According to new research by financial wellbeing firm Neyber, half of workers are forced to borrow to make ends meet and money is now a bigger worry than health.
The DNA of Financial Wellbeing Report highlights that a worrying number of people are being forced into debt to cover essential costs each month despite having jobs, and the stress of finances is now a bigger concern than health, relationships or looking after family.
Despite half of the 10,000 workers questioned regularly falling into debt, and 30% saying finances were their biggest concern, remarkably few people are actually doing anything about it. One worker in three has less than a month’s savings set aside, while one in seven has no savings at all. On top of that, three workers in 10 don’t understand credit scores and two people in three do not check them regularly.
Heidi Allan, head of employee wellbeing at Neyber, said: “It is hardly surprising that finances are the thing most likely to keep UK employees up at night. However, it is alarming that so few workers are taking steps to protect themselves financially. Money troubles can lead to stress and even depression, so it is crucial that we arm people and help them to become more financially savvy. ”
To try and help us get on top of our finances, Neyber’s Allan has identified the five key steps to reducing money stresses.
- Assess the situation: Make sure you understand your current financial situation. Make a note of all your incomings including any benefits you receive and then work out all your regular outgoings, such as council tax, energy bills, season ticket costs, loan repayments and mortgage or rent payments. Shop around and see if you can switch for a better rate on everything from mortgages and energy to broadband and mobile phone tariffs.
- Budget better: Evaluate your spending habits to see where you can make other savings. You should also make sure you have emergency savings of at least three months’ salary, in case you lose your job or become unwell.
- Conquer credit ratings: You need to know what your rating is with all three Credit Reference Agencies in the UK – Equifax , Experian and Callcredit. You can access your scores for free using ClearScore, MSE’s Credit Club and Noddle. If your score is low, take steps to improve it, such as making sure you pay debts on time, paying off credit cards each month and registering on the electoral roll.
- Deal with debts: Contact StepChange or the National Debtline for help managing your debts and take advantage of any financial education or debt management tools offered through your workplace.
- Employee benefits: Check out what benefits your business offers, whether it’s a cost-effective way to save for a pension, better loan rates or ISA deals, or financial education.
Find out more here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/half-workers-forced-borrow-make-12895573 and download the report here: http://go.neyber.co.uk/dna-money-mindset-2018