Our research* showed that outgoings had gone up by an average of £219 per month, which would equate to £2,628 per year
More worryingly, nearly one in 10 (9% or the equivalent of 5million people) say their monthly costs have risen by an eye-watering £500 or more.
Rising fuel bills mean many are making cutbacks to other areas of expenditure while many are dipping into savings, taking on extra debt or borrowing from family to make ends meet. But even these measures are not enough with 13% (which equates to 6million UK adults) saying that they are struggling to pay for energy and 10% (more than the population of Wales) saying they are struggling to pay for food.
With people cutting back on socialising, leisure and general enjoyment, and the pressure of money worries, sadly there’s a link between financial difficulties and a decline in people’s mental wellbeing.
According to our research, although feelings of loneliness and isolation peaked in March 2021, one in five people still say they feel this way with many citing stress, anxiety, being worried about money and worried about the future. Our research also showed that people that are most affected by loneliness and isolation are women, especially single women living alone, young adults and the self-employed.
Significant life events also factor heavily with those that have taken on carer responsibilities, suffered a bereavement or experienced a relationship breakdown tending to be more lonely and isolated than others.
We also found that those that are feeling lonely are more than twice as likely to seek face-to-face mental health support than the general public. Unsurprisingly, last year, under our income protection policies, mental health was one of the top five causes of claim, resulting in over £2million being paid out to 48 LV= policyholders.
*The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Research Programme is a quarterly survey of 4,000 people to understand UK consumers and their attitudes to their personal finances and wellbeing. The statistics shown here are as a result of the survey we conducted in March 2022.