This is a transcript of Live the 8Wise™ Way Podcast.
Mastering Money Madness
Hi, everybody. Welcome to Live the 8Wise™ Way podcast with me, Kim Rutherford, psychotherapist and creator of 8Wise™, the methodology for better mental health and wellbeing. Today we are on episode nine and we are going to be talking about mastering money madness. How excited does that sound, because let’s be honest, money tends to make us all go a little bit mad from time to time and today I just want to talk through the reasons for that and things that we can do to try and prevent those issues surrounding money from taking over our brains too much and causing us mental health issues, or certainly mental health deterioration.
So, as always, the episode is based on my 8Wise™ methodology, which if you haven’t done already, you can learn more about, you could head to my website which is www.8wise.co.uk, which gives you some information there or you can purchase one of the books. So 8Wise™ has been turned into a few different books, you can get a copy of what we are calling the mental health manual side of things, which is 8Wise™ Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind and that’s the book that you can use to follow along with each of these podcast episodes as well. Of course, if you are wanting to commit to developing your mental health and wellbeing using 8Wise™, then not only can you buy the book, but you can also use the 12-week journal which helps you set some very simple goals to achieve over the next 12 weeks, linking into 8Wise™ and the 8Wise™ methodology. If you are looking to change your life entirely and start living your life the 8Wise™ Way, then you can also get a copy of the 12-month planner which helps you to manage your life day to day, month by month, throughout the year, embedding all of the skills, knowledge, and methodologies of the 8Wise™ program. For those of you who are thinking, do you know what I just need a cheeky little reminder every now and then, then you can get yourself a copy of the 8Wise™ wellness pocketbook as well. If you’re wondering where you can get those, well you can pretty much get them anywhere that sells books plus all the big ones, names will not be mentioned, and you can also get a copy from my website too. Again, that is www.8wise.co.uk.
Now, if you already have a copy of the book, then for today’s episode, if you head two page 190 you can follow along and there’s a lot more detail with regards to the topic that we’re talking about today.
So, mastering your money madness. What does money mean to you, and that’s the big question for today really. We are on the final element of the 8Wise™ model, the final element that links into the lifestyle dimension and, in our last episode we talked about occupational wellness, which links us beautifully to financial wellness because, let’s be honest one of the main reasons we all go to work is to earn money and we all go to work to earn the money so that we can then live the life that we want to live. We know what life we want to live if we have gone through all of the previous elements of the 8Wise™ model as well, which has explained to us how we keep a healthy body and mind, it’s taught us about who we are and knowing what our purpose is and what we believe in, it’s helped us to identify what stimulates us and keeps us changing and growing and out of our comfort zone. So far, we’ve also learned about which environment stimulate us and make us feel safe and secure and then we also touched upon which and who are the right people for us to have in our lives as our support system, through our social wellness.
So, so far we should know everything we need to know about ourselves now to keep a healthy mind and the final one is financial wellness, as we’re going to talk about today, mastering money madness.
I guess the first way to start this, and this is how I would work with any one of my clients when they talk about financial issues, is really you need to establish what money means to you and that might seem like a really silly question, but realistically speaking finances and money are one of the number one stressors in the modern world, meaning that a lot of the stress that we have in our life tends to come from financial issues in one way or another. We know that, again I’m going to be talking about the pandemic, but we know that during the pandemic, people were hit quite hard financially. We know we’re entering a recession soon, so we are seeing worse and worse scenarios with regards to finances all the time and we know that financial pressures tend to lead quite strongly towards mental health issues and very, very sadly to worst case scenarios and what we see an increase in suicide linked to issues surrounding financial wellness.
