27th November 2014
When it comes to the financial issues that most stress Britons out, being embarrassed while out shopping because their card is declined or they can’t take out cash ranks highly.
According to research conducted by debt advice and solutions provider Debt Advisory Centre (DAC)*, being cut off from either their gas or electricity is a major source of stress, but is ranked equally with being unable to access the internet.
Meanwhile, more than two-thirds were concerned about losing face in public.
Financial stress triggers included:
|Stress trigger||% of people who rate it as stressful|
|Being cut off from gas / electricity||80|
|Being cut off from mobile / internet||79|
|Getting a CCJ||73|
|Having your card rejected in store||72|
|Cash machine refusing to let you withdraw money||69|
|Missing a bill payment (e.g. a direct debit “bouncing”)||69|
|Getting a ‘red letter’ or final demand for an unpaid bill||66|
|Being rejected for credit||64|
|Incurring a bank charge||62|
More than two-thirds, at 69%, of respondents said the financial situation that most filled them with stress when it happened to them was a cash machine refusing to let them withdraw money. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters, at 72% admitted they had been most stressed at having their card declined in store – making it a situation that fills more people with fear than the thought of being rejected for credit. And more than half at 54% said they had felt most worried going overdrawn.
These are concerns that could become a reality at this time of year. With Christmas just around the corner, many people may be visiting the high street more than usual to stock up on gifts for loved ones. Not being able to pay for these presents could not only be embarrassing, but might also pile added pressure on people already struggling with the cost of Christmas.
Having a card declined, not being able to withdraw cash and going overdrawn could all be warning signs that a person is having financial difficulties. If they continue to spend regardless of this, their finances could become overly stretched and it may be difficult to get their money back under control.
Ian Williams, spokesman for DAC, says: “It’s not just emotional difficulties like the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one that can pile on the stress, but also financial worries. At this time of year, that may be even more the case as many people find themselves forking out more than they usually would so they can cover all the costs of Christmas.
“Having a card declined while paying for presents or not being able to take out more cash may be warning signs that your finances are being over-stretched. Rather than ignoring this, it may be worth seeking advice as soon as possible so you can get on top of the situation. That way, you may have more of a chance of avoiding a financial nightmare when the New Year arrives.”