Category Archives: Living with debt

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

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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?

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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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How to improve your chances of landing a fantastic job

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Landing yourself a job you actually enjoy can be easier said than done. Jasmine from MoneyMagpie believes in the importance of job satisfaction and getting paid to do what you love. She stopped by the blog to share her thoughts…

Jasmine Birtles from Money MagpieAre you looking for a job and wondering whether you’ll ever find the right one for you?

Having a job you enjoy can make a lot of difference to your overall happiness. Perhaps you used to love your job, but the ‘honeymoon period’ is starting to wane.

By taking another look at things you’re already doing, you might improve your chances of getting a job you truly want, or enjoying the one you currently have.

Continue reading »

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Cheap and easy ways to organise your home  

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Most of us have things in our home we no longer want and could make some extra money by selling. Jasmine Birtles of MoneyMagpie is here to tell you all about Clear Your Clutter Day, and how you can get involved.

If you’re struggling with getting your finances in order, a cluttered house can add to the stress you may be feeling. By organising your home you may find it easier to get on top of your finances. Yes, really!

That’s part of the message of national Clear Your Clutter Day, happening on Saturday 11 March this year. It’s all about getting rid of the junk you no longer need so you can make way for the life and living space you want…and get some extra pennies in your pocket from selling stuff and saving money while you’re at it.

It doesn’t have to cost much (if anything) to get organised. Here are some quick, easy and cheap ways to de-clutter every room of the house.

Continue reading »

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Maintaining your friendships when you’re in debt

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When you’re trying to cut back on your spending, it’s almost inevitable that your social life might take a bit of a knock. You may be embarrassed about confiding in your friends about money worries, or even feel bad about turning down their invites to events.

We don’t want to see your friendships or relationships suffer while you’re dealing with debt, as having that support is really important to your wellbeing. The good news is it’s possible to keep your friendships strong, even if times are a little tougher than usual.

Continue reading »

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Are payday loans still a problem?

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Back in 2013 the payday loan market was booming. Chirpy jingles and TV puppets were advertising quick cash solutions to get you through those last few days before payday.

Many people saw payday loans as a quick and easy way to get cash for unexpected expenses. The trouble was payday loans often caused more problems than they solved.

Continue reading »

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How much is your overdraft costing you?

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Do you know how much your bank charges if you go into your overdraft or if you go over your limit? Many of our clients pay hundreds of pounds to their bank as a result of unarranged overdraft charges. In some cases it can be more expensive to go into unarranged overdraft than it would cost to take out a payday loan.

We’ve carried out research that shows that overdraft charges are adding to the debt worries of our clients and the costs of having an overdraft might be higher than you’d expect. We believe that the FCA should take action to limit unarranged overdraft charges. Continue reading »

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