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Follow my blog for news and insights into financial planning for women. 
I regularly share information, informal support and sometimes the odd giggle as we try to help you navigate the world of finance. 
As a busy working Mum with lots of commitments, I know how hard it can be to find the time and energy to think about financial planning. I want to break down some of the barriers and make you think positively about your financial future. 
Get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the topics in my blogs.

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  1. Is Money Affecting Your Mental Health?

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    This week is mental health awareness week and it is fantastic to see so many people being open about their mental wellbeing and sharing stories of their experiences.  We know how much money worries and concerns about finances can have on mental health, so we have put together this guide to help you with taking control of your money, to help you with your mental health journey..

    In this post

    1. How money and financial worries / concerns can negatively affect your mental health.
    2. What resources and support there is available to help with overall wellbeing and positive mental health.
    3. What resources and support is available to help specifically with your money and finances to affect positive change in your mental health.

     The impact of having a pro-active and constructive mindset and approach to money and finances is proven to improve overall mental health, and I am passionate about promoting positive actions which you can take to get control over your money and achieve those money goals.

    1.      How does money affect your mental health?

    There are several ways that money can affect your mental health in both a positive and negative way:

    The relationship between money and mental health infographic

     

    Motivation

    Having money worries or concerns about your finances can really affect your motivation – not only to deal with the issues at hand but also your overall mood and motivation for general tasks.  According to mind, having money worries, particularly about debt, can lead to anxiety and depression, which can be really hard to move on from.

    Spending Habits

    Your relationship with money and how you spend money can be strongly linked to mental health and wellbeing. Do you find that you are a splurger when it comes to spending when you are feeling down, which then makes you feel even worse? If you are, you are definitely not alone.  It is common  that spending habits fluctuate depending on mood, which can then become cyclical.

    Financial Planning

    Planning for the future , when it comes to pensions and savings can not only be daunting for women in particular, it can be a trigger for anxiety, which can lead to procrastination, or a paralysis to take action. A 2019 statistic found that 35% of women do not feel they have an adequate pension promsion, which can cause fear, anxiety and trigger depression as women become unsure about their future welfare.

    Relationships

    Mental health concerns caused by relationship issues which centre on money is a significant issue in today’s society. The Lloyds Bank The M-Word scheme sought to highlight the need for families to talk more about money, to positively affect relationships and reduce the stigma around money concerns in a bid to promote a more positive approach to money and finances in 2020.

     

    2.       Resources and support available for those experiencing mental health concerns.

    There is now a wealth of resources, support and help available to positively affect your mental health, which I think is a really positive step toward breaking the stigma of mental wellbeing and how we deal with our mental health. These resources here aim to specifically help women (please note this is not an endorsement of any of the services, but an indication of the support available).

     3.       What resources and support is available to help with money to positively affect your emotional wellbeing.

    financial planning for women to help mental health

    I want every woman to feel they are in control of their money, that it doesn’t own them, but that finances and financial planning are manageable, and even enjoyable!  Here are a few things that you can do to help your emotional wellbeing when it comes to money:

    • Acknowledge the situation. Whatever concern you have, or action you have perhaps been putting off. Acknowledging it can make a real difference. It’s a bit like ripping a plaster off, it hurts, but the feeling after can be refreshing!  Tip: Find a trusted person to help you with opening that bill pile, or looking at future options.

    • Seek expert advice  This one is so important, whether it is going to a pensions expert to help you with retirement planning or visiting your bank to get advice over debt, do not underestimate the power that seeking the support from a qualified professional can give you. It can save a lot of time and emotional energy. Tip: An independent advisor is able to offer you the whole of market solutions rather than single branded products, which means you can get an idea of all of the offers available.
    • Set yourself a target to get things in order. I recently published a post on how to overhaul your finances which has some good tips on how to get control of your money.  One of the biggest tips in there is to set money goals, and create a plan to achieve them.  Giving yourself a structure can relieve some of the feelings of fear of the unknown, and give you something constructive to work towards. Tip: Download The Core E-book, this is packed with information on taking control and has a handy financial checklist for you to complete.
    • Be kind to yourself. We can all be our own worst enemy when it comes to money, and our beliefs about money and finances can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Practising positive affirmations and finding daily reasons to be grateful can really make a difference over time to our money mindset and overall emotional wellbeing.

