The first direct Money Wellness Index has launched, and the UK isn’t looking well

Financial anxiety and worries Money Wellness Index

According to recent reports 11.5 million people have less than £100 in savings to fall back on, and nine million often use credit cards and payday loans to meet essential weekly food and energy bills.

Against this backdrop, online bank first direct have just launched The Money Wellness Index: a new study which analyses the emotional health of the nation when it comes to people’s money.

The report, made up of over 4,000 respondents, found that the UK’s overall ‘money wellness score’ is 47 out of 100, and as a nation, we are currently experiencing low levels of money wellness, irrespective of income. This score indicates there is an underlying sense of negativity and uncertainty when it comes to how the nation feels about their money.

Some key findings:

  • Nearly half (48%) of people aged 18-55 admit to feeling anxious about money
  • A third (32%) of those aged 18-35 are struggling to sleep at night as they have money on their minds
  • 46% of people say they feel alone when it comes to managing their finances
  • A quarter (26%) of people admit that social media makes them feel worse about their financial situation [this is significantly worse among younger people, with almost half (45%) of 18-34 year olds admitting seeing how other people live their lives on social media makes them feel worse about their money]
  • Half (50%) of people say they’re satisfied with their current financial situation, but 48% are worried about their financial future

Research suggests that the way the UK population feel about money is rated as one of the most important factors to their overall wellbeing (it’s behind only our personal relationships and mental wellbeing in general, and we rate it as more important than a healthy diet, physical fitness and job satisfaction). Yet the data also show that people aren’t prioritising money wellness, despite the growing demand for other mainstream wellness trends.

The Money Wellness Index survey is set to be repeated annually and it’ll be interesting to see how the wellness level changes over time, and how the bank uses the information to help its customers. There seem to be opportunities for changing styles of communication, making good advice feel more relatable and empowering, and adding more of the human touch so people feel less alone.

Disclosure: I have no professional relationship or history of collaborations with first direct, I just thought the survey results were interesting.

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