Couples in Banbury suffering financial difficulties are invited to get help through a specialist debt counselling service.
A debt crisis can cause great stress which affects health and happiness, according to Sarah Williams, centre manager of the service Banbury Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
She said: “I see people who have fallen into crisis debt every week and I can tell you it is crucial for health and happiness in 2016 to have a reality check of your finances as soon as possible. Money and relationships are famed for creating rows.
“We believe having a ‘money conversation’ with a partner can be one of the hardest things to do. But it’s a move that can really change your year ahead.
“It might be nerve racking to bring those bank statements out into the open but until you both know what’s happening, you can’t start to tackle it.
“Working at your finances together, setting goals together and resolving to sort things can be an amazing step forward for the whole family.”
A Money Advice Service poll found that of more than 2,000 UK adults surveyed, nearly half (45 per cent) were not always honest with their partner about finances, while a quarter were lying about spending.
CAP’s research shows that three out of four debt clients said their situation had caused arguments, while nearly a quarter said debt directly led to their relationship breaking down.
Among CAP’s top tips for having the money conversation are to pick the right time when the children are not present, to avoid blame and to decide on an achievable goal.
The project is happy to organise sessions for Banbury couples with CAP specialists.
Banbury CAP is based at the People’s Church, Horsefair. See capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.