Episode 89

Interview with Liz Zeidler

How do finances link to our overall wellbeing?

It’s been long overdue, but the guys finally have a chat with Liz Zeidler from The Centre for Thriving Places and explore the links between wellbeing and our finances. No Shizzle Sherlock has some no nonsense words from Producer Tommo and there is an update from a previous #tightasstommo money saving tip. Come and enjoy a great episode . . .

Welcomes & Introductions

What is todays podcast all about?

An interview with Liz Zeidler from the Centre for Thriving Places – a long overdue chat about their wellbeing work and it’s connections to financial wellbeing.

The No Shizzle Sherlock Test

The biggest risk is not taking any risk

Mark Zuckerberg  

Whilst this may be obvious, be careful who you take advice from! Tell us your thoughts on Twitter – @FinWellbeing


An update from David on using a previous #tightasstommo tip

Moneybox helps you collect loose change digitally – every time you spend, it rounds up to the nearest pound and saves the difference for you.

Link to MoneyBox if you want to give it a go

TATTOTW – It’s blackberry season, bring tuppaware on walks for free food

Interview with Liz Zeidler | Wellbeing and our finances

Liz Zeidler – founder of the not for profit Centre for Thriving Places

What is the happiness pulse all about?

3 main areas of wellbeing –

  • Be – mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Do – doing things that are good for us
  • Connect – social and relationships

How does money interact with these areas?

Is happiness at the whim of external factors?

Reservoir of wellbeing metaphor

The importance of learning and where to look for opportunities

Don’t be intimidated, doing something is good for wellbeing

Just noticing – shout out to @AskAdamOwen for his holiday Brown Sign game

How you spend your money effects your relationships

Giving: time / attention / thoughtfulness, for both your wellbeing and somebody else’s

Click here to take The Happiness Pulse, the process helps you take the time to support your wellbeing

Conclusions from the guys

This all lends validation and support to what the Financial Wellbeing Podcast has been talking about for the last six years

Use money to inform your wellbeing decisions.



If you would like to explore what Liz Zeidler is doing at The Centre for Thriving Places further, click here to head over to the website

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 – contact@financialwell-being.co.uk

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Financial Wellbeing Book please click on this link to visit Penny Brohn UK shop



David: Hello, loyal listeners, and welcome to yet another one of our Financial Wellbeing podcasts.

David This is number 89.

David Gosh, we’ve done a lot of things over the years and I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing them and I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them as much as we’ve enjoyed doing them.

David: Of course I say hi.

David: It’s not me on my own.

David: In fact, I’m an insignificant part of the team that puts this together and I’d like now to introduce you to the other two and I’m just going to kind of reverse what is the traditional order of introducing them, because otherwise a Chris gets a little bit bigheaded, quite frankly.

David: But more to the point, Tom, who’s only a young lad and he’s quite sensitive, gets a little bit hurt and a little bit cheerful.

David: So, Tom Morris, tell us all about yourself.

Producer Tommo: It’s all true, actually.

Producer Tommo: Sensitive soul.

Producer Tommo: Yeah.

Producer Tommo: Tom Morris a director in charge of financial planner over at Ovation Finance, who kind of support this podcast.

Producer Tommo: And somebody, as listeners will know that I think the last podcast recording talked about how I had broken 80 playing golf.

Producer Tommo: That’s still a thing, that’s what I have for life, and it’s fair to say that I have got nowhere near it since.

Producer Tommo: So I’d be happy to know normal service has resumed.

David: Excellent.

David: Well, just another bit of sporting news from me, actually.

David: So I’ve always been a cricketer, I have average ability.

David: I ended up playing for Somerset as a senior only by virtue of the fact that I was still alive and still playing.

David: But this year, I played a game for our third team about a month ago at the age of 67.

David: That’s all I am now.

David: And it was tough.

David: A bold got whacked around by some kid who I would have got out a few years ago, but it’s a good a few runs dropped.

David: Just the simplest catch in the world.

David: It went up in the air, it came down, I called for it and it went straight through my hands and landed on the floor.

David: And therefore, after that, I thought, you know what, it’s a young man’s game, or certainly a game for younger men than me.

David:So it’s exactly 50 years this year since I played my first game of league cricket.

David: And I decided on that basis, I would have loved to have gone out with a century or ten wickets, but I thought, no, enough is enough.

David: So I’m now retired from playing cricket and that, for me, is quite a significant thing.

David: So I just thought I’d like to share that with you.

David: Well, talking about cricket, here’s somebody that I’ve played a lot of cricket with myself over the years and run kids cricket with and been involved in cricket with.

David: Our local club, Backwell Flax, boughton those that are interested, or indeed those aren’t interested.

David: You’d have to hear it anyway.

David: Chris.

Chris: Hello.

Chris: So I’ve got a little bit of interesting news.

Chris: Well, I think it’s fun anyway for the financial advisors.

Chris: The reason about the financial advisors listen to this podcast and I’m hoping that lots of them will be going to the Personal Finance Society’s Festival of Financial Planning in November.

Chris: And you will know and listen that I’m a founder, as is Tomo, of the initiative of Financial Wellbeing, soon to be called the Institute of Financial Wellbeing.

Chris: And so I’ve been asked to talk about Financial Wellbeing at that conference.

Chris: So that’s going to be great.

Chris: Hope lots of people come and see that talk.

Chris: But there’s also a bit of fun because it’s a two day conference and the night between the two, there’s a dinner and they’re going to have a band playing at the dinner and I’m playing guitar in the band.

Chris: We’re putting together an industry band and a guy called Ian beast me up and said, how’d you fancy be in the guitarist or one of two guitarists?

Chris: So, yeah, what fun is that?

David: Fantastic.

David: I was only saying the other day, Chris, to a mutual friend, that you used to be big on the music scene around back well, but we don’t see much of you or your band these days, so I’m glad you’re playing your guitar out again.

Chris: That’s a great sentence, being on the music scene in backwell.

Producer Tommo: It’S exciting, but it’s taken all of my might not to make some David Brent’s jokes, but I’ve seen you play the guitar crystal very good.

Producer Tommo: So good luck to you.

David: He is good indeed.

David: Right, okay, enough about our own personal brilliance at sport and music.

David: Let’s move on to today’s podcast.

David: But before we do, let’s also just remind ourselves that these podcasts are based on and around the Financial Wellbeing book written by Chris, which explores the whole notion of financial wellbeing.

David: It is, yes, I would say this, it’s actually a brilliant book.

David: It’s really well written, it’s really well laid out, and if you’ve got any questions about money and how you look after money and make yourself feel good in the process, it’s a book that is definitely worth reading.

David: You can buy it from all the usual sources.

David: And it’s also worth pointing out that all the proceeds from that book, the sales of the proceeds of that book go to the Penny Braun Cancer Research Unit here in Bristol.

David: So, having got the plug out of the way, what’s on today’s podcast, Chris?

Chris: Thank you for that, David.

Chris: That’s very nice of you.

Chris: So today we’ve got an interview with someone who is, frankly, long overdue for appearing on this podcast.

Chris: The absolutely brilliant Liz Zidler of the Centre for Thriving Places.

David: Excellent.

David: Looking forward to this.

David: I know a little bit about her, actually, so I’m really looking forward to your interview and seeing what you can see out of her.

David: But before we do that, let’s go to the first of our regular features, no Chisel show in which we listen to the words of wisdom from a financial or investment guru.

David: I wonder whether this indeed insightful and meaningful advice, or whether it is as predictable as an England cricket team’s top order collapse.

David: So, Chris, what’s today’s ambiguous asset advice?

Chris: Today, David, we’re going to look at a quote from a man who has pledged to use his incredible wealth to one of the world’s richest people and he has pledged to use his money to rid the entire planet of disease.

David: Wow.

David: So never mind whether that’s possible.

David: Is it even a good idea?

David: You can’t get rid of death, for example.

David: Who is this person?

Chris: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Chris: He gave some advice about investing and indeed about business.

Chris: And so the quote we’re going to ask Tomo to comment on is as follows.

Chris: The biggest risk is not taking any risk in a world that is changing really quickly.

Chris: The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.

David: Now, on a personal level, I agree with that, and I can certainly see the investment aspect of this, but I could also see how it might apply to every aspect of life without thinking about it.

David: Walking out the front door carries a bit of a risk, so it does rather seem like stating the bleeding obvious.

David: However, talking about stating the obvious, let’s turn to the expert for an investment take on this comment.

David: So, the allimportant question, what does Tomo think?

Producer Tommo: If you decide to take your advice for a man like Mark Zuckerberg, who let Facebook completely take over our political system, then you’re a fool.

David: Thank you very much.

David: Tomo, trenchant work from you, absolutely spot on there.

David: Right, thank you.

David: I don’t think we can add to that.

David: I think those wise, concise words need to be considered and reflected on it.

David: Right.

Producer Tommo: I will say I will say this.

Producer Tommo: If he wants to go and eradicate a lot of diseases, best of luck with him.

Producer Tommo: More power to your album.

David: Yeah, well, the thing that annoys me is that these people, like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, these people with astonishing amounts of money, actually could if they used all of their money, they could eliminate world poverty, they could make sure that every child in the world is well fed and healthy.

David: So my question is, and it’s a rhetorical question that probably doesn’t need an answer now, is why don’t they on that?

David: Let’s move on to the other one of our regular features, tight as Tomo.

David: Now, this is where Tom Morris not only gives us his trench and political views on well known figures in the world, he also tells us how we can save money by being really mean.

David: But before we come to his, I’d like to pick up on a tightass Tomo tip and give you an update on it.

David: Now, this was one, I had to look this up, find out when it was or if I had to ask Tomo when it was back in October 2018, that’s about four years ago, tomo mentioned in his title, Tomo Tip, an app called Money Box.

David: Now, there are other similar products, I believe, but this is one that he specifically mentioned at the time, and it’s.

Producer Tommo: A basic not advice, just an example.

Producer Tommo: I have to state that from my compliance office.

David: So we gave an example of something that you can use, an investor analogy I could use.

David: It’s a bit like when you’re a bit skin, you go, oh, you have a little look down the back of your sofa, or you have a look if you’re sporty, you have a look in your golf bag or your cricket bag and you find some loose change and you go, I didn’t know I had that money.

David: Oh, that’s good, that’s helped me out.

David: And what Money Box does, it helps you save money in a way that you don’t particularly notice, so you link it to your current account, your bank card, and every time you buy something, it rounds it up.

David: So if you buy something for £9.65, that will round it up to £10, but it will save the other 35 pence in a general investment account that moneybox looked after for you and invest on your behalf.

David: So I was so taken with this idea that I thought, right, I’m going to open an account with Money Box, and I did it there and then in October 2018.

David: Now, it ran for three months and then the system means that actually you have to reconnect every three months to your bank.

David: I hadn’t quite realised that at the time, and so the connection went and then I had all sorts of problems trying to get it reconnected again.

David: There was some blip on the app and I bank wasn’t talking to Money Box and Money Box wasn’t talking to my bank.

David: So actually, for a year, it wasn’t running at all.

David: So effectively, I’ve had an account with them for about three years.

David: Every month I stick in a tenant, so that’s a regular standing order, and then the rest of it is money that is rounded up and then it’s invested by Money Box.

David: And as of right now, I’m going to tell you, I’ve got to be.

Chris: Can I have a guess?

David: Go on.

Chris: If you’re a ten or a month is 360 and rounding up the two season five p’s, I’m going to go back in that.

Chris: You’ve got 500 quid in there.

David: Okay.

David: Tomorrow.

David: Do you want an advance on that one?

Producer Tommo: No.

Producer Tommo: Are you under quit?

David: Okay, well, actually, the amount that I now have in my general investment account or Money Box, is £1292.56.

David: Wow.

David: So for me, that’s great, because I’ve not noticed that money going out at all.

David: I’ve not made a conscious effort to go, oh, I better put some money in this week.

David: £10 a month goes out as a general thing and I don’t really notice that at all.

David: Everything else is just rounded up.

David: I never noticed that.

David: So now I’ve got now, how much of that is money that I’ve put in myself and how much of that is interest?

David: I don’t know.

David: I could probably tell you if I went into my bank statements and worked out how much I put in over the years.

David: Or indeed.

David: There may well be a way within the app that I can find that out.

David: But for me.

David: That has been an absolutely brilliant way of just saving some money.

David: Which means at some point in the indeterminate future.

David: It will keep on going up and up and up.

David: And at some point I’ll go.

David: I’m a bit skinny now.

David: I could do with some money.

David: And I’ll go, oh, look, there it is, money from down the back of the sofa.

David: There’s a classic David pool.

Chris: You’ve now got your cricket, so you’re no longer paying, so you can direct that into there as well.

David: Exactly, yeah.

David: Good thinking.

David: So we often have a good laugh about Titus tomato tips, and some of them are indeed very funny, but some of them actually work.

David: And this one for me, I have to say, has worked very well indeed.

Producer Tommo: Brilliant.

Producer Tommo: Brilliant.

Producer Tommo: I love that.

Producer Tommo: And I would say that I’ve noticed over the last year or so, most banks and moneybox is an example, certainly from the investment side, but most banks now are actually providing this feature that you can turn on on your current account.

Producer Tommo: So take a look.

Producer Tommo: I think it’s a great way.

Producer Tommo: It’s like the old way of having chicken.

Producer Tommo: None of us use cash anymore, do we?

Producer Tommo: It’s the old way of having changing your pocket and sticking it in the change jar.

Producer Tommo: That is maybe the holiday fund or nice trip out fund I used to do.

David: I used to have a big Tupperware box on my bed and all my two PS, one PS and then 20 PS, and then it was 50 PS would go into that pot and then it would fill up.

David: And then about six or nine months later, I take it down the coin star at Tesco, get it all sorted out, and there would be £120 in there.

David: It’s exactly the same as that.

David: It’s exactly that way of just saving up little bits of money without noticing.

David: Well done.

David: Have you got a tune?

David: It’s as good as that one.

Producer Tommo: Well, I don’t know.

Producer Tommo: Chris, have you got anything?

Chris: Not today.

Chris: I would leave it to you guys.

Producer Tommo: Well, this one is going to be very time specific.

Producer Tommo: It is recording this.

Producer Tommo: We are in the middle of August and we are just about to hit.

Producer Tommo: And this was a tip from a good friend of mine who has young children, as do I, and it definitely applies to my son Toby.

Producer Tommo: It’s BlackBerry season and it runs from around August through to october.

Producer Tommo: And where I’m going with this is, go on those nice walks and spot the amount of blackberries that are starting to pop up.

Producer Tommo: Bring a little tupperware with you.

Producer Tommo: It’s great fun to take the children along.

Producer Tommo: Snuffle a few blackberries on the way, fill up your tupperware box, come home.

Producer Tommo: You spent a few hours with your children out and about, come home.

Producer Tommo: Perhaps freeze it ready for the winter.

Producer Tommo: It can be used as a crumble, you can use it in smoothies, but ultimately it’s free foraging food for those US listeners out there, or non UK listeners.

Producer Tommo: I don’t know if you have BlackBerry bushes grown randomly on the side of hallways, but we do here in the UK and it’s great fun.

Producer Tommo: So, yeah, thank you, Rohan, for reminding me of that.

Producer Tommo: And get out there.

Producer Tommo: Get out there and get some fresh air before it turns cold.

David: Now, this is bizarre because the BlackBerry season has come a little bit earlier this year, because it has been so hot.

David: And I was out yesterday walking the field behind my house, picking blackberries, and this very morning, on my porridge, I have some blackberries chopped banana.

David: Absolutely wonderful.

David: Great advice there, Tom.

David: You found not only financially wise, but healthy as well.

Chris: You managed to forage a banana on your walk as well this morning, did you?

David: We’ve got a banana plantation, we’ve got everything in backpack, Chris.

David: It’s been that warm this year that came from Tesco.

Producer Tommo: What’s the berry that goes in slow?

Producer Tommo: Gin.

Producer Tommo: Slows, isn’t it?

Producer Tommo: Nicely enough, friendly enough.

Producer Tommo: There you go.

Producer Tommo: We’re obviously confronted with a cost of living crisis and a really dark winter coming, so what you really need to do is brew your own gin, because you’re going to need it.

Producer Tommo: So get out there and find some slogan and slows as well as meet your slogan.

David: Absolutely.

David: I suspect that as this winter unfolds, we’re recording this the middle of August in 2022.

David: As this winter unfolds, I suspect that your title tips are going to become more and more relevant, Tomo, and I’m sure that we’ll be discussing more of that over the winter.

David: So keep tune, listeners, for more ways in which you could save those hard earned pennies.

David: Right, let’s move on, then, to our interview.

David: Tell us a bit more about this, Chris, if you would.

Chris: So, Liz Zidler is the founder of a not for profit organisation called the Centre for Thriving Places.

Chris: And I won’t say too much, you said what I managed to tease out of her.

Chris: You don’t need to tease out a great deal from this cycle.

Chris: You just ask a question, then she’s just brilliant, you let her go, she’s fantastic.

Chris: I work with Elizabeth over the years.

Chris: I have so much respect and admiration for what they do.

Chris: All about measuring happiness, and we do mentioned this in the interview, but the happiness pulse, if you wanted to Google that and have a little go, you can measure how happy you are.

Chris: I think they do amazing work.

Chris: So, anyway, enough of me.

Chris: Let’s have a listen to my chat with Liz Zeitler.

Chris: Morning, Liz.

Chris: How are you?

Liz Zeidler: I’m really well, thank you very much.

Chris: Marvellous.

Chris: Let’s start off, Liz, if you could just explain to us, I’ve already told our listeners all about the idea that you are what you measure, et cetera.

Chris: So why don’t you explain what the Happiness Box is all about and how you came about to be helping people measure their happiness.

Liz Zeidler: Well, since we’re driving places, aim has always been to try and help push decision making at all sorts of levels of society towards delivering well being outcomes.

Liz Zeidler: So whether that’s the well being of the whole planet or places or cities or individual well being, how do we make better choices in our lives that give us more bang for our buck, both financially and emotionally in terms of well being?

Liz Zeidler: And so we’ve developed a whole range of different things that help us to better measure and therefore really focus on, as a goal, well being.

Liz Zeidler: Some of those, as you know, are at that kind of societal level, what are the conditions that are around us that best support us to thrive?

Liz Zeidler: It’s an incredibly important question that all of our leaders should be asking them themselves every time they make a decision.

Liz Zeidler: Sadly, they’re not, but they should be.

Liz Zeidler: As employers, et cetera, et cetera, we should be thinking about what are the wellbeing outcomes of this decision, this investment, this policy, etc, etc at all times.

Liz Zeidler: But when it comes to the individual level, there’s a whole web of things and some of those are contextual.

Liz Zeidler: Have you got a job?

Liz Zeidler: Do you have somewhere safe to live?

Liz Zeidler: Do you live in a neighbourhood that you can trust?

Liz Zeidler: And things?

Liz Zeidler: And those are external to us, but quite a lot of them are actually in our control.

Liz Zeidler: So people often think they’ve got a kind of slightly luck of the draw what your life’s like in terms of well being?

Liz Zeidler: But that’s absolutely not the case and there’s quite a lot that we can do to support our wellbeing.

Liz Zeidler: So we developed this pulse quite a few years ago now, where we try to get that balance right between really using the most rigorous, the best research out there, what does all of the evidence genuinely say really helps to promote well being?

Liz Zeidler: And then what do normal people say?

Liz Zeidler: It’s all fine and well, that the academics might have got something right in their ivory tower, but actually, what do normal people say?

Liz Zeidler: So we spent months and months, if not years, talking to people in communities and businesses and prisons and schools, and we were out there talking to people saying, what do you want for your kids?

Liz Zeidler: What really matters to you?

Liz Zeidler: What most influences your capacity to really have a thriving life and be happy?

Liz Zeidler: And we try to bring all that together, which is quite hard because you’re not quite careful.

Liz Zeidler: Then you’ve got 1000 things to measure, which is obviously not practical.

Liz Zeidler: We try to bring that together into something that gets that balance right between not covering everything.

Liz Zeidler: So you don’t have to spend two years measuring your own wellbeing, it only takes about five minutes.

Liz Zeidler: But into the sort of absolute key areas of our own personal wellbeing, our capacity to feel good and function well, which is the kind of simplest, if slightly more boring definition of wellbeing.

Chris: I remember being in a pet shop buying some fish for my fish tank, my aquarium, and there’s an old lady there looking to buy some fish and her daughter was with her, who was my age, and I overheard the lady say to her, now remember what they say about looking after fish, mum.

Chris: You don’t look after the fish, you look after the water.

Chris: And I’ve always thought of that area, if we want to be happy, you don’t walk around goes, I’m going to be happy.

Chris: Now you create the conditions in which you can be happy.

Chris: So tell us about the areas that you decided were the three main areas of your work.

Liz Zeidler: Yes, so you’re right.

Liz Zeidler: We’ve got these three kind of surveyors we call domains of well being in it.

Liz Zeidler: And the language we use came very much from all of that kind of consultation with normal people like you and I and lots of other people who are probably even more normal than you and I really.

Chris: I was going to say nice, as anyone’s ever said to me, then question my own logic.

Liz Zeidler: But anyway, the language we use in these three domains is B do and connect more or less B Equates to our sort of mental and emotional well being.

Liz Zeidler: How are we doing?

Liz Zeidler: How are we feeling?

Liz Zeidler: How are we responding to things?

Liz Zeidler: Have we got that kind of mental and emotional resilience that we need to kind of keep going and to be happy?

Liz Zeidler: The do domain slightly what it says on the tin.

Liz Zeidler: Are we doing the sorts of things that are good for us?

Liz Zeidler: There are lots of research around things like the five ways to well being and sort of activities and types of actions that really help us to thrive.

Liz Zeidler: And then again, the connection is pretty obvious, but it’s that kind of social and relational we don’t have wellbeing on our own.

Liz Zeidler: We’re not in a bubble.

Liz Zeidler: So those connections to other people, both really close ties, are really important.

Liz Zeidler: Do you have someone you can rely on?

Liz Zeidler: Do you have friends or family, et cetera, but also those what we might think of as weaker ties?

Liz Zeidler: Are you in a space where you feel like you belong?

Liz Zeidler: Do you have a sense of community?

Liz Zeidler: And those sorts of things that are also incredibly important for our well being.

Liz Zeidler: And you put those three areas together and you’ve got a pretty good snapshot of our kind of mental and emotional behavioural and relational well being, which are all key parts, and also things that we can influence to a degree.

Liz Zeidler: So there are some aspects of our lives that are a little bit more we are sort of sitting in a sea and they can go up and down.

Liz Zeidler: We all know that big things can happen, either big, great things or terrible things.

Liz Zeidler: But we need to be thinking about how do we keep that kind of drip feed of well being to keep our kind of levels up, if you like.

Chris: Yeah.

Chris: So this is a financial wellbeing podcast, so I wonder if we can look at those three and just see how many interacts, as far as you’re concerned, if that’s all right.

Chris: So, emotional well being that might sound, or be that might sound like something that money has no influence over.

Chris: I’m not sure I necessarily agree.

Chris: What do you think?

Liz Zeidler: I think money we all know money has influence on lots of things.

Liz Zeidler: It has influence on our practical life.

Liz Zeidler: Do we have those basics to live on?

Liz Zeidler: Are we worried about money all the time?

Liz Zeidler: Worries not good for our well being, but also our kind of relation to money.

Liz Zeidler: Our relationship with money is deeply important to our well being, I think, because it really influences those decisions that I touched on earlier, those decisions that we make day to day.

Liz Zeidler: What are our priorities where we’re using our attention, our mental and emotional attention, as well as our practical attention, the things that we choose to do in our day to day lives?

Liz Zeidler: So I think money has a huge influence on them if we look at them individually.

Liz Zeidler: I just touched on the kind of, are we in a boat of life?

Liz Zeidler: I’m going to use that metaphor, if I may.

Liz Zeidler: People often think of our happiness and our wellbeing as slightly at the whim of externalities.

Liz Zeidler: So part of that is that, am I comfortable?

Liz Zeidler: But people often think, I’ll be happy when I won the lottery, I’ll be happy when I meet them out of my dreams, I’ll be happy when et cetera, et cetera.

Liz Zeidler: So there’s that sense that we’re slightly dependent on big things happening to us, or with, like, the whim or fate of terrible things happening to us, awful things happen to me and therefore I can’t be happy.

Liz Zeidler: And actually, of course, those things are really relevant.

Liz Zeidler: But what I always talk about is this kind of reservoir that we have.

Liz Zeidler: We all know how reservoirs work.

Liz Zeidler: They don’t work for a huge, big waterfall coming into them all day long.

Liz Zeidler: What they work with is those drip, drip, drips of rain dropping into them all year round and they stay topped up.

Liz Zeidler: I know that’s ironic at the moment because we’re going back to hit a bit of a drought, but by and large, if they get the rain they stay topped up.

Liz Zeidler: So then when there is a bit of a drought, they might go down, but they don’t run out.

Liz Zeidler: And when there’s a huge amount of good stuff going on in their life, it’s what I think of as our resilience, if you like, in terms of well being.

Liz Zeidler: And I think if you think about drip, drip, drip, and you think of those different elements, the bead, the do and the connect, what money helps us to do if we have our relationship right with money, is it enables us to make choices in life that help us to drip.

Liz Zeidler: So it’s not necessarily about suddenly buying a Ferrari, it’s about am I making choices in my day to day life that are towards supporting my relational well being?

Liz Zeidler: Am I investing, if you like, on a day to day basis in my relationship with my friends or in seeing my kids or being a part of my community?

Liz Zeidler: Am I using bit of my time, for instance, instead of making loads more money that’s volunteering in my community?

Liz Zeidler: Giving is incredibly good for your well being.

Liz Zeidler: Ridiculously.

Liz Zeidler: So am I doing those things?

Liz Zeidler: Am I investing my time, my passion, my skills, my love, my money, my everything else into the things that gives me those moments of joy, which is important in life, but also that longer term drip of building up those reservoirs of well being.

Liz Zeidler: So actually, when bad things do happen to us, we can cope, we can bounce back, we can refill that reservoir when it gets a bit low.

Chris: So to recap, we’ve got a boat, it’s on a reservoir and reservoir is leaking, but it’s been forgotten.

Chris: Yeah, I’d love a metaphor, completely on the same wavelength.

Chris: We love that.

Chris: I’ve also got reservoir of wellbeing, which is a fabulous expression.

Chris: I might even be using that somewhere.

Chris: And drips of joy.

Chris: I’m not sure I will be using somewhere, actually.

Liz Zeidler: But it is quite an interesting one, that kind of drip, drip, drip, because it makes well being and happiness feel less distant.

Liz Zeidler: We all can think of little tiny things we can be doing on a day to day basis, whether they’re thinking, doing, being, acting, et cetera, that can just drip a little bit more into that reservoir to keep it topped up.

Liz Zeidler: And I think that feels much less intimidating than oh my gosh, I’ve got to change my job, I’ve got to buy a new house.

Liz Zeidler: Those are huge life goals which may or may not give you a huge rush of happiness temporarily, but actually that drip, drip, drip is much more pertinent, I think, for our long term happiness.

Chris: Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic bit of advice, actually.

Chris: I always remember the English British cycling team when we were on all those I don’t know which Olympic games it was, but all those medals and they talked about the 1% and they did the little bit here and there.

Chris: Tiny little thing that when they added up, actually meant that they won all the gold medals.

Chris: It’s a similar sort of principle, isn’t it?

Chris: Little decisions that we’re making all the time.

Chris: What about the do then?

Chris: How does money interact with the do?

Chris: I’ve got some thoughts about around people doing jobs that they don’t enjoy but they need to because they feel they want to get highly paid in that kind of area.

Chris: Is that what we’re talking about here?

Liz Zeidler: Yeah, it definitely can be.

Liz Zeidler: I think the doing is partly about the big doing things we do in terms of our jobs, but it’s also partly about how we choose to spend our time across all seven days of the week and 365 days of the year.

Liz Zeidler: How do we manage?

Liz Zeidler: Again, sort of dripping in those kind of beneficial actions.

Liz Zeidler: So a lot of the do domain in our policy is based on some very long standing research for the five ways to well being, which are connect.

Liz Zeidler: Obviously, that’s in the connect domain, learning.

Liz Zeidler: You have to think of learning as something you do as a kid.

Liz Zeidler: You go to school and you learn a bunch of stuff.

Liz Zeidler: But actually learning doesn’t have to be PhD every day.

Liz Zeidler: We can be learning, we can be asking our friends about some interesting things that they’re into, that we perhaps aren’t into, but we’ll learn something about it from that we can try and seek out.

Liz Zeidler: People are a bit different from us.

Liz Zeidler: The only way we can learn is from that diversity.

Liz Zeidler: How do we get a bit more curious about the world?

Liz Zeidler: How do we see a plant or a bird out of your window and look up?

Liz Zeidler: What is that?

Liz Zeidler: Any kind of learning, little tiny things.

Liz Zeidler: Or sometimes I try and pick up a different magazine or a different newspaper or whatever, because they’re looking at the world differently.

Liz Zeidler: So any opportunity to at all we have for learning is really good for us.

Liz Zeidler: Now, of course, you can spend your money on learning or you can spend your time, so that might have an economic cost to you, but you can spend your time learning, etc.

Liz Zeidler: So learning is just really good for any kinds of learning at all.

Chris: I just shared with you a friend of mine whose father, who is I think 90 years old, has started learning the piano.

Chris: What’s really interesting is that everyone says, wow, that’s amazing.

Chris: Why is that amazing?

Chris: The reason they think it’s amazing, I think, is because, well, he’s got a limited future, let’s be honest.

Chris: What’s the point?

Chris: It’s a kind of undercurrent of it and the point is just the tools of learning.

Liz Zeidler: I’ve heard quite a lot of people recently being really critical of how good or not good the duolingo language act thing is.

Liz Zeidler: Everyone seems to be doing that.

Liz Zeidler: It’s like they don’t really matter.

Liz Zeidler: The point is people are really loving learning a new language and that’s fantastic, especially in this country.

Liz Zeidler: I’m so useless anyway.

Liz Zeidler: So connect, learn and be active.

Liz Zeidler: So another one where you don’t need to be intimidated by it.

Liz Zeidler: Being active doesn’t necessarily mean running the London Marathon or going to the gym every day.

Liz Zeidler: Being active is physically using your body is incredibly good for well being, whether it’s going for whatever your abilities are, going for a walk, if you’re a deeply elderly, then stretching and moving or putting the radio and having a bit of a chair boogie.

Liz Zeidler: Being physically active is really good for your mental health.

Liz Zeidler: Like, really good for your mental health.

Liz Zeidler: And the opposite of it is really bad for your mental health.

Liz Zeidler: Total inactivity is really bad for your mental health.

Liz Zeidler: So, again, that can involve money, it can involve time, it can involve all sorts of things.

Liz Zeidler: It’s a choice, isn’t it?

Liz Zeidler: It’s a behavioural choice.

Liz Zeidler: The next one is notice, which lots of people kind of go, what’s?

Liz Zeidler: Notice?

Liz Zeidler: It’s about being much more aware of your surroundings.

Liz Zeidler: So instead of walking down the street, looking down and maybe staring at your phone, as so many of us do these days, and we’re all guilty of that, looking up, noticing gosh, never really noticed how quirky that window is in that building I walk past every single day.

Liz Zeidler: It’s noticing that bird that just bashed on your window.

Liz Zeidler: Being curious about the world is an amazingly good thing for your mind, body, spirit, everything else.

Liz Zeidler: Often people talk about being mindful or being lots of kind of trendy words for these days, but I think noticing is a good word.

Liz Zeidler: Just noticing the world around you is a really easy thing to do.

Chris: When we go on holiday, we love to go and look at new cities and to wander around new places, as I’m sure most people do.

Chris: And the golden rule that I’ve really got into, my children, is when you’re in a city, you always look up because you don’t tend to notice the tops of buildings and there’s so many interesting things going on up above the island.

Liz Zeidler: My other top tip for travelling is get lost.

Liz Zeidler: Actually getting lost and not going where you’re expecting to go, looking at your app and all that, just go, wow, look at this backstreet, look at this funny market I just found, et cetera.

Chris: So, yeah, I’ve got a great tip then, Liz, actually, and I’ve got to credit a friend of mine, Adam Owen.

Chris: Marvellous man.

Chris: Adam Owen one of the nicest people in the world and he has the brown sign game.

Chris: So when he and his wife go out in the car and they go to a village or a town that they’ve never been to before, they have to follow the first brown sign that they see, because the brown signs are the place of local interest, so they go to the first brown sign they see when they’re driving the lake.

Liz Zeidler: No great game william quite long and okay.

Chris: Let’S move on to connect then.

Chris: So you’re talking about community.

Chris: We use five parts of wellbeing from the Gallup book called well.

Chris: Being with community is one of those.

Chris: I absolutely get that.

Chris: We also talk about social and relational.

Chris: Again, one could easily think that this doesn’t have much relationship to money.

Liz Zeidler: I think this one almost has the biggest relationship to money because actually, how you spend your money does affect lots of different aspects of your relationships, both those close ties, friends and family ones, or your community.

Liz Zeidler: Do you choose to spend your money on activities or stuff?

Liz Zeidler: One of the things we often do as a family is we don’t give any presents necessarily.

Liz Zeidler: We give experiences.

Liz Zeidler: And often those experiences are shared experiences.

Liz Zeidler: Let’s go to the theatre together.

Liz Zeidler: My children now have these, what they call SIBs weekends, siblings.

Liz Zeidler: And they don’t give each other birthday presents.

Liz Zeidler: They all go from pay for.

Liz Zeidler: They haven’t got loads of money, but they all go away for a weekend together and do some really fun stuff together as three siblings.

Liz Zeidler: I think it’s that how do you choose to prioritise what you’re spending your money on?

Liz Zeidler: And also back to the time thing.

Liz Zeidler: The final one of those five ways of well being is giving.

Liz Zeidler: Now, giving, often traditionally we think of giving as giving a present or giving more stuff to people, but actually giving of your time, giving your attention, giving your thoughtfulness.

Liz Zeidler: So it might be a present, but actually, how do you spend that extra bit of time really thinking about what would really, really touch somebody?

Liz Zeidler: It might not be expensive, but it would really touch them in their hearts, et cetera.

Liz Zeidler: And giving is fantastically good for your wellbeing.

Liz Zeidler: And it’s a brilliant wing wing because when you give, you’re improving somebody else’s well being, but you’re also improving your well being.

Liz Zeidler: And that’s where things like volunteering and community activities or collective coming together for street parties, whatever it is, is just an unbelievably good investment.

