Londoners have lowest 'money wellness' in UK, new poll finds

Twenty-seven per cent have been inspired by the pandemic to improve their financial knowledge

Richard Jenkins
Thursday 01 October 2020 15:20
13 per cent of adults believe they have an “unhealthy” relationship with money
13 per cent of adults believe they have an “unhealthy” relationship with money

Londoners are the least content when it comes to their financial situation — and have the lowest “money wellness” in the country.

Financial researchers used a complicated aggregation index to create a table that ranks “money wellness” on a scale from 0-100, with the national average standing at 48.

Those in Yorkshire and the Humber are the happiest “with their lot”, scoring an average of 52 overall, while Londoners came in at just 45 — the lowest in the UK.

The south west and Wales scored 51 each, while the north west was found to have an average of 47.

The insight came from first direct’s second Money Wellness Index and the score is based on people’s responses to 16 statements that specifically measure how people feel about money.

It surveyed more than 4000 adults in the UK to find out how they were really feeling about their finances since the onset of the global pandemic.

They were asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements about finance, such as whether they pretend to have more money than they really do, or whether they worry about having enough to get by.

Neuroscientist, clinical neurologist and behaviour change expert, Ash Ranpura, has been working with first direct to develop money reset rituals to allow the nation to deal with their financial health in the same way they do their emotional and physical health.

He said: “The most important step is to realize that money is, in fact, a wellness issue.

"Your feelings about money matter, they have an effect on your financial decisions and on your overall health.

“So the first thing on the agenda is to take stock of how you feel about your financial life, to articulate any emotional blocks or anxieties you might have, and to allow yourself to feel optimistic about the future.

He added: “And because money is an emotional issue, a human issue, it makes sense to deal with your financial health the way you might deal with your physical health and your mental health.

"Educate yourself a little, and consider getting some professional advice.

“This might be something as simple as reading an article online or in a magazine, or as complex as a relationship with a financial advisor.

“A little bit of knowledge can give you some perspective, and make you feel a little more in control of your own life.”

The study also found that while 13 per cent of adults believe they have an “unhealthy” relationship with money, it also shows how the pandemic has triggered a desire for change within this area.

As the UK recovers from a first lockdown and braces for a second, 54 per cent want to become more financially resilient, which for most means having the ability to cope with either a personal or economic crisis.

Promisingly, 27 per cent have been inspired by the pandemic to improve their financial knowledge and 43 per cent are more likely to pay more attention to their day-to-day spending.

Helen Priestly, from first direct bank, said: “This year has seen us all face significant changes across every aspect of our lives.

"Families have been turned upside down, feelings of isolation and anxiety have been felt widely and not to mention tragedy for those whose loved ones have been worst affected.

“At first direct, we believe the subject of financial wellness continues to lack the meaningful engagement so urgently needed when money is such a fundamental driver of mental health."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in