Published On: Thu, Dec 21st, 2023

Britons forced to cut back Christmas spending as cost of living bites | Personal Finance | Finance

British workers struggling with the are being forced to cut back on their .

A survey by employee benefits provider Unum found more than 85 percent of workers are looking to cut back their spending over the festive season.

The research found rising bills are affecting people’s mental health with many saying they are depressed or feeling socially withdrawn.

The group provided tips to help people reduce their costs and reach out for help if needed. Jane Hulme, HR Director at Unum UK, told : “It’s well worth checking what your employer or benefits provider offers in terms of extra health and financial wellbeing services, you may have access to a range of resources and support at little or no cost.”

She said workers can reduce their costs by choosing to work from home, while many employers offer interest-free season ticket loans to help with travel costs.

Cash-strapped Brits are also encouraged to take advantage of any resources to help better understand their finances.

Ms Hulme said: “A lack of clarity around your financial situation can be very detrimental to your mental health.

“Lots of benefits providers offer financial education and one-to-one meetings to help you better understand your finances and put you back in control.”

Unum also urged employees to reach out for mental health support as many employers offer 24/7 confidential support.

Ms Hulme said: “Just talking with a specialist can make a world of difference, so it’s worth finding out what you are entitled to.”

The research found one in five workers feel depressed while a fifth of those aged 16 to 34 say they are seeking help with their mental health due to the impact of the cost of living.

Ms Hulme urged employers to do more to help their workers. She explained: “Employers of all sizes have an opportunity here to better understand the needs of their workforce and support employees where they can.

“Aside from a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme, there are plenty of free resources to signpost to.

“These might include MoneySavingExpert, Citizens Advice, mental health charities or even reminding employees of voucher code and cashback websites they could utilise.”

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