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Tips on having conversations about money

Talking about cash can be tricky. Vicky Shaw finds out how to crack it

Helping out: many of us borrow money from our parents
Helping out: many of us borrow money from our parents

Many of us find talking about money to family and friends difficult. But given that many of us end up lending to - or borrowing from - loved ones at some point or other means it makes sense that we're able to have conversations about cash, so that everyone knows where they stand.

Informal borrowing like this is pretty common. A third (31%) of us have had to borrow money from family and friends at some part in our lives, a survey from Lloyds Bank suggests. Many of those giving informal cash loans may never see their money again - as more than half (53%) of the borrowers surveyed said they don't expect to pay it back.

The 'Bank of Mum and Dad' is the most likely source of informal financial support, lending an average of £4,008, Lloyds found. While some borrowers may be saving up for a specific goal, such as a deposit on a house, university costs or a car, others have been using the extra help just to get by.

More than a fifth (22%) were borrowing money from friends and family to cover day-to-day living costs.

Here are Lloyds Bank's tips to help make money conversations easier...

1. Be prepared

Ahead of any conversation about money, it can help to gather all the information you need to allow you understand exactly what you need support with, such as bills and bank statements.

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2. Listen as well as talk

A calm exchange of views is a lot better than one person giving their point of view and not giving the other a chance to be heard.

3. Make a plan together

Two people can perceive information differently, so it is a good idea to note everything down to ensure you are on the same page.

4. Keep the conversation going

Sometimes the relief of having talked about money is so overwhelming that people don't mention it again, and forget to put words into action. Having regular conversations about money is really helpful, both for your finances and your relationships.

Further help and support on opening up about money is available online as part of the Lloyds Bank M-word campaign. Visit lloydsbank.com/help-guidance/mword.asp.

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