Have ‘the money conversation’ urges CAP Ballymena!
The Manager of the free debt counselling service is encouraging local families to have an honest conversation about their household finances in the first few months of 2018.
The advice comes from Valerie Roebuck, manager of Ballymena CAP Debt Centre. It is based in Ballymena Baptist Church in partnership with award-winning UK charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
Valerie Roebuck said:
“Money is still a taboo subject. We talk about everything else, but nothing, like nothing, causes friction in relationships like money, or the lack of it. With the squeeze on family finances getting ever tighter, it’s important for the sake of your health, happiness and your family life to talk about money.”
She added that she and the team provide home visits for local people affected by debt, along with ongoing support until each person is debt free. CAP’s head office negotiates with creditors and creates a workable budget for each client.
Eight out of ten CAP clients in a relationship said debt had caused arguments. Almost a third said that money problems caused a complete relationship break down.
“That is why CAP has produced these tips to help people talk about money, and hopefully help people avoid financial heartache. If you’re still struggling, we’d love to help. Just give us a call.”
Here are CAP’s top tips for having ‘the money conversation’.
1. Pick a time when things are quiet at home and no one is dealing with any immediate stresses.
2. Avoid the conversation when the children are around, your mum-in-law is visiting or a big bill has just landed.
3. Agree that you want to make it a year when you get on top of the finances together. The money conversation isn’t about blaming anyone!
4. Acknowledge that money management can be hard, especially when stressed, or if you’re on a low income. Mistakes may have been made but this is about looking forward.
5. Remember your attitudes to money might be very different. Past experiences can shape these but you can play to each other’s strengths.
6. Decide on a shared goal you want to aim for, like a day out, a holiday or a new car or just a “getting back in the black” celebration. This will happen twice as fast if you’re in it together.
7. Use one of the many online tools – or book into one of the hundreds of free CAP Money Courses – to begin to build your budget.
8. If you have debts, don’t delay in getting help from a free debt counselling agency like Christians Against Poverty, Stepchange, National Debtline, Citizens Advice, Payplan, the Money Advice Service or, if you’re self employed, Business Debtline.
9. Make payday the day you review how it’s all going and make adjustments to the budget where necessary.
10. Avoid credit wherever possible and begin to save as soon as you can, even if it is a small regular amount.
• To request help, visit the CAP website here or call 0800 328 0006.