Debt problems lead to mental health issues
Research from Money Advice Service in conjunction with the UK Financial Capability Board has revealed that only half of families have any life cover, 21 million people don’t have a modest £500 in savings to cover unexpected bills like replacing the fridge or mending the car, 19 million don’t have an approach to budgeting that they feel works and around 8 million have problems with debt; of those, just one in six is seeking help.
As a result the two bodies have jointly published a 10-year Financial Capability Strategy which aims to improve people’s ability to manage money well day to day, prepare for and manage life events, and deal with financial difficulties.
Its focus will be on developing people’s financial skills and knowledge as well as their attitudes and motivation.
To address a “spend today rather than save for tomorrow” culture the strategy focuses on every key life stage and challenge: children and young people, young adults, working age people, savings, retirement planning, older people, and people in financial difficulties.
Specific actions for the devolved nations will be delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The strategy is built around two key concepts:
• collective impact and cross-sector co-ordination rather than isolated interventions
• testing and learning to determine what works in order to deliver evidence-based interventions: resources will be steered towards activities on the basis of what is proven to work.
Overall progress will be monitored by a Financial Capability Survey and ongoing evaluation of specific interventions.
Andy Briscoe, chairman of the Financial Capability Board, said: “Four out of ten adults are not in control of their finances, so for a great many people money is a constant source of worry and stress.
“This is a problem first and foremost for the individuals concerned and for their families, but it also has wider implications for society and the economy.
“The stubbornly low levels of financial capability in the UK can no longer be tolerated. Today we are calling for a fully collaborative approach to ensure we achieve the goals set out in the strategy over the next decade.”