Why women don’t talk about money

Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner

What are the topics you avoid discussing with your significant other?

Sexual dissatisfaction? Your dating history? What about religion or politics?

New research has identified money as one of the most prominent taboo subjects for women.

The research, from Fidelity International, found that over a quarter of women would prefer to discuss sexual dissatisfaction with their partner ahead of a conversation about finances.

Why do women not talk about money

No-Go Topic

16% of women said that money was their top ‘no go’ topic.

Overall, conversations about money ranked fourth in a list of taboo subjects for women. This placed it ahead of politics in fifth place, but just behind sex, dating history and religion.

Why do couples find it so difficult to talk candidly to each other about money?

Money topics which appear to be off-limits for couples include day-to-day financial management, debts, or savings and investment plans.

Life Goals

One in ten women find it hard to talk about household spending with their partner, and 15% find it hard to discuss debt.

The research also found that 12% of women found it hard to open up about long-term savings or investments.

This reluctance to talk about money matters comes despite the importance of sharing life goals. Couples need to work together as one to get on the housing ladder, start a family or retire with a desired lifestyle.

All of these aspects of a relationship are money-related, which makes talking and planning together so valuable.

Lack of Time and Confidence

Fidelity International’s state of the nation report, ‘The Financial Power of Women’, found a lack of time and confidence as some of the most significant barriers putting many women off the subject of investing altogether.

They found that many women will defer discussions about investing with their partners, with nearly a third preferring to disclose their full dating history than talking about their financial background.

Emma-Lou Montgomery, Associate Director at Fidelity International, said:

“Money impacts every area of our lives. While everyday money concerns can be tough or uncomfortable to discuss as a couple, it’s important these are faced head on for the future benefit of both partners.

“Whether you want to buy a property one day, have a family or travel the world in retirement, these are all life goals that need to be planned for and ultimately saved for in advance.

“Discussing what you want from life early on in a relationship and then planning together how you will get there is a good start to approaching the topic of money.”


Longhurst Thoughts

From our experience, serving the household’s we’re employed by, we’ve found a high engagement level from all females when it comes to money conversations. This includes those that are going at it alone, as well as those that are married where the husband has typically taken the lead on financial matters.

Having asked our wonderful female clients why it is that they’re happy to engage in money conversations with us, the general feedback is that we approach those conversations with an open and relaxed demeanour, asking open questions, and not passing any form of judgement on the answers.

We appreciate however that this is not always the case, and so we will always look to seek permission, and then encourage positive and pragmatic conversations around all things money, happiness, fears, and the life outcomes you seek to have.