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Financial Wellbeing - The Practical Steps part 1

Familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

As humans our basic needs are physiological, for survival. Air, food, water, shelter, clothing & warmth. I'm pretty sure he said sex too... in that case he surely said chocolate?

When these are met, we then have safety needs. Emotional security in families & relationships, social order & predictability with education, work places, hospitals, policing for example. Freedom from fear, physical wellbeing safe from injury & accidents. Here you will also find financial security.

So when we drill down into being practical, our essential way of life in these two fundamental aspects need to be our priorities.

If you're interested next in our needs is love & belonging, then onto self esteem & self actualization. Have a google!

What then, is considered our essentials in our day to day lives?

You'll have your own list, additions or omissions, but this is what I consider to be on most people's list - and yes I'm going super practical now and looking at our bills!

I have 3 Top Tips for you so that you can take your own practical actions. The next blog will be drilling down into just a few that I can help you save money on & how.

Top Tip number One:

Put in order from the most expensive to the least, what your essentials are & how much you pay.

  1. Mortgage or rent

  2. Council Tax

  3. Service Charges for communal areas if applicable

  4. Water, fresh incoming and foul drainage

  5. Electricity, for your light, power to all appliances, heating your water and / or powering your boiler. We will come on to this as you will no doubt be aware of the stonking great increase that is imminent in the UK of around 78% on what you're paying now (variable)

  6. Heat: You may have an oil heating system - desperately expensive right now. My old farmers cottage would have had a damp cold miserable winter ahead... Ground or air source heat pumps Wood Burners, Aga, open fire places - getting seasoned log deliveries also super expensive. Oil filled thermostatic radiators Storage Heaters - these last two use electricity of course but specifically to do with keeping warm. LPG as a fuel system or as a back up to more renewable sources Solar powered water heating And of course, Gas central heating systems which will also be heating your water, either with a standard set up with a hot water cylinder or a combi boiler, heating water on demand. The quality of your boiler is paramount to ensure you are getting the most from it with the least amount of money. An A rated condensing boiler is the best value for money. Half of your energy bills is spent on heating your home & water. For more information please visit

  7. Broadband & home phone - unless the internet has passed you by, or you have exceptional reception with unlimited data on mobile, you'll find this is a necessity in our homes .

  8. Mobile phone - do you really NEED a new handset or just really WANT it? Are you benefitting from a family bundle on sims?

  9. TV subscriptions & licence - I would argue the validity of classing netflix as an essential. I have only had SKy TV for 6 years previously I was all over Freeview. But this is your list not mine.

  10. Food - oh yes the cost of a weekly shop is horribly more expensive than it was. You probably buy cleaning products, pet items, a candle or two and other bits with your weekly food shopping yes? So your £100 a week food shop, is it ALL food?

  11. Travel - car costs, see my previous blog for some great tips on car ownership. Commuting, public transport, bikes...

  12. Insurances from buildings & contents, to critical illness & pet. This stuff adds up BUT you need to protect what and who you love. More on this another time. But if your relationship breaks down, if you lose your loved one, if one of you loses your job, financially how will you cope?

Top Tip number Two

Go through your list, item by item.

What can you reduce?

What is going to increase in the next 12 months?

Have you factored this into your cashflow budget? Have you got a cashflow budget? I can help with that, they're my favourite way to budget.

When are your renewals due? Car insurance etc.

Allow 6 weeks lead time for these & start searching for better prices ahead of time - diarise it on repeat in your phone.

Did you know the DVLA will prompt you when it's time to renew your MOT and Road Tax Reminders if you want to set this up?

Top Tip number Three

Lastly, add up how much your essentials cost each month?

Each year?

How much is it a percentage of your monthly / annual income?

Now you know that, is there anything on that list that needs editing?

In an ideal world, you would have your essentials around half of your income so that 30% could be portioned over to all the lovely things you want to spend your money on.

And 20% would go to either paying off what you owe or pushing into a savings / investment package so that future you will be having a party, thanking you now for looking after you.

To be fair, It's quite likely that yours is more 65% essentials, 20% wants and 15% paying off debts or being saved.

Are you saving?

If you're not, is it because your essentials are higher than that?

Is it because you spend too much on things you don't really need or want but enjoy the spending? Or maybe it's got a bit out of hand and it's more than enjoyment?

Is it because you just haven't thought about saving?

Don't have a strong enough reason to save?

In Part 2 I will take you on a little journey to show you how I can save you money on some of your key essentials and I do all the work for you so you can relax!

We will also cover the government's £400 energy grant, warm home discounts, help for vulnerable adults.

Thank you for now, please like, share, comment on this blog post.

Sign up for my weekly 'ish newsletters and get a couple of freebies!

Until next time

Love Lucy x

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Nov 09, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Your posts are always so helpful thank you, not just generic but stuff I can take away and actually do!

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