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Talk Money Week: One in three worried about money

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Nearly half (45%) of UK adults don’t feel confident in managing their money day-to-day, according to research from the Money and Pensions Service’s (MaPS).

The service’s Financial Wellbeing Survey 2021 found that 19 million (36%) people feel worried when thinking about their financial situation. Those who are most likely to feel worried when thinking about money are young people aged 18 to 34 (50%), parents (48%) and private renters (51%).

The findings of the survey have been published for Talk Money Week, MaPS’ annual campaign that encourages people to open up about their finances.

Talking about finances has been shown to help people make better informed choices, feel less stressed or anxious and more in control, have stronger personal relationships, and help their children form good lifetime money habits.

The study has also shone a light on the impact the pandemic has had on working age people’s confidence when it comes to making good money choices. In 2018, the same survey found that 57% of those of working age felt ‘very confident’ managing their personal finances, compared to just 48% in 2021.

The research demonstrates that those whose household income has decreased and are still earning less than they were before the pandemic are less likely to feel ‘very confident’ about managing their money (38%) compared to those who’ve experienced little to no change in their income (54%) or an increase in income (57%) since the start of the pandemic.

Sarah Porretta, MaPS’ propositions, insights and external engagement director, said: “Given the pandemic has led to many people worrying about job security or what happens after furlough, it’s not surprising that many have lost confidence in their own ability to manage money, in particular those entering the job market for the first time.

“It’s been a tough time for so many and the knock-on effects are wide-ranging, but if this is you, you are not alone. We recognise that people may need some extra help to get back on their feet, and that’s where MoneyHelper’s free, online tools and guides to everyday money considerations, such as budgeting, paying bills, or finding affordable credit can really help.

“For those who are struggling financially, money worries can be particularity challenging at this time of year, coming up to the festive period when many of us hope to socialise more frequently or feel under pressure to spend more on gifts, and when the costs of heating your home may rise.

“Our research shows that one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better about money, and boost your confidence, is to talk to someone who you trust. Whether you reach out to a family member, friend or a money guidance professional, talking about money is a positive way to ease the burden.”