    Mental health and wellbeing is something we should be openly talking about all the time, and I hope that this post has given you the opportunity to think differently about your emotional wellbeing and the link to your financial health. 

    Expert financial planning advice for women

    Remember, we are all in this together.

    Rebecca xx

  2. Overhaul your finances in 5 easy steps…

    Overhaul your finances for women

     

    Gaining control of your money and managing finances is something that a lot of women often defer or leave to someone else, and as 1.5 million British women lose sleep over money worries every night, the need to finally get some clarity which will allow you to make steps forward should be a high priority. In this post, we will be sharing 5 steps that you can take to get on top of your money, and finally put those money gremlins to bed…

     

    1             SET MONEY GOALS

    The first and most important task to getting control of your finances is thinking about what you are doing it all for! Establishing short and long term financial goals can not only give you focus, it can help you when you are deliberating on purchase decisions. A good way to set money goals is to put them into categories – such as Home, Career and Personal Development, Travel and Health. Make sure you include small goals as well as the bigger ones, so that you can celebrate often when you achieve them, and it will help to manage those feelings of disappointment when you have to sacrifice things for the bigger picture!

     setting money goals for women

    2          MAP OUT YOUR MONEY

    One of the most common ways of dealing with money is the “shove it away for a rainy day” technique. It can be really painful to look at bank balances, credit card bills and loan statements. However, sitting down and actually understanding all of your outgoings is not only essential if you are going to take control of your finances, it can be a really liberating experience.

    It can be a tough plaster to rip off, but once you have a full awareness of your financial situation you can then start to formulate a plan that will enable you to achieve those money goals. Maybe the first money goal should be map out your money!

    3          LETS TALK ABOUT DEBT.

    The dirty D word. The stigma attached with debt is one of the main causes of worry in women, and breaking the stigma is one of the most important steps to getting in control of your money and finances.  By mapping out all of your money and being clear on your money goals, you can find tackling your debt an easier pill to swallow and start taking action on.

    Taking action is obviously easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to get on top of debt, and even really small steps can add up to a massive difference. Things to think about – transferring card balances to a 0% offer, looking at small overpayments (even an overpayment of just £5 per month can take months or even years off of a repayment on a card or loan) and consolidating balances so you have one monthly payment. It is best to get advice from a financial advisor before you look at taking any new credit so that you know you can afford it and that it’s the best deal for you.

    women worry about debt and money

    4          PUT YOUR SPENDING HABITS THROUGH THE WASH

    This is one of the toughest activities but it an make a huge difference. Get out your bank statement that covers three months and literally line by line look at all of the non-essential spending. Put it through the life washing machine – what does it do for you? Can you do without it? What would you lose if you didn’t spend that as often as you do? This is not an exercise of removing all joy from your life, but it is an opportunity to really consider what you can sacrifice to be able to achieve those medium and long term financial goals. Think also about how you can get more savvy with your money – with discounts, vouchers and payment plans – they can help you save on things you need and want, making your money go further.

    financial planning for women

    5          LOOK AT THE LONG TERM…

    If your company has a pension scheme it’s a no-brainer to be enrolled.  The total minimum contribution increased last April to 8%, with a minimum employer contribution of 3%.  Could you be putting in more this year?  Getting advice on your pension, and other long term finances is an important element to overhauling your finances. How do you want to live when you are in retirement? Think about those money goals – when do you want to retire? Looking at savings and investments as well as your pension doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. Look for pragmatic and honest advisors who will support you without judgement.

    Rebecca_Robertson_36_Karen_Roswell_PhotographyDSC_3415-Edit 

    These five activities have the power to literally overhaul your finances, and most importantly give you a more positive money mindset. We all want the comfort of knowing we can afford what we have now, as well as being able to look to the future. Are you ready to overhaul your finances and finally get some control?