There are certain subjects that people tend to stay away from in everyday chatter with friends and family. You can probably name a few right now. We’d take a guess that one of them is money.

According to a 2022 survey by Klarna, a third of UK adults feel too uncomfortable to talk about money with their peers, despite 44% regularly feeling concerned about their own financial situation. 34% cited awkwardness as being the reason why they don’t discuss their personal finances and 26% say that they are concerned about judgement from others.

Money worries are growing

During the pandemic, according to research by Aegon, 36% of people were concerned about their finances. This spiked at more than 60% in mid-2022. The cost-of-living crisis, the fallout of the pandemic, Brexit, and the war in Ukraine created the perfect storm.

The Channel Islands battled, and continue to battle, with an inflation rate in double digits and a continuously climbing base rate, which now sits at 4%.

Due to rising economic pressures, more people are faced with increasing amounts of debt. According to The Money Charity, people in the UK owed a total of £1,831.9 billion of personal debt at the end of November 2022. This was a sizeable increase of £73.6 billion from the year before, an extra £1,394.44 per UK adult.

Unfortunately, the taboo that surrounds talking about money creates barriers for many who would like to seek support. However, if you find yourself in a tight spot, it’s crucial you speak to someone to work out a solution before the problem becomes bigger and potentially unmanageable.

Lean on someone impartial

Talking to someone close to you, like a friend or loved one, isn’t always easy when it comes to personal financial matters. You might find it easier to speak to a professional who you don’t know, but who can guide you through the required steps to helping you feel more comfortable with your money. This could be a financial adviser, a lender, a bank or even the Citizens Advice Bureau in either Jersey and Guernsey.

Request some breathing space

Many lenders may be able to offer some breathing space to provide time to get your finances back on track, subject to your individual circumstance. If you’ve fallen behind with payments and are finding it difficult to bring them back on track, they may be able to support you in lowering your monthly repayments for a short period.

Create a repayment plan

Being in debt can feel extremely overwhelming, especially if you have multiple places where you need to make repayments. To help combat this, bringing everything into one place can help. It could be written in a notepad or on an excel spreadsheet. You could also consider consolidating your debts into one place. Whichever decision you make, knowing exactly what you need to pay and when, can be the first step to feeling more in control. From here, you can work out monthly budgets that work with your personal circumstances.

Look after your mental health

Financial concerns can be a root cause for mental ill-health. A poll conducted before the 2022 Autumn statement found that one in 10 of UK adults felt hopeless about their financial circumstances, and more than a third felt anxious.

Charities such as Mind Jersey and Mind Guernsey are here to support you. If you feel that you need support with your mental wellbeing, contact them as soon as you can.

We understand that being in debt, or in a tight spot with your finances, can be a worrying time. However, whilst it may feel more comfortable to ignore it, that’s not going to help in the long run. The sooner you face it, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.

Here at Close Finance, we will always work with you to the best of our ability, to resolve your situation in a way that suits your personal circumstances without judgement and with care and understanding.