Looking after yourself

How to help create a healthier relationship with your money

Financial wellness is about feeling empowered to tackle your money concerns. Money expert Melanie Eusebe shares how to make this a reality.

As the rising cost of living continues to bite, feeling more in control of your finances could ease its impact on your daily life. That’s where the idea of financial wellness comes in. According to Melanie Eusebe, it’s about building the confidence to confront your financial situation, even in challenging times. The secret? It starts with no longer treating money like a taboo subject.

By talking openly about our money issues, developing new habits and being unashamed about learning what we don’t know, we can take charge when it comes to our finances. In the long run, we can develop a more positive relationship with money along the way. 

“Financial wellness and physical wellness are the same thing – it’s a constant investment and a commitment to making a change”

– Melanie Eusebe, entrepreneur and author of Financial Wellness and How to Find It

Check out Melanie’s five tips to finding financial wellness.

  1. 01

    Understand what drives your money habits

    “People sometimes think that you can spend Sunday indoors with a spreadsheet, do a budget, and then that’s it. But that’s not the case,” says Melanie.

    “Instead, financial wellness – just like your physical health and fitness – is about understanding your daily decisions and weekly actions that you’re making with your money. It’s a lifelong journey of education.”

    By doing this, she believes you can gradually overcome feeling overwhelmed about money, and understand the impact it can have on your mental health.

  2. 02

    Regularly audit your time and money

    Melanie recommends tracking how you spend your time and money over a 24-hour period, and then a week. This will give you a better picture of the choices you’re making and what you’re prioritising – and it’s this awareness that'll help you start to make more meaningful changes to your approach to money.

    The next step is to see how much money your essentials add up to per month. How much does it take to pay for your rent or your mortgage, household bills, food and other necessities? It’s important to understand the sum of money that you have to live on each month.

  3. 03

    Team up with a buddy

    To lighten the load, Melanie suggests looking at your time audit and monthly budget with a friend in a fun environment. Whether you tot up the numbers while watching TV or having snacks, the process should feel liberating and not too overwhelming.

    “I always recommend that you get a financial partner – this isn’t necessarily your partner who you’re in a relationship with, but anyone you could have open conversations with about money,” says Melanie.

    If you don’t have someone suitable in your life, there are online groups and charities such as Turn2Us and StepChange where people can speak openly and honestly without shame about their finances.

  4. 04

    Stay clued-up and ask for help

    “I have this ‘game’ that I call Financial Friday, when you’ll find me at my computer working on my finances,” says Melanie. “I recommend that people look at their finances every week and take some actions, like calling your credit card company or your bank for guidance.”

    She says you should think about how you approach your physical health. If you needed urgent medical help, you’d seek support straight away. Your approach to your finances should be similar – feeling confident enough to look for further advice when needed.

    “During recessions and times like the current cost-of-living crisis, financial-services companies are usually much more understanding, so they can come to an arrangement with you,” she adds.

    Remember to speak to your bank, too – we're always here to help and talk about any financial issues you may have. Visit our struggling financially page to find out how we could help.

  5. 05

    Make it a routine

    Part of financial wellness is turning the process of having a regular money check-in into a habit to make sure you’re on top of your finances. That’s where financial wellness and physical wellness are the same thing – it’s a constant investment and a commitment to making a change, one choice at a time. Reviewing your finances with a free Financial Health Check could be a great way to start.

    “I want you to go and find that financial partner, ask questions and start to get gently empowered about your finances,” concludes Melanie. “I want you to realise that it’s OK that you may not know some things, but you are on the journey of getting to know everything.”

Kirstie Pickering

Kirstie is a freelance journalist who specialises in business, tech and lifestyle.

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