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Unemployment, repossession and eviction rated most stressful financial events

Written by: Emma Lunn
Two in five Brits find discussing their finances stressful with more than half finding that thinking about money causes anxiety.

MoneySupermarket asked Brits to rate a range of financial events on a stress scale of one to 10. It found that alongside major life events such as unemployment and eviction, many people find day-to-day money matters causes anxiety.

Being unemployed but needing to work to meet bills (8.1 out of 10 on the stress scale) home repossessions (7.7), and evictions (7.7) were rated as the most stressful financial life events.

These were followed by being unable to pay rent or mortgage on time (7.5), experiencing a major drop in income (7.4), and having possessions seized due to a court order (7.3).

The research found day to day financial concerns featured highly on the stress scale. A fifth (21%) of Brits rated the pressure to afford things for kids such as days out, school trips and Christmas presents, nine or 10 out 10 on the stress scale.

Half (50%) of Brits gave seeing their peers earning and spending more than them a score of more than five out of 10. Similarly, 52% of Brits gave worrying about the cost of dining out with friends a score of more than five out of 10.

The survey also found 39% of people can find discussing finances makes their heart race or makes them feel stressed, while 52% find thinking about finances can make them feel anxious.

Nearly a third (29%) of Brits constantly checked their bank apps out of anxiety, while nearly a quarter (23%) worry about having a lack of savings for emergencies.

MoneySupermarket is working with professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy of The Open University to help Brits identify the causes of their money worries and provide them with practical tips to combat and address them.

Sally Francis-Miles, money spokesperson at MoneySupermarket, said: “Money worries often cause anxiety and stress, especially in the current pandemic where entire industries have been forced to shut. There is however rarely a financial situation that is beyond help either through tweaks to cut costs, government support or from debt help charities.

“The key is regaining control of something you may feel is anything but. And this is the reason we created our money stress tool. If you know your triggers and your relationship with money, you can identify the areas you can make improvements.

Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy of The Open University, said: “Our research shows many of us are more worried about our finances than we might expect – something that has been made worse by the extraordinary times we’re living through. Reducing financial stress and anxiety is important because it can take a toll on your mental health. Regaining a sense of control starts with recognizing the problem and understanding the steps you need to take get back on track.”

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