Saturday 13 June 2020 8:00 am

Stressed about your finances in the coronavirus pandemic? You're not alone

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about significant financial unease among UK workers, a survey has found.

Two-in-five people who work for larger companies reported an increase in financial anxiety in the wake of the pandemic, according to Close Brothers research.

Read more: The City View: How to look after mental health in the age of remote work, with Octavius Black

Only 54 per cent of workers felt they were financially prepared for the crisis.

Meanwhile, one-in-five said they were unprepared, while nearly one-in-ten admitted to being “very unprepared”.

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers said: “There remains a huge amount of uncertainty around the short, medium, and longer-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on individuals and businesses too. 

“Financial stress can affect mental health and an individual’s engagement and performance, so impacting business results. 

“Employers that provide financial wellbeing support, particularly during the most challenging of times, are likely to increase loyalty and respect as well as offering the support to encourage better financial futures for their employees.”

The upheaval has spurred many people to change the way they spend money.

Half of those surveyed said they were making plans to become more financially resilient, with 54 per cent of those saying they would keep a closer eye on day-to-day spending. 

Meanwhile, 46 per cent of those making plans said they would put more money away into an emergency savings fund.

However, it is not all bad. More than two in five workers, or 44 per cent, said that they have spent less in general as a result of the pandemic.

And 17 per cent said they had realised they can live happily on less each month. 

Makings added: “The coronavirus crisis has drastically changed all aspects of life as we know it, but it has also brought a sharper focus on money, particularly in how prepared we are to weather unexpected financial events.

Read more: Which retailers are reopening as the coronavirus lockdown lifts?

“While it’s hugely reassuring to see that over half of workers in larger businesses felt financially prepared, there are still a large proportion that are not, so there’s more work to be done there with individual employees and via their employers to support improved financial resilience.”

The survey was carried out on 2,000 UK workers at companies with 200 or more employees.

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