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Millennials losing sleep over debt

Millennials losing sleep over debt

Category: Debt

Updated: 18/11/2016
First Published: 18/11/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Money worries can keep people up at any age, but new research has found that a staggering one in four adults under 34 have lost sleep over financial troubles. Many are feeling pressure not just from their bank account, but also their loved ones.

Financial insomnia

Being in debt is not just stressful from a financial point of view, it can also create tension in relationships, with the research from Norton Finance revealing that 30% of respondents have lied to their loved ones about debt, making it seem that they were doing better than they actually were. Indeed, many millennials find it hard to talk about their financial troubles, with two-fifths saying they never speak to family or friends about money woes, while 15% of those that do report feeling awkward about it.

An interesting finding was that 52% of women don't talk about their finances with family, while only 43% of men feel the same. This may be because they feel greater pressure to perform financially or are more reluctant to worry their families, compared with men.

Either way, there are clearly (too) many people keeping their worries to themselves, which can only make their debt problem that much harder to deal with. To illustrate, a worrying one in 10 respondents reported having financially-triggered insomnia on a regular basis, which not only strengthens the negative feelings related to debt, but also affects day-to-day life and can cause physical health problems.

Let's talk about it

Unsurprisingly, the reluctance to talk about money was found to be related to how well people were doing, with people in debt less likely to talk to others about it than people who were financially healthy. This is despite the fact that people in debt need more than anyone to talk about money and get help, either from their loved ones or, if that is too difficult, at least a debt charity that can provide some professional advice. It is hard to climb out of any hole on your own, as anyone who has ever suffered from depression can attest.

Paul Stringer, from Norton Finance, commented: "It can be embarrassing to open up about money struggles, but the first step is admitting to yourself that you need some help. We see that people who have the most issues with money are the most likely to over-estimate their financial position, which can be a case of just not being realistic about your spending. Being in denial about money can be more costly than people realise."

There clearly needs to be a shift in thinking in society, to fight the stigma of debt and start helping those that are in it.

What can you do?

If you suspect you have a friend or family member who is in financial trouble, try gently broaching the subject or letting them know that there is no shame in admitting that they need help. Maybe start by talking about your own money worries, either past or present. If someone is reluctant to reach out to a professional debt service, you could point them to our guide on how to get out of debt as a starting point. We can all do our part to break the taboo on talking about money, so that hopefully more people will be able to sleep at night.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.