Are we a nation of money introverts?

What are you earning at the moment?

Could I have that tenner back I lent you?

Show balance on screen?

If you’re cringing at the thought of the above, you’re not alone. But in a world of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’, that’s something we should all want to change – a frank discussion with colleagues could help you argue for a pay rise, for example.

At HyperJar, we’re dedicated to building better relationships between Brits and their money. To understand our financial introversion better, we conducted some research into our attitudes toward money. The headline? As a nation, we’re never more uncomfortable than when discussing money – literally…

Touchy subject

Our survey found that of people who’d be comfortable talking about a range of typically taboo topics: money features in three of the four most unpleasant topics to broach. It’s for this reason that we’ve named ‘Squirm, the awkward monster’ as one of our four Money Monsters.

For most of us, this data won’t be surprising: it’s obvious to anyone who’s ever agreed to split a bill even though they only had a salad.

But this financial squeamishness can cause problems. 54% of people we surveyed said they’d be either uncomfortable or very uncomfortable asking to be repaid money owed by friends and family. 48% said they were owed money by friends or family, with the average amount they were owed being £607 – a significant sum to forgo out of merely feeling awkward.

Conversation starter

“Our financial lives are often intertwined, but it’s remarkable how few good tools there are for easy, transparent planning and spending between friends. Joint accounts feel too clunky for many of our shared financial relationships. We need more fluid ways of managing our informal financial interactions.” – Chris Francis, Chief Strategy Officer, HyperJar

Ultimately, as painful as it can be, transparency with regards to money is always going to help us. The good news is that technology means it’s only going to get easier from here. With the advent of open banking, fintechs like us at HyperJar are now able to build features like our Shared Jars that eliminate the friction of sending over account numbers and sort codes to friends. We can’t have the awkward conversation for you, but we can make it as quick and easy as possible.

And by encouraging careful financial planning, introducing a new way of saving, and facilitating smarter spending, we’re hoping to repair the unhappy relationship we Brits have with our money.

To read the full report, Britcoin – Our National Money Habits, click here.