Many of us live with huge money worries. The coronavirus has
had an enormous economic impact but financial stress can also result from a
relationship break-up, physical or mental ill health, addiction, or unexpected
expenses. Whatever the cause, financial insecurity can significantly affect
your health and wellbeing.
Financial stress doesn’t just affect people out of work.
Research commissioned by AMP for its 2019 Financial Wellness report found that
two in five employees admitted feeling financial stress. This was across all
industries, income levels and job roles. Money concerns impact people in many
different ways, the report found.
While many people think money worries are a personal issue, the
research shows being financially stressed spills into working life, increasing
absenteeism and impacting productivity.
Financial stress, like any form of stress, is also linked to
mental and physical health issues, family breakdown and substance abuse, and
can lead to feelings of isolation.
Get the help you need
Many people facing financial stress are reluctant to ask for
help, feeling ashamed of their situation. But there is free help available and
it can make a huge difference.
Talk to a financial or credit counsellor
It’s not easy to talk about money difficulties, especially
with family and friends, but getting help early means you will have many more
options. If you feel overwhelmed by money worries, contact a financial
counsellor as soon as possible.
Financial counsellors, also known as credit counsellors in
some places, are skilled professionals who offer a free, independent and
confidential service through community organisations, community legal centres
and some government agencies.
Financial counsellors can help with things like bills or fines,
credit card and other debts, gas, electricity or phone disconnection or the
threat of eviction. They can also help you work out a repayment plan for debts
that can’t be waived, and help with planning for big purchases, provide
information about managing money, and refer you to other services and schemes.
Don’t confuse financial counsellors with financial advisers.
Unlike financial advisers, financial counsellors can’t help you with
investments and retirement planning.
As well as a financial benefit from talking to a financial
counsellor, there’s often an emotional benefit too. Along with the advocacy and
information, it can help just to have someone who listens and is on your side.
It can be a huge relief to talk to a financial counsellor.
And then, feeling more empowered, to take the next step. To find a financial
counsellor in your area, try a quick web search, Government sites dealing with
finance may also have resources available to you.