Money is the biggest cause of stress for employed adults – far outweighing stress caused by career, health or relationships. Financial stress significantly increases the risk of mental health issues.
Fear, envy and shame are the most common negative emotions at the root of financial stress. Rather than enter a vicious cycle of avoidance by ignoring these emotions it is important to develop self-awareness and move towards self-regulation.
This month we share Dr Marco Turrent’s insight where he highlights the Financial Wellbeing Smile. Understanding this can help financial organisations understand their customers better and teach individuals how to build their own financial wellbeing.
Dr Marco Turrent comments:
“The Financial Wellbeing Smile describes the series of stages we go through to change our financial habits and behaviours.”
Each stage is plotted in relation to how happy you feel, and how financially healthy you are:
- Pre-Contemplative – Not ready. Not now. You may not want to change habits or don’t recognise that there is a problem. You may be avoiding the subject of money altogether.
- Contemplative – You recognise that there is a problem but are still weighing up the costs and benefits of making a change.
- Preparation – The decision has been made to change negative habits. You are committed to and actively planning for change.
- Action – At this stage you are actively making changes to take control of finances; meet commitments without stress; and feel financially secure about the future
- Maintenance – You have been financially healthy over time and have blended positive behaviours into your financial life. This is what it is to feel happier about money – being in a position of control with the ability to master and shape your financial life.
Behavioural changes do not happen in one step, but through a series of distinct, predictable stages. Just recognising the stage you are at, can be helpful in moving forward.
If you are interested in learning more about our Financial Wellbeing expertise, please get in touch.