A third of young Brits do not feel financially secure in current COVID-19 climate

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2-min read
A student and a teacher react as she checks her A-Level results at Ark Academy, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A new survey commissioned by NatWest through YouGov found that 31% of those aged between 18 and 24 said they did not feel financially secure. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Just under a third of young people in Britain have admitted to feeling financially insecure following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been revealed.

A new survey commissioned by NatWest through YouGov found that 31% of those aged between 18 and 24 said they did not feel financially secure, have enough money to live comfortably and afford essential payments such as groceries, utility bills, mortgage and rent payments.

Equally, 31% of 25- to 34-year-olds felt in a similar position.

The findings, which surveyed 2022 adults between 2 and 3 December, also revealed that younger generations are more likely to feel the pressure to misrepresent their financial position.

More than half (53%) of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed said that they would feel embarrassed having to ask their parents or a close family member to borrow any amount of money, while a quarter (26%) of 18- to 24-year-olds have made themselves appear more financially secure to their family and friends.

This age group is also the most likely to experience impacts on their mental health with a third of admitting they “often” feel anxious or depressed when they think about their financial situation. Almost half (48%) said they don’t speak to family about their finances in fear of being judged.

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While money worries are rife amongst younger people, the new research has also identified increasing issues with money management among all British adults.

Nearly 1 in 10 (8%) of those surveyed said they only check their bank account once a month and just under a quarter of Brits (24%) often feel anxious or depressed when they think about their finances.

Almost two-thirds (59%) of those surveyed said they would feel embarrassed having to ask to borrow any amount of money from family.

Kelly Hearn, accredited UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) member and the co-founder of Examined Life, said: “Financial anxiety is high and increasing in this pandemic year, particularly among young adults. Money worries can lead to enormous shame and so are difficult to discuss. They cut straight to issues of self-worth and feelings of ‘not enough.’ Often people suffer in silence which only compounds the issue.

“A vicious cycle emerges where financial stress causes mental stress which affects physical health as well, particularly when coping mechanisms like binge drinking or eating are enacted.

“Financial anxieties affect most of us and yet are rarely discussed. It is time to address the taboo subject of money more openly as financial wellbeing is an important pillar of mental and physical health.”

Watch: Should I pay off debt or save money during the coronavirus pandemic?