RBS: Pressure to save weighs heavily on mental health and wellbeing of young Scots

New research from the Royal Bank of Scotland suggests that young people know the importance of saving but the pressure to do so is taking its toll.

Malcolm Buchanan, chair, Scotland Board, RBS

A new survey of Scottish spending and saving habits shows that of all age groups, those aged between 18 to 34 feel more stress in saving than anybody else, with more than a third (35%) admitting that they feel it is having an adverse effect on their mental health and wellbeing, more than any other age groups studied.

Demonstrating a desire to build successful financial plans in pursuit of their life goals, almost half (47%) of 18–34-year-olds surveyed also said they feel more pressure to save money. Such a finding could be, in part, due to many young people being employed in sectors most affected by lockdown restrictions, as well as the rising costs of items such as first-homes, travel and daily essentials including food and drink.

Highlighting further impacts of financial concerns, the study revealed that over a quarter (29%) feel a sense of ‘self-loathing’ after spending money and 41% are experiencing stress that they feel is directly related to their personal finances.

Heightening this sense of pressure to save money, almost a quarter (23%) said they feel less in control of their finances than before the pandemic. This is affecting their social life and relationships, adding to a sense of isolation with a third (33%) of young people in Scotland admitting they have said ‘no’ to a social occasion, feeling under pressure to save, despite a year of lockdown.

As a result, significant numbers of young people with an account are avoiding keeping track of their finances. One in five (20% said they don’t check their bank balance after a night out, more than one in ten (12%) avoid checking their account before pay day and 8% steer clear of it after a food shop.

Aware of the challenges and pressure young people in Scotland are facing, Royal Bank is committed to improving the nation’s financial capabilities by offering every person a free Financial Health Check, to help reduce anxieties and help them achieve their goals.

RBS is also encouraging customers to make use of new features available through their award-winning app including the new ‘spending’ and ‘savings’ tabs which allow customers to easily understand where their money is going and how they are tracking against their goals.

Backing the campaign to support young people, Amber Zoe Livingstone, Pure Radio drivetime presenter and Royal Bank campaign ambassador, said: “Taking care of our mental health is so important, especially after lockdown, which has had a big effect on so many young people’s wellbeing.

“Whilst we might be able to get out and see friends again, the reality is that many of us are still dealing with the financial impacts of the pandemic. Coping with the pressure to both save for the future and spend money now is really hard and we could all use a bit of help. We need to continue to talk about managing our finances, sharing helpful tips and tricks to make the most of our money as we work towards big and little goals.

“As a recent first-time buyer myself, I’ve felt first hand how difficult it is to stay on top of your savings even after reaching such a big milestone like getting on the property ladder. Campaigns like this that keep us all talking about day to day money management have never been more important and it’s great to be on board to help get the word out about the support available from Royal Bank.”

Malcolm Buchanan, chair, Scotland Board, RBS, added: “The pandemic has made many people reappraise their lives and their goals and this new research suggests that it is weighing on the minds of younger people in a way that we might not have expected.

“Through programmes such as MoneySense, we’ve often seen examples of where a lack of knowledge or not knowing where to go for money advice creates unnecessary pressure. That is why it is so important that we provide the tools to make dealing with money a little easier such as the Royal Bank app which allows users to stay in control of their money with the new ‘spending’ tab, showing where their money is going each month as well as customisable savings pots to help them visualise savings goals and keep the motivation to save going strong.

“Regardless of how long it takes for people to get back on their feet, we want to help give everyone the support and skills they need to help them own their futures and make their dreams a reality.”

Tags: RBS

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