Expert tips for talking about money confidently – even when it’s awkward

Talking about money doesn’t come naturally to most of us.

In our defense, it’s a topic we’re rarely encouraged to discuss.

We’re currently in Talk Money Week, which encourages us all to be more open about our finances.

Emma Gannon, a money expert and author of Multi-Hyphen Method, says that money is an emotional topic, and research shows that women in particular are guilty of leaving money woes unsaid.

New research between Emma and GoCardless revealed that 44% of women heading up small businesses find it too awkward to chase customers for late payments, compared to only 35% of men.

When it comes to why, 54% said they don’t want to be seen as rude, compared to only 40% of men.

Emma tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s unfortunate but very likely that women are losing out financially compared to their male counterparts.

‘Women in particular have decades of preconditioning to overcome.

‘We’re excluded from conversations about money from a young age, then conditioned by gendered financial advice. We’re often told to “save” or “splurge” in magazines and it paints a picture of us as not being good with money, which carries on into the world of work.’

To overcome money muteness in awkward situations, Emma shares her top tips…

Practice asking for what you want

‘Our relationship with money can often mirror how we are with other relationships in our life, as it’s an emotional personal topic and often tied up in self worth,’ Emma says.

‘Practice saying no, asking for more and setting boundaries in other areas of your life and you’ll be surprised at how much it will transfer into your relationship with your finances.’

Be kind to yourself

You don’t need to keep fearing the worst.

Emma says: ‘You have the right to ask and nothing bad will happen if you’re more honest and have open communication.

‘Often we are afraid of being seen as “rude” but remind yourself that you are not doing anything wrong by chasing to be paid.’

Also take this attitude when asking for better pay or a salary increase.

Prep as much as you can

Being prepared pays.

‘Prepare everything you can at your end so that nothing can hold it up from your side,’ Emma suggests.

Looking to earn more? Get prepared in explaining why you are deserving of this.

Take this approach to freelance work, too.

‘State your payment terms really clearly. 30 days, less? Set payment terms that suit you as it’s your business, and make it really clear; on an invoice, but also in your email correspondence.

‘Ask for extra documentation and supplier forms in advance, and also ask for the contact details of the person who you will need to inevitably chase.’

Invest in third party technology

According to research, 73% of businesses are willing to forgo up to 10% of their annual revenue to avoid a conversation about money,.

‘So, why not invest that back into your business instead to solve the issue?’ asks Emma.

‘Find an app or tech platform that works for you so that you can put in your bank details and request automatic payment from the client, and also request a portion of the payment up front.’

Ask for help

‘If you can, you could also invest in a person to help you. There are so many brilliant freelance virtual assistants who can help you if (like me) your admin isn’t your strongest skill,’ Emma says.

It might also mean approaching people more knowledgeable than you in order to learn.

Build closer relationships

On that note, connect with more people in the areas in which you want to progress.

‘Be human and connect with the people you are working for and with,’ Emma notes. ‘Don’t be afraid to ask the questions, and be honest and ask them to be honest in return.

‘Then, if the payment is going to be late, you have all the real information and can make a decision as to whether you’ll work with them next time.’

Apply late payment fees

For times you’ve been overdue money and are feeling uncomfortable about asking for it again, feel confident in charging more.

‘You are well within your rights to add on late payment fees – don’t be afraid of adding it and re-invoicing, stating that by law, you can add interest. 

‘The interest you can charge if another business is late paying for goods or a service is statutory interest – this is 8% plus the Bank of England base rate for business to business transactions.’

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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