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People spooked by their own money frighteners

22 October 2013
  • Paying winter fuel bills tops list of the nation’s money fears
  • 24% are horrified by the state of their finances

The thought of paying for this year’s winter utility bills tops a poll of the nation’s biggest money fears, while just under a quarter of those questioned said that they were scared by the general state of their finances. 

The survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by, revealed the nation’s top money fears:

  • the thought of paying for this winter’s gas and electricity bills (27%)
  • the general state of their finances (24%)
  • the thought of paying for Christmas (21%)
  • the prospect of losing their job (11%)
  • the thought of what they owe across their credit and/or store cards and loans (11%)
  • 10% said that they are horrified by their poor money management.

As a result of not managing their finances carefully, the survey found that 13% of people had built up debt by only paying the minimum amount off their credit card each month, while 12% had paid bank charges as a result of not pre-arranging an overdraft facility.

More worryingly, one in ten admitted to spending more than they earn each month and 10% say that they can only manage by using their credit card to buy essentials such as food and fuel.  And 6% are ignoring bills because they haven’t got the money to pay for them.

A further 9% of those surveyed said that they owe money to friends and family which they can’t afford to repay.

Claire Peate, customer insights manager at, commented: “From our survey it’s clear that many people are feeling overwhelmed by the state of their finances and scared by their poor money management.  While it’s normal behaviour to try to avoid the things we fear, ignoring money issues will only make any problems worse.   

“The first step in managing your money more effectively is to take an honest look at your finances so that you can see what you have against what you owe.  This will help you think about setting yourself a budget and enable you to spot areas where you could make savings and avoid unnecessary expenditure, such as fees for missed payments or an unapproved overdraft.

“A quick and simple way to save money is to compare and switch your energy bills, credit card balance, phone and broadband contracts, and insurance policies.  It is pointless paying more than you have to with one provider when another offers the same service for less.  So don’t just accept energy tariff changes or your insurance renewal without checking that the new price you are being offered is competitive.  By using comparison sites, like, you can quickly and easily compare a range of financial products and services, which can all add up to some significant savings.”


Notes to editors:

On 3 October 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.