Thanks to Nathan Copeland, Researcher & Marketer at Good With, for this guest blog outlining how the startup is using AI to combat the cost of living crisis.

Money and mental health are closely intertwined, with 81% of young adults feeling stressed about their money. At Good With, our own research with our gen-z beta users highlights that users who experience symptoms of depression and anxiety report higher levels of financial stress, solidifying how financial stress can negatively impact mental health and poor mental health can lead to financial difficulties. Addressing this problem requires a holistic approach that considers both financial and mental health factors in tandem.

As young adults navigate the financial pressures of the cost of living crisis, we at Good With are using AI to bridge the gap between money and mental health. We’re creating a financial wellbeing AI companion to support young adults manage their finances, alleviate financial stress, and ultimately improve their overall financial wellbeing – however that may look for them.

Using AI as a driving force of our financial wellbeing app, we’re able to support young adults through combining AI-led CBT chats, that monitor mental health through analysing patterns in behaviour and language, with financial education in order to bring a holistic perspective of an individual’s financial wellbeing.

The cost of living crisis can force young adults to delay important life milestones and stunt their life ambitions. This delay can have long-term impacts on their futures, impacting their ability to build wealth and achieve financial independence. By combining fintech, edtech and healthtech to create a compelling AI-Money Coach, young adults can take control of their finances and avoid getting into bad debt – helping them achieve their life goals and build the brighter financial future that they want to achieve.

The power of AI is in big discussion at the moment, but we believe that AI can help bridge the gap between money and mental health through scientific and psychological-based processes that leave the user in control of their data. These are just a few ways in which we’re using AI to offer these solutions:

Personalised Support

Our chatbot offers personalised financial support specifically tailored to the individual user. The more they chat, the better catered our chatbot can be in delivering conversations relevant to the user. By analysing an individual’s data and patterns, our chatbot can provide tailored support on financial topics relevant to the user that takes into account personal needs, goals and circumstances.

This in turn supports young adults to navigate their financial pressures more effectively and ultimately make better financial decisions unique to their situation. No more generic tips & tricks or endless googling for irrelevant advice!

Taking a CBT approach with our financial support, our financial wellbeing psychologist, doctoral candidate in counselling psychology at the University of the West of England, Chandini, explains “When a thought is unhelpful and we fall back into our habitual behaviour patterns, [CBT] can be useful to help reframe our money mindset. Oftentimes when it comes to our money, our beliefs or thoughts are often the things halting us from achieving our financial goals.”  Money and mental health cannot be treated separately and should ultimately be treated as one, in order to improve young adult’s overall sense of financial wellbeing.

Financial Education

Furthermore, AI-powered financial education tools are built by professional psychologists to support young adults learn about personal finances and develop the skills and knowledge they need to make better financial decisions.

These tools are especially helpful for young adults who are just starting out on their financial journey and for those who may not have access to other sources of financial education.

Additionally, “As young adults, the part of our brain responsible for making decisions and planning ahead hasn’t fully developed yet, so young adults are more influenced by their emotional brain. Good With can support filling in these gaps by providing learning around finances and using CBT tools to support with feelings and decision making,” explains Sam a behavioural psychologist for Good With, MSc Neuropsychology, NHS.

Sam continues, “We know that how we feel about things is a better predictor of mental wellbeing than the situation itself. Using CBT tools, we can develop skills to change how we feel about money.” By using AI-powered financial education pathways, backed by CBT and built by professional psychologists, our 18-30y/o users can learn what they actually want and need to know in order to thrive both in the present and their financial future.

Breaking the Stigma

AI is unique in delivering financial wellbeing tools as it creates anonymity between chatbot and user, helping to break any negative stigma associated with financial stress.

The anonymity and convenience of our in-app financial wellbeing tools makes it frictionless and easier for people to open up about their financial stresses and seek the support they need freely.

By reducing the stigma associated with money and mental health, AI helps create a more supportive and accepting environment for those who are in need of financial wellbeing support, making our app a safe space for users to learn, reflect and grow their money confidence at their own tempo.

Digging deeper into the psychology, “Gen-z culture is under more pressure from social media and peers to own things and go out, debt has become normalised,” says Sam, and so equipping young adults with a platform to help them build mental resilience to facilitate change in a detached environment from societal expectations is crucial.

The App where Money Meets Mental Health

By integrating financial and mental health support, Good With – as a tech startup – provides a holistic approach to improving financial wellbeing in young adults. With the help of scientifically and psychologically backed AI, our app can offer personalised financial support that takes into account an individual’s unique financial situation, goals, and spending habits.

Until now, financial wellbeing has been defined purely as financial capability – someone’s ability to manage their money. However, this isn’t reflective of a person’s mental wellbeing. “Good With has created a new financial wellbeing, one that supports the development of financial skills so that you can be savvy with your money, whilst also developing the skills to manage your feelings around money, so that you have the knowledge and confidence to live your best life,” Sam tells us.

The power of fintech can empower individuals to take control of their finances and improve their financial wellbeing. This, in turn, can alleviate the financial stress that contributes to mental health issues prevalent in young adults.