According to a study conducted by the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK), the financial stress faced by Malaysians had gone up about 35% since the Covid-19 pandemic started in Malaysia last year.
The study titled “Money and Mental Well-Being” was conducted by AKPK last year and they had found that more than 65% out of 3,115 Malaysians interviewed felt that financial stress has affected their job performance, as reported by The Star.
Meanwhile, 41% of them said that financial stress has affected their mental health.
“A domino effect occurs when a worker’s worried state of mind affects their job performance.” AKPK chief executive officer, Azaddin Ngah Tasir said.
The study conducted involves working adults aged between 18 to 60 year-old from the public and private sectors, as well as those who are self-employed.
It was reported that Malaysia’s high cost of living is the most common factor which led to financial stress, followed by low income and low savings.
“As expected, those who have savings cope better in managing financial stress.”
“The most vulnerable group consists of those with the least amount of savings.” Azaddin said.
The study also found that workers aged between 30 and 39 year-old are those who are facing the highest financial stress when compared to their peers from other age groups, while young workers aged 29 and below are more stressed by low salaries and overspending.
In the same report, Azaddin said that government employees who participated in the survey seemed to have better mental health when compared to their peers in private sectors, while men were found to experience higher financial stress compared to women.
He added that men are more stressed by high debt burden, while women are more worried about overspending.
In addition, they also found that nearly half of working Malaysians are not confident in handling financial issues, with 46% admitted that they are not sure with their own ability to cope with financial stress.
“Like mental health cases, those with financial struggles seek help only when it’s too late.”
“Even more worrying, financial stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is closely related to mental health issues.” Azaddin said.
Responding to these issues, AKPK said that their agency is ready to offer education to Malaysians workers to increase their financial literacy though their existing services. This includes topics on cashflow, credit and risk management.
They also urge employers to play their role to ensure their workers’ well-being in the current pandemic situation too.
Do you find this relatable or are you experiencing it yourself? Check out the services APKP provide here.