How does your mental health affect your money? Have your say.

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Living with debt Leave a comment

Bronwen Dalley Smith, Communications and Events Assistant for the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, has written a guest post to tell us about the work they’re doing to support people dealing with debt and mental health problems.

Last year, nearly 600,000 people turned to StepChange Debt Charity for debt advice. That’s more than one person every minute of every day, throughout the whole of 2016. While this was StepChange’s highest yearly record to date, they were able to help.

At the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute we regularly talk to people who are getting their finances back on track with the help of StepChange Debt Charity. Yet, as a research charity exploring the link between financial difficulty and mental health, we couldn’t help but be concerned by this figure.

Half of British adults with a debt problem also have a mental health problem, so it can be assumed that nearly 300,000 of those who contacted StepChange last year were also struggling with poor mental health. The two are so closely entwined, that it is often impossible to identify which is the cause and which is the effect.

Whether mental health problems hinder your ability to manage your money or your financial situation worsens your mental health, once entered, the cycle can seem never-ending. Continue reading »

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Can you talk about debt with your partner?

posted by Becca Drury in Living with debt Leave a comment

Did you know that money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress in a relationship? One plus One has released a series of videos that look at real couples’ stories about being in debt, how it affects relationships and how they got back on track.

One plus One is a charity dedicated to helping people build stronger relationships. They’ve recently been exploring the different reasons couples might get in debt, as well as the stresses that they experienced including working longer hours, spending less, and not being able to socialise.

  • During their research they discovered that:
  • 55% of couples include money worries in top three relationship strains
  • Getting just three months behind on your bills can have a negative impact on your family life
  • Debt is the number one problem area for newly married couples

Have you experienced relationship problems as a result of money worries? Do any of these situations feel familiar to you?

Losing a job – ‘The breadwinner’

Having a baby – ‘The pay cut’

Borrowing too much – ‘The rollercoaster’

Having more fun than you can afford – ‘The tycoon’

What can we learn from the stories?

  • Don’t hide money problems from your partner – it can be damaging to your relationship
  • Learn some budgeting skills together. Read our guide to making a budget
  • Try to share the responsibility of budgeting, working together to manage your money
  • Take time to talk about money worries and try to avoid blaming one another
  • Consider getting debt advice if your debts are making it difficult to pay your bills

You can read more about One plus One’s research and the #talkmoneysecrets campaign over on their website.

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April’s debt and money news

posted by Becca Drury in Debt news Leave a comment

Spring’s inFCA credit card review full bloom and we’ve got a big bunch of money and debt news for you.

We look at the latest proposals from the Financial Conduct Authority to help people with persistent credit card debt.

We also examine the latest figures on unpaid child maintenance, news on the Wonga data breach, a pensions warning to parents, and a welcome rise in the national living wage…

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Our latest research: You’re not alone in debt

posted by Becca Drury in Budgeting Leave a comment

StepChange Stats yearbook 2016As well as providing debt advice, we regularly produce research into personal debt trends in the UK.

The Statistics Yearbook, released twice a year, is one of the most important pieces of research our policy team produce, and the 2016 edition is released today.
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Reclaim PPI for free

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Debt news, Making money 67 Comments

Check your credit agreementYou’ve probably heard about the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, the “reclaim PPI” adverts, and the huge refunds some people have received. Because of the big payouts that some people are entitled to, claims management companies have sprung up, trying to earn commission by claiming refunds for you.

But reclaiming PPI isn’t as difficult as you might think, and we highly recommend that you reclaim any mis-sold PPI yourself. It’s free, and we can show you how.

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Planning a baby on a budget

posted by Pavan in Budgeting Leave a comment

sleeping babyHaving a baby is one of the biggest changes that can happen in your life and with the costs of raising a child going up, it’s important to plan ahead.

Hormonal ups and downs bring feelings of excitement, anxiety, nervousness, elation and fear; but along with managing all these emotions your finances play a massive part in preparation for a baby.

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Beauty essentials on a budget

posted by Becca Drury in Saving money 2 Comments

It’s easily done; you go to the chemist because your mascara has run out and you end up being seduced by the latest wonder cream or new lipstick. Before you know it you’ve gone way over your budget and you’re filled with buyer’s remorse. 

If you’ve done this more times than you care to admit, we’re here to help.

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