It all starts with understanding what money means to you. Now money can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. For example, some people really just love all of the bling in life, you know, the nice cars, the nice houses or the wonderful handbags, the best shoes. So they might be interested in the status elements and the materialism that comes with money. Absolutely fine, no judgment whatsoever, but it’s important for you to know that if that’s who you are and own that that’s who you are, because then you’ll understand why it’s such a big deal to always be able to afford your car payment because your car means so much to you. For some other people, money might mean security for themselves and safety for themselves. For others, it might mean that they’re able to provide to other people or for other people, or maybe look after their family. For me personally, my financial wellness comes from being able to have some freedom and some independence, knowing that I can look after myself no matter what happens and to not be able to look after myself really worries me and it bothers me and it causes me some stress when it might be threatened. I understand myself from a financial perspective, I know that if suddenly I don’t have enough in the bank, that means that I can look after myself no matter what, that I don’t have to rely on other people, that I can’t be independent that starts to cause me some major issues. It’s demonstrated through all of these different types of things, it’s demonstrated through the fact you might have two different people.
For example, two different people, both with £10,000 pounds in the bank. Now one person might look at that £10,000 and go brilliant, that is fantastic, that is exactly what I need to be able to survive the life I want, to be able to get what I want, it gives me some freedom, it gives me some independence. I feel safe and I feel secure with that £10,000 in the bank. Somebody else might look at that £10,000 in the bank and go, oh my God that is not enough, it’s hardly enough. I can’t look after my kids with that, I can’t give my kids what I want to be able to give them, I can’t provide for my family members as much as I want to with only £10,000 in the bank. Somebody else might look at that £10,000 in the bank and go, well £10,000 is quite nice, it means I can get a couple of handbags and I’m quite happy with that.
So, it means different things to different people when it comes to what money really means to you. If you are wondering, how do I work it out, how do I find out what that is, give this a little go right now. Think about if you won the lottery tomorrow, what five things would you do with your money immediately. So, if you won the lottery tomorrow, what five things would you do with your money immediately. Now put those five things down and then rank them in order of what you would do first and what you would do last. If at the top of your list you’ve identified that you’re going to buy things, then ultimately, right now money means for you some form of status. If you say you are going to go on holiday straight away, then that indicates that money for you represents some freedom. If you’ve put on there straight away I’m going to pay off mom and dad’s mortgage, then that shows you that looking after other people, when the safety and security of others is your priority, when it comes to money. If you say to yourself, you know what I’m probably going to do is save most of it and then invest most of it straight away that indicates to you that money is something that you have because you want to feel safe and you want to feel secure with it.
Ask yourself, if you won the lottery tomorrow, what are you going to spend your money on, what’s the first five things you’ll spend your money on and identify the importance of each of those things, ranking them one to five, and that gives you some indication.
Now, like I said, it’s really important for you to understand what money means to you and what money represents to you before you fall into all of the other trappings of financial wellness and financial wellbeing, because ultimately money and financial wellness all links to stress. As I said, in the modern world, it’s one of the number one stress triggers in the world and it causes most stress on a day-to-day basis and it has a huge, huge implication on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Understanding, as I said from the beginning, what money means to you starts to help you understand what is going to be your stress trigger related to money, which then means you have some idea of the things you need to implement into your life and into your money management skills and into your financial planning in order to try and prevent that stress or reduce that stress or you know what you have to do if money becomes a problematic situation.
So understanding your financial wellness and what money means to you, helps you to prevent yourself from entering into serious issues with regards to money if you’re in the position to actually start stopping that and preventing that from happening, but it also means you’ll understand better when you are stress triggered and you can implement really good and effective strategies for coming out of that. So, as I said, question number one, what does money mean to you. When you understand what money means to you, you then need to go and understand money and by that I mean you need to develop financial literacy.
Financial literacy is all about the skills and the knowledge linked to money so that when you walk into a bank, you know all of the lingo, you know all the language that they’re going to use, you understand what all of that means. You understand information with regards to credit and debit and things like understanding what your credit score is, that this is language that you understand, that it’s processes that you understand, it’s systems that you understand.
It just means that when you are dealing with your money, you know what to ask for, you know what support to ask for, you know what questions to ask and you know which of these elements really affect your financial income and your payments and things like that. So after you know what money means to you, you need to then understand financial literacy.
