Money and mental health are often linked. As we all try to get used to being in lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us will face major challenges with our finances over the coming weeks and months. Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make your mental health worse.
Here are some examples of how your mental health and your money worries might affect each other:
- If you can’t work or have to take time off work, your income may be affected.
- You may spend money to make yourself feel better. Spending can give you a temporary high.
- You might feel anxious about doing things like talking on the phone, going to the bank or opening envelopes.
- You may lose the motivation to keep control of your finances.
- Money problems can affect relationships, which can have a knock-on effect on your mental health.
If you’re feeling worried or anxious or just want to know more, MIND have some helpful guidance. Please follow the link to their website for more information www.mind.org.uk. Mental Health Friends is another organisation to visit too.
Below is some guidance to help you try and manage your finances. I hope you find it helpful.
Find out what financial help you are entitled to.
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in the Government making the unprecedented move to order non-essential workers to remain in their homes. This has resulted in many employees, business owners and those who are self-employed not being able to work and, as a result, losing their source of income. The Government has set out measures to help financially during the lockdown.
One of the biggest financial concerns for people during this time, is how are they going to pay their debts and for many, their biggest debt is their mortgage. The Government announced that homeowners will be entitled to a three month repayment holiday if they cannot pay their mortgage during this time. If you’re a homeowner struggling financially, please do not ignore the situation and if you’re unable to pay your mortgage make contact with your mortgage provider as soon as possible to discuss options.
For those with credit card debt, transferring the balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card with a long interest free period might be a good option worth considering to help reduce the credit card debt.
For those of you who are unable to meet loan repayments, you should contact your loan company to discuss your individual situation and any possible options they may have available to you. Some loan companies may be able to offer repayment holidays, but unlike with mortgages, this is not something the Government has guaranteed.
If you have already spoken to your loan company and are still unable to meet your loan repayments you should contact an organisation such as Citizens Advice or a free debt charity to discuss what other options may be available.