Money biggest worry of ‘mediocre year’ 2009

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
March 08, 2010, 9:35 PM GMT+0

Money problems were cited as one of the biggest worries in 2009, which was a mixed year in terms of worries and satisfaction for the majority of British adults, a Samaritans survey has found in an appraisal of the year as a whole.

Nearly half (48%) reported money worries as the most worrying aspect of the year, blaming issues about their bank balance and debt issues for their less-than-brilliant year. This will be in no small part due to the ongoing catastrophic effects of the recession, unemployment, the lack of available credit and widespread pay freezes.

Job security and redundancy

Fittingly, nearly a quarter (24%) of the 2082 adults asked stated job security and the spectre of redundancy as their most worrying concern, followed perhaps unsurprisingly by workplace stresses such as the pressure to perform well and the problems that beset potentially precarious relationships with colleagues or bosses.

The strains of the work/life divide is in evidence, however, as more than one in three (35%) worried about their personal relationships, nominating issues with a partner, parents, children or friends as one of their greatest concerns of 2009. 32% stated that health issues were a major factor in the way they remembered the year, and the turbulent political and foreign situations played on 24% of people’s minds.

Samaritans’ Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone said, ‘In the last year, Samaritans received five million calls and many of them were about the worries identified in this survey, with approximately one in every ten calls linked to financial stress. If people don’t talk about their problems, they can build up over time and spiral into more serious emotional distress. Sharing your troubles can be a huge relief.’

Worst year ever?

Overall, though, things aren’t as hopeless as they might seem, with a pragmatic 57% calling the year neither bad nor good; merely full of ‘ups and downs’. However, 18% categorically stated that 2009 was a bad year, and five percent pilloried it as their ‘worst year ever’, compared to less than half of this (two percent) calling it their best. And as the economy continues to look bleak, it's not certain if 2010 will fare better in the public's estimation.

For full survey details and results, please click here