There is nothing worse than being in a situation where you were okay financially and then, because you didn’t understand something, you’ve then been seriously affected. I, don’t judge me on this guys, but when I was at university and I had to pay the rent I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to get gigantic big loans and things like that, so I pretty much had to pay my way through uni, I went and worked in debt recovery and I was that horrible person who would ring you up and get you to pay your bills and I’m sorry for anybody I rang, it was just my job I had to pay my own bills. But I learned an awful lot through that was understanding different financial situations.
Now I personally was a mess with money so everything I’m talking to you about today genuinely comes from experience professionally and personally. When I was younger, I did not understand financial literacy. I just didn’t understand it. What I knew is you could go to the bank, you could get a loan out and you had to repay that loan. That’s all I knew. So one day when I was 18 years old and I was legally old enough to go and get a loan that’s exactly what I did. I went and got a loan and I used that loan to help me with my personal situation at the time with regards to paying rent and putting a roof over mine and my sister’s head at the time. But what happened was, I got to a stage where I couldn’t repay that loan and because I was young and I was stupid and I was naive and I didn’t really understand anything, I just stopped making payments because I didn’t have the money coming in, so I just stopped making payments. Eventually, obviously, for those who’ve been in my situation know, if you stop making payments, you go into arrears.
If you can’t pay off those arrears, then that causes major issues and my major issues actually led me to a CCJ at that time, and for those of you who don’t know what a CCJ is, it’s a county court judgment. I had a county court judgment from the age of 21. Now you imagine being in your twenties and you can’t have a bank account, a proper bank account, you’ve got no credit options to you whatsoever. You can’t have credit cards or anything like that. Literally the only bank that would touch me with a barge pole was actually a building society and the only way that I could pay in and pay out was to actually go in and give money and go out and go and be able to take money. I couldn’t do direct debits. I couldn’t do standing orders. The amount of stress that I had in my life because of that situation was humongous.
I was living in a situation where I had to rent, and most places want you to rent either by direct debit or standing order, all of which I wasn’t able to do. Some places wanted me to be able to provide 12 months’ worth of cheques and they would then cash the cheque once a month, all of which I couldn’t do. I had to rely really heavily on friends and family to be able to provide me with those options and sometimes it was just as simple as I would tell them I’d set the standing order up and then I would be rushing around town with hundreds of pounds in my handbag, going to my bank to be able to make these payments because it was the only option I had. Every single week, every single month, my financial situation caused me major, major stress. It caused me major depression because I couldn’t live life, I couldn’t do the things that everybody else needed to do or wanted to do at my age and that stayed with me. It stayed with me for, I think it was seven or eight years.
I remember now very clearly the day that I finally got a credit card, I burst into tears. In fact, who I bank with now I’m so loyal to them because they were the people who gave me a credit card. I couldn’t believe it after seven or eight years that suddenly, finally, I was able to have the normal bank accounts with everything else. Even to this day, I will never take my financial situation for granted ever again and I will never take it for granted because I know how horrific it felt, that fear, that anxiety that would come through and when the bank letters came through the door, that fear and that anxiety when the phone rang just in case it’s someone trying to collect something from you.
I know what it’s like to have a bailiff turn up on your door and they’re looking around your house, identifying what you have in your home that equates to the amount that you owe. I know what that feels like. It’s horrific. It feels horrific and it’s incredibly stressful and a lot of that came from the fact that I didn’t have really good financial literacy.
I didn’t have the knowledge and I didn’t have the skills, I was just really, really naive with regards to money and the fact of the matter is, if I’d had a better understanding, I would’ve known to go and have a conversation with my bank before it got to that stage, not be scared of it, not be ignorant to and actually make some arrangements. When I was working in debt recovery, and I had all of this going on in my own life, I was actually really empathetic towards the other people and I used the time to help them do the one thing that I hadn’t done earlier on in my life, which is the financial planning and helping to educate them on that financial literacy.
