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It’s important to speak up about your finances during Covid-19

03/04/2020

Jane Goodland

Corporate Affairs Director

Taking care of not just your health, but also your mental health is of the upmost importance as we face a world halted by Covid-19. Many households are facing financial challenges and Jane Goodland urges people to break the taboo around money and talk about their finances.  

We are in strange, unprecedented times. A pandemic is sweeping the globe and dramatically changing our daily lives. And the impact of this is wide ranging.

Indeed as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on business, many people will be concerned about the impact on their personal finances. This is adding to what is an already high state of anxiousness, depression and unease amongst communities across the globe.

Keeping an eye on your mental health is of the upmost importance in the current time. The added burden on financial uncertainty has the capacity to make it exponentially worse.

Mental health is heavily linked to the state of one’s finances. Living in financial stress can lead to mental health problems and those with mental health find it difficult to cope with finances. There is a viscous circle that only worsens as time goes by.

Indeed figures from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute highlight nearly half (46%) of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem and almost nine in 10 (86%) say their financial situation has made their mental health problems worse.

Carrying the financial burden alone is even worse. We, as a society, have a tendency to avoid tricky topics of conversation, particularly money. It remains a topic of discussion we are keen to avoid even with our closest family and friends.

There are many reasons for this. One of these is we struggle to admit if we are struggling and having a financial difficulty can make us feel inadequate and that isn’t something we want to share.

But staying silent while trying to muddle through our new reality is not the answer.

These are extraordinary times and we need to support each other. If you are struggling with your finances there is no reason you should bear the burden alone, there are many who are in the same position as you. If you are not in charge of the household finances then ask the person that is. This needs to be an open and honest conversation.

And importantly do not attempt a get rich quick scheme. If something sounds too good to be true than it probably is. Scammers thrive in times of uncertainty and vulnerability and so be extremely cautious of anyone asking for your financial details.

And ensure you are making as much use as you can of the government’s extensive package of reforms to get the population through the period.

There are many government backed services such as the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service, which are free to use, as well as charities like StepChange or Citizens Advice.

For some people getting a third party professional opinion might be the best option and so seek out professional financial advice. Advisers are well equipped to help you make a long term plan. 

Remember anything you can do to ease your mind and boost your wellbeing in this time is vital.