chapter 4

Mark Pearce is caba’s Head of Service Development and Delivery. He holds a wealth of experience in health and social care, having worked previously with the UK’s National Health Service, as well as not-for-profit organisations and social housing groups.

As this financial crisis begins to really hit home, caba is receiving a noticeable increase in requests for much more extreme emotional support.

We’re seeing instances of self-harm and eating disorders, with even the children of members we speak with needing more intensive support. The research we’ve conducted for this report has found that nearly one-in-ten (9%) working and student accountants are regularly losing sleep over the cost-of-living crisis. And then there’s the ripple effect, on the surrounding family members. It’s like a pressure cooker, with feelings of inadequacy building and building.

It's easy to see where this pressure is coming from. Our financial wellbeing has the potential to affect our careers, our mental health and even our physical wellbeing. With the accountancy profession, specifically, there is a particular stigma surrounding the idea of being in debt, and the temptation is - understandably - to avoid the problem. To internalise your worries and bury your head in the sand.

We need to normalise conversations about debt, and find ways of encouraging people to open up sooner. If you don’t talk, you can’t find solutions. The earlier you face this problem, the easier it is to manage.

The first thing to do is have that initial conversation and get access to some practical solutions. Try to do this as quickly as possible - it’s always better to have an intervention at a good juncture, before spiralling into greater debt or financial anxiety and stress. If you can just tell someone that you’re struggling, you’re on your way to getting support and opening other doors. Take that first step. It won’t be as bad as you think.

Mark’s tips for maintaining health and wellbeing:

  • Try not to be too critical of yourself and your situation, as that’s often the basis of a lot of negative feelings.
  • Find safe spaces to talk, rather than simply turning to social media. Identify a trusted friend, who will listen without judgement. You might need to try a few people, but that’s OK. If you have a bad experience, don’t shut down. Keep trying.
  • We often bury our heads in the sand, thinking we might get a pay rise or that the issue will just blow over. But avoiding problems won’t make them go away. Developing a greater understanding of the issue is the way to start to deal with it. In the current crisis, it might be about realising that financial difficulties is a wider problem, as opposed to something that you alone are facing or have caused. Knowing that you are part of a group all facing the same problem can provide a huge amount of reassurance.
  • Looking after our everyday health isn’t just about staying active. From getting a good night’s sleep to thinking about the foods we eat, simple changes and healthier habits can give your mind and body a real boost, bolstering our ability to deal with everyday pressures.
  • Look at things you can do that is low cost, or free, but helps your mental health. A walk in the woods, for instance, costs nothing but can be incredibly positive for your mental health.

At caba, our role is to help the accountancy community, without any fear of judgement. We have a wealth of onsite career-focussed advice, from personal development tactics to advice for those looking to make changes in their career. In addition, caba advisors can offer free, confidential financial help, as well as support to help members secure a longer-term financial future. We can also offer emotional support when money worries are taking a toll on members’ mental health. If you haven’t turned to us before, you might not be aware of what solutions caba offers. Our support officers will even just listen, if that’s what you need.


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chapter 3 

mental health advice from Kirsty Lilley

Mental health trainer Kirsty explains why changes in our financial circumstances impact our mental health and outlines how we can prepare to manage this period where so much is out of our control.

current chapter


chapter 4

health and wellbeing advice from Mark Pearce

In this chapter, Mark normalises the idea of debt and explains how tackling hard conversations can help ease the pressure.

next chapter


chapter 5

first-hand advice from Tooba Siddiqui

Amid stress, burnout and now added financial pressures, Tooba shares her view of the pressures facing working accountants.

want to read a different chapter?


research paper 


caba have pulled together a panel of experts to share their advice on navigating through the cost of living crisis.

On-site-whitepaper-Chapter-image-7_Summary by Dr Christian Holmes.jpg

cost of living crisis 


caba’s CEO, Dr Cristian Holmes, sets the scene for the report and explains why the cost of living crisis is an issue the accountancy profession needs to focus on. Tooba, a chartered accountant, also reminds us why it’s good to seek help when we need it.


chapter 1 

the research

Accountants are already making changes to reduce their expenses, but many are still worried about the winter ahead. Read more of the facts and figures in this chapter.


chapter 2

debt advice from Paul Day

caba’s expert debt adviser Paul outlines why we shouldn’t be embarrassed when facing financial issues and shares his recommendations on tackling problem debt.


chapter 6

the role of the business

Now more than ever, employers should be considering financial health as part of their benefits packages - read this chapter to find out how.



by Dr Cristian Holmes

We’re facing a period of uncertainty, but caba is here for the everyday and the exceptional.