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Awkward Money Moments

Suits Me investigates what Brits find the most awkward money moments to be.

Close Up of a Man Holding British Coins in His Hand

At some point in our lives, we all find ourselves in a money-related quandary. It may be that someone hasn’t paid us back and we feel uncomfortable asking for the money we’re owed, or perhaps we just feel the need to call out someone who isn’t paying their way. Money, in general, is an uncomfortable topic, with three-quarters of Brits (75%) admitting that they find it difficult to discuss money issues with their friends and family. But what are the most awkward money situations?

To find out just how uncomfortable the nation is when discussing money, we surveyed 1,000 UK adults on what they find the most awkward money issues to be, and we also asked them about their financial boundaries when it comes to asking for money back or splitting the bill.

Details such as their age, earnings, location and gender were also collated.

Data from our research reveals that the most common awkward money conversation that Brits have is asking to be paid back after lending money (45%). This is something that the younger generations find a lot harder, with 18-24 years old unable to pluck up the courage to ask to be paid back for any sum under £73, leaving them hugely out of pocket.

Even when it comes to someone not paying their way, despite how annoying it may be, only 25% of Brits will call that person out in a bid to stop this behaviour.

In fact, asking to be paid back is such an uncomfortable subject for Brits that many don’t expect to be paid back at all if they lend a friend or family member anything under £65 and shockingly, 16% of our respondents claimed that they would never ask to be paid back, no matter how much money they leant! Looking at the gender split for lending out money, men are prepared to lend out a slightly larger amount of cash before expecting to be paid back (£69) compared to women (61).

Man handing a Woman Money From His Wallet

All this stems from a lack of comfort in discussing money issues with friends and family, which only 1 in 4 Brits (25.5%) are happy to do. Again, the younger generations find it the most uncomfortable, with only 13% of 18–34-year-olds happy having this discussion compared to 25% of those aged 35 and older and 43% of those aged 65+.

Interestingly, those who earn the most find it the most awkward to discuss finances with their friends and family. Only 1 in 10 (11%) of those earning over £60k a year will happily bring up conversations around money with friends and family. Whereas in contrast, almost a third of those earning under £30k will happily discuss awkward money issues with family.

One issue that divided the country down the middle was the idea of splitting the bill; 83% of respondents were happy to split a food bill equally, whilst 84% were keen to split the bill by each individual item.

Thankfully, we appear to be a nation that is more than happy to share the cost of a round of drinks with friends and family. However, there are locations that are less likely to pay their full share: Edinburgh (95%), Sheffield (93%) and Newcastle (93%) are most likely to join in a drinks round, whereas Belfast (59%), Birmingham (85%) and Bristol (85%) are the most stingy when it comes to getting involved.

City% of People Who Will Join a Drinks Round
Belfast59%
Birmingham85%
Bristol85%
London86%
Glasgow86%
Leeds86%
Liverpool86%
Cardiff87%
Manchester91%
Nottingham92%
Southampton92%
Norwich92%
Newcastle93%
Sheffield93%
Edinburgh95%

It, therefore, makes sense for Bristol to be the most awkward when it comes to telling people they’re not paying their full share (44%). Southampton on the other hand, has very little issue with raising this, with only 14% finding this uncomfortable.

CityFeel Awkward Telling People They’re Not Paying Their Fair Share
Bristol44.4%
Sheffield40.0%
Nottingham29.6%
London29.3%
Belfast27.3%
Leeds26.0%
Glasgow25.7%
Edinburgh25.0%
Cardiff23.0%
Manchester22.5%
Liverpool21.4%
Birmingham20.0%
Newcastle15.9%
Norwich15.1%
Southampton14.3%

And when it comes to asking to be paid back money they’re owed, those in Sheffield feel the most uncomfortable, with 63% stating that they find asking to be reimbursed awkward. Those in Norwich on the other hand, are quite happy to ask to be paid back, with under a third (30%) finding this awkward.

CityFeel Awkward Asking to be Paid Back
Sheffield63.3%
Bristol59.3%
Liverpool55.4%
Belfast54.5%
Leeds51.9%
London48.5%
Nottingham46.5%
Newcastle43.2%
Cardiff42.6%
Birmingham37.6%
Manchester37.5%
Glasgow37.1%
Edinburgh36.4%
Southampton34.7%
Norwich30.2%

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