7 tips to help you manage your money from our mental health first aiders
We surveyed thousands of first-time buyers which revealed two thirds of people we asked are struck with anxiety fighting the challenges of buying their first place. Three in five admit a key contributing factor to their stress levels is saving enough for a deposit.
We have 16 qualified mental health first aiders who are trained to recognise the symptoms of mental health and reach out and offer support to those who are affected by it. We understand how much anguish getting your finances house-buying ready can be, so we asked them for their useful tips when it comes to saving…
“Piggybanking! As soon as my wages get paid, I portion the money between a separate current account for the monthly bills and a few instant access savers for holiday savings, weekly groceries and weekend adventures. It means I can easily budget for the month ahead safe in the knowledge that whatever is left in my personal account after that is safe to spend on whatever I’d like to. It helps to take away any anxiety and means I don’t have to worry about accidentally spending money meant for other things.”
“I find planning ahead and saving is key. It does become difficult to not dip into your savings at busy times, but I try to remember how good it feels to see your savings pot increase.”
“Having an aim for your money makes it easier for people to save. And I know I have two big money months each year - when I pay for my holiday and when I hit the shops for presents at Christmas. Now I put a bit away each month to minimise the stress at those financial pinch points each year. It’s one less thing for me to worry about and I find it really helps”
“If you have money worries, the first step you should take is to speak to a friend, family member or support worker. Make sure you always prioritise debts that could impact your life directly such as mortgage or rent payments, electric and gas bills, and Council Tax. If your ability to deal with money is affected by a long-term mental health illness you may want to consider appointing someone to support you by setting up a lasting power of attorney. If you’re struggling to understand which benefits you may qualify for there are some online calculators which can help. This is just one of them out there”
“Don’t spend your money before you get it! I see all too often people who spend money in the belief that they may be receiving a payment, a bonus or something that isn’t always guaranteed. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and people land themselves in debt with no way out. Don’t get excited and cash happy – wait for payday.”
“You never know what’s around the corner and the unknown can worry some people. I find preparing for the future can help keep my stress levels low. Each month I put some money away into my “sleep easy” pot. So, if anything does happen, like my car breaks down, I can deal with the financial side more easily and take away one level of worry. It just helps me feel better about life’s inevitable ups and downs.”
“You can download a free booklet from Money Saving Expert. It’s a PDF and is supported by Mind, Rethink, CAPUK and others, for people with mental health conditions and those caring for them. It provides useful resources whether you’re looking for yourself or someone else.
If you need more direct help with your finances, there are a variety of free advice and support services, with many advisers trained to help people with mental health issues. Citizen’s Advice, StepChange, National Debtline and Debt Support Trust can all help. You can also find practical advice and support for your mental health and money issues at Mental Health and Money Advice.”