5th January 2015
Financial worries among UK adults have decreased for the first time in three years, claims new research from MoneySuperMarket.
The comparison site’s analysis found that today some 15.6 million people, or 31% are most concerned about their finances on a daily basis, compared to 18.4 million, or 36% in 2013, and 34% in 2012.
But while the financial anxiety figure is easing back, unsurprisingly money worries still remain the nation’s main stress.
Of those who cite money worries as their biggest concern, one in six or 17% say it’s their current financial situation, which is causing the most stress, with a further 14% worrying about their future financial outlook.
But it is not just finances that are causing stress for Britons, as 16% of those surveyed admitted they are most anxious by their health and another 11% worry about their job.
A relationship is the biggest strain for 12% while 24% are not concerned by any of these factors. The study also concluded that those aged 18 to 24 are more than twice as likely to be worried about their current or future financial situation than those aged 65 or over at 46% versus 18% respectively.
Dan Plant, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “It’s great to see that the number of sleepless nights caused by money worries fell in 2014. That we’ve seen living costs, such as petrol and diesel prices decrease, coupled with an energy market which hasn’t raised prices this winter, is likely to have eased financial pressures for some households, and allowed us to unwind a bit.
“However, money troubles haven’t gone away and cause more stress than any other factor, particularly for younger people. Worrying about how you’ll make ends meet each month can really take its toll on your mental health so we want to raise awareness of the actions people can take to improve their finances and hopefully alleviate some anxiety.”
While there maybe less anxiety in regards to finances across the nation, the New Year is still set to continue to be a struggle for many.
The survey found that more than two-thirds, at 69%, believe the agony will only increase in 2015 while just under half, at 47% blame the rising cost of living as a key factor in making their stress worse.
But there is some light on the horizon in regards to the nation’s debt mountain. Although just over a third, at 36% state that they are currently in debt, there has been a gradual decrease from previous years. Last year, 38% of UK adults were in debt, and in 2012 the total was 40%. Furthermore, the outlook for those who currently owe money is bright, as 37% of UK adults think they will be able to clear some type of debt completely within the next five years. However, the financial struggle is set to continue for the 15% who do not expect to clear any type of debt by 2020.
Plant, continued: “Make doing a full bills makeover New Year’s resolution. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to detox your finances, and often small changes, like, making sure you’re not overpaying for things like car and home insurance and energy can mount up to sizeable savings.
“If you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and feel as though you’re stuck in a debt spiral, don’t struggle on your own. Speak to a free one debt charity such as StepChange, National Debtline or the CAB – there is help ready and willing.”