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Friday, 23 February 2018
AN estimated 7.9 million people are expecting to fall behind with their finances this month as a result of Christmas costs, according to the National Debtline.
YouGov research commissioned by credit information provider Equifax underlines the impact that money worries have on people’s health, with almost one in three Brits in the South (31 per cent) revealing that they have literally been unable to sleep at night as a result.
Those living in the South West who have had money problems stop them from getting a good night’s sleep worry most about not being able to pay their rent or mortgage — at 44 per cent compared with the national average of 26 per cent.
Along with those living in the South West, 46 per cent of those in Yorkshire and the Humber have been kept up at night thinking about not being able to pay their household utility bills.
Meanwhile, 51 per cent of people in the East of England say they are worried about not being able to afford treats such as holidays.
Among the money worries keeping people in the South awake, 52 per cent said it was due to not being able to pay an unexpected bill, while 44 per cent said it was not being able to pay off loans or credit.
Not being able to pay an expected big bill (37 per cent) and not being able to pay household utility bills (33 per cent) also kept people in the South from sleeping soundly in their beds.
Nearly a third of people living in the South who have been kept awake by money worries also worry about not being able to pay their rent or mortgage (34 per cent).
With sleep being a major factor to help cope with stress, 67 per cent of people surveyed in the South said they only get at least six hours’ sleep a night, with 11 per cent getting at least eight hours of sleep.
And with January being the month when large credit card bills land following festive season spending, Equifax is urging consumers to keep on top of their finances with a budget planner — as well as regularly monitoring their credit report.
Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax, said: “It’s important for consumers to take positive steps to manage their finances. Having a budget planner that they keep up to date throughout the year will give them a level of control that might help reduce the worries.
“Obtaining a copy of their credit report will also help individuals see an overview of their financial commitments, helping them to prioritise payments and close down any accounts they no longer need.”
The Equifax budget planner can be downloaded from www.equifax.co.uk
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