Avoid the January blues by focusing on your financial well-being

News & comments

8 January 2024

Blue Monday, which falls on 15th January this year is often referred to as the most depressing day of the year with the post-Christmas blues, returning to work and credit card bills coming in.

Money and wellbeing are intertwined, many of us start the new year focusing on improving our health but to help avoid feeling miserable at this gloomy time of year, spend time trying to ensure your financial health is also in good condition. 

Mena Cule, financial planner at wealth manager RBC Brewin Dolphin said, “Financial wellbeing involves feeling secure and in control, making the most of your money day to day and dealing with the unexpected. It might seem odd to reach out to a financial adviser when you’re feeling low, but if your worries relate to your finances then speaking to an adviser could be time well spent.”

Unsurprisingly the rising cost of living is taking a toll on the nation’s mental health. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, almost half of people (49%) have experienced negative feelings as a result of the rise in the cost of living and 41% have felt anxious.¹

Menna Cule said, “It isn’t just those with a lack of money who are vulnerable to finance-related stress, the cost of living has affected many people and complex personal finances can also be stressful. The link between money and wellbeing is well-established, it may be the case that improving your financial wellbeing not only boosts your finances, but also increases your happiness and overall satisfaction with life.”

Menna Cule provides her top principles for managing your financial wellbeing:

1. Feeling in control

The first element of financial wellbeing is about feeling in control of your finances. This means having a firm grasp of your incomings and outgoings, and a solid budgeting and savings plan. Combing through your bank statements so that you are more aware of your monthly spending and find ways to spend less and save more. Also looking at any debts and how best to tackle these. Taking control of your day-to-day finances can help you feel more secure about your overall financial situation.

2. Capacity to absorb a financial shock

The second element relates to feeling more secure about your future finances. You might be saving regularly, but would your finances hold up in an emergency? If you haven’t built up a ‘rainy day’ fund, now is the time to do so. Having around six months’ worth of essential expenditure in an easy-access savings account could help you pay for unexpected repairs to your home or cover you during a period of unemployment.

There are other financial shocks which savings alone may not cover. Serious illness or death could cause a major hit to your household finances and jeopardise your family’s plans for the future. Taking out protection products such as life insurance, critical illness and income protection could provide vital financial support for your loved ones should the worst happen to you. Protection products vary enormously, so it’s crucial to find the right solution for your individual needs.

3. Stay on track to meet goals

You’re more likely to have a high sense of financial wellbeing if you feel like you’re on track to meet your objectives. Whether your goals include paying for your children’s education, saving up for a comfortable retirement or passing on a legacy to future generations, a financial adviser can help you determine whether you are on track and, if not, what could do to try to make up the shortfall. An adviser can also help you save and invest tax efficiently, for example through ISAs and pensions, so that more of your money goes towards your future.

4. Flexibility to make choices

The final element of financial wellbeing is having the freedom to make choices to enjoy life to the full. Building a picture of your life and a projection of how long your money could last is really useful. If you can ‘rehearse your future’ by exploring and stress testing the impact of the choices you make today. Whether it’s working less to spend more time with family, retiring early or selling a business, understanding the impact of your decisions helps to provide clarity and confidence about your finances, both today and well into the future.

Disclaimers

The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. This does not constitute tax or legal advice. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future. Information is provided only as an example and is not a recommendation to pursue a particular strategy. Information contained in this document is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness.

RBC Brewin Dolphin is a trading name of Brewin Dolphin Limited. Brewin Dolphin Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number 124444) and regulated in Jersey by the Financial Services Commission. Registered Office: 12 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9BD. Registered in England and Wales company number: 2135876. VAT numberGB 365 3456 40.

– ENDS-

PRESS INFORMATION

For further information, please contact:

Richard Janes richard.janes@brewin.co.uk / Tel: +44 (0) 20 3201 3343

Siân Robertson: Sian.Robertson@brewin.co.uk / Tel: +44 (0) 20 3201 3026

Payal Nair payal.nair@brewin.co.uk  / Tel: +44 (0) 20 3201 3342

NOTES TO EDITORS

About RBC Brewin Dolphin

RBC Brewin Dolphin is one of the UK and Ireland’s leading wealth managers and traces its origins back to 1762. With £51.8* billion in assets under management, we offer award-winning, personalised wealth management services from bespoke, discretionary investment management to retirement planning and tax-efficient investing.

Our qualified investment managers and financial planners are based in 33 offices across the UK, Jersey and Republic of Ireland. They are committed to the most exacting standards of client service, with long-term thinking and absolute focus on our clients’ needs at the core.

As part of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), we are now able to draw on the strength of a global financial institution to continue to improve the service we provide to our clients and drive further innovation across our business.

*as at 31st October 2023.

Disclaimers

The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. RBC Brewin Dolphin is a trading name of Brewin Dolphin Limited. Brewin Dolphin Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number 124444) and regulated in Jersey by the Financial Services Commission. Registered Office: 12 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9BD. Registered in England and Wales company number: 2135876. VAT number: GB 365 3456 40.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 94,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank and one of the largest in the world, based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our more than 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 27 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.


¹ https://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Breaking-the-Cycle-July-2023.pdf


The value of investments and any income from them can fall and you may get back less than you invested.