Wellness is made up of all the different aspects of our life – food, movement, career, relationships, finances, sun, air, water, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, environmental etc., We are interconnected beings and if one area is out of sync this can have a knock on effect to other areas of our wellbeing. For example, finance is one of those areas and when it goes wrong it can be a cause of great stress and worry.
I don’t profess to have this all sorted, I’m still on my journey with it, but now I take management of my finances seriously and ensure I am a good steward of what I have. I will not allow myself to get into debt again – irrespective of how much I earn or don’t earn at any time.
I am currently on benefits due to being mentally unwell for so long and not being able to go back to the work that I had been doing and loved. This initially brought huge challenges to my identity, purpose and worth. I always like to feel that I’m contributing to society and others, and each part of my career has had this central value at the core. This is why I worked in sport development and then in nursing. I have loved every job I have done to date and everyone I have ever worked with. I’ve always had the privilege of doing what I have valued and what I’ve been passionate about and believed in.
Good news is that absolutely nothing is ever wasted. I’m going to utilise all my experiences, work and life skills, passions and knowledge to keep growing and keep going. I am in the process of creating my next chapter in my career path and I’m so excited for what this next step will bring.
Despite being on benefits at the moment, I still feel fully in control of my finances and won’t let this be an excuse to let my finances spiral out of my control. I also have my plan for earning again and will soon be able to come off benefits – but I’m prioritising my mental health first and will not rush this. All in good time! It’s all part of the process and the journey that I am on.
I am so grateful for a few friends that put me right a few years ago and changed my attitude towards stewarding my money. I have switched from a poverty mindset to a it’s ok to have a riches mindset. It’s a blessing to have money and money is not the root of all evil – it’s how people treat money or use and abuse it that can cause evil doing. It’s the heart that counts, not what is in the bank account. Some people with money do tremendous good with it. That should be celebrated.
Here are a few tips I learnt from a few trusted friends:
1. Every penny matters
2. Check your subscriptions – cancel the subscriptions you are not using a lot or that are not adding benefit and value to your life.
3. Know your budget and set your disposal income budget amount each month so you know where you are. Include in your budget – months where there are more birthdays, your hair is due for a colour, you are due a dentist appointment etc, or your car needs a service – factor all of this in.
4. Set yourself up an emergency fund that you pay into each month, so when the car breaks down or the boiler breaks it’s already factored in.
5. I personally find that seeing my accounts in one online place, makes it easier to manage.
6. Save! Know what you are saving for – a deposit for a house, a holiday, a new car. Set a deadline and an amount each month to achieve it. Factor this in to your overall budget workings.
7. Have a finance accountability buddy – someone you trust that you can check in with about how it is going. Someone that stewards there money well. It can feel embarrassing at first to share our finances with others, but I found sharing with a couple of trusted friends helped me get my finances in shape.
8. Apply the 5 second rule before any impulse buy – in that 5 seconds you will have time to step back and engage both parts of your brain (logical and proactive) to make an informed decision. Sometimes it is good to go with instinct and impulse and too much thinking holds us back – that’s why I say use 5 seconds – that’s usually enough to know if it’s really a yes or no. If in doubt, leave it out! Check out Mel Robbins ‘5 second rule’ for more on the ‘5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 move!’ approach.
And a tip on identity – you are not your job, your bank account or your profession. You are you and you are enough!