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Don’t let money make you blue

Money problems can affect everyone, but help is at hand if they begin to affect your mental health

Jane Symonds, one of our money experts, talks about what you can do if money is getting you down.

Blue Monday – the third Monday in January - is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. There’s no evidence to justify the claims, just a few pseudo-scientific formulas. In fact there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to depression throughout the year - it can happen any time. It can also happen to anyone - with money worries a major cause.

Our research shows that 47% of us have felt depressed by money. It’s a high but not surprising number when you realise just how few people with money problems seek help.  Just 16% of the 9 million UK adults struggling with debt get advice. That means there are around 7.5 million people every day who could be anxious and unhappy about their finances.

If you find that money is causing you stress and sleepless nights, there are things you can do.

Find out how to deal with the stress

We’ve built the Money Worries tool with the NHS to help you take the first steps towards relieving the pressure. All you need to do is answer 12 short questions about how money is affecting you and your health – from insomnia to avoiding bills in the post. At the end you’ll be given some tips and ideas from both the NHS and Money Advice Service.

Don’t keep it to yourself

Sharing your money worries, whether with friends, family or someone else, can be a huge help. If you want to talk to someone independent about your debts, there are hundreds of free and confidential advice services across the UK.

Begin to take control

If you’ve lost track of what money you’ve got and what you spend, you aren’t alone. Avoiding the situation can just make things worse. Don't be scared to get started, having a budget will help you know and understand your finances.

Our Budget planner is an easy way to see what you have, what goes out and what’s left at the end. Know this and you’ll begin to take back some control. 

Don’t overdo it

Trying to solve every problem at once can be overwhelming. Tackle them one at a time, and start with the easiest if that helps.

If you can make a few small savings, you’ll soon build your confidence so you’re ready for more challenging ways to help your finances. Some simple ways to find more money include walking instead of getting the bus, taking a packed lunch to work or cutting back on luxuries like magazines and coffee.

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  • Chelsea Hancock / 31 January

    What a great article. I know so many people who really stress over money. there is one particular statistic I remember learning when studying psychology: once the basic monetary requirements are met for living on, having many more money than that does not affect a person's happiness at all.

  • michelle young / 24 February 2015

    To mack it better to get hold of you so you can help us wen we Ned you to thank you

  • frederick fraser / 24 February 2015

    i have money worrith of £1000

  • carol wood / 19 February 2015

    every month I worry that the rent money wont be there. Sometimes it spills over into my overdraft, and thats an even bigger worry. I dont want to move, but it looks like it.