When you know what money means to you, and you’ve developed those skills and knowledge with regards to financial literacy that suddenly starts to make you feel like you’re in control, that starts to reduce the anxiety and it builds your confidence because now you know if I’m in a mess I know who to talk to, I know what to do.
So now what you’ve got to do is do the financial planning stage and this is facing realistic situations head on. This is looking at your life and going, okay realistically, what is my current financial situation, and this will mean that you’ve got to do some sort of analysis of what money you’ve got coming in and what money you’ve got going out and maybe think about budgeting and all of those types of things.
When you’ve got a really clear understanding of what your current financial situation is, then it’s about setting financial goals. Those goals might link to what you want to be able to achieve financially in the future and some of those goals might be well, how do I rectify the financial situation that I’m in right now.
A big part of financial planning is actually having a budget and understanding, trying to set up direct debits to pay off your bills, direct debits to pay off any of your debts if you can, trying to manage that debt credit cycle so you are paying off what debt you have rather than getting more and more into debt. The reason I say all of this is that without financial planning, it’s very easy to spend without understanding and knowing what you’re spending and then what happens is it leads to these issues with regards to finances and what we’re trying to do is, if we can try and get in front of the game and we understand the literacy and we know our own financial situation and we know where we want to be, and we know the things we can do to get there we feel less stressed out about the money because we feel like we’re in control of it all and as I said, that’s really, really important.
If you haven’t done so yet, I highly recommend that you start a budget. Look at it, you can actually go online, you can go online and you can find so many different budget forms. You can find so many websites that will help you develop a budget. I highly recommend you go and do that and start that for yourself. I’d say for the next three months, just really keep a close eye on what’s coming in and what you are spending. Just focus on that to start with. Then when you know what that looks like over about a three-month process, maybe then start looking at okay If I’m spending too much, what could I change, where could I save the pennies a little bit more. So look at savings. Look at things that you don’t need. Get back down to basics. Maybe choose some different shops to shop from, do what you can in that financial planning stage so that you are starting to make the changes you want to change, or you need to change in order to reach those financial goals that you might have.
When you’ve done all of that, you then need to move on to the next stage and the next stage is money management. This is about making sure you’ve got access to all the tools and techniques that you need in order to manage your money effectively so that it meets your financial plans, it means that you are understanding that financial literacy well enough and putting it into practice with these tools and techniques and skills that you now have and it means that no matter what, you are always focusing on reducing the stress linked to what money actually means to you.
I have so many clients come into me with high levels of stress and anxiety, especially linked around jobs for example. Those people who are worried about not doing a good enough job in the workplace. When we always delve deeper, and we always do, we always delve deeper, and we delve deeper, and we delve deeper, one of the biggest things that comes out pretty much anybody who’s got major stress at work is the fear of losing their job. Because if they lose their job, then they would lose their income stream and if they lose their income stream, that then triggers all of those different things that is linked to what money means to them.
I have a lot of parents who come in and their fear is that they won’t be able to provide for their kids. I have those people who just think, oh my God it means that I’d have to rely on my own parents again and I will lose all my freedom. So when we start to look at all of the stress that comes from other areas in our life, it’s then really useful to identify well how many of those also link to the financial implications. Finances, when we’re looking at it from a psychological perspective, actually link in to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and it’s right at the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Ultimately, we want to feel safe and we want to feel secure and in order to do that in our society, we need money and therefore, anything that could affect us from getting an income stream, that could affect the amount of money that we are getting, that triggers that primitive response with regards to safety and security. That just happens to be safety and security looks different for lots of different people and again, whatever money means to you, there’s no judgment on you whatsoever, it’s your life, money can mean whatever you want it to mean to you, but it is really important that you understand that, own that, and live your life by that.
