Talking to your family about money

Moira O'Neill's picture

Like many people up and down the country, I’ve just spent time with my extended family over the bank holiday weekend.  And like many families, we did end up talking about money.

My uncle has to be one of the UK’s most obsessive bargain hunters and he proudly regaled us with stories from his life of sales shopping, while showing us his wallet stuffed full of vouchers.

However, many families with adult children in their 20s and 30s may have had more difficult discussions about how they can help get a foothold on the property ladder. New research shows the Bank of Mum and Dad is now a £5bn mortgage lender. Parents pay on average £17,500 of the purchase price of their offspring’s property, with more than half of parents offering it to their children as a gift.

If you’re a first-time buyer or a parent of one, read our handy guide showing how to make the most of government initiatives and family support.

In last week’s poll we asked “Have you ever felt pressured to give your children money?” The results of the poll, based on 784 people voting between 25 April and 3 May, were as follows:

·      18% Yes, they think my money is theirs

·      23% Yes, but only when they are broke

·      49% No, but they know I am happy to discuss help when they need it

·      10% No, they know I want them to be financially independent.

So more than two in five parents have had requests from children for money. I’d be interested to find out how you dealt with this. It’s an emotive issue and may of you may have had to navigate some difficult conversations. Please get in touch at

The average couple has 40 arguments about money a year so I hope that the bank holiday wasn’t one of those occasions. Even so, it’s definitely a mistake to make money a taboo subject.

Moneywise asked seven couples to reveal how they maintain financial harmony and they all agreed that honesty and communication is key. You can also read about how Moneywise team members arrange their household finances.