Poll: 85% of workers experience financial stress

More than 85% of workers experienced financial stress in the last year and four in 10 feel they live from pay cheque to pay cheque, a survey has revealed.

Stressed workers who take time off to sort out their money problems are costing industry and businesses as much as €850,000 a day.

And more than half of workers say that financial strain has an impact on their ability to do their jobs.

The Amárach survey, commissioned by my-money.ie, found that four in 10 of those who are financially stressed are having trouble sleeping on at least a weekly basis. This increases to 82% among those who are overwhelmed by debt and 97% among those overwhelmed by financial stress.

Six in 10 employees under financial stress feel it is impacting on their ability to work, and this belief is higher among men and those in the 25-34 age group.

Most employees have not missed work due to their financial problems, but of the 9% who reported not turning up in the office, they said that on average they have missed nine days due to financial stresses.

Financial adviser Liam Croke, who set up my-money.ie, said the degree and scale of financial stress and its impact on employee productivity is widely underestimated. “It weights heavily on both the home and professional life,” he said.

The research found that all workers spend more than 30 minutes of the workday preoccupied with financial issues, rising to 44 minutes among those in the 25-44 bracket. Those who had a mortgage spend as much as 46 minutes worrying at work, while those with overwhelming debt or financial stress spend an average of over an hour on their money problems.

Seven in 10 managers and employers said their employees feel financially stressed and 78% have noticed an impact on their staff’s ability to work effectively.

Over half of employers said staff have missed some time in work due to financial stress. Seven in 10 workers report having some level of debt, with 83% of those in the 23-54 age group most likely to have debt.

One third of employees who have debt say their lack of financial knowledge contributed to their situation, with the 15-34 age category again most likely to be in need of assistance.

Six in 10 feel they are in control of their finances with most paying off bills every month to stay on top of their financial situation.

However, only 43% regularly pay off their credit card bills on time. The survey said many are trying to regain control of their finances with over half of adults and workers reporting they have a weekly, monthly, or annual budget.

Nearly three in 10 said they do not have financial goals as a result of having to live day to day, with one in five saying they don’t have sufficient income to warrant having financial goals. Most adults blamed expenses exceeding income as the main problem, with many paying off their bills each month as a way of keeping control of the finances.

Workers lose 37 minutes a day worrying about money

By Claire O’Sullivan

Two thirds of Irish employees have debt that is threatening to overwhelm them, according to a recent survey into employee stress.

Research by Amárach Consulting shows that employee financial stress is costing the Irish workplace up to €2.1bn as the average employee is losing about 37 minutes a day worrying about finances.

The research for my-money.ie showed that at any one time there are up to 557 people off work ill due to financial stress. Up to 41% of the employees questioned also admitted to not being in control of their finances, with over two thirds not saving.

This figure chimed somewhat with a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions on disposable income after bills are paid. This found that almost 40% are now saving, with the average amount standing at €187.

But 10% of working adults only had €100-€150 in disposable income at the end of the month.

When combining the non-working and working population, 14% of people hadn’t a penny after they paid their bills.

According to the ILCU, the biggest spend is still mortgages with the average standing at €817. The average monthly spend on credit cards is €268 and on satellite TV, €44.

We’re also still repaying quite sizeable sums in personal loans, according to the ILCU figures, with €262 being paid out on average every month.

It costs €249 per month on average to send a child to college.

The average pension contribution is now €168, health insurance is costing €137 per month and home insurance €47.


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