It’s Talk Money Week, an important opportunity to focus on the connection between financial well-being and mental health.

Money worries during the winter months when energy bills rise and, in the run up to Christmas, are predictably common. But this year many more of us will be worrying about money.

We are facing significant cost of living concerns; driven by record petrol prices, soon-to-be record domestic energy prices, surging household bills, supply challenges, rising taxes, and benefit cuts.

The effect of the pandemic has made it more important than ever to start conversations about money, helping us build financial confidence and resilience to face whatever the future throws at us.

We have brought together some tips and signposts to resources that focus on financial health improvement:

Review your budget

No matter how big or small your budget is, not overspending is a vitally important habit to get into. It’s all about knowing your limits and using your money wisely. Check out online tools for managing spending. The Money Advice Service is a great starting point.

Be wise to borrowing

It can be extremely tempting to borrow money to pay for Christmas costs but consider whether you can afford to pay it back.  If you do decide to take out credit, check the terms and conditions and always refer to your household budget to cross-check repayment affordability.

Shop around

See if you can cut the cost of your bills. The government-backed Simple Energy Advice website includes tips. Or switch suppliers, especially if contracts are coming to an end. Find out more from the energy regulator Ofgem’s website. Citizens Advice has an energy comparison service to help you find cheaper suppliers.

Become benefit savvy

Keep on top of what help the government is offering along with available state benefits and support for childcare, housing or council tax costs. The national charity Turn2Us has details plus a benefits calculator.

Develop financial empowerment

We’ve talked on this blog before about the power of the podcast. There are some great podcasts and programmes that are helping to broaden the conversation on money and share ways to cope with financial problems. Feel less alone and more empowered with some of these:

"There are some great podcasts and programmes that are helping to broaden the conversation on money and share ways to cope with financial problems."

Get help

But when you need more support because it becomes impossible for you, or someone you know, to cope in the face of financial difficulties, then turn to specialists for the expertise and resources required.

Help is available. The earlier it is sought, the sooner you can worry less. Organisations such as National DebtlineCitizens Advice and StepChange offer free independent advice from debt experts.

Offer help

As an employer, put things in place to help your teams. Signpost to debt support, provide advice through Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) or give fast access to professional counselling services, should emotional support be required as a result of financial problems.

If you need money management advice and support, call us today on 0121 454 3601 or email: [email protected].