Do you keep money secrets?

02 December 2020

New research published by the government-backed Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) has revealed that almost four in 10 people are keeping "money secrets" from their loved ones, including hidden debt problems.

The most common secrets are hidden credit cards (37%), undisclosed loans (23%) and secret savings accounts (21%).Millennials (aged 25-34) were the most cagey, with three in five hiding details of their finances.

The MaPS survey here: https://maps.org.uk/2020/11/09/21-million-money-scrts-kept-from-loved-ones-across-the-uk/ , which polled 5,200 people nationwide, suggests that many Britons still fear stigma when talking about money worries.Almost 40% of respondents said they stayed silent about concerns, often due to feeling embarrassed, a fear of being judged or of making family members anxious.

The survey also found people in relationships tended to underestimate the extent of money secrets their partner kept from them - while 23% of people in relationships suspected their spouse hid things, nearly half admitted to having hidden things themselves.

The MaPS survey marks its Talk Money Week, which is encouraging people who are struggling financially during the pandemic to talk it over with a friend, family member or expert as it could help make money problems more manageable, benefiting people's health, relationships and overall wellbeing.MaPS has set out a simple five step plan to help people struggling with money worries here: https://maps.org.uk/2020/11/11/shame-upbringing-and-burdening-others-why-29-million-uk-adults-dont-feel-comfortable-talking-about-money-despite-feeling-worried-about-it/

The survey comes at a time when, alongside the publication of the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) employment and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data, the charity Citizens Advice released new figures showing it has supported nearly 280,000 people with advice on Universal Credit since March. Seven in 10 of those seeking advice on benefits have never come to Citizens Advice before.During October, "redundancy" was the most-searched term on the Citizens Advice website. More details here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/citizens-advice-has-helped-more-than-a-quarter-of-a-million-people-with-universal-credit-since-march/

Millennials are among those hardest hit financially by the effects of the pandemic with MaPS's research suggesting that around 71% of those aged 18 to 24 worried about money once a week.Yet, with help, some of them are being encouraged to talk about their money worries in workshops run by the MyBnk social enterprise and charity.MyBnk workshop facilitator Tekisha Henry advises young people to be more open about money and keep a positive mindset."Don't just work for money, make it work for you," she said.More details here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54893548

In the current unprecedented financial landscape, there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you may need support and practical advice like never before.The good news is that there is help available out there – you just need to know where to go.Citizens Advice, the MaPS and MyBnk are all very good places to start, as follows:

  • Citizens Advice's services are free, independent, confidential and impartial. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
  • The Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) brings together three financial guidance bodies – the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. It's sponsored by the DWP and aims to help people make the most of their money and pensions. Visit https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/ for more details
  • MyBnk is a UK charity that delivers expert-led financial education programmes for 5 to 25 year olds with schools and youth organisations. Available directly, virtually or online, visit https://www.mybnk.org/our-work/financial-education/

Whatever you do, don't hide from money worries – seeking help as early as possible is the best course of action.

  • No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited