The Balance Between Pleasure & Purpose
What gets you out of bed in the mornings? The guys take a look at how to keep the balance between pleasure and purpose for long term wellbeing and fulfilment.
What gets you out of bed in the mornings? Join the guys as they discuss how we can structure our finances to create and keep the balance between pleasure and purpose for long term wellbeing and fulfilment. With another Bage’s Behavioural Bias and #tightasstommo’s money saving tips we have a pleasurable podcast for you . . .
Welcomes & Introductions
- Click here for more information about the Initiative of Financial Wellbeing
- David’s new book, click on the image below for more information;
(Editor Tammy – as requested by David, details on how to buy a copy of the book! 😅)
What is todays podcast all about? – A chat about the balance between pleasure and purpose from the book, Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan.
Every episode, Behavioral Finance expert, Neil Bage is going to be giving us his money behavioral tip. Exploring and thinking a little bit about the behavioral traits we have towards money can inform us, so we can make better money decisions going forward.
– Link to Episode 36 – Understanding our attitude to risk
– Link to Episode 21 – Financial capability
– Link to BeIQ | Beam App
This episode – Loss Aversion
- Featuring a thrifty way to get a free umbrella!
- Click here for more information about the Olio app
Todays topic – The balance between pleasure and purpose
Age Concern study – those who reported the greatest wellbeing are those who were living a life with meaning
The meaning of life . . . is?
What is the difference between how we spend our time and the things that we think will make us happy?
A client example – We focus on a snapshot moment when we should look at the continuing narrative
How do you actually find purpose in your life?
Teaching kids to ride bikes
Purpose and pleasure when it comes to parenting!
Using football to illustrate the difference between pleasure and purpose
Finding the right balance for wellbeing
A financial plan should be reflecting and aiming towards that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.
“goals and objectives are what we do during the day, but purpose is what gets us out of bed to do them”
Do annual meetings with your financial advisor just look at a snapshot in time?
It should be about coaching, to equip you to know what is important and remind yourself of that on a regular basis
And for those without a financial advisor?
Get a financial plan in place and make time each day to remind ourselves why we made that plan
The highs and lows of social media
Focus on the objectives not the money
Conclusions from the guys
Do you have any financial wellbeing questions you would like us to answer? Or do you have a #tightasstommo money saving tip you would like to share with our listeners?
If so, let us know by going to Twitter @Finwellbeing or email – email@example.com
If you would like to purchase a copy of The Financial Wellbeing Book please click on this link to visit Penny Brohn UK shop
Transcribe of the Podcast Script:
Hello, everybody and welcome to another one in our long running series of financial wellbeing podcasts. My name is David Lloyd, writer, broadcaster actor. I’m here to act as referee and the common man while I field comments and questions from two brilliant financial brains, the first of which is going to introduce himself now Chris Budd.
Good lord David that that was, what have you had for breakfast this morning. My name is Chris Budd. I authored the book called The financial wellbeing book and I do lots of other stuff like play guitar and lots of that go on a lockdown. Bought a couple of new guitars during lockdown. So I’m not sure it’s been very good, very good financial wellbeing thing for me this lockdown.
And the other genius financial brain is Tom Morris. Tell us about yourself Tommo?
Producer Tommo 0:58
Well, I’m not sure about genius. But you know what I’ll take it. I have. I am a Chartered Financial Planner and director at Ovation Finance, which is a financial planning business in Bristol, and I’m also a director over the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing which is an organisation that had its roots in in this podcast, I would suggest and now is formed into a 200 plus member led organisation all trying to focus on the area of financial wellbeing and delivering it to their clients, which is is fantastic. I know about you, Chris. But it’s just been so exciting seeing people engage with this and and it’s just amazing.
It’s been quite a summer, isn’t it? Yeah. Because we only launched it back in January, and that we’ve already got 230 members, and we’ve got a conference coming up in May. Regional meetings. Oh so much stuff going on. I’m supposed to be spending a day we can spend two or three days a week on it. And if there’s any financial advisors listening who haven’t come and joined us yet, please do.
Brilliant well done, guys. And, Tom, I understand there’s been an addition to the Morris family.
Producer Tommo 2:05
There has I am a father of two children now. Yes, young Bella, she on this recording since. I should really know this is six, almost seven weeks old now. Yeah, it’s a whirlwind. But it’s quite, people have been asking me what how does it feel going from one to two. And it’s far easier than going from naught to one I would say, going from naught to one, you go from not having to be responsible for anything really other than yourself to having to be responsible for this little, little thing. And then all of a sudden, you’re already used to that. So going to two, it’s been absolutely fine. Apart from that. The lowered sleep. Yeah, it’s great. Yeah, I’m really happy. I couldn’t tell you. It’s a cliche, but I’m incredibly proud and happy dad.
Brilliant. Well done. Chris, you’ve been up to anything exciting had any more children?
Not that I know of. Actually, given the luck that I can be absolutely certain of the fact that I haven’t. I haven’t left this house for like nine months. There’s a friend of ours, mutual friend of ours, David Hannah, who does the illustrations for my novels. And she texted me the other day about novel three, which I’m, I’m just finishing up just to say how are you? Isn’t life dull? I thought that’s a very good way of putting it. But David, we shouldn’t go by talking about novels. We shouldn’t let this go by without mentioned of a certain other addition to your family, your new novel?
Indeed, yes, I went after after many, many years of writing for TV and saying I must write a novel one day and having spent five years on and off writing it, I finally got a novelr out. And it’s selling very well. It’s getting great reviews. I’m really pleased with it. It’s called ‘A Most Unwelcome Connection.’ I’m sure Tammy will stick something in the show notes at the end to tell you how you can buy it. If she doesn’t. I’m never doing another podcast. Yeah, no, it’s gone really well. And you all know, Chris, more than certainly more than I do. I mean, the the excitement of you know, I knew that novel really well. I was very familiar with the characters I knew the words on on a screen. But there was nothing that quite prepared me for that rather magical moment of holding a book in my hands, that I had written. I had, you know, my name on it. And it was all encapsulated in this lovely book smelling book. Yeah, so yeah, so that’s, that’s been great. And I’m already now working on the sequel.
Brilliant, brilliant. I remember when I had my first box of books arrive at the doorstep and I ordered 50 copies I think to sell and give away to friends what have you. And then when the second book came along, I ordered 20 copies because I still got a few the first one and having just done the order. I’ve ordered three.
You got a little bit more reasonable. I’ve got a few knocking around but not many, actually. Not many. Anyway, enough about us. We need to move on now to the purpose of today’s conversation. Chris, you better tell us what that is.
So we’re gonna have a chat about the balance between pleasure and purpose. And it comes from a book called happiness by design by Paul Dolan. So we’re going to talk about some of the ideas that he shares in his book.
Brilliant look forward to that. But before we do that, we need to move on to the first of our regular features, and that is Bage’s Behavioural Biases. Were all friend of the podcast, behavioural finance expert, Neil Bage, gives us his one minute introduction to a different behavioural bias that affects how we make decisions about money. And that Chris, what is Neil telling us about this week?
Today, Neil talks about loss aversion
Neil Bage 5:41
Loss aversion. loss aversion is our tendency, our natural desire to prefer avoiding a loss when compared with acquiring and equivalent gain. What this basically means is that we would feel losing £10 more than we would feel gaining £10. So if you’re walking down the street and find a £10 note on the floor, brilliant, of course, you’d feel happy and chuffed that you’ve just found money. But equally, if you put your hand in your pocket, and realise that you’ve lost £10, that feeling the sinking feeling you get in your stomach, that loss aversion being played out. And it is really powerful if we don’t keep it in check, or slow down to consider its effects when making decisions. And we could end up very quickly in a place where we’re doing something to try and avoid a loss, but actually end up losing something else. So don’t let loss aversion take control, making you miss out on new opportunities or new experiences simply based on a fear of losing. We risk things all the time. Just getting out of bed today, and getting dressed carries a degree of risk. So don’t let your aversion to loss become too dominant in your life. Don’t ignore it. But don’t let it control you either.
Producer Tommo 6:57
Yeah, once again, Neal is nailed it hasn’t he absolutely nailed it. Yeah, loss aversion is a big one. I find with conversations with, with clients as there’s no doubt we do feel loss considerably more than we feel any gains. And it’s something we have to be really aware of that when somebody is trying to manage their finances or life in general, that we try and provide some buffers to these losses to make them feel a bit more comfortable, because we will feel them. But some people will feel that more than others. So it’s something we definitely need to be aware of that. Yeah, loss losses, or the perception of them can be quite tricky. So yeah. Well, well put, Neil.
So now let’s move on to another one of our regular features. I say another one it is the prime feature. It is the reason that people tune in to this podcast. Yes, I witter away. Yes, Chris gives us his, his brilliant financial analysis and knowledge. But in the end, what this is all about is our next feature, Tightasstommo. It’s when Tom Morris gives us the benefit of his meanness. When he explains to us how in the financial world or in any world, you can save yourself some money. But before we come on to the master himself, Chris, have you’ve got anything for us,
I’ve got one today, David, which is how to get free umbrellas. Never spend any money on an umbrella ever again. What you do is you go to the last department section of your local railway station, and you say excuse me, I’ve lost an umbrella. It’s small and black, and it’s extendable. They’re bound to have one there and they’ll give you a free one.
Producer Tommo 8:41
I like that. Yeah, that’s brilliant. I’m going to struggle to Trump that
Do your best, Tommo you can do it. The world is waiting.
Producer Tommo 8:49
Oh, goodness, me. So I came about this only this morning, actually, somebody had put it out there that there was this organisation called Olio. That’s O L, I O. And it’s olio x, ex.com. in the show notes. What they do is they link neighbours and the local community up together and you’re able to sell or give away food that’s close to its used by day or food, that surplus, maybe you’re even able to sell some some cakes that you’ve made that are no longer required. The whole idea is is that reducing food waste, which has been shown to be a huge, has a huge impact on on the environment, but also enabling people to get access to food at a lower cost. I don’t know if it’s free or not. But like I said, I only saw it this morning. I’m going to go and investigate it more. But it seems like right up our street is saving money but but also reducing the impact on the environment.
Excellent, particularly in these times of you know people having to take recourse to a foodbank. Some things like that, that sounds like a really positive thing.
Producer Tommo 10:03
Yeah, absolutely. So Olio. Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna really check it out, get get involved.
Thanks for that. All right, let’s move on then to the main event. Chris, why don’t you tell us again? About our subject for today?
Okay, David, thank you. So there’s a recent Age Concern study of wellbeing among retired people. And it showed or concluded that those who reported the greatest wellbeing would those were living a life with meaning.
Now, that’s great expression. But what does a life with meaning actually mean? If you pardon the expression? How to find meaning in life is a pretty big question. Monty Python tried to make a film about it, but not fully, fully addressed it?
Well, like most conversations about meaning of life if they raise more questions than answers, didn’t they? But they did it in a very good way. So So what is meaning or let’s use another word for it purpose, and let’s explore the balance of purpose and pleasure. Crucially, then, of course, how we structure our finances to create and keep that balance between purpose and pleasure. And so to do this, I’ve been rereading a really good book by a guy called Paul Dolan. It’s called happiness by design. So if anybody’s interested in the ideas in this podcast, I strongly recommend that you check out that book. So let’s start off with talking about pleasure. There’s a difference between what makes us happy and what we pay attention to. There’s a difference between how we spend our time and the things that we think will make us happy. And in many ways the gap between these two things defines our wellbeing
Right, hold your horses, Christoph, I need to get my head around that statement. So as I understand it, you’re talking about the gap between what actually makes us happy, presumably, this is the ‘Know Thyself’ principle that you’ve talked about for many years, and how we spend our time which is taking our immediate attention.
Yeah, exactly. And there’s an analogy Paul gives in the early on in his book, which I really like, which is, it’s like the difference between a movie a film, and a photograph. A film is the continuing narrative, where a photograph is just one snapshot in time. And we tend to focus on the snapshot the moment of happiness or wellbeing or unhappiness or whatever. So to give an example, it’s, it’s possible to be unhappy in a job, while quite happy at that particular moment, the thing that you’re doing, which can thereby stop us from taking action.
Can you give me an example to illustrate this,
Producer Tommo 12:37
I’ll jump in here, if you don’t mind. Because I can think about a few clients, actually, this fits. I’m not going to use a real name here, this is pseudonym for obvious reasons. But a client called Aill and Bill worked for a company that he didn’t like, but he was well paid. He liked his colleagues, and he enjoyed the particular job, he was doing well enough. So you can see there was this snapshot of enjoying what he does in the day, but wasn’t necessarily enjoying the company he worked for, you know, he didn’t like his line manager. What the company did, he just didn’t really believe in. So every day, Bill will go into work focused on what he’s doing now, and actually be happy doing his role. So was wasn’t unhappy. However, whenever he went on holiday, it was felt a little bit, wan’t exactly excited to go back and do the job. He wasn’t fulfilled by it. So I guess what I’m trying to say is his job, in in the moment was giving him happiness, but actually wasn’t given a huge amount of purpose. Because the wider aspects of what it involved wasn’t making him particularly happy.
I suspect, you guys know, certainly I can, I’m sure a lot of listeners can think of times of their lives when they’ve been in that situation. I can think of a lot of financial advisors, for example, who loved the idea of financial wellbeing but are in jobs, which give them targets to sell products, etc. And they probably enjoy the time with the client, but overall, it’s not giving them the fulfilment. So Paul Dolan’s first suggestion is that we stopped focusing on the snapshots of life, those moments of pleasure, and instead look at how these add together over time. So now let’s look at purpose. We talk of financial wellbeing in terms of living a meaningful life. We use the word purpose a lot, I do anyway. But that word purpose is a big word. It can feel a little overpowering. Yeah, how you actually find purpose in your life? It’s a big issue.
Yeah, I think for me, it’s about I mean, I guess I would separate it out. One purpose in my life is to is to earn enough money to live you know, and that’s clearly there as a whether you’d call it a purpose or a function, but for me, I have a wider purpose and nice to feel that I’m making a positive contribution. And Chris, you and I have over a long period of time, you know, volunteer for our local cricket club, done a lot of work there. I just joined the local parish Council, I’ve been a, I’ve been a school governor. And for me, it’s about the purpose in my life is about making a wider contribution to my own community. And I guess those are things that I can feel that I’m doing something useful, when I’m doing it but also retrospectively as I can with a cricket, which I’ve stepped away from now. I can look back on that and think, yeah, you know, I made a difference. It’s something I can look back on with pride.
Yeah, absolutely. So there’s a longer term thing. And I often say to people of all the things I’ve done in life, that cricket section that you and I got going is probably one of the things I’m most proud of, of all the things that I’ve done. And you’ve got things like your Bafta award, for the award winning show Maid Marion and her Merry Men. We don’t mention that enough, actually. Because there will be some of our listeners that, that will remember that show and not realise that you were Graham, the guard.
So it was indeed and it was it was the best job, apart from this one, that I ever had. Certainly paid better than this one. But yeah, it was a great Kids TV series, late 80s, early 90s. For those that haven’t got a clue what we’re talking about, yeah.
Still available on DVD.
It is indeed Yes, on blu-ray DVD. And indeed, you can stream it on Amazon Prime.
There you go. There you go. So you got to go and see what
Producer Tommo 16:19
That does mean, born in the in 1987, I very much enjoyed it, David, at the age it was meant to be enjoyed. So thank you, it was it was an excellent show.
So there you go, you’ve got you’ve got the longer term purpose of something like that, or there could be just a moment when you show the kid to bowl leg spin. And in that moment, you’ve got pleasure as well. So it’s a balance between these two things.
Producer Tommo 16:40
I’ve got, I think I’ve got an example of this. And it only happened this weekend, I have shown Toby how to ride a bike, and he actually got it, you know, it was just amazing. I think I actually showed you the video, I’ve sent you the video, Chris, you you’ve seen it, you know, he actually does have an extended period of time where I’m not holding on, it was amazing. And you get, I got that great sense of, of, of pride and, you know, happiness with that, but also a sense of purpose that my role as a father is or as a parent is to teach my child these things. So some of my purpose is to teach my children how to do things so that they are, they’re able to live a life where they could cycle a bike to school, or whatever it might be.
I just share a quick story about my daughter, Ella and her bike. Because, because it’s a big moment to teach your kid to ride a bike. And so I had it all set up that we were gonna go to a certain, to Wells actually, to ride a bike and she kept saying, It’s okay, because I can already ride a bike and you can’t, I can’t that I can’t Ella. Look, it’s not you don’t just get on it. You know, you need to learn I need to teach you is it? No, but I can do that. Ella I know you think you can, I sound like Nemo’s dad here, I know you think you can. But you can’t you know. So we get down to Wells. And then we put on the bike, bam, off she goes. And she comes around in a big circle, skids in front of me says what about that then aye? And I said, but, but, I’ll be learning at school. I just haven’t told you. Grrr
Well, there’s a lesson for us all there, obviously, our instinct as parents is we want to inform and educate and guide and lead our children. But sometimes they’re best left to their own devices to get on with it themselves.
So this, this parenting actually gets a specific mention in this book, Happy Happiness by Design, because I’m not sure you’re gonna like this. But there are studies that show that being a parent doesn’t actually add to your overall wellbeing over time. But what it does do is it changes the balance, I think Tommo’s gonna be able to relate to that. It changes the balance between doing things that are purposeful, and things that are pleasurable. I think you could probably vouch for that at the moment.
Producer Tommo 18:58
Yeah. Are we saying that I’m definitely in the purposful zone rather than pleasurable? Yeah, I could get I could get that. Yeah, you know, your purpose at the moment is to get up and change a nappy at three in the morning. I mean, that’s, that’s my purpose in life right now. Is it pleasurable? I think we all know the answer to that.
Yeah, but Tommo the pleasure will come later in life when, when one of your children or both of them will say, Dad, come on, we’re going down the pub, and I’m gonna buy you a pint. And that’s when the pleasure comes. I mean, my son who I still remember, I could remember teaching him to ride his bike. I could remember changing his nappy and all of those things, but you know, he’s 32 now he’s a man and yet still, my boy.
Producer Tommo 19:42
Yeah, there you go.
I get, I get certainly you know, a lot of pleasure now from seeing him having turned up into a well rounded and independent young man.
So let’s let’s look a bit deeper into the no lifestyle stuff that we always go on about in these podcasts and have them for years. Let’s look at that pleasure and principal balance. And let’s try and illustrate this difference between pleasure and purpose. So, David, what would you say are your favourite type of TV programmes or movies?
Well, obviously, I’m tempted to say the ones I’ve been in, but but that’s, but actually I’ve, you know, I love a nice documentary. And, you know, I’ll take as an example, you look at some of the great documentaries David Attenborough has made over recent years, you know, the Blue Planet, and all of those things that educate, inform, but also really make you think about, you know, the state of the planet. So probably something like that is going to give me a huge amount of satisfaction at every level.
Okay, Tommo me what about you?
Producer Tommo 20:43
Sport. Sport for me, if I’ve got an opportunity in some spare time, certainly over the weekends, I just watch whatever live sport there is, you know, particularly rugby and cricket, I can’t get enough of it.
So this illustrates and that obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer to it, because it’s whatever is unique to you. But it demonstrates the difference between whether you do things for pleasure or for purpose. I watched recently, a really good film recommended Triak of the Chicago Seven on Netflix. And I suggest that’s a fairly purposeful type film. It’s a true story. I also love going to see Bristol Rovers, I get great purpose from the fact that I go with my son, even if there isn’t always a pleasure to be here for the actual football.
Right? Well, I mean, I can share that with you as well, Chris, because I, obviously, football, I remember picking, picking my son see Bristol City, the other Bristol team when when he was a kid and getting huge amounts of purpose from that. And although, you know, I would argue that the general standard of football over the years made it slightly. The same principle applies is that you’re they’re doing something with your boy. And whatever it is, whoever you’re watching, whatever your opinion might be of the relative merits of the teams that we support, that that essential thing that you do is the great thing.
Producer Tommo 22:01
Can I ask a question here? Those examples of you going to sports events with your with your boys? Is that purpose or pleasure?
It’s it’s a purposeful thing to do. No doubt about it whatsoever. That of course, yeah, it’s still good for purpose, I guess. Would you disagree? You asked the question.
Producer Tommo 22:25
A little bit. Yeah, I’d say that there’s that that’s a pleasure pursuit.
I think it’s both. I think it’s I think you go there with a purpose. Your purpose is to go to the football, you get pleasure from doing something with your with your child. And you get extra pleasure if your team wins, which clearly is something that Chris will be less familiar with.
I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist.
I tried to be fair, I tried to be nice, Chris. And I just couldn’t stop myself.
Producer Tommo 22:55
As a neutral, he’s got a point, Chris i’m afraid.
The silly thing is if you look at the number of games won and lost over the last 10 years between Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, I suspect it’s about the same. It’s just a different divisions.
Well, I’m going to come back at you in the next podcast with that stat. We’ll see. But presumably, this challenge that we’re talking about between pleasure is a key to long term well being. And I would imagine that, that living a life, which is all pleasure, and no purpose wouldn’t be especially fulfilling. But then I can also imagine that a life which is all purpose, and no pleasure, wouldn’t be much fun after a while. So surely, it’s about finding the right balance for each of us.
Producer Tommo 23:39
Yeah, absolutely. It was going to be over the long term, not just at that snapshot in time we talked about. So when we look at structuring our finances, when we work, you know, work out our financial plans, we need to work on that Know Thyself part, so that we understand our own balance between purpose and ultimately, what the thing the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning, and pleasure, you know, considering how these series of moments will add up to, to provide us long term well being, you know, that’s what our financial plan should be reflecting and aiming towards.
I had a really good definition of purpose actually, a little while ago, somebody said, ‘goals and objectives are what we do during the day, but purpose is what gets us out of bed to do them’ as a really nice weapon money. Let’s give the last word on this to Paul Dolan then from the book. Now a direct quote from the book. ‘The value of our lives comes from the experiences of pleasure and purpose over our lifetime, not from a judgement we might make in an arbitrarily chosen moment in time.’
Oh, that’s great. Now given that, I’ve got a challenge for your two brilliant financial planning brains. So this podcast is all about how we can use money to make us happier, and not just wealthier as our strap line right now, you’re saying that we shouldn’t judge happiness by a snapshot in time, yet you call the client in for a meeting just once a year as you did with me last week tamo for an annual review?
Producer Tommo 25:05
Well, I’m put on the spot here now arn’t I? I better come up with a good answer! And I think we have to realise that it is very difficult for somebody to be next to you, throughout the whole of the year or this whole long snapshot in time. What my job as a financial planner is, is that when we sit down for that once a year, it may be more regular than that, for some clients, certainly those that are going through a big transition, is to equip you with the skills to be able to understand these things for yourself. So this is where coaching comes in. So I’d like to think that a lot of our conversations, we have David at all around really trying to understand what’s important to you, looking at all these snapshots added together, so we can, you know, get this theme about what is important to you, What’s your purpose, and ultimately, what makes you happy. And then enabling you to take that away, and implement it for between when we see each other and the next time we see each other because unfortunately, I can’t be there with you at all times. So I need to equip you with the skills to know right, what is important to me, and then make sure that you are reminding yourself of that on a regular basis,
Which is exactly what you did at our last meeting, you came up with some great solutions and suggestions about, you know, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m moving from working into a more retirement based life. And certainly the advice you gave me was very, very useful.
I think it’s also fair to say that not everybody will want to or you can get afford to see their advisor every quarter or every month. So So seeing an advisor who’s going to equip you, I think, you know, make sure you’ve got one of them.
Producer Tommo 26:51
It’s also the case, and I hope, David, you’ll agree with this is that we are open to having conversations between our our more organised meetings. So we may well have a telephone call along the way that you want to sense checks and things with me, emails, you know, as long as an advisor is open, to having these conversations between meetings, it does enable you to make sure that it’s not just the snapshots that being talked about, and the wider things are being discussed. And yeah, it’s important that we do provide the support. But ultimately, having those big meetings a little too often they can start to become a bit stale if we’re not careful.
Yeah, I think that’s fair comment. And I think, obviously, you and I have a slightly different relationship given that we come together for these podcasts quite often, it gives us an opportunity to catch up on small things, when we’re chatting. But certainly those, those big meetings are very important because they tend to be a bit more focused, you go right, these are the issues, we need to sit down and address them. But what I valued about the relationship I have with you and indeed previous advisors that I’ve had at Ovation is the fact that I do know that you’re always there that I can pick up the phone or send you an email and that for me is an ideal advisor client relationship.
Producer Tommo 28:07
We better make sure we continue that then hadn’t we!
What about those people who don’t have a financial advisor? And we know that a lot of people who read the financial well being booked to turn to that, if you like, is their financial advice? How should they remind themselves of their relationship to their money on a regular basis and keep in touch with their financial wellbeing?
Thats a good challenge David had to make financial well being something that you attend to every day, not just at certain moments, and then forget it again. So let’s just remember, this is all about the balance between pleasure and purpose. We need to make sure we take time, I would suggest each day to remind ourselves of our plan. So we need to create that financial plan in the first place. And actually thank you for mentioning it, the financial wellbeing book will help you to do that. But then just remind yourself every, not necessarily every day about your plan. But remind yourself every day about you. There’s an old friend of the podcast, Nick Elston, who can be heard, I think, I don’t wish to be rude to the other guests we’ve had. But I think it was the best one, best episode we produced, number 55. He was absolutely fantastic. And he showed a great tip recently to a group of financial advisors that Tommo and I are a part of called the Next Gen Planners. I’m a bit too old for them, but they still let me in. I suspect you might be getting a bit old from at some point, but
Producer Tommo 29:23
Im told it’s a mindset, not an age thing. So I hope, I hope . . .
Yes, yes, definitely. So So Nick said on that on that pod on that little commute that we do every morning with a group of people. He said, just make sure that a little bit of each day is allocated for you. Now I just that really hit me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds that I spend so much time every day providing things for the people whether paid or not paid whatever. And I just don’t get to put aside time for myself. So after hearing that step I actually wrote which bit of you, sorry, which bits of today is for you on a postcard and I’ve pinned it behind my workstation, so I see it every morning, which bit of today is for you.
Excellent. So and if I understand Mr. Dolan correctly, a major source of unhappiness is the way we focus our attention on the wrong things. So this could be I guess, what social media is a big thing now, isn’t it? You know, we’re all very easily subsumed by what we see on social media. And we can very quickly get trolled and bullied if we dare to mention something that’s not you know, in the current zeitgeist and, and that can take us away from the thing that we believe is really, really important.
I think, I get a bit frustrated, if I’m honest with you, I love my Twitter. And I get a bit frustrated when I hear people say I don’t do Twitter, because I don’t like what I see. People being negative, you literally choose your own feed on Twitter, you choose your followers. So if somebody is putting something in that you don’t like, don’t follow them. mute them.
Exactly. Right, Chris. And I’ve done that I’ve I mean, Twitter is, let’s face it, it’s not, it’s not the lovely fluffy place it was 10 years or so ago when we both joined it. But it still is, for me a source of great amusement and entertainment because anybody that goes on my timeline with any degree and never to negativity or degree, I just sling them off. I’m not interested in engaging with the wider world. I just want to engage with people that make me feel good.
Yeah. And it’s not only getting people that agree with me, I’ve got lots of people don’t agree with, it’s that negativity and unwillingness to to engage in a conversation. So yeah, you literally choose your own timeline.
Producer Tommo 31:39
Do you mind if I come in with some practical stuff chaps as, I think some listeners do like to think well, how can I actually implement this within my financial plan?
You mean, they don’t want to listen to me and David moaning about the world.
Producer Tommo 31:50
If they want to hear you moan about Twitter, etc, they go watch Social Dilemma on Netflix, an excellent documentary that will give you all the insight you need onto this. So if you remember the two grumpy old men on on the Muppets, this is what I’m looking at right now.
Less of the old!
Producer Tommo 32:08
Okay, so let the point of a financial plan should be to create a clear path to identifiable objectives. I.e, you know, the purpose, the pleasure, what’s it all for? So we need to create that clear path. These objectives, which we could call intrinsic motivations, which we’ve discussed before, on this balance between pleasure and purpose, and are unique to each individual. So once you’ve identified your objectives, why not keep an overview of this to hand? Maybe pin it on the wall, next to Nick Elston’s tip of have you taken some time for yourself each day? Why don’t you pin it on the water? What are your motivations and objectives? What’s important to you? It’s the reason why so many of us keep a picture of our family close at times. And we want to be reminded about the things that are important to us. So that if you’ve got something that you’re specifically aiming for, and oh, such as a holiday, why not pin that up on the wall. Now make your money real to you. You know, without focusing on the amounts, just what your money can actually achieve for you, you know, these objectives that are so important. That being said, when it comes to the actual nitty gritty management of your money, you know, I recommend that you look at it less often than that, you know, it’s important to look at these objects of everyday but looking at your money should be done a little less often, otherwwise, you can get really wrapped up and it’s not going to be great for your your well being. You know, a good example is to look at your investments every day, watching whether the stock market’s gone, up or down, it’s no good for your wellbeing. And, you know, it’s gonna give you false feelings anyway. Remember, investments is a long term thing. Also, automation is your friend. So set up direct debit savings towards these things that are important to you. It enables you to have mental space to focus on the things that are important to you. And also, you know, that action has being taken. Also, if you’re in retirement, make sure your income is automated, so you’re not constantly worrying about action being taken. And finally, if we actually think about our spending, do you review it every couple of months to make sure it’s aligned to that purpose and pleasure that we discussed? And this can be straightforward these days. There are many apps now where you can link your bank account, and you’re able to get a good breakdown of where your money’s going. I know, for example, clients at Ovation, we provide them with a portal and they can link their bank account in there. And they’re able to do budgeting very easily a click of a button. You know, every couple of months they can see, okay, that’s what’s coming in. That’s what’s going out. Is it actually being spent on things that provide pleasure. Is it being spent on things that provide purpose if the answer is no. Then we need to reassess it. If the answer is yes, tick that box and carry on enjoying your life.
Great advice. Tom, I thought you mentioned that portlet our meeting last week and you still have to send me the link to set it up, so I’m just reminding you about that.
Producer Tommo 35:09
What a terrific advisor I really am. All the truth is coming out now, isn’t it?
You’ve had other things on your mind Tommo, so that’s fine. So what’s the name of that book again, Chris?
It’s called Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan. I stress that the points about the pleasure and purpose balance that we’ve been talking about. That’s just the first chapter. There’s loads of great stuff in the rest of the book. So it’s definitely one that we recommend.
Well, I shall go away and read it. So thanks very much for that guy’s a really interesting chat today I thought, I hope you’ve all enjoyed it listening at home or in the car or wherever you’ve been listening to us waffling away, and I hope that you will join us again very soon. Next time we come together for another one of our financial wellbeing podcasts.
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