4 in 10 people in Ireland worry about money on a weekly basis

Half of people say money worries affect their mental health

4 in 10 people worry about money on a weekly basis, while a further 1 in 10 say it’s a monthly concern for them. These are the findings from the latest Sentiment Survey Series 2021, which found that of the 1,500 taxpayers[1] surveyed, 54% said they worried either weekly or monthly about money, with a further 39% finding themselves worrying about money at different points throughout the year, or due to an unexpected event.

The survey also revealed that 17% of people are not confident about their approach to money management, while 40% say their budgeting skills are just average. 84% of those surveyed would appreciate the provision of expert advice on their financial and tax affairs from their employer.

“It’s both worrying and sad to see that money is such a stress-inducing trigger for so many people with such regularity. On top of the 38% of our survey participants who said that money is a weekly worry, a further 16% said they worry on a monthly basis. That’s over half of the 1,500 people asked who find themselves stressed over their finances every month. Worry of any sort can and does impact a person’s well-being, but financial concerns can be particularly stressful and as we all know stress has a direct impact on health.”

The survey asked:

How good are you at managing your money and budgeting?

Very good                                                                                                      13%
Good                                                                                                              30%
Average                                                                                                         40%
Not Good                                                                                                       11%
Terrible                                                                                                            6%

Ms Ryan continued, “It’s great to see that as many as 43% feel as confident about their proficiency in managing their household budget, but it still leaves a large swathe of people who think they are just average – or even below. I really believe that this is where the knowledge factor comes into play. We want people to be good with money so as to alleviate stress and promote better financial wellbeing, but we can’t expect people to automatically know how to do this. Money management and budgeting is a skill which, like any other, must be taught, learned, and practiced. There are various stakeholders in the provision of financial advice and information support, with Government and educators having an important role to play. However, we are finding of late a growing importance in the role of employers. We regularly speak with employers across the country about the financial wellbeing of their employees and most are cognisant of the fact that financial, mental, and physical wellness are not mutually exclusive – they all impact on each other. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those with more money are happier, but knowing what you have and how to use it is key to developing and maintaining a healthy outlook on budgeting and finances.” say there is huge appetite among workers for this type of financial wellbeing support from employers, with the overwhelming majority of survey respondents say they would be likely to take up any offer of expert financial advice from their employer.

Ms Ryan concluded, “We want to see more people being able to access practical and reliable financial advice, and using that information to avail of any tax entitlements, reliefs, or refunds they may be due. Our average refund amounts to €1076, which is a lot of money to leave unnecessarily with the taxman. So many people remain in the dark as to their financial affairs and tax status, which really does compound the difficulties and stressors that can be associated with money management. A little information and a helping hand in this area can go a long way.”

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