|The cost-of-living crisis is impacting many in our community, and this time of year can make it even more difficult. Money worries can be a big source of stress and anxiety at work and home. Here are some practical ways to ease the pressure at this difficult time.|
For many, the cost-of-living crisis has put additional strain on farming families’ finances, especially as we come out of the winter months with their higher associated expenditure.
Some farming households have been forced into making unacceptable choices i.e., to heat or eat, which seems to be a common theme for people having to make less go further, and the lack of ’spare’ cash each month makes it difficult to save for the future, or for emergencies.
Here we highlight how RABI may be able to support you, as well as providing some practical tips to ease the pressure at this difficult time.
Could you, or is someone you know, benefit from our free, online, confidential counselling and mental wellbeing support accessible from any mobile device?
How RABI provides support
People can get access to support in a number of ways. There is RABI’s Click & Chat counselling support option, which is confidential, free of charge and available from any device.
Alternatively, they can call our free 24/7 helpline if they want to be put in touch with a regional support manager who will tailor a support plan to each individual based on their specific circumstances. This might include professional information, advice and guidance relating to benefits, housing, financial budgeting, or managing personal debt. Furthermore, they will advise as to whether RABI would consider support via a financial grant, for personal finances where appropriate, and help you complete the process.
Our professional team are always here to take your call on our free, confidential helpline: 0800 188 4444.
Tips for what can you do?
With so many factors out of the control any individual or farm enterprise, it might feel impossible to know what to do. Here are a few tips that might help you feel more in control of your own situation.
Money is understandably one of the biggest sources of stress, worry, and anxiety for many people. Stress can manifest in many different ways; it becomes unhelpful when you start feeling:
Whilst helping to manage your stress levels can’t always change your financial situation, it can help you feel calmer, more in control, and more able to make rational choices. We all manage stress differently. Some methods you could try include exercise, meditation and mindfulness, connecting with others, participating in hobbies, and ensuring a good sleep pattern.
You can also seek support and resources for stress via RABI Click & Chat mental wellbeing platform. Here you can find 1-2-1 support with access to a mental health practitioner, plus a host of helpful articles, activities, community forums, and a whole collection of resources all about stress.
When we consider the bigger picture and everything happening that is out of our control right now, tightening the purse strings or being thrifty may feel like an unreasonable solution to a much bigger problem.
But thinking about small scale changes can help. Try focusing on what you can do to maximise your finances. This could involve practical budgeting, looking for cheaper insurance, clearing unnecessary subscriptions, seeing if you are entitled to any benefits, using community apps (such as Olio or Too Good To Go) that give away surplus food and household items, and identifying your cheapest local supermarket (and their relevant discount/rewards system).
Whilst these alone cannot prevent the cost-of-living crisis, focusing on what you can control may help you feel less stressed and shocked and help you become more aware of your money and budget.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, there has been an increase from 2021 to 2022 in the number of scams occurring. In particular, “screen sharing” scams are on the rise, accounting for losses of over £25 million. This is where scammers convince you to share your screen over a video call app or install computer software, posing as employees from an investment or banking service. They use this to steal your information and then access your money.
With people being more money conscious at the moment, many scammers are using this opportunity to their advantage, thinking people will be more tempted to accept support.
Be conscious about who you speak to, do not open suspicious texts, never give your personal or financial information away to an unexpected request, and if you’re concerned, do not rush – stop and talk to someone you trust, and try to verify the request by contacting your service provider directly.
There can be a lot of stigma surrounding money, making it difficult to talk about, and many avoid confiding in others or reaching out for support. However, this can leave you feeling isolated or lonely, which can often have an impact on your mental health.
Talking to those you love and trust about how you’re feeling can not only help you feel more supported and validated, it can also show you that you are not the only one experiencing financial worries.
You may be able to get support from your local council or government if you are struggling to pay your living costs. You can also check if you are entitled to any benefits or one-off grants using online calculators.
Your local community may also have support groups or various schemes in place to support those people who are struggling.
Other helpful organisations include:
StepChange: Dedicated to supporting those through debt
Talking Money: Provide advice, support, and information around finances
Citizens Advice: Offers support and impartial advice around matters such as debt, housing, and legal matters.
It’s really normal if money worries are impacting your mental health, and help is available. Visit RABI wellbeing platform [LINK] for free, anonymous, BACP-accredited mental health and wellbeing support.
Or call RABI’s 24/7 free, confidential helpline for advice and guidance: 0800 188 4444