That’s why financial wellness sits within the lifestyle dimension, but it triggers and affects all the other elements of the 8Wise™ model as well. As I said, financial wellness will trigger emotional wellness without doubt the amount of stress that can be linked to it. Therefore, it triggers our physical wellness because, as we know, anything that affects us on a mind perspective or mentally it’s going to affect us physically. Money, and links to money, can really affect our value base and who we are and our identity. I mean, I work with a lot of people, senior people, who have worked up the ladder to those CEO roles with that certain financial income stream coming in, then they have to retire and suddenly it’s not just then losing their title, which is affecting their spiritual wellness, but suddenly they lose that income stream as well. So who are they now without that income stream, who are they now without that big salary, those big bonuses. Money really plays a huge part in our identity and therefore it heavily influences our spiritual wellness as well.
Money is what we have to spend to do all of the things we want to do. All of those hobbies and all of those interests that help stimulate our mind and keep us intellectually well, they all come at a price of money. So having no money or having issues around money, then triggers our intellectual wellness too.
When it comes to safe environments, there are lots of people that, unless they have financial support, can’t get out of unsafe environments and we can’t necessarily always create the safe environments if we don’t have the money to support us in doing that. Then we have social systems at the end of the day. If we want to spend time with people, you can argue spending time with people is free, but let’s be honest, most of us want to do exciting things with our people and a lot of family situations or situations with friends actually come from money. Lending people money that we didn’t want to lend money to, or lending money to people we don’t get paid back and this causes relationship issues, which then causes major stress, which opens the gateway to that plethora of mental health issue as well.
We know at the end of the day, occupational wellness wise, we’re in work because we want to earn money to live the life we want to live, the amount of stress that comes from not hitting a bonus each month or not getting the pay rise that you deserved, or the fear of redundancy, all of that links to financial wellness and the fear of losing money.
So people ask me an awful lot, Kim why does financial wellness play such a huge role in what you’re calling a mental health and wellbeing model. Because whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round and because it makes the world go round it implements itself firmly within our lives and firmly within our stress triggers.
I work with my clients and when we start to understand what money means to them, we start to look at what was their knowledge and understanding of money when they were growing up. It’s always quite interesting to see those that have always had money, how hungry they are to still have money and for those who never had money, how driven they are to have that safety and security with money in the future as well.
So, you’ve got to look at your life and go, am I mastering this money madness for myself, am I reducing the amount of stress that is in my life that is linked to my financial wellness, do I know what money means to me, do I have good skills and knowledge with regards to financial literacy, do I know how to create a financial plan, do I understand my current situation realistically with open mind and open eyes. Do I know what I want to achieve with money and how I’m going to get there and do I have good money management tools and skills. If the answer to all of those is no I don’t, no I don’t, no I don’t then you know right now where you need to start, you need to start with that one. What it means to you. You need to develop financial literacy, you need to start financial planning and you need to go and get the tools to help you manage your money effectively.
As I said, financial wellness and money is one of the biggest triggers of stress in the world and as I’ve said multiple times, stress itself is not a mental health issue, but it is certainly a big gateway to many mental health issues and if you already experience a mental health issue, you already know that financial issues don’t help that in any way, shape or form. When we’re looking at the continuum of mental health and we’re looking at going from thriving and excelling down to crisis, you might have somebody on an everyday basis that is firmly in the middle at the survival zone and just a bad month with regards to money can take them into crisis. I was watching a friend’s Facebook page only a couple of days, they were very upset on Facebook and what they did is they shared this video of a friend of theirs filming themselves, just explaining a few things and what that video was, was actually a video taken just a few minutes before this person had taken their own life due to financial issues, not knowing what to do, not knowing who to turn to, not knowing who to talk to, just feeling so lost and so alone because money and money issues was causing them so much pain. I don’t want that for people. I’m sure you don’t want that for people.
As I said, money makes the world go round and it can make us all feel really mad and I mean, mad in all of the senses, mad in angry and mad in chaos as well. So learning to master your money will hopefully help you to look after your mental health and wellbeing and develop a healthier, happier mind, and also lead to a better quality of life for you, for your family and also your friends and all the loved ones around you as well. So please, please, please, if you haven’t done it already, start to look at how you can develop your financial wellness and start reducing that stress and start Living the 8Wise™ Way for better mental health and wellness.
