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Money Matters for Mental Health Awareness Week

There’s not a person in this world, we don’t think, who hasn’t experienced some worry or anxiety about money – how much they have or don’t have, how to best save what they can or what to spend it on.

It doesn’t seem to matter your background or current financial status – we all seem to have had money worries at some point. Mental health awareness is thankfully becoming more widespread all over the world, and in the UK, we are encouraged to take time to reflect during Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year runs from 15-21 May.

money and mental health

SmartPurse’s own study found some interesting insights into women’s financial journeys, and, no surprise, mental health was an apparent factor in financial wellness. The SmartPurse Barometer Report, an online survey that spoke to women between 2019 and 2022, found that women’s financial confidence takes a hit in many areas of their lives.

Although financial confidence is on the rise, financial resilience in terms of future plans is way down. Many women have not adequately planned for their retirement, causing stress and anxiety about their futures. Of those surveyed, 33% had no retirement plan at all, and a whopping 46% rated themselves below average in knowing their future plans for the next five and 10 years. 

To read more about women, finance and mental health, download the full report for free here.

Nurturing a healthy relationship with money – steps to reduce your anxiety

Here at SmartPurse HQ, our work is to help and support you to make positive steps towards financial freedom. We want to help you access the support you need before your finances become a problem you feel you can’t escape.

Empowerment comes with knowledge, so here we’ve put together our tried-and-tested top tips to invest in yourself and your mental health. 

There’s nothing too complicated here – simple actions can make a big impact overall. So here goes:

👉  We'd like to say, 'Speak to your bank manager before your situation gets too dire', but we know that when you're suffering with your mental health, there are often barriers that prevent contact with banks and building societies. If you can, take a trusted family member or friend to support you when you ask for your bank's help. Many banks have web pages about money and mental health, so they would be a good place to start.

👉  If a debt is causing you anxiety, get some breathing space. No, literally: it's a UK government-backed scheme that gives individuals time to get debt advice and work out a way to move forward without incurring additional charges. You can check their guidance here.

👉  If you do have money, make it work harder for you. Move it (even if it is only a little to start) to high-yield savings accounts to create a buffer. It's amazing what this one tiny step can do to help you feel more secure. And when you can save more, look for support to guide you with investing your cash.

👉  Try to keep an eye on your outgoings. We know this can be a major source of distress, but get some help to see if you can reduce your outgoings by getting rid of subscriptions and other direct debits you don't need. When you have the resources, you can always resubscribe.

👉  Get help with a new budget. Plenty of individuals can help you set up a water-tight budget so you can examine your money mindset, pay down debt, and start saving. Check out our FREE money mindset webinar.

Where can I get support?

If your mental health affects how you live your life, seek help. There are wonderful groups and charities out there to support you. We've listed some of the many places to access the help you may need.

If your mental health affects how you live your life, seek help. There are wonderful groups and charities out there to support you. We've listed some of the many places to access the help you may need.

finance help

  • The Mental Health Foundation runs Mental Health Awareness Week, and their website is packed with help and advice.
  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, founded by Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert, have created policy notes from surveys that support institutes and companies to establish better accessibility for people with mental health issues.
  • Mind Charity's website is full of support and signposting for help if your mental health affects how you manage money.
  • Mental Health and Money Advice have a handy toolkit you can download that helps guide conversations around money and mental health with health practitioners.
  • Money Helper is a one-stop shop for advice and support, with lots of free guidance for any money situation.

Remember, if you or anyone you know is not coping well, whatever your situation, the NHS is there to help. Call 111 from any phone and select option 2.

Have you got any pro tips that help you stay on an even keel with money and mental health?

We’d love to hear from you. You can drop us a line at:

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