Personal finances not yet a popular dinner topic –

A new ANZ campaign is seeking to encourage the financial shrinking violets among us to open up a bit when it comes to talking about our personal finances.

More than half the people surveyed by ANZ said they would rather talk about politics or mental health than their finances, or said they had lied about money because it’s easier than talking about it.

“One in three say they rarely or never talk to other people, including friends or family, about their finances,” says ANZ.

The data was collected as part of the 2021 ANZ financial wellbeing survey, which was completed online by 1,505 randomly selected adults (over the age of 18), over two weeks in June last year. 

The resulting campaign, called ‘LET’S TALK ABOUT FINANCES,‘ [finances] offers tools for giving financial wellbeing a place in everyday conversations, particularly in casual settings where people are likely to feel relaxed and comfortable, like a family pizza night or coffee with a friend.

The slicing of the pizza itself could offer a segue into a conversation about proportionate spending, using the 50-30-20 budget rule: allocating 50% of your money to your needs, 30% to wants and 20% to savings.

The suggestions also include sharing a savings goal with a friend, talking through saving strategies together, and having them check in with you as a way of building accountability.

ANZ says the topic of finances can evoke boredom, guilt or even fear but; “the more we discuss finances in a relaxed environment – say savings goals at a mate’s BBQ – the more we normalise it.”

For some, avoiding these conversations may be particularly isolating at a time when financial struggles are more collective than ever and more open communication could hold valuable advice or reassurance.

In a climate of rising interest rates and inflation, most people have feelings about being squeezed at the petrol pump, the supermarket, and even when paying rent and keeping the lights on.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is also making people more aware of ethical investment, another conversation which would benefit from wider discussion in everyday conversations, says Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money, a KiwiSaver research charity promoting ethical investment.

Coates says people often hold back from financial topics through a sense of disempowerment, a feeling they “have to be an expert in order to understand what’s going on with their savings and investment.”

“Rather than [always relying on a] financial advisor there’s some …….


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