Money Matters: Mental Health Vs Finances

Does your financial situation affect your overall mental health? Money worries are the most common form of anxiety, states the site, but the stigma surrounding this is stopping people from opening up.

From anxiety about paying your monthly bills to the threat of redundancy during the cost-of-living crisis, we focus on the challenges some of you may be facing, as well as where to seek help if you feel you need it. Read on…

Facing Redundancy

Unfortunately, redundancy can affect anyone at any time, with the risk of losing your job impacting many a worker’s mental health – and often long before you’re packing your belongings into a cardboard box.

Some of our customers will live with the constant worry that being made redundant – and potentially even out of the blue, as well – will mean they’ll have to tighten the purse strings. Others might prepare for the worst by putting extra funds aside, but redundancy can still affect more than just your career; it could have long-term implications on your finances, even if you’ve worked hard to build up a buffer in your bank account.

Money and mental health go hand in hand; if your finances are looking healthy, you might feel much less anxious about your family’s future. If, however, something comes along to put your situation in jeopardy, it’s little wonder that you might feel stressed, on edge and worried about what lies ahead.

Leonie says: “When I was eight weeks’ pregnant with my son, during lockdown, I found out I was being put at risk of redundancy.

“I was made redundant, and my partner was too shortly afterwards. The horror of soon having a new mouth to feed and no income was indescribable. My partner’s work experience was in customer-facing roles, competition was fierce in the job market, due to the number of people losing their jobs, and I knew I had a slim chance of being hired while I was pregnant.”

Leonie says she ‘essentially had an expiry date’ and turned to freelancing to bring some funds in. “But having your money coming in chunks throughout the month doesn’t make budgeting or financial management much easier either.

“The only thing that willed me through the stress was my growing baby, I think it was some type of hormonal instinct. Unfortunately, though, my partner’s mental health took a real nosedive. All he wanted to do was provide for his family.”

Things started looking up after lockdown, remembers Leonie, who adds that her partner’s relationship with the couple’s finances is “something we’re still working on”. He’s now still very much a “prepare for the worst” kind of person, she says.

What to do in Leonie’s position: If you’re facing redundancy, Citizens’ Advice has some guidance, including challenging your employer, if required, and taking time off to look for new opportunities.

During this period, you may need to fall back on any savings you have. Or, if you can, seek the help – financial or otherwise – of willing and trusted family or friends.

Tackling Debt


Feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you’ve lost your job, been made redundant, or you’re wondering how to get out of debt, states the NHS.

Debt can affect anyone – and for all kinds of reasons. While some may find themselves in debt due to gambling, others may struggle to keep on top of their finances if, for example, they are battling an illness, or going through the breakdown of a relationship

“I was at work in tears wondering how I was going to get through the month”, Caitlin told the StepChange charity.

With a new job and a new flat, she turned to credit to pay for a few new household essentials – and not long after, she wrote her car off. This meant it was a struggle to afford her everyday living expenses.

“I found StepChange online last year and have now felt able to tell my mum about the situation as I feel I’m dealing with it and am on course to pay everything back.”

What to do if you’re in debt: Step Change provides free advice to those trying their best to manage debt – and since 1993, they’ve helped 7.5 million people with debt problems take back control of their finances and their lives. Find out more here.

The NHS also offers guidance on coping with financial worries.

Heading Into Maternity Leave

Like Leonie, Lauren says a change in her financial situation had her feeling worried for her family’s future.

“I had put aside some extra funds to give me a little breathing space while on maternity leave – but a few out-of-the-blue expenses, plus a bigger-than-expected tax bill, caught us unaware.” she says.

“While we knew we would manage, we were suddenly a good few thousand pounds worse off – just as I was about to start my first full week of maternity.

“As a new parent, you go into it blindly, in some ways; you have no idea how much extra money you’ll be spending – on nappies, milk and everything else – until you’re in the thick of it and sending your husband to the supermarket (and what feels like every five minutes too!) for yet another tin of SMA formula!

“Before we consider having a second baby, we’ll definitely put even more funds aside to give us a little more peace of mind. We managed okay in the end, but the worry that we were a little worse off than we’d planned – and before going into parenthood – certainly affected my mental health.” adds Lauren.

What to do in Lauren’s position: Planning a baby? It’s never too early to start saving – read this article for some tailored advice.

Want to build a financial buffer ahead of a new life stage? View our range of financial products* to see if any are right for you and your situation.

Until next time…

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