I hope that one has been useful for you. I can’t believe we’re at episode nine already. Join me next week for episode 10, which I’m not telling you about now because it’s going to be all a surprise on the day.
Little competition time for you now. If you would like to get a free signed copy of my 8Wise™ Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind book, then you just need to do the following. Follow me on my LinkedIn page, follow me on my Twitter page, follow me on my Facebook page and follow me on my Instagram page. You will find me everywhere either as Kim Rutherford or @8Wise something, so it will be @8WiseKim or @8WiseTherapy or @8Wise. Follow me there, support the posts that are linked to the podcast and then the big one, this is the big one that I want you to do, I would love it if you would share the podcast with 10 people on those platforms and tag me into the post. So, share the podcast with 10 people on the social media platforms and tag me into the post. The first 10 people who do that, I will get you a signed copy of the book sent out to you ASAP.
So get on that and do it, or just follow me anyway, why not just follow me anyway, where I give you day to day tips with regards to 8Wise™ and helping you to Live the 8Wise™ Way as well.
Now, if you want more information, please head to www.8wise.co.uk. There you’ll find all of the books that you can access, you’ll get all of the episodes of the podcast as well so you can listen back to those. There is so much free resource for you as well plus the 8Wise™ evaluations so that you can learn to identify where your current level of wellness is so you can actually look at where you might be with regards to that mental health spectrum. That’s all there at www.8wise.co.uk.
Some exciting news is that I’m currently recording the audio version of 8Wise™ Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind, and that should be available in the autumn. If you are somebody who likes to listen rather than read, then absolutely fine, that is coming to you very, very soon and I hope that you love listening to that when it does come out. If you do want to listen to more, and this is your first episode of Live the 8Wise™ Way, then you are at episode nine so head back and start listening from the beginning at episode one, where you will learn all about the 8Wise™ model and how it can affect your mental health and wellbeing.
What I would really, really love you to do is, if you don’t mind, why not subscribe now to Live the 8Wise™ Ways podcast so that you can always know when a new episode is coming out. It would be great if you would like the podcast or all of the episodes, whichever one you want to do and I would love it if you shared, it, told your friends and family about it and would leave me a little review as well. That would be fantastic.
I always say this, there’s one in four people who are currently experiencing a mental health issue, which means three in four people are always at risk. 8Wise™ was developed to help the one in four experiencing mental health issues but it’s also been developed to be used as a prevention model for those who are trying to prevent mental health issues from developing so we look after the one in four, and we’re trying to look after the three in four as well. But we can only do that if we reach as many people as we possibly can so I’m really, really relying on everybody listening to this, to share and review and get the message out there and get the news out there that mental health can be looked after if you choose to Live the 8Wise™ Way.
Now another way that you can be able to Live the 8Wise™ Way moving forward, and I’m really, really excited about this is, as of next year I am going to be traveling around delivering 8Wise™ training, and you will also be able to access 8Wise™ training online as well.
If you are someone who’s really loved listening to the podcast and would really like to learn an awful lot more and almost have me as your own personal psychotherapist within a group format, then you will be able to book on 2-hour training courses as of September. A lot of those training courses will be available from early 2023 and, as I said, the face to face courses are going to be delivered around the country later next year as well so I would love to see you there. I would love you to come on and learn to Live the 8Wise™ Way with me personally and I can take you through all of the tools and techniques that I share with my one-to-one clients as well.
So that’s it. Episode nine, mastering money madness. Go ahead and start looking after your finances in order to look after your mind.
Thank you so much for joining me. Kim Rutherford psychotherapist, author, podcast host and, most importantly, the creator of the 8Wise™ method.
I hope you have a great month and I look forward to seeing you at our next episode of Live the 8Wise™ Way.
Take care and bye for now.
For more information on how 8Wise™ can support you, your leadership and management team and employee wellbeing strategy please contact us using one of the buttons below.