Anybody can experience a mental health problem, whatever their background or walk of life. However, we also know that disadvantage and adversity can create a greater risk to people’s mental health and can add an additional burden to people with existing mental health issues.

The current economic crisis is causing concern to a lot of people and it’s important to remember that feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you’re worrying about money. However, there are also small ways we can help ourselves to establish a sense of control while all the current uncertainty continues.

Not all these tips will suit everyone, but there may be something here which you can take away and use during these difficult times.

These are some tips you could try to help organise your money:

  • Put all your important documents - letters, bank statements, pay-slips, bills and receipts - in one place, so you can find them easily. 
  • It can be helpful to get into a routine of checking your bank balance at a regular, set, time so you know what you’re spending your money on and how much you have left.
  • The Mental Health and Money Advice website has lots of useful tips.
  • Create a budget. You can find free budget planners online. Make a list of all the essential things you need to spend money on every month, for example, rent or mortgage payments, energy bills, phone bills and food shops.
  • As part of your budget plan, use cash instead of cards. Only take out the amount of money you can afford to spend, for example for a weekly shop.
  • Manage your debts if you can afford to. You could set up a standing order to pay off your debts each month. If you’re struggling to pay off your debts, get debt advice. Some helpful websites:

If  the situation has got to the point where you cannot afford to pay your bills or you don't have enough money for food, help is out there. Remember, everyone has the right to essentials like food and housing. If you need support, the following things can help:

  • Check if you are entitled to claim benefits to help with your living costs.
  • Would it help to use a local foodbank for a while? Foodbank staff are welcoming and friendly and they often can also give debt advice or benefits guidance. Citizens Advice have some useful information about how to use a foodbank.
  • Sheffield City Council have produced a booklet called Feed Your family For Less, It has great recipes and tips for reducing your food spend.
  • Speak to your energy supplier. Most energy suppliers have schemes for people who are struggling to pay their bills.
  • The disability charity Scope runs an energy advice service where they can give you advice on managing energy bills and switching suppliers.
  • Ofgem has information about getting help if you can’t afford your energy bills.
  • Money Helper has a tool on its website which helps you to prioritise your bills and payments. It works like this – you pick the bills or payments you’re struggling with, and the tool puts these bills into a priority order. The tool then lists the steps you can take to help make these payments more manageable.

And remember, talking to somebody you trust gives you the time to think things through, come up with strategies and ease the burden of worry you may have been carrying alone. 

Further information about mental health and money can be found on the Mind website, where you can also find tips and advice to help you cope with everyday things like money, work, university and more.