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How to cope with financial anxiety

Money is a common source of anxiety.

What is financial anxiety?

Financial anxiety is feeling worried about your financial situation. According to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), nearly three-quarters of people with mental health problems are likely to struggle with bills and credit commitments. That figure is only 50% among all UK adults.1

What causes financial anxiety?

Financial anxiety, or money anxiety, could be worries around your income and job security, meeting debt repayments, or affording everyday essentials.

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about your finances, you’re not alone. Visit our mental health and support page to find out how we can help. 

How you can move forward

Find out what makes you anxious

Understanding what makes you anxious about money could help you start tackling the problem. There may be particular moments or thoughts that trigger feelings of anxiety – opening a letter from the bank, or paying for your share at a restaurant, for example. 

It may feel uncomfortable but try to figure out what they are and why they’re stressful. Perhaps you’re worried about being overdrawn and being charged fees. Or it could be that you’re not sure you’ve got enough money in your account to pay for something. 

Try to find the root cause of your anxiety – and write it down if it helps. If you want to speak to a professional for help with anxiety, you may want to reach out to Anxiety UK or Mind.

Start a conversation

Conversations about money are not easy. But opening up to a trusted family member or friend could help you organise your thoughts and take some weight off your shoulders. 

Friends and family are likely to want to help – whether that’s guiding you towards the right support, or just listening. 

Who knows, they may have experienced, or be experiencing, similar anxieties themselves.

Explore: How to talk about money

Prioritise your mental health and wellbeing

Putting your mental health and wellbeing first may help you feel more focused when it comes to tackling your financial worries. 

Speak to your GP if you’re experiencing challenges with your mental health and wellbeing, as they’ll be able to help you further. And if you want to learn more, the NHS website is a good place to start.

There are also things you can do right now. They may not make the problem go away, but they may help you in the moment:

  • rehydrate – even mild dehydration can cause disturbances in mood
  • get enough sleep – sleep can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve your mood
  • exercise for 30 minutes a day, regularly
  • change your surroundings – go to a park or take a walk somewhere different from where you are now
  • breathing exercises – there are apps available which can help

Contact your bank

It’s your choice if you want to speak to your bank about any concerns you have, but they may be able to help. For example, they may have advice and support you can access.

If you bank with us and need support, please get in touch to see how we can help with your money worries or financial anxiety. 

Get tips on budgeting, saving and managing debt

If you’re worried about your financial future, making changes to how you manage your money now can help. Take a look at our guides on debt, spending and saving to help you get started. 

Guides on debt

For independent advice, you can also contact:

Guides on budgeting and spending

Guides on saving 

Putting steps in place could help relieve some of the worries you may have.