How to support young people with financial stress


Financial stress is a contributing factor in our mental health that often goes unaddressed and young people are increasingly feeling the pressure…

Stressed employee

72% of young people said they are ‘often’ or ‘always’ worried about money*

More than three-quarters of students worry about making ends meet while at university**

35% of students said they use their overdraft as a source of income whilst at university***

*YoungMinds, Young People’s Survey 2021 ** Lowell, 2023 *** Save the Student, National Student Money Survey, 2023

It can really help a young person if they are able to talk about their financial concerns and stressors. So to mark University Mental Health Day, which this year falls on Thursday 14th March, we’ve shared our top tips for parents and carers on how to talk to young people about money worries:


Be an active listener:

Let your young person know that they can talk to you at any time and about anything that is worrying them. Ensure they know you are always there to support them and when they do come to you, listen to what they have to say without passing judgement.

Explore specific worries:

Ask them what they are specifically worried about. When you have an idea of exactly what it is, you can then start planning practical ways to tackle the problem.

Use free resources to help:

There are many free resources out there that can help you and your young person with budget planning. Citizens Advice recommends using a free budget planner tool to help people figure out what they have coming in, what they’re spending and where they might be able to cut costs. You can find the budget planner at

Ensure your young person knows money does not define their worth:

Encourage your young person not to compare themselves to other people and ensure they know that money does not define their worth. Financial stress can feel all-consuming and they may feel shame or guilt for struggling with finances.

Research low-cost activities:

Sit down with your young person and list out low cost or free activities they can do either on their own or with friends. Financial stress can feel isolating and it’s important to help combat those negative feelings where possible.

Contact the university and students union:

Your young person’s university and students’ union will have money advisors on hand to offer support. Plus, many universities have hardship funds set aside for students in financial difficulty. Encourage your young person to speak to their university’s union to find out how they might be able to help.

Speak to a mental health professional:

A mental health professional can help your young person to cope with the emotional load of their financial stress. Talking to someone impartial who is trained to help individuals manage their mental health can help ease their worries.

Contact charities and organisations for support:

Young people can feel very alone when they are dealing with money worries. Ensure they know there is plenty of support there for them, both from you and from professionals. Provide them with a list of money advice charities and organisations they can access for help if they need it.

Charities and organisations that can provide guidance and support:

StepChange | | 0800 138 1111
National Debtline | | 0808 808 4000
Debt Advice Foundation | | 0800 043 40 50
Citizens Advice | | 0800 240 4420
YoungMinds |

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