A new survey from NatWest has found that over a quarter (28%) of people in Wales don’t feel financially secure or believe they have enough money to live comfortably and afford essential payments (e.g. groceries, utility bills, mortgage and rent payments) in the current Covid-19 climate.
Despite this, almost a third (31%) of Welsh respondents admitted that they would be uncomfortable speaking to friends and family about their current financial status and almost a quarter (23%) said they have previously lied to make themselves seem more financially secure than they are.
Over half (55%) of Welsh respondents also acknowledged that they would feel embarrassed to ask family or friends to borrow money, however, more worryingly, two in five (38%) said they often and always feel depressed when they think about their current financial situation.
The research comes as NatWest launches its new Financial Flex campaign that will encourage Brits – especially younger generations – to start talking more openly and honestly about their finances to combat growing worries around money. Through a NatWest Financial Health Check, anyone, whether a customer or not, can get free advice on how to manage their money better.
Psychotherapist Kelly Hearn, an accredited UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) member reviewed the findings.
She said: “Financial anxiety is high and increasing in this pandemic, particularly among young adults. Money worries can lead to enormous shame and so are difficult to discuss. They cut straight to issues of self-worth and feelings of ‘not enough.’ Often people suffer in silence which only compounds the issue. A vicious cycle emerges where financial stress causes mental stress which affects physical health as well, particularly when coping mechanisms like binge drinking or eating are enacted. Financial anxieties affect most of us and yet are rarely discussed. It is time to address the taboo subject of money more openly as financial wellbeing is an important pillar of mental and physical health.”