Do you worry about money? If so, you’re not alone. We know from our community that it’s common for people with bipolar to have money worries.
Maybe you’ve had periods of impulsive spending in the past. Maybe you’re unable to work and living on a really low income. Maybe you find it hard to budget.
Worrying about money can increase your stress levels, which in turn can trigger bipolar symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to get on top of your finances.
On this page:
Deal with your debt
Get the right benefits
Find travel insurance
If you have unpaid loans and/or an unmanageable overdraft, getting on top of your debt can help you avoid an unhelpful spiral of worry.
Instead of burying your head in the sand, have the courage to face up to your money issues. Telling someone you trust, such as a family member or friend, can help you feel less alone. This is often the most difficult step, but people tell us time and again that just talking to someone about debt worries helps to reduce your stress levels and lower your risk of bipolar symptoms.
If you’re in debt, you’re entitled to free professional help to manage your finances. Why not lower your stress levels by finding the best scheme for you?
PayPlan is a free debt advice provider and can help you make a plan to get your debts and payments under control. It can also provide personalised advice on a range of money-related subjects, such as bailiffs, legal action and benefits. We are working with Pay Plan to help their advisors understand the problems people with bipolar often face and to provide a faster referral process for our bipolar community. If you would like to speak with one of their advisors, please email [email protected] or click here.
Breathing Space is a ‘Debt Respite Scheme’ run by the government. Depending on your individual situation, the scheme may help you freeze interest and charges on your debts for a set period of time. If you’re currently under the care of a crisis support team you may be entitled to extra support, too. There’s a ‘chat to an advisor’ button on the website where you can ask questions.
StepChange Debt Charity Fill out a quick questionnaire in two minutes and you’ll get free advice on problem debt.
Turn2UsA national charity where you can get access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services if you have money issues.
Debt Support TrustFriendly advisors either online or via the helpline will give you step-by-step advice to getting back on track with your finances.
National DebtlineA free, confidential debt-advice service where you can get help with dealing with your debts.
Money Saving ExpertAs well as lots of money-saving tips and advice, you can download a helpful free booklet ‘Mental health and debt’.
If you have a diagnosis of bipolar you may be entitled to benefits, which are cash payments paid by the government to those on a low income or because of specific needs, such as a disability or illness.
If you have difficulties with daily living needs, getting around or need a carer’s help because of your bipolar you could be entitled to:
These benefits are not means tested. The amount you are awarded is based on your level of disability and not your current financial situation. This means that it doesn’t matter if you are in work or have savings
Sick pay / low income benefits
If you are unable to work or you have a low income because of your bipolar, you could be entitled to:
3 websites to help you find your way through the benefits maze:
The Citizens Advice Bureau
The government’s Benefits Calculator
The Money Saving Expert Benefits Calculator
Travel insurance is essential if you’re travelling overseas. Just make sure that your insurance covers:
Some travel-insurance companies won’t insure people who have a mental illness. But there are specialist travel-insurance companies that will cover people with a diagnosis of bipolar, including:
Aston Lark Active Minds Insurance
Free Spirit Travel Insurance
All Clear Travel Insurance
Direct Travel Insurance
Our partners at PayPlan have come up with tips for those struggling during the cost-of-living crisis and have outlined the help available in their latest blog
Our partners at PayPlan have come up with ways to enjoy yourself on a budget, even during a cost-of-living crisis
Sonjia shares how getting free debt advice helped get her finances back on track
Paul stepped in when his son George ran into money issues during a bipolar high
Carolyn shares how having bipolar can cause her to overspend and how she's learning to manage her money