depression

We have all seen the news coverage on how the credit crunch has had a profound effect on our businesses and our individual household finances. But even now, when the economy appears to be in recovery, many people are still reported to suffer anxiety and depression as a result of money worries.

According to a study discussed in this article, figures suggest that the number of people contacting the money worry debt line for advice has increased in the past year. Since January 2015 and until just June this year, it provided advice to nearly 30,000 people, compared to around 42,000 for the whole of 2014.

This has had a significant effect on the mental wellbeing of many people. Last year, more than 80% of the helpline’s callers said they had suffered from stress or depression. Around 50% of those that called the help line were losing sleep and around a quarter were suffering relationship problems.

So, what can be done to help minimise the mental impact on our worrying population?

Of course it is better to treat the root of the problem – financial difficulty. We can only do this with financial education, where Brits are taught about proper spending habits, how to analyse and control their outgoings and incomings, and so on. In fact, a lot of this is addressed in this blog from Wonga.co.za. It talks about adopting the right attitude when it comes to your finances. Rather than using credit to fall back on, you should try and use savings. Many people use credit as a form of ‘bad borrowing’ – which could mean that you’re taking out the loan for the wrong reasons.

Want a shopping trip? A holiday? A little extra cash to spend on Christmas? This could be considered as bad lending as these are all instances when savings would be more appropriate to fall back on.

However, using credit does of course have its place. Responsible and ‘good’ borrowing of credit can really make a difference when you need it the most. So if you have an unexpected bill, for instance, taking out a loan from a responsible company and repaying it properly can be a financially savvy thing to do.

BT news says that 6.5million Brits have relied on credit in the past year. Debit charities advise that this is largely due to unexpected salary drops, especially for the self employed. It suggests that building up a savings net of around £1000 can really help for such a situation.

It is sad news that many Brits are struggling with depression and anxiety as a direct result of money worries. However, by tackling the issue at the source, we can try to alleviate these issues. Educating yourself and being savvy with money – and not allowing ‘bad’ debt to build up, is one way to get a better night’s sleep. There are many advice services out there that can help you with this, too. The Money Advice Service, which you can access online, is an ideal way to receive some advice on any money matter you have.