, a few financial brands are encouraging people to open up about money, aiming to instil transparency and honesty in the conversation.
We have seen many a banking start-up appear over the last few years. They are helping the sector change its tone of voice by making the conversation friendlier and more open, suggesting that finance is a sector that can be understood by everyone. Gone are the days of lengthy jargon and murky concepts. In their place come clarity, humour and even a little bit of irreverence. For example, Monzo’s tone of voice guidelines officially endorse the use of emojis as part of their copy style.
Although this informal style mightn’t work for every brand, those like Monzo who operate with generally positive content, are having a productive impact on people’s willingness to talk openly about finance. They are bringing clarity to the market and demonstrating that your finances are something that should not cause anxiety but instead, should be something you have better control over.