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Does money really make you happy?

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

“Money is the root of all evil.”

“Money makes the world go round.”

Money. Money. Money.

It’s one of those subjects we just can’t avoid. Whether it’s commenting on how expensive something is, boasting about a bargain we bagged or complaining about the price of petrol going up again.

And of course, worrying about your finances can impact on your physical and mental wellbeing – sleepless nights, family arguments, relationship breakdowns, anxiety, stress, depression.

But if money can’t buy happiness, why does it affect our wellbeing so much?

It’s because all too often, we focus on how much we think we need, not how much we actually need.  

Financial wellbeing isn’t about accumulating wealth – it’s not about working every hour god sends so that you can build up a big pot of money.

Financial wellbeing is about working out what you need to be happy and having enough money to do the things you enjoy in life.

Some people are perfectly happy working a low-stress, low-paid job so that they can leave work at work and spend more time with friends and family. They are comfortable earning just enough to cover the essential bills and treat themselves every now and then.

Other people are focused on building or growing a business; or working hard to create wealth so that they can enjoy the luxuries in life like new cars, five-star holidays and the latest gadgets.

Neither way of living is right or wrong as long as you are happy.

And you might not need as much money as you think you do to achieve happiness.

When was the last time you actually sat down and thought about what is important to you – what do you enjoy doing? Being debt-free, eating out at nice restaurants, family holidays twice a year, having a motorhome that you can escape in now and then or building a big pot of savings for the future?

It’s different for everyone, and that’s the whole point. If you really sit down and think about the things you need to be happy, you’ll probably find there are loads of things you can cut back on.  

Are you just paying for things because other people have them –TV subscriptions that you never watch, memberships that you rarely use, holidays to places of little interest, the latest smartphone with capabilities you don’t use?

Maybe you don’t need to upgrade your car every two years if you only need it to get to work. Perhaps you can sacrifice eating out every week when you actually prefer eating in anyway.

This thinking can be applied to your future too.   

You might be going without the things that make you happy now so that you have lots of money when you retire. Working overtime and missing out on family events just to build up that pension pot. But will you actually need all that money to have the lifestyle you want later in life?

Some people want to take a big lump sum when they retire and travel the world for a year, so saving now makes perfect sense.

Other people would rather be mortgage-free and have just enough to cover the bills, treat the grandkids and make the garden nice, so why go without a few luxuries now?

What does retirement look like for you, and how much do you need to achieve it?

If the COVID-19 pandemic has had any positives, it’s that a lot of people have had time to reflect on what’s important.

And as a result, a lot of people have improved their financial wellbeing – not their wealth, not their income, not their bank balance – their wellbeing. Because when you realise what you actually need to make you happy, you stop spending on the things that aren’t important.

Here at Rockwood, we can help with cash flow planning to improve your financial wellbeing. We help you work out how much you actually need to do the things that make you happy right now, and how much you’ll need for the life you want in the future. Then we work out how to make it happen.

That could mean exploring investments as an alternative to low-interest rates. It could mean consolidating pensions and putting in place a retirement plan. It might mean making some changes now to support your future. Or it could be that you already have more money than you need.

And if that’s the case, we can help you work out what to do with that money. It might be that you can free up some cash to help out family members and improve their financial wellbeing too.

So if your financial wellbeing is impacting on your overall wellbeing, get in touch. We offer a free initial consultation, and all our advice is completely impartial. Speak to the team today on 0330 332 2679.

Nothing in this blog constitutes financial advice or recommendations.