One of the biggest enemies of wellbeing is stress. And one of the biggest causes of stress is money. But do many of us get stressed unnecessarily – we look simply upon money as something to be accumulated rather than used to achieve the things in life that really matter to us?
Now “The Financial Wellbeing Book” by Chris Budd, MD of AAA member Ovation Finance aims to change the focus of money from the accumulation and protection of wealth to using money to increase wellbeing.
Appropriately, all proceeds from the book go to the Penny Brohn UK Cancer Centre in Bristol which has pioneered a “Whole Life” approach to the treatment of cancer.
The Cancer Centre works from the premise that most of the cells our body produces are healthy. When the body produces a cell that is not healthy, immune cells act like the rubbish collectors and takes them away. Their Whole Life Approach helps to support these immune cells by focusing wellbeing in the mind, emotions and spirit as well as the body.
So how does the book link finance to wellbeing?
The expression “money doesn’t make you happy” applies to many people; some are wealthy financially but have other problems in their life; others are those who – on the surface at least – have enough money for their needs but still worry about their finances.
The first step in knowing how to use your finances to increase your wellbeing is to understand what you really want from life.
Gaining clarity and control over our finances in a way that best suits us can be a key part of a whole life approach.
“How much is enough?”
Financial planning is deceptively simple – work out what makes you happy, then spend your money on that!
Of course, that’s not as easy as it sounds. For example, people often have no idea how much money they will need for a happy retirement. That’s where financial planning comes in, to help answer essential questions such as “How Much Is Enough?”
Good financial planners help people gain understanding of their financial future. This helps answers questions such as: How much do I need to retire; When can I retire?; How much can I give to my children and still be ok myself?
But for those that can’t afford to or don’t want to engage an adviser, The Financial Wellbeing Book takes a highly practical approach to helping the reader work out a plan that is right for them.
It is also full of tips and anecdotes which ensure that the plan is based around increasing wellbeing.
Is buying stuff really the answer?
For example, retail therapy describes the wellbeing some people get from buying things. However, the wellbeing we get from “stuff” is invariably short lived. In contrast, the wellbeing we get from experiences comes from memories, which is much longer lasting.
Many surveys have shown that the quality of our relationships is the biggest factor in achieving wellbeing. That can make it better to spend money on tickets to visit relatives than to buy something new for the house.
Recognising what really makes us happy is often the first step to reorienting our lives – for the better. It’s the first step to creating financial plans designed to making us happier, not just wealthier.
You can find out more about the book on http://www.financialwell-being.co.uk/ The Financial Wellbeing Book is available from all good bookshops, or directly from the Penny Brohn UK cancer centre – http://www.shopatpennybrohn.com/products/the-financial-wellbeing-book