When Covid-19 hit, the impact on the nation’s finances was put squarely under the spotlight. Money concerns are one of the biggest causes of stress and insomnia, which in turn have a direct impact on our ability to successfully navigate life. It has never been more important for us to be more prepared both mentally and financially for the unexpected. I talk to Morrinson Wealth Wellbeing, a specialist Financial Wellbeing provider, about financial wellbeing and resilience, why it is important to deal with money issues mentally and tips on how to improve financial wellbeing.
What is financial wellbeing?
My go-to definition is taken from the CABA: Financial wellbeing is about a sense of security and feeling as though you have enough money to meet your needs. It is about being in control of your day-to-day finances and having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life. Often, we assume that financial worries only affect low-income earners; however, the reality is, financial worries and pressures can impact anyone regardless of how much they earn or have in their bank account. It is not the amount you get paid but what you do with your money that determines financial wellbeing. It is also important to remember that everyone has a different financial background, needs and aspirations!
Why is it important?
It has never been more important for us to be more prepared both mentally and financially for the unexpected. Whether people find themselves in financial difficulty and require first-aid or are financially secure and stable looking for new opportunities to build their assets, empowering them to understand, maintain and grow their financial health is key – a lack of financial knowledge and skills can have a detrimental impact on how we manage our finances and in turn our work, family life and ultimately even our health.
How does financial wellbeing affect physical wellbeing and mental health?
Discussing money is never easy; it is a subject many still see as ‘taboo’ which often evokes uncomfortable feelings of shame or judgement. In a society where ‘I don’t have enough’ can often translate to feelings of ‘I am not enough, the links between money and mental/physical health are undeniable. Prolonged stress inevitably affects both physical and mental health: money concerns are one of the biggest causes of stress and insomnia, which in turn have a direct impact on our ability to successfully navigate life. Research also suggests people with financial worries are more likely to be suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, or depression, causing a vicious cycle, where worrying about money can detrimentally affect mental health, and poor mental health can make managing money harder.
What are the benefits of boosting financial wellbeing?
In the current climate, people are craving some semblance of control, and finances are a great place to start. The more financially secure we are, the more emotionally resilient we feel; uncertainty about the future will put this stability under threat. By focussing on both financial education (which provides improved knowledge and skills) and financial wellbeing (to examine the links between money and behaviour) at the same time, we can regain control of our finances and look to build positive financial behaviours which will secure our financial future. Even by taking small steps, people can start to see change and progression toward their financial goals.
How do you think the pandemic has influenced our financial wellbeing?
When Covid-19 hit, the impact on the nation’s finances was put squarely under the spotlight. It has prompted people to review their current financial situation and protection insurance, which under normal circumstances might have been less of a priority. The pandemic has also arguably widened the social and economic disparities that previously existed, something highlighted by the extremes we see reported in recent reports: On one hand, according to the FCA, the pandemic has had a “profound and harrowing” impact on the financial resilience of people in the UK with 27.7 million now exhibiting characteristics of vulnerability. However, on the flip side, alternative research also suggests that one in three adults (37%) have also been able to save more money.
Can you tell us about Morrinson Wealth Wellbeing?
Morrinson Wealth Wellbeing works in partnership with employers to support their workforce’s financial wellbeing strategy using different methods to inform and engage. Our blended programmes not only help employees to thrive at work but also offer a solution to employers looking to positively impact responsible business goals, while also protecting their wider business finances. Led by subject matter experts who have a comprehensive understanding of the financial industry, our holistic programmes can be tailored to cater to different demographics and employee needs, which in turn will deliver maximum impact.
What is the aim of the brand?
We aim to empower and educate employees to assist them in making more informed financial decisions that improve their overall wellbeing. Our goal is to support our partners to diffuse confusion, dispel concerns and encourage greater employee consciousness around money.
What is your unique approach?
Challenging the status quo, we are helping organisations think differently about their current wellbeing offering and the business risks associated with financial worries. Historically, employers have underestimated the impact that an employee’s poor wellbeing can have on their bottom line. But with an increasing number of statistics showing the real consequence of financial worries in the workplace, the topic can no longer be ignored as part of wider holistic wellbeing programmes. It is time to stop firefighting and aim for real prevention and solutions. We act as a resource for businesses trying to navigate their financial wellbeing journey, guiding them through a customised programme that utilises employee data to enhance the design, and providing tools that can be used to personalise learning – making sure that financial wellbeing is not just a tick-box exercise but also driving for a positive and lasting impact. Support cannot be one size fits all, the workforce make-up must be blended with the aims and objectives of an organisation’s mission, values, and purpose.
Who would you say is your ideal client?
We partner with businesses across the UK, which are committed to providing inclusive, informative education as part of a full-service wellbeing provision. These businesses are focused on prioritising financial wellbeing and keen to shine a spotlight on the topic. Some are just embarking on their financial wellbeing journey; others are looking to expand or complement offerings already in place – Most are consciously embarking on a more aligned ESG/sustainable business model.
Can you give us some tips on how to improve financial wellbeing?
Ways to started on your financial wellbeing journey:
• Break the feeling of isolation
Speak to someone you trust. Sharing concerns and questions can bring relief and assistance from the strangest of places.
• Get organised
It is time to check the statements and get the numbers down on paper.
Even if you do not yet understand the minutiae of pensions, insurance, and investments, get the details in one place. This is an important first step to understand your starting point and next steps.
• Get professional advice
We do not bat an eyelid when calling a plumber, dentist, or mechanic, so why should our finances be any different? You could connect with a financial adviser to discuss your current investments, future goals, and aspirations. Alternatively, for those struggling, help and guidance is available from any of the following organisations:
Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline, Christians Against Poverty, Step Change, and the Debt Support Trust – These organisations are practical, friendly, and supportive.
• Understand behaviours
Getting to know your behaviours helps you to positively move forward.
Think about your background with money, what you were taught growing up and whether these behaviours are helping or hindering you.
• Stay mindful about money
Stop feeding negative behaviours by really thinking about your spending habits. Leave some ‘thinking time’ before splurging to test if you really want to make a purchase.
How can our readers contact you and follow you on social media?
Finally, can you please share your motto and your favourite quote?
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speakEpictetus, Greek philosopher
While it is a tad cliché, there is a lot of truth to the saying. There are many benefits to actively listening to those around us, not least building connection, and trust.
Motto: “live and let live“- If we could all learn to live and let live a little more, the world would be a much happier place.