Financial Wellbeing Toolkit
Financial wellbeing can be described as “the state of feeling content, comfortable and secure with your financial situation, while having the freedom to choose how you want to live your life.” It is a highly personal state that is not fully reflected by objective measures such as salary. The impact of the cost of living crisis and rising inflation has left many in a state of finanical stress. Here we provide a financial wellbeing toolkit with tips and links to help reduce that stress.
The impact of financial stress
With increasing inflation, energy and household bills, many are facing financial trouble. Indeed, 1 in 6 households are estimated to be in serious financial hardship and 73% of UK adults have had to cut back on energy use or essential spending.
Recent findings indicate that financial pressure is now the leading cause of stress outside of work, outranking parenting, relationships and bereavement. Being in a poor financial situation will have a direct detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health, producing physical and psychological symptoms such as loss of sleep, poor concentration and reduced motivation.
People aged 25-34 are most likely of any age group to cite financial pressure as a source of stress, and more women are affected than men.
Help with financial stress
There are lots of steps we can take to reduce financial pressures, access help and support each other.
Reducing fuel costs
With rising fuel costs, many people are particularly worried about how this will affect them and their finances, especially through the winter.
Your central heating system is likely to be the biggest contributor to your household bills, so ensuring that you are using heating controls and maintaining your heating system for maximum efficiency will be important for keeping costs as low as possible.
Here the not-for-profit consumer protection company Which, provide a list if tips on how to reduce energy costs by getting the best from your heating system.
Reducing other household costs
Finding ways to reduce spending on food and other household expenses can also help to reduce financial stress.
Money Saving Expert is a useful source of information about ways to cut expenses and also offers advice on budgeting, debt management and banking.
Money and debt management
If you need advice on how to manage your money, financial planning or debt management, make sure that any support you access is independent and impartial. Beware of finance companies claiming to help with debt that may encourage you to take out expensive loans or credit cards.
Organisations offering free and impartial financial advice:
Mental health support
If you are feeling down, anxious or troubled, or if you are worried about someone else, there are lots of free and readily available sources of support.
Mind offer an online peer support service that is available 24 hrs a day. A helpline is also available offering information and signposting to services.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) offer a helpline and live chat service. Both are open from 5pm to midnight every day.
Samaritans provide support for anyone who is troubled of feeling suicidal through a 24 hr helpline, email and via a self-help app.
Talking to a trusted friend, colleague or family member is particularly important at times of stress and. If the problems you are experiencing seem to persist for several weeks, speak to your GP, who will be able to suggest other sources of help.
If you are an organisation with employees who are facing financial worries that are impacting their mental health and wellbeing, do get in touch. Providing resilience coaching to staff who are struggling can help them to manage challenges and rebuild confidence. Find out more in our blog on the 5 key benefits of resilience coaching.
References  Financial stress and employer wellbeing report, Champion health 2022 The Coronavirus Financial Impact Tracker, Abrdn Financial Fairness Trust and Bristol University 2022  A tale of two crises: cost of living and mental health report, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute 2022  Financial stress and employer wellbeing report, Champion health 2022  A tale of two crises: cost of living and mental health report, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute 2022  Financial stress and employer wellbeing report, Champion health 2022