State of anxiety: 9 in 10 anxious about their finances

28 March 2019

  • 90% of UK adults have experienced anxiety due to money worries, with nearly two-thirds (63%) worrying about their finances every month

  • More than 1 in 10 (13%) feel anxious about their finances every day 

  • 31% of those who have experienced anxiety have suffered mental health problems as a result of financial stress; 76% have felt depressed and 37% have experienced panic attacks 

  • 3.1 million people in the UK have taken a day off work due to financial anxiety 

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 people (19%) have sought help and advice to relieve their money worries

The UK is living in a perpetual state of anxiety, with financial worries plaguing nine in 10 people, according to new research by online saving and investment service Moola, part of JLT Employee Benefits. Nearly two thirds (63%) of people in the UK worry about their finances on a monthly basis, while more than 1 in 10 (13%) worry about money every single day. 

Financial stresses and strains are causing both mental and physical health problems. Moola found that nearly a third (31%) of people attributed their mental health problems to financial anxiety, while 32% of people experienced physical symptoms of stress, including migraines, palpitations and insomnia, as a result of money worries.

Three quarters (76%) of those suffering from mental health problems as a result of financial stress have felt depressed, while 37% have experienced panic attacks. More than one third (34%) said they have felt angry about their financial situation and nearly two thirds (61%) felt helpless. 

As the burden of rising living costs hits UK households, mortgages, rent payments, energy bills and other household costs are the biggest source of stress for more than a third (39%) of those that took part in the survey. Credit card bills and other debts are the major source of stress for a fifth (21%) of people aged 25-34, while those over 45 are most worried by their prospective or current retirement income.

The research suggests that 3.1 million people in the UK have taken a day off work due to financial stresses and strains, providing some indication of the impact of financial anxiety on UK productivity. Despite the high levels of anxiety reported across age groups and genders, Moola found that just 19% have sought advice about their finances; 61% of those seeking support turned to a money advice charity, 26% sought help from their partner, while 22% relied on their parents for guidance. 

Commenting on the findings, Gemma Godfrey, Founder and CEO of Moola, said: “With current levels of financial stress and anxiety at fever pitch across the UK, it’s more important than ever that we tackle the ultimate taboo – talking about our money. The good news is that with the rise of the internet and smartphones, we now have better access than ever to tips and tools to be savvier with our finances. 

“Support from family or friends can make a massive difference for those struggling every month, but financial education can be the key to offering hope for the future. 

“Employers also have a crucial role to play, however. Financial wellbeing is critical to people’s overall health and motivation. Therefore, UK employers have an opportunity to better support their staff. A less anxious workforce is, after all, a more productive one, so everybody stands to gain from improving financial wellbeing.” 

– ENDS –


Research for the study was carried out by Populus: 2000 UK adults were surveyed between 11th and 12th March 2019.

Population statistics based on ONS estimate of adult working population of 52.1m.


Moola/JLT Employee Benefits
Corinne Gladstone
PR Manager, JLT Group
+44 (0)20 7895 7705
+44 (0)7799 340658

Sarah Cowburn
+44 (0)20 3047 2691
+44 (0)7896 859 159

About Moola
Moola is an award-winning saving and investment service to improve people’s financial wellbeing. The service offers people the tips, tools and confidence to be savvier with their money and save for the things in life that really matter to them, such as a new car, holiday or their children’s university fees. Moola offers educational content, and savings accounts available through the website include Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and ethical portfolios.

Twitter: @MoolaTeam

About Jardine Lloyd Thompson
Jardine Lloyd Thompson is one of the world’s leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services. JLT’s client proposition is built upon its deep specialist knowledge, client advocacy, tailored advice and service excellence.

JLT is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and owns offices in 41 countries with more than 10,600 employees. Supported by the JLT International Network, it offers risk management and employee benefit solutions in 135 countries.

For further information about JLT, please visit our website     

About JLT Employee Benefits
JLT Employee Benefits is one of the UK’s leading employee benefit providers offering a wide range of benefit and pension services, including administration, actuarial and pension consultancy, investment, Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs) administration, flexible benefits, healthcare, benefit communication, financial education and individual financial advice.

Pensions and employee benefits companies within the JLT Employee Benefits group of companies include: JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd, Profund Solutions Limited, JLT Wealth Management Limited, JLT Investment Management Limited and Independent Trustee Services Limited. JLT Employee Benefits is part of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc.