Financial matters have always played an important role in life, but technological change has increasingly been exposing young people to financial decisions earlier and in a way that is different to previous generations. It is therefore even more vital now that they are equipped and prepared for the financial realities after they leave school.

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Financial well-being tips

1. Learn the basics of money management

You can’t be intentional with your money if you don’t understand the basics. Think of money as

  • a tool to reach your lifestyle goals.
  • you can learn about it.
  • understand it
  • use it to achieve your dreams.
  • BUT don’t let it overwhelm you or control your life.

The more you know, the more confident you’ll be in using your money with clear intent.

2. Stick to your personal values

This means aiming to be:

  • guided by those core beliefs that bring meaning and purpose to your life.
  • For example, having a healthy lifestyle, being helpful in your local community or prioritising your family time.
  • Make a list of your top three priorities and connect them with how you spend your money.

3. Be proactive

This means:

  • looking daily at your bank balance.
  • checking up on your pension.
  • coming up with an action plan to get out of debt.
  • recalibrating your investment portfolio.
  • setting a weekly money date to go over your expenses.

4. Recognise your spending triggers

  • Go through your bank statements for the past three months, and highlight all your unplanned and impulsive expenses.
  • Think back to what you were feeling when you made the decision to buy.

Recognising what drives our triggers helps us take pause the next time we feel the need to spend impulsively.

However, it’s also important to make space in your budget for spontaneous, fun spending, to avoid feeling resentful and deprived.

5. Use savings targets

Saving is hard enough as it is, but it’s harder still when we don’t know what we’re saving for. It’s important to set goals and time frames for your savings.

It also helps to keep them in separate, labelled accounts. Investing for the long-term – your retirement, for example- can feel even harder than saving.

A trick I’ve learned to keep me motivated is to try and establish a connection with my future self: picturing what I’ll be like, the life I’ll want to be living, my financial priorities and lifestyle choices. While it’s important to live in the moment, we shouldn’t neglect our future needs.

5. Prioritise your mental wellbeing

When we’re hurting or fearful, we’re more inclined to make poor financial decisions. Prioritising your mental wellbeing every day, not only on the weekend or holidays, is the cornerstone of good money habits.

Exercise regularly, use breathing techniques, set clear boundaries at work, go to therapy if you need to and connect with yourself in whatever way that works for you. Practising intentional spending is much easier when our headspace allows us to do so.

Our financial wellbeing is just as important as our mental and physical wellbeing. Being able to meet current and ongoing financial obligations and reach our goals helps us feel more secure, enabling us to enjoy our lives that much more.

While our busy lifestyles can feel all-consuming, making the time to practice and appreciate a slower pace of life not only helps us adjust how we spend our money, it also makes it much clearer to see what truly matters to us in the long term

Financial well-being subcategories

  1. Financial Well-Being – Security
  2. Freedom of Choice

Choices and options give you happiness. Not weatch per se.

  1. Present and Future

We dont know what’s around the corner. Which is why people are often advised to invest in bricks and mortar.

Financial Well-Being Strategy

Consider different areas of your life and how to attirbute your money:

  • Living (food, shelter, utilities) – 55 % according to the reliable Rowntree Foundation.
  • Leisure (hobbies, interests and socialising)
  • Learning;
  • Financial Freedom
  • The What If factor

Other key consdierations are managing debt, and giving to charities.

Bloomberg Financial Test

The first thing I noticed was that the international test publisher Hogrefe Group describing the role that personality plays in trading (on the financial stock markets).

The Bloomberg Financial Test  made me interested because it is a measure of “financial aptitude” – not a personality test.

Also, Barclays are doing some interesting personality research in this area. Primarily, individual financial preferences for investing. This personality research is very innovative. I predict that other financial institutions may offer similar personality-based profiling for their investors.

Work meeting

Pandemic impact on personal finances

The coronavirus outbreak has sent a shockwave through the finances of millions of people in the UK.

The effect has not been universal, nor has it been equal. Your age, your job, where you live, and the pre-virus state of your finances will all make a difference to how well you can cope.

For a start, there has been the effect on income. For those who work, the amount of money coming in depends mostly on their wages.

More than nine million people have been off work but paid by the state to stay in their jobs – in other words, placed on furlough.

The government, to date, has paid 80% of someone’s wages. Not every employer can afford to top this up.

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