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Personal finances are increasingly key to wellbeing, finds new research

Despite the Bank of England’s reality check that people ‘need to accept’ they are poorer, new research reveals inflation and rising costs are hitting people’s wellbeing harder than ever.

The figures indicate financial wellbeing is now the second-largest factor affecting consumers’ overall wellbeing: 81% said it was a major influence, putting it behind only their physical wellbeing (83%) and well ahead of the emotional, social and spiritual.

More than half (55%) also said the rising cost of living was a primary external factor impacting their overall wellbeing.

The Future of Wellbeing study surveyed 2,000 UK adults and was carried out by Researchbods, part of global strategic insight and customer analytics group STRAT7.

It found that more than half of consumers (55%) said their financial wellbeing had become worse over the past 12 months, while almost as many (49%) foresee it continuing to worsen over the coming year.

In addition, a third (32%) of those that have started working remotely or are planning to do so in the future think that doing so will be beneficial for their financial wellbeing – due to reduced commuting costs and similar factors.

Only 10% of all consumers considered their current level of wellbeing to be ‘very good’, with 17% instead calling it ‘bad’, and 45% describe wellbeing as something they actively prioritise.

Sarah Askew, innovation director at Researchbods, comments: “Wellbeing isn’t a simple thing to quantify as it encompasses everything from how we feel physically to how we feel emotionally. But it’s clear that the cost-of-living crisis is putting financial wellbeing in the foreground when it comes to our overall wellbeing.

“The sense of feeling financially stable is a real energy booster and allows people to not to feel guilty about the occasional treat. But it’s a challenge, especially in a climate where constant price increases are making consumers feel less and less in charge of their finances by the day.”

Furthermore, almost four-in-ten (38%) said that they were happy for utility brands to talk about, highlight or have a stance on financial wellbeing via their marketing channels, with the figure rising to 73% for financial services brands.

Sarah Askew adds: “This is an area where brands can offer useful guidance and assistance, provided it’s done appropriately. There is enormous scope for them to help people navigate the cost-of-living crisis.

“Of course, what people don’t want to see is ‘well-washing’, which means brands need to be mindful of performative action-taking and being seen as taking advantage of a bad situation. It’s about developing products and service propositions that actually help people feel more in control and offer genuine savings.

“At a time when so much is out of their hands when it comes to costs, helping people keep a sense of control over their finances can work wonders for people’s wellbeing.”

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About STRAT7: STRAT7 is a global strategic insight and customer analytics group. STRAT7 specialises in Always-On Customer-Centric growth, helping many of the world’s most ambitious brands understand, predict and act on change through technology-powered data and insight solutions. Since it was formed in 2019, STRAT7 has earned a place as a UK top 20 market research business. Headquartered in London, the group consists of six dynamic agencies across core pillars of Advisory, Insights, Data/Data Collection, and Analytics. The group has more than 400 people across 12 locations in Europe, US and APAC.

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