Sometimes it can feel like money disappears. What is there one day can so quickly be gone the next. Worrying about where the money will come from to put dinner on the table or how you will pay your rent can become an unbearable stress and for many that is a stress that we try to manage day in day out.
It’s normal to feel worried, anxious or down when times are hard. Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and financial problems can all cause emotional distress. With Christmas around the corner and cold winter nights pushing everyone's heating bills up making ends meet is not easy. The stress and worry associated with trying to maintain control over your expenditure and keeping your household running can result in you feeling:
- Inadequate, despair and worried about the future
- Symptoms of depression
- Fearful of getting into debt
- Symptoms of anxiety or panic
- Conflict with family members which can make you feel worse
- A lack of control
- Fear of being judged
Believe it or not it is possible to calm your body’s stress responses so you can think clearly and work on solutions, even if what’s stressing you out doesn’t go away. Though you may never completely eliminate all stress in your life, managing it can help you improve your sense of wellbeing. Please check out our stress page for some more information.
If you are in debt or do not have enough money for essentials like food and toiletries then we would suggest you obtain urgent advice from Citizens Advice.
If you are stressed about your finances then try to choose a regular time to look at your money and bills each week, maybe with someone who can help, so that things don’t pile up and start to feel too big to cope with. These tips may help:
- Check bank account balances and count your cash before spending
- Set a budget and stick to it. Our support sources have links to online budgeting tools to help you
- It isn’t always easy to face bills but not opening the post doesn't make it go away. Ask someone you trust to open the letters with you as you need to know where you stand
- Keep records, bills, receipts, etc in one place so that you can find them easily
- If your income or spending has changed then tell the people you owe money to or who pay you benefits
- If you are worried you are in debt then please seek help from one of the support sources we have detailed below
Mental health and finance
Many common mental health problems are likely to make it more difficult to manage your money because of the nature of the symptoms you are likely to experience.
Some mental health problems can result in people making rash or unwise decisions about their finances, such as spending money they cannot afford, while others make it particularly difficult to have the energy to keep track of money. If you are very ill, it can be necessary for someone else to take control of your money for a time.
Here are some specific ways that mental health problems may affect your finances:
- If your ability to work is affected there may be a sudden or, possibly, dramatic reduction in your income.
- If you spend time away from home, for example while you are cared for in hospital, it may be difficult to keep up to date with your financial commitments.
- If you have symptoms such as mania your capacity to make financial decisions may be affected as you might act recklessly or unwisely.
- If you have symptoms of depression you may lose the motivation or the ability to concentrate to keep control of your finances.
- If you are unable to make decisions for yourself for any reason you could be more vulnerable to financial exploitation or abuse.
If you are in financial difficulty, you may feel ashamed or scared and not want to talk to others about it. There are sources of help that will allow you to regain control and these services will not be judgemental. Please check out these in our Support Sources.
The Money Advice Service
Free and impartial advice. Includes a budget planner tool, advice on how to take control of debt, advice on homes and mortgages, etc.
Shetland Credit Union
Shetland Islands Credit Union is a newly-established credit union which is a member-owned financial co-operative which offers a genuine ethical alternative to High Street banks and loan companies. It provides a range of savings products and competitive affordable credit to anyone who lives or works in Shetland. They have an office in the Toll Clock Shopping Centre - open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons from 12 noon to 2pm.
Citizens Advice Bureau - Shetland Office
Opening hours: Monday - 9.30 - 12.30, 14.00 - 16.00 Tuesday - 9.30 - 12.30, 14.00 - 16.00 Wednesday - 9.30 - 12.30, 14.00 - 16.00 (Appointments Only PM) Thursday - 9.30 - 12.30 (appts only), 14.00 - 16.00 (Welfare Rights/Money Advice appointments only), 17.00 - 20.00 (drop in) Friday - 9.30 - 12.30, 14.00 - 16.00 Saturday - 10.30 - 13.00 Sunday - Closed
The National Debtline
Call 0808 808 4000 Monday to Friday - 9am to 9pm / Saturday 9.30am to 1pm. Website includes factsheets and budget advice.
Offers a 24 hour confidential, emotional support to anyone who is suicidal or despairing. Helpline number - 0845 790 9090.
Free and confidential helpline - 0800 838 587