Financial anxiety among UK adults has increased dramatically over the past year, with millions of us worrying about money every single day.
This is according to our latest research which showed day-to-day finances are the main cause of stress for a massive 18.5 million people in the UK, up from 15.6 million a year ago.
So why are people worrying so much now? Let’s find out.
More than a fifth of those surveyed (22%) said their current financial situation was causing them the most stress, while 14% said they were mostly worried about their future financial outlook.
Either way, almost a third (30%) said they were more concerned about their finances than this time last year.
And almost half (45%) felt their financial anxiety would get worse over the next year, mainly due to rising living costs.
Youngest most worried
Being young and carefree is an unattainable dream for many 18 to 34-year-olds in the UK, our research found.
Those in this age group are three times more likely to be worried about their current or future financial situation than Brits aged 55 or over.
Women are also more likely to worry about money than men: 59% of female respondents said they suffered from financial anxiety, compared to 48% of their male counterparts.
A wider problem
Financial anxiety can have an impact on many aspects of people’s health and wellbeing.
In fact, 59% of those worried about money believe other areas of their lives are affected as a result.
A fifth said their financial concerns affect their health, while 14% admitted that their relationship with their partner or spouse has suffered.
Kevin Pratt, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Stressing about money can impact other areas of your life and take its toll on your mental health, so it’s important to understand the options available to help you manage your money more effectively and alleviate some of that anxiety.”
Take control – and leave stress behind!
If you want to wave goodbye to financial anxiety in 2016, take a look at these top tips:
1. Cut your spending
Avoid living beyond your means. If your outgoings exceed your income, it’s time to cut back on luxuries.
Half of those (49%) surveyed said they planned to buy fewer non-essential items, 40% said they would eat out less and 27% said they would go on fewer holidays.
2. Slash your bills
The New Year is a good time to review your finances and work out whether you can save money on your household bills.
3. Manage your debts
Debt is a major cause of financial anxiety – especially when the amount owed keeps going up instead of down.
Our research found that two-fifths (39%) of Brits are currently in debt, up from 36% last year.
However, the good news is that four in 10 expect to be able to clear a debt such as a loan or a credit card completely within the next five years.
The best way to reach this goal is to ensure you are paying as little in interest and charges as possible.
If, for example, your current credit card charges a standard rate of 19%, transferring your debt to a 0% balance transfer card will allow you to avoid paying interest for as long as three years – saving you money and helping you to clear your debt much faster.
But if you feel like your debt problems are spiralling out of control, don’t struggle on your own.
There are a number of debt charities offering free advice on everything from bankruptcy to manageable repayment plans – such as StepChange, National Debtline or Citizens Advice.
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