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9.5 million Brits have mental health issues due to money worries

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Written by: Emma Lunn
10/10/2019
More than 18 million UK adults worry about money on a daily basis with a third saying their concerns affect their sleep.

Research from mobile bank N26, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, has lifted the lid on how money worries affect people’s mental health. It found that about about 9.5m UK adults have suffered from mental health issues as a result of financial anxiety.

A third (32 per cent) of those who worry about money say that they struggle to sleep soundly at night. Sleep can be significantly disrupted by stress and the knock-on effects of living under a financial cloud can interrupt key sleep cycles.

Those aged 25 to 34-years-old, who may be in the throes of major financial decisions such as buying their first home, planning a wedding or starting a family, appear disproportionately affected, with two fifths (40 per cent) saying their sleep is regularly disrupted by money worries.

Regardless of age, certain financial issues are universal and more than half of those who worry about money are most concerned about paying household bills and funding day-to-day living.

Money worries across age groups

Financial demands differ across age groups with younger generations mostly concerned by mounting student debts and saving for a house. The research found a third (33 per cent) of those aged 18 to 24 are worried about paying off their student debt and almost half (48 per cent) are concerned with saving for a house.

Younger generations are so preoccupied with their finances that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) admit to checking their balance several times a day, while others chose to ignore their balance out of fear. Almost a fifth (18 per cent) of those who only check their account every few weeks say they avoid doing so because they are worried about how much they have spent.

Financial worries encountered at different life stages can prove harmful in different ways; a quarter (24 per cent) of those aged 45 to 54, potentially concerned with saving for retirement, say they worry ‘constantly’ about their finances. Of this demographic, 30 per cent say these concerns have affected their mental health.

Will Sorby, UK general manager at N26, said: “Day’s like today are really important to help raise awareness of mental health issues, and with one in four Brits affected each year, this has never been more vital. Our research sadly suggests that money worries and juggling daily finances are a key source of anxiety and are only adding to the problem.”

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