Over 70% of people don’t talk about their finances at all or will only do so if they have to, according to research by Bank of Ireland.
The survey of 1,000 people asked people to rank their level of comfort or discomfort when discussing a series of issues.
It found that finance is on a par with sex and religion and topped only by death on the list of things we find it hard to talk about.
25% said they liked talking about death least of all, followed by religion (16%), personal finances and sex (both 15%).
The study was carried out to coincide with a new Bank of Ireland campaign – the ‘F-word’ – to encourage a more open discussion of personal finances among consumers.
When it comes to discussing finance, six in ten Irish consumers admitted borrowing was harder to talk about than saving, spending or planning.
Over four in ten of those polled singled out their bank balance as the least comfortable discussion point when it comes to their personal finances, with just over a quarter revealing that talking about their salaries makes them squirm.
Almost 39% said they fear judgement from friends and family when talking about their finances and over 29% think that not talking about them makes it easier to ignore their financial problems.
Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Bank’s Retail Ireland division, said that financial wellbeing is fundamental to our overall wellbeing, just like our mental and physical health.
“By not talking about finance we could risk accumulating debt, missing out on opportunities to save money, or just being unaware of small things that could make a big difference to our overall financial wellbeing.
“The more we talk about money, the more we’ll learn, and the more we learn the more confident and in control of our finances we’ll be,” he said.