Money or financial problems

Arguing about money in families is really common. Money can help us do the things we want in life, but it can also be the root of many difficulties.

  • Pocket money
  • Spending/managing money
  • Debt
  • Paying digs/bills
  • Educational Maintenance Allowance
  • Money going missing from the house
  • Getting new stuff
  • Paying for holidays
  • I don’t get the things I need/want
  • I feel like they don’t trust me
  • I get frustrated
  • I feel angry
  • I feel left out by my friends
  • I feel like there’s no way out
  • I’m always worried about it

What can I do to make things better?

  • What do you need?

    Try to explain to the other person what you need and why rather than what the problem is. Example:


    "You always moan at me for spending my money."


    "I want to be able to be trusted to manage my own money."

    If you or someone you know is struggling financially seek advice from agencies such as Child Poverty Action Group or Citizens Advice Scotland.

  • See it from their side

    Try and see the situation from the other person’s shoes. Example:

    Person 1

    "You ask for way too much digs money."

    Person 2

    "I need to pay the bills and buy food for the house."

  • Be honest

    Even if the truth doesn’t make you look great, being honest is the first step to making things better.

  • Consider alternatives

    Consider lots of options to solve the problem.


    "Mum won’t give me money for a new phone."


    "Is there stuff I could do around the house to earn the money?"

    "Can mum afford a new phone?"

Time and Space

Finding a good time and place to talk with your family about stuff is important.

Make sure you won’t be interrupted by anyone else.

Choose a time where you are both around - not 5 minutes before one of you has to run out the door.

It helps if you’re not already angry with each other about something else.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation

After working through the steps above and considering your own situation, you may find it helpful to know more about conflict resolution and mediation.

Sam is much happier now that he and his mum know how to deal with their arguments better.

If you get together and talk about it, I've often seen people come up with much better solutions themselves.

Paul Burns, Mediator

We still have our arguments, but we deal with them a lot better now.

Kerry, Sam's Mum

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