We’re sure we are all glad that 2020 is now behind us and we can look forward to things getting back to normal – at least as far as seeing family and friends is concerned.

Usually at the start of a new year, people make resolutions and promises about how they are going to do things differently; or how they are going to learn new things or spend more time with people they care for etc.

And usually, financial articles all over the place, will tell you that now is the time to make a resolution to get your finances in order, to start your pension, to do some proper budgeting, to make a will and to start saving towards your specific goals.

So, assuming you can read all this stuff everywhere else, we wanted to write something that would encourage you to think about your 2021 financial and life strategy a little differently.

Thinking differently

In the first instance we would like you to think more about your personal wellbeing. Consider both your financial wellbeing and then your wider wellbeing.

It seems that the term “financial wellbeing” is very fashionable at the moment and is being used by every financial institution in their marketing, in the mistaken belief that sorting out your pension or reducing your credit card balance is going to make you feel happier. (It may do briefly of course, but neither of these things on their own will contribute much to your overall wellbeing.)

There are five parts to financial wellbeing:

  • Having control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances;
  • Having the capacity to absorb a financial shock;
  • Being on track to meet your financial and lifestyle goals
  • Having the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life and feel happy and secure
  • Providing clarity and security for those we leave behind

The Proof

A great deal of research has been done on the subject revealing two universal truths:

  1. Money does not make us happy – it’s how we use it that matters. Professor Tim Kasser has produced research showing that the value of accumulating financial wealth for its own sake is in direct contradiction with happiness.
  2. The Harvard study on happiness has highlighted that the largest contributor to our wellbeing is the quality of our social relationships.

Therefore. In many ways, financial wellbeing is about how we use our money to support the other areas of our wellbeing which involve connecting with others; being physically active and keeping fit; learning new skills and talents; helping and giving to others; and being mindful of our surroundings.

You can recap on our 5 Steps to Wellbeing Blog published earlier in the year here

In order to ensure that 2021 is a great year for your personal wellbeing we would like you to turn conventional thinking on its head and instead of wracking your brain to think of things you want to do and goals you want to achieve, concentrate on things that you don’t want to happen, things you don’t want to do – let’s call these things ANTI GOALS.

It’s often think it is much easier to make a list of things we don’t want, than things we do!

The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do beforehand – so before launching into the usual new year resolutions, spend some time thinking about your anti goals and the things you don’t want to do, feel or say.

What do you need to stop doing to make you feel happier? This might be finance related – for example stop worrying about your money and seek some advice, or it might be that you over commit and become stressed because you don’t have enough time and need to start saying “no” sometimes.

Goodbye 2020

We believe 2020 and the coronavirus has shown us all that we need to prioritise the precious resource of time, above the material accumulation of wealth in order to ensure our personal wellbeing. Interestingly though, often the more money we have, the more time we can buy!

At Magenta we don’t just help you to look after your money, our aim is to provide a safe place where you can share your hopes, dreams and worries with us so that together we can help you pursue your passions in life and ensure your future happiness and security.

Our experience shows that when clients are encouraged to think differently, they can make better decisions about their future and often achieve goals that they didn’t think were really possible.

So don’t let 2021 slide away like other years have in the past – make this one count, grasp all its possibilities with both hands and come and talk to us about your ideas and plans. Nothing is too silly or optimistic – if we can make it happen for you, we will!

We would love to hear from you.