Worrying new statistics from a new online survey of over 2,000 16-25 year olds* suggests that young people’s financial health has worsened as a result of the pandemic. More than 2 in 5 (41%) young people say that their money worries had increased due to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their lives.
This research has been carried out with YouGov, as part of a partnership between youth charity The Mix and global information services company Experian, who are collaborating to bring young people accurate and timely information and support about money. The findings are being released to coincide with Talk Money Week, a campaign designed to encourage all of us to open up about money issues, to help improve overall wellbeing.
Money and mental health
Over a third (35%) of young people surveyed agreed that the impact of the pandemic on theirs or their family’s finances has negatively affected their mental health. Three in ten (30%) young people are worried about having enough money to make ends meet during a typical month (having enough money to pay rent, bills, debt, or food).
Out of the young people who worry about money, 44% experienced anxiety as a result, with 41% experiencing feelings of low mood or depression. Disrupted sleep was experienced by almost three in ten (29%). Importantly, 23% said that their ability to concentrate at school, university or work was affected. Over half of young people surveyed (51%), said that their money worries are making them feel anxious about their future.
Unemployed young people have been hit hardest
This has hit young people who are unemployed (52%) or working part-time (45%) the hardest, as this group are the most likely to agree that their money worries increased as a result of the pandemic. Unemployed young people (43%) are also far more likely be worried about having enough money to make their ends meet during a typical month than those working (31%).
Young people from West Midlands (48%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (45%) are the most likely to agree that their money worries increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young women are more worried about money
Young women (46%) are more likely to agree than young men (37%) that their money worries increased as a result of the pandemic and are far more likely to agree than men that money worries have made them feel anxious about their future (56% compared to 46% respectively).
Zoe Bailie, Deputy CEO at The Mix: “Young people have always told The Mix that money is one of their biggest worries and this important new research confirms that this issue has got worse due to the impact of the pandemic. The research shows us that a concerning number of young people are uncertain about their futures and struggling with anxiety and depression because of money worries. Through our partnership with Experian, we are able to empower young people with the information and resources they need to help them manage their money and get their finances under control. We urge parents, teachers and employers to share our services with young people and let them know that we’re here to support them with money and their mental health.”
James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, said: “The findings highlight the acute impact the pandemic is having on young people’s financial health, which should concern us all. We hope that our partnership with The Mix, part of our United for Financial Health global programme, is helping provide essential and timely guidance and support to youngsters on a range of important topics, including dealing with life’s day-to-day challenges and building better financial resilience.”
The Mix & Experian partnership
The Mix and Experian want to ensure that all young people have the information they need about money to empower them with the confidence and skills they need for the future. The partnership is collaborating on youth-led resources to offer money management tips, accurate financial advice and engaging money content.
Young people who are feeling worried about their finances should head to The Mix’s money page, to find support and information and get in touch with The Mix’s free and confidential services to talk about money, and anything else. Young people can also get expert advice by reading Experian’s money and credit guides.