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Your money and mental health

Money problems and mental health issues often go hand in hand. When it comes to managing your money, breaking things down into smaller steps can make it feel less overwhelming.

Here are our tips to help you regain some control.

Signs you might need some support

  • Avoiding money matters - you’re avoiding doing things like opening bills or checking your bank account
  • Sleep disruption - your sleep is disturbed because you’re thinking about your finances
  • Feeling low and anxious – feeling like there’s no way forward due to your financial situation
  • Impact on relationships – money is encroaching on your social life and relationships, making you feel lonely and isolated
  • Guilt - you feel guilty about spending money or ashamed asking for help
  • Overspending - you find it difficult not to overspend and buy things you know you don’t need

Recognising the feelings you have around money might help you to spot patterns in your behaviour and feel more in control. It can help you to change your relationship with money. We’ve put together a list of things you can do to help you achieve this. But ultimately if you think you’re struggling seek professional help. We’ve listed some external organisations at the bottom of this article that can help you.

Things you can do to get control

  • Budget - use our budget calculator to help you compare your ingoings and outgoings and spot areas to cut costs
  • Shop around - for everything from utilities to phones, insurance and groceries can help you save without making sacrifices
  • Get organised - put all your important documents in one place so you can find them easily. This could be letters, bank statements, payslips, bills and receipts
  • Check your bank balance – do this at a regular, set time so you know what you’re spending your money on and how much you have left
  • Make managing money part of your routine - build money tasks into your daily or weekly routine
  • Set up regular payments - set up Direct Debits for your bills and other regular payments so they don’t pile up and you don’t end up overspending
  • A rainy day fund - set aside an emergency savings safety net to fall back on. We recommend enough to cover 3-6 months' worth of essential expenses

Asking someone else for help

If you feel it’s too much to manage your account, you can ask someone to act on your behalf. To help with smaller tasks you can link your HL accounts. Some banks also offer third party mandates as well. If you think you might now or in the future, need help with making decisions, then you can set up a Power of Attorney.

Visit the government website for more information on how to set up a Power of Attorney. You can visit our supporting someone else with their finances page for guidance on how to register with us.

If you think you might need professional advice our team of in-house advisers can help with managing your finances. You can find out more about advice from an HL expert.

Helping someone else

It can be hard to know what to do when supporting someone with a mental health problem. About 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems, so most of us will know someone who has struggled with their mental health.

Tips for talking about mental health:

  • Show empathy, not sympathy - letting someone know you’re worried is a good way to open up a conversation
  • Reassurance - let them know you're there to listen when they need to talk. But just being there can be helpful, they may not be ready to talk straight away
  • Offer practical help – little acts of kindness can help. Find out what works for them
  • Signpost to help – don’t offer endless solutions, instead signpost to the experts such as Samaritans or Mind
  • Be a listener - ask open questions and start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘where’ or ‘when’ and be yourself, behaving differently can make someone feel more isolated

Organisations that can offer support

There is lots of help available to offer you support. We’ve listed a few organisations that are leading in this area and have a wealth of experience they can share with you.

Samaritans
Call: 116 123
Providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress or struggling to cope.

Mind
Call: 0300 123 3393
Offers information and advice to people with mental health problems.

StepChange
Call: 0330 912 0114
Help for those struggling to pay debts.