The Government wants to know about your financial wellbeing
On Friday, the Money Advice Service (you know, that annoying ‘Ask Ma’ advert) asked for “evidence to help draw up a new national strategy to help improve the UK's financial wellbeing.” Basically, they are going to ask everyone, including charity organisations to tell them about projects and initiatives which have successfully improved people's financial wellbeing.
Most people would probably argue that having a job, more money or a lower cost of living would improve their financial wellbeing, but the Government, in its infinite wisdom, thinks that instead, people need a “blueprint” to help them manage their money. The survey will also find out whether people have got any better with money since the last survey was produced by the FSA (now the FCA) back in 2006. And perhaps they will find that people have got better with money, after all it’s a case of needs must for many.
But perhaps Ma could just ask MoneySupermarket.com how people are feeling about their money (or lack thereof). In conjunction with mental health charity Mind, Moneysupermarket have found that, somewhat unsurprisingly, our current or future financial situation is the thing that causes the biggest stress for almost a third of us (31%).
The research showed that 18% say it is their current financial situation which causes them the most stress, and a further 13% are most worried about their future financial situation. Third up is health worries, also at 13%. To make matters worse, 72% of people worried about their finances think Professor Brian Cox is talking out of his behind and that things can only get worse, with half of these people blaming the rising cost of living for ever-increasing money worries. Ten per cent of people think uncertainty over their benefits will add to their financial stress- probably those middle class couples worrying if one of their earnings is going to tip over the £50,000 threshold so they will lose their child benefit.
Almost half of all respondents (48%) claim they are either frequently or occasionally worried about their financial situation, with 18 to 34 year olds (62% of the relatively-young) being worst affected.
The Ma final report is due out in 2014.