Should you make talking about money your New Year's Resolution?

31 December 2019

• A third (33%) of UK adults admit to having sleepless nights over financial pressures

• A quarter (24%) say money worries negatively affect relationships with family and friends

• Nearly one in five (16%) are so worried about money it is affecting their performance at work

With new research highlighting sleepless nights as the most common side effect of feeling under financial pressure, talking about money should be top of the resolution list for many in the New Year.

One in three (33%) said that concerns about money are keeping them awake at night, with this number rising for those aged between 35-44 (41%) and 45-54 (43%).

Not limited to the bedroom, financial woes are also impacting people’s performance at work (16%) and taking their toll on personal relationships (24%).

But, with a third (34%) of people reporting they do not talk to anyone about the financial pressure they’re feeling, there is a real opportunity for a significant proportion of people to ease the burden.

Catherine Kehoe, Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Our research shows that financial pressure has the potential to be a source of stress and anxiety, with many not feeling very comfortable talking about finances with loved ones. The work we have done through our M-Word initiative highlights real benefits that can be found in being open about money worries and talking to someone you trust. We know that broaching the subject of money can feel overwhelming at first which is why we have created an online hub which has lots of tips to help people start those money conversations.”

People engaged with their finances

For many of those who admit to worrying about money, they have a number of ideas on what would help their financial situation. Nearly half (45%) believe more affordable regular living expenses – such as fuel or groceries – would make a real difference. Cheaper housing costs, including rent and mortgages, would be a weight lifted for 26% people too.

Furthermore the majority of people proactively engage with their situation to help alleviate some of the issues. 60% are prepared to reduce their spending and 12% are willing to borrow money from friends and families in tough times.

Financial woes impacting work

The top financial matters on people’s minds are housing costs (27%) such as their rent or mortgage, debt (24%) and saving for big events, such as a wedding (19%). 

Almost one in five (16%) say financial pressures have had a negative impact on their work performance. This is most prevalent in those aged between 18 and 24, with one in four (26%), feeling under the strain whilst at work.

In fact, almost a third (29%) of 18-24 year olds say that they have avoided addressing their finances, because of the financial strain they find themselves under.

For some, this also extends to their personal relationships, with one in four (24%) saying their relationships with family and friends would be more positive if it weren’t for their money worries.

Relate Counsellor, Dee Holmes said: “These findings reflect our experience at Relate. A third of our relationship counselling clients tell us that money worries are causing difficulty in their relationship and we also see family members who have fallen out over finances. It can be tempting to keep financial problems from your partner or family but this can lead to a lack of trust and the worry of it all can impact on every area of your life. There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and the person you confide in may also have some good ideas about how to manage the issue.”

South East worrying about money the most

16% of people in the South East worry about money all the time; the highest out of any region in the UK. This is compared to just 7% in the East Midlands. Unsurprisingly the South East also had the highest rate of respondents who are not at all comfortable with their financial situation (17%).