Liz Zeidler: And there are quite a lot of activities that are either free or that you spend your money or your time, which is an equivalent of money, I always think, on that lot of those boxes.

Liz Zeidler: So how do you do things in ways that help you to connect at the same time that you’re learning something and perhaps you’re being active and you’re able to notice while you’re being active, there are ways to just back to our reservoir, to get an awful lot of stuff going into that reservoir through quite small choices in your life.

Liz Zeidler: And I think all of these things come down to choices and money comes down to choices, doesn’t it?

Liz Zeidler: If you’ve got the money, then you have to make choices.

Liz Zeidler: Obviously, the more money you have, the more choices are available to you.

Liz Zeidler: But a lot of the things about welfare don’t cost very much.

Liz Zeidler: They don’t have to cost very much.

Liz Zeidler: So you can really get a lot of benefits without necessarily flashing an awful lot of cash.

Chris: Absolutely brilliant.

Chris: I’m going to do two things now as a result of this conversation.

Chris: Number one, I’m going to find think of a friend who is my contacts and I’m going to send them a text and just say, thinking of you.

Chris: Because I remember I texted my wife something and I saw something in a shop thought she might like.

Chris: I texted her and she replied, oh, that’s lovely.

Chris: That really cheered me up.

Chris: Because it means you’re thinking of me.

Liz Zeidler: Exactly.

Chris: I never thought of it that way, but that’s just exactly what you do.

Chris: And the second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go take the Happiness pulse and see how happy I am.

Liz Zeidler: The funny thing about it is that it just even the process of taking answering those questions for yourself as well as getting the results back, but just the process reminds you, what are the kind of things I’ve forgotten?

Liz Zeidler: That actually is pretty good for my well being.

Liz Zeidler: I need to do a bit more of that.

Liz Zeidler: So in the same way that we do look after our health, we think about our own physical health, we don’t very often take the time to go, actually, am I doing the things in my life day to day and it’s my job and I still don’t always do it.

Liz Zeidler: You forget that you’ve got to think about really supporting that kind of grip feed of well being on a day to day basis.

Liz Zeidler: So it’s quite a good way.

Liz Zeidler: Taking your pass is quite a good way on a personal level.

Liz Zeidler: And obviously, organizationally, understanding the wellbeing of your teams, your clients, your et cetera, is a fantastically important way to improve their wellbeing, which in the long run will improve the wellbeing of the organisation and the community you’re in.

David: Yeah.

Chris: And therefore make the world a happier place, which, at the end of the day is what we want, isn’t it?

Chris: Liz, thanks so much.

Chris: This is absolutely brilliant.

Chris: Really appreciate it.

Liz Zeidler: No problem at all.

Liz Zeidler: Let me see you.

Liz Zeidler: Take care.

David: Absolutely fascinating.

David: Now, Chris, I have to say, I think you’re a very good interviewer.

David: You’re always asking the right questions.

David: I think you coach good stuff out of people sometimes.

David: You don’t always get what you put in back.

David: From your interviewee today, I think that was a classic example of two people working really, really well together.

David: I was really taken with Liz.

David: I just love what she had to say.

David: It chimes.

David: It absolutely doesn’t it with a lot of the things that we’ve been talking on the podcast over the years, the whole notion of be, do and connect and how she relates that to money and how we can use money to help us inform the well being decisions which we make.

David: I really like the whole notion of drip, drip, drip, drip, drip in order to create a reservoir of love and not necessarily throwing everything at it at the same time.

David: And the thing that I really took away from that, because, again, it chimes in with something that’s very much part of my philosophy on life, is to be more curious about the world and that learning is important.

David: And the more we pull ourselves out to new ideas and new concepts your 90 year old friend learning to play the piano inspires me because I keep talking about it, but I haven’t actually done anything about it.

David: The more that we can open ourselves up to new ideas and finding out new things, the more we can increase our well being.

David: So, yeah, really interesting interview.

Producer Tommo: Yeah, what was quite pleasing to hear that interview was the centre for private Pacers.

Producer Tommo: They steep themselves in academic research, and a lot of what you’re saying is what we talked about in this podcast.

Producer Tommo: So be rest assured that what we are discussing and the points that we’re discussing is valid researchers out there.

Producer Tommo: And it was just lovely to hear somebody such a breadth of knowledge on the topic of, wellbeing, backing that up.

Producer Tommo: So if you want to keep learning and be curious, keep listening to this podcast.

Producer Tommo: It was nice validation for me, actually.

Chris: I also love her turn of phrase.

Chris: I was just reflecting on my notes and you can make a great song as of what she said, you might call the song Reservoir of Well Being.

Chris: You’ve got great phrases like drips of joy, chair boogie.

Chris: You know, there’s a lyric in there somewhere.

Chris: I know there is.

David: Write that song, Chris, I think, and then perform it with your band at the Institute of Wellbeing Conference.

David: I think that’s what you need to do.

David: And actually, just to pick up something Thomas just said, I think.

David: Do you know what is validation of the work that we’ve been doing over the years on this podcast?

David: It’s a revalidation of the book, the idea of the book that you had to write, Chris.

David: And I think you were surfing the crest of a very