One in five adults rank their financial well-being as 'poor' or 'very poor'

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Almost one in five UK adults ranks their financial well-being as “poor” or “very poor”, according to a survey.

A poll of 1,139 Brits by Perkbox found that money is the biggest cause of stress for employed adults, with over a quarter (27%) experiencing financial stress every single day. 

When asked to rate their financial well-being on a scale of “very poor” to “very strong”, nearly a fifth (18%) of Brits described themselves as “poor” or “very poor”.

READ MORE: How devastating financial worries, especially at Christmas, can impact work

Meanwhile, UK’s average financial well-being came in at 2.3 – just barely verging over “poor” into “average” territory.

Looking at individual factors impacting financial well-being, not having enough emergency savings for unexpected costs came in first place, with 56% stating that this concern brings them the most stress.

Two in five (41%) adults said feeling behind financially in comparison to those around them is one of their biggest causes of financial stress, followed by feeling unable to reach future goals, such as buying a house, which affects 39%. 

The top 10 causes of financial stress

  1. Not having enough emergency savings for unexpected costs (56%)

  2. Feeling behind financially in comparison to those around me (41%) 

  3. Feeling that I will be unable to reach future goals, e.g. buying a house (39%)

  4. Feeling limited in my career/salary progression (37%)

  5. Struggling to afford special occasions like Christmas (33%)

  6. Not being able to retire when I want to (32%)

  7. Having to miss out on events and social occasions (28%)

  8. Not being able to meet monthly expenses (27%)

  9. The fear of losing my job (24%)

  10. Not being able to keep up with debts (20%)

Looking into the impacts of financial stress. Over half (51%) of adults have experienced strain on their relationships at home, while a third have experienced impacts on their health.

These impacts aren’t just limited to personal lives either. Almost a quarter (24%) feel their productivity at work has been impacted by financial stress, and 12% have experienced an impact on relationships at work.

The survey found differences between genders it causes of financial stress. Certain times of the year bring more stress to women than men, with 36% saying they feel financial stress from “struggling to afford special occasions, such as Christmas”, compared to just 27% of men.

READ MORE: Seventy Per Cent of UK Employees Are Stressed About Money

But the biggest variance was displayed within the stress of being able to afford monthly expenses, with a huge 29% of women citing this as one of the most stressful factors, compared to just 13% of men. 

Despite these variances, men in fact rated their financial well-being as worse than women, with 19% of men rating their financial well-being as “poor” or “very poor”, compared to just 16% of women. 

So how is the UK tackling these concerns? Just under one in 10 don’t take any action to deal with their financial worries. This is most common amongst the 18 to 24-year-old age group – as just 13% take any action to deal with financial stress.

READ MORE: 5 Signs You Need a New Financial Adviser

For those that do work to improve financial well-being, the most common method used is to “look for bargains and discounts”, with 69% of adults stating that this is how they tackle their concerns, followed by 44% who “reassess regular outgoings”.

While UK workers may not be satisfied now, a large 40% expect it will just take just one to five more years before they are content with their financial situation.

One in five believe financial satisfaction will take slightly longer, predicting five to ten years.

READ MORE: Financial therapy – what it is and who needs it?

However, over 10% believe that they will never be fully satisfied with their financial situation, while just 8% of employed adults are currently financially satisfied.