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Have you ever felt anxious about money? Many of us have.
Things happen in life that cause fear and anxiety relating to money and the idea of not being able to control the situation can impact on our mental health.
It is tempting to ignore money worries but this only causes problems to escalate and increases anxiety. Sorting things out might feel like an overwhelming task but you’re not alone and there is support out there.
This week, MindWise is leading on the Covid Wellbeing NI campaign. Our Mental Health & Money Advice team will be highlighting the warning signs of money-related anxiety across our social channels and sharing tips to help you take control.
If you or someone you care for needs help with money, debt and benefits, call MindWise’s Mental Health & Money Advice helpline, freephone on 0808 801 0373 (choose Northern Ireland).
Warning sign 1: I worry how I’ll manage until payday
Tip to tackle it: Make a list of your income and expenditure to identify areas of spending where you can improve. Be aware of when money comes into your bank and when direct debits or standing orders leave. Change direct debit dates if necessary to coincide with your money coming in. This allows bills to be paid first and alleviates the threat of arrears. It’s also worth taking advice to ensure you’re getting the correct income for benefits.
Warning sign 2: I receive lots of withheld calls
Tip to tackle it: This may be an indication creditors are pursuing you for a debt owed and will cause anxiety. Alleviate this anxiety by contacting your creditors and asking for time to sort out your budget. If you feel unable to do this yourself, contact a free independent advice centre for help. This will put you in control and improve anxiety. You can call our Mental Health & Money Advice helpline free on 08088010373 (select Northern Ireland).
Warning sign 3: I don’t have the energy to open letters
Tip to tackle it: So many of us have anxiety around the post arriving because we are worried about unpaid debts and threatening letters. Allowing letters to build up will only make anxiety worse. Ignoring letters makes us feel out of control, afraid and mentally drained. Opening letters and contacting creditors will put you back in control. If you feel you can’t talk to creditors seek help from a local independent advice centre.
Warning sign 4: My relationship with my partner is tense
Tip to tackle it: Too often we keep secrets about money and debt from our partners. We feel embarrassed, guilty and afraid to talk about our problems and this increases our anxiety as we hold the worries to ourselves. Discussing money worries within the family unit will help the feeling of isolation. Share problems with your partner or family member. Allow them to listen to your worries and help if they can.
Warning sign 5: I have become angry at work or home
Tip to tackle it: A change in our mood can indicate anxiety. It can help to talk to family or friends about our worries. So many of us are struggling with finances and it’s possible family and friends are struggling too. There are phone helplines that put you in touch with someone who’ll listen to how you’re feeling. Talking about your mood and putting a plan in place to deal with debt will allow you to feel in control and move in a positive path.
For more advice from our Mental Health & Money Advice team, read our ‘5 steps to manage your debt’ blog post or visit our Mental Health & Money Advice page. Don't hesitate to contact us - we will offer you all the support we can to help you get on top of your finances.