Financial wellbeing: can you take back control?

If there’s one thing the past year has taught us, it’s that there are things in life we can’t control. 

There are even things that governments (well, most of them) can’t control. And if the people in charge can’t call the shots, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Control freakery is rarely a successful state of mind. So should we just give up and go with the flow?

We’d say not. From a financial point of view, as in life generally, wellbeing comes from recognising what you can and can’t control. 

As Clare Seal, author of ‘Real Life Money’ put it, financial wellbeing is, “the feeling of having achieved a degree of separation between your net worth and your self-worth. It’s a state of relative steadiness, an equilibrium whereby you feel confident and equipped to deal with the money curveballs that life throws your way.”

Your money or your life?

Money worries are a fundamental driver of mental health. 46% of people in problem debt also suffer with mental health problems, according to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. 

And the government’s Financial Capability Strategy for the UK reported that that over 60% percent of people didn’t feel they could determine what happens in their lives when it comes to money, with 47% not feeling confident about making decisions about financial products and services.

It’s not only whether you think you have enough for now that affects your wellbeing, but whether you feel confident about the future and able to withstand any bumps in the road. 

It’s hard to imagine anything as massive as Covid happening again, but experts say it’s unlikely to be the last pandemic in our lifetime. Add to this the impact of climate change on the way we live our lives — even if we do manage to avoid the worst by comprehensive international co-operation — and it’s tempting to throw your hands up in the air whilst simultaneously burying your head in the sand. 

You can’t control global geo-political events. You can’t control the stock market, either, despite what some advisers claim. 

But you can, to a great extent, take control of your own financial future, and that of your family, and in doing so achieve the financial wellbeing that will impact positively on your mental health. 

Where do you start?

One word: goals.

It’s not just about how much you earn or what you’re worth but knowing where you want to be and what it takes to get you there. 

And, most importantly, it’s having the confidence that you can afford to do what you want to do without worrying.

Your goals could be anything, for example:

  • I want to retire at 55
  • I want to take a couple of years off to travel in my late 40s
  • I want to give my kids a financial boost when they leave home
  • I’d like my grandchildren to be educated privately
  • I want to sell my business in five years
  • I’d really love a sports car
  • I want to support causes that mean a lot to me
  • I’d love to be able to take four holidays a year

You might look at that list and feel very few of those goals are achievable to you. But you’d be surprised. It’s perfectly possible to achieve your future goals if you have the right financial tools in place and make the most appropriate investment choices. 

When you talk to us at Oak Four, you’ll realise very soon that our emphasis isn’t just on making money, and we certainly don’t chase the latest craze. (GameStop, anyone?)

Instead, we look at how you want to live and what you want your future to be, and work back from there. 

It’s not about sacrificing luxuries and experiences in the short term but recognising what’s important to you in the long term and putting the plans in place to make it happen.

As with most things in life, the sooner you start, the better. You don’t have to have a huge amount of money to invest, just the knowledge of what you want to achieve. 

If you’d like to talk to us about putting your financial plan into place, book a free call to get the ball rolling. 

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