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Money worries are taking their toll on British consumers’ lives, with 31 per cent of the population claiming their finances are their biggest daily stress, according to research from MoneySupermarket.com. As a result, the UKs number one comparison site has partnered with the mental health charity Mind to raise awareness of the link between finances and mental health issues.
The research revealed that 18 per cent say it is their current financial situation which causes them the most stress, and a further 13 per cent say it is their future financial situation which worries them the most.
This is followed by 13 per cent who state that concerns about their health causes them the most stress.
To add to the strain, of those who are already stressed by their finances, a staggering 72 per cent believe their financial worries will only increase this year, with the rising cost of living being the primary reason for 51 per cent of people. One in 10 (10 per cent) claim that the uncertainty towards their benefits will increase their money worries.
In addition, almost half of people (48 per cent) claim they are either frequently or occasionally worried about their financial situation. The younger generation are feeling the financial strain the most, with two-thirds (62 per cent) of 18 to 34 year olds stating they are frequently or occasionally worried about money.
Clare Francis, editor-in-chief at MoneySupermarket.com, said While we have recently narrowly avoided a triple dip recession, the impact of the last five years has hit people’s finances hard, and so it is not surprising that it is such a cause of anxiety and stress.
However, the impact of constantly worrying about your financial situation can have a serious impact on your mental wellbeing and as a result MoneySupermarket has linked up with Mind as its charity partner for the next two years to help raise awareness of the mental health issues related to financial pressures, and also raise funds for the charity.
The research also revealed that these issues are having a big impact on other areas of people’s lives, with over half (57 per cent) of those who worry about their finances stating this to be the case. A third (30 per cent) feel that their health is being affected, whilst 33 per cent state that their financial anxiety is impacting on their relationship with a partner or their family. A further nine per cent report that their work is affected by money woes.
Clare Francis, continued: With such a high percentage of those who feel stressed by their finances not being able to envisage any relief in the next year, and with it clearly impacting other areas of their lives, it is vital that people start to take positive action before it all becomes too much to cope with.
There is a lot of help and advice available and no need to feel that you have to face these problems alone. In many cases, there will be some simple steps than can be taken which will relieve the burden and ease financial pressures the person is facing.
It’s also important to point out that money worries can affect anyone – it’s not just those in debt who are struggling with financial anxiety. Whatever your situation, if money worries are affecting your health and well-being, speak to someone about it. Debt charities such as Step Change and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau may be able to help, as will the mental health charities like Mind.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind commented:
"Over the last few years many families have had to tighten their belts as they face increased living costs, wage freezes, redundancy or fears about job security. These pressures can take their toll and for some it may have triggered mental health problems such as stress, anxiety or depression.
At Mind, we believe no one should have to face mental health problems alone and that’s why we offer information and support to anyone who might be struggling with money matters. We are delighted to be working with MoneySupermarket to raise awareness about the link between personal finance and mental health and urge anyone who may be experiencing difficulties to seek advice as soon as possible."