Is your financial stress impacting your health?

Posted on: 08 February 2018 by 50connect editorial

New research suggests that alongside sleepless nights, financial stress could be affecting both your mental and physical health.

Smashed piggy bank Research released from CYBG’s digital banking service B reveals finances, in general, are the biggest cause of concern in 2018, for over a third (36%) of people in Britain. Money management is set to be more worrying than health, the health of loved ones, career prospects or their housing situation.

Following Christmas spending, almost a quarter (23%) of the country are concerned about meeting at least one major debt repayment this month, such as credit card bills and personal loans. In fact, according to the research, it’s estimated over 1.5 million people are worried about paying their mortgage in January, while around 1.4 million people who rent accommodation are concerned about making their payment.

For British people with money worries, a third (33%) of those aged 18-34 say they’ll be borrowing from their parents to pay debts this month, while 3% of 25-55+ year olds will use money from their children – either taken from their savings account or piggy bank!

Psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopoulos says: “Financial worries can have a devastating effect on mental health. The relationship between the way we think about and manage our finances and our mental health is actually circular and can, therefore, lead to a vicious cycle. The fact is, worrying about debt and feeling insecure in our financial situation can lead to mental health problems like anxiety and stress which can in turn actually contribute to poor decision making around how we manage our finances.”

To help relieve these financial stresses, nearly a quarter (23%) of people in Britain say a single dashboard which offers a full view of all bank accounts and activities would help them better manage their finances, while more than a fifth (21%) say an alert from their bank when they are close to £0 would help. As a direct result of better-managed finances, a quarter (24%) say they would be less stressed while 21% believe they would be happier.

Helen Page, Group Innovation Director at B says: “It’s concerning that so many people in the UK are starting 2018 worried about making debt repayments. We need to prioritise financial fitness in the same way we often focus on our health and wellbeing at this time of year.

So what can be done to reduce the strain?

“Small changes to daily habits can save thousands of pounds a year. Ditching just two daily habits like buying a coffee or pre-prepared food can add up to a saving of over £1000 a year. We also discovered that in supermarkets food at eye level is frequently 10-20% more expensive than the upper or lower shelves. Straightforward, easy to adopt moves could make UK consumers save thousands and get to grips with their monthly expenditure.”

Helen continues: “With our research showing 77% of people in Britain have not set a savings goal for 2018, and a quarter (24%) saying they always struggle to stick to their saving goals we think now is a good time to make these changes.”

For further advice, visit B-Tox Challenge

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