Updated: Aug 2
This is the longest blog in the world, ahem, I mean in this series, that beautifully explores your financial wellbeing & how you can turn it around to your advantage.
It's recognised the world over that our mental, physical, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, environmental and financial health all intertwine & work together in our lives. Pillars of wellbeing they can be referred to.
Sometimes we overuse one of these when we're feeling something else.
So sometimes we spend money shopping to cheer ourselves up. Sometimes we eat to feel comfort or go for a run to relieve work frustrations.
When we feel emotionally alive we might have the energy to spend more time with our friends or celebrate a personal achievement with a bottle or two of champagne.
We know how creating balance within each of these areas of our human needs helps us to feel at our best but that's a lot of dedicated effort! I think it's fair to say we mostly all do our best.
We’re all aware of our physical health.
When we feel unwell, or have an injury, or live long term with an illness, we know how debilitating it can be for our emotions & social activities.
Maybe we've had to take time off work with sickness, not getting sick pay so our income reduces therefore causing stress & money worries.
Creating workarounds to make ourselves feel better again include medication, treatments, eating better, moving our bodies differently & maybe sleeping more to recover.
Mental wellbeing has been lifted onto a global platform these past few years with covid highlighting our vulnerabilities, our environments, our limitations and we were consistently encouraged to talk about how we were feeling with tv call ins, magazine articles, online support forums and friends always asking how we were doing. We were all in it together.
Hormones play a massive part in how we feel especially as women through pregnancies, menopause & lets be honest every ruddy month!
Our mental wellbeing can be challenged randomly throughout our lives for hundreds of reasons and we are getting better at finding the best workarounds for our needs.
It starts with talking about it.
Financial wellbeing is the same.
So, what is financial wellbeing? It's not been talked about all that much has it?
How does yours affect you?
What is the impact of poor financial wellbeing on your life, work, relationships?
And what can you do about it?
I’ve just collaborated with FinWELL who offer employers a fantastic package for their teams as part of their overall benefits package or employee assistance programs (EAP).
Do you work for a business that offers things like, dental or private healthcare, gym memberships, do they bring in lovely food & drinks for you, do they offer counselling or discounts for days out? Or are you just grateful you actually get paid on time?!
I worked for many years with Apple & Gap and being American businesses they were really ahead of the curve when it came to looking after the teams.
Interestingly they never had a financial wellbeing support system and chatting to HR managers in the UK I think this year will see a rise in uptaking of of this into employee benefits packages.
I’m a Financial Wellbeing Specialist & will be offering 121 coaching, group training and creating video content to form a library of resources along with the other specialists up and down the UK.
So, if you think your employer might be interested in hearing more, do please pop over to the FinWELL website to see the intro videos & more info.
There's a contact us form on there for callbacks.
Back to you.
In this series of blogs, lives & videos on social & youtube, I’m going to share with you some simple yet fundamental steps you can take to understand how this is affecting you and how to create your own step by step plan to move forward without creating more overwhelm.
Your financial wellbeing:
Is very personal.
It’s how you feel about money, your thoughts & actions towards saving and spending.
Its how safe & secure you feel
It will have started in your upbringing, whether money was flowing, or if there were tight times or a childhood of struggling to make ends meet. Did you run out of food on Thursdays then go food shopping on a Friday night with dad's weekly pay and stuff your face because you were so hungry?
Did you have to eat everything on your plate because food was expensive ( we could go down a food relationship route but not today)
Your parents may have shared their money opinions with you; "Money doesn’t grow on trees you know!"
Or maybe you’re the child of divorced parents that showered you with gifts & holidays out of guilt?
Did your friends have loads of new toys, the latest gadgets & bikes while you were lucky if you got hand me downs?
Or maybe your dad had a flashy car which you were embarrassed about and got out of it before school & walked the rest of the way.
Your opinion about money will have been formed from the age of 7!!!! I probably should have the exact reference place this fact comes from but I don't, sorry. I'm assured it is true and that'll do for me.
Financial wellbeing is also about your confidence & understanding of how to make it all work for you in the best way.
For example, how to create a budget & maintain it throughout the peaks & troughs of life creating good money management standards that keep you out of debt.
It’s possibly simply recognising how enjoyable your life is & being grateful for what you have.
For me it’s knowing I can pay my bills on time
And I've got more money left at the end of the month instead of more month left at the end of the money!
I like not worrying about grabbing a spontaneous lunch out, buying that gorgeous bag I just saw or inviting family round for a big sunday roast knowing it will cost a few quid (especially if the boozy lot turn up)
(Actually that's a fib, that describes all of us)
For you it could be how resilient you are when things go wrong like needing to buy new tyres or replace your TV unexpectedly. The joy of not having to get the credit card out for example.
It’s how flexible or able you are to change tack when the economic winds change - and boy are they changing right now!
A few stats for you;
These are 2019 to be fair, pre pandemic, by an employee wellness company, when I get the new figs I'll share them with you. And probably the source in case you think I'm making it all up.
60% of employees are stressed out at work because they are worried about money, about that pay rise or that promotion or lack of.
Have you been watching Breeders on sky one? It’s brilliant and they’re at this stage right now of massive overload of teenage hormones & financial worries it’s such a great show, do watch it! Seeing the relationships ebbing and flowing between the couple & their kids is bang on.
25% of employees lose sleep regularly worrying over money
57% have no money left right before payday.
Only 7% were offered any support or guidance by their company.
Relationships can take a huge battering when you’ve got money worries much the same as health worries do.
Covid has had an enormous impact on businesses, many have folded leaving people losing their livelihoods and careers.
The cost of living crisis we’re in right now means our food shopping costs way more than it did a year ago, petrol & bills are insane.
I’ll be doing a piece on bills in the coming weeks actually, so definitely tune in for that one.
If you had to rate yourself in one of 4 ways
We’re going into more detail on this in Part 2, how would you describe your situation overall?
In crisis mode where you feel you can barely survive?
Struggling and feeling like you’re just not coping well?
Surviving feeling like this is bloody tough right now but just about making it work?
Thriving, feeling like you’re in control and you’ve got a plan that's perfect for you?
There's no right or wrong answer just your gut feeling that's important.
If you're in a couple perhaps you could read this together especially if you struggle to talk about money like so many do.
Be honest with yourself and look forward to a few months time, to the tidal wave that's about to hit us in the UK.
In part 2 we will go into how to actually rate yourself with a series of questions from which you can start to form your next steps which will come in part 3.
This series will be turned into a training ebook so get it for free in these blogs!!
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I hope you've enjoyed part 1, please do share with anyone you know who this might be super useful for.
Before you go, would love to get your anonymous ratings for how you're feeling.
1. In crisis mode 2. Struggling 3. Surviving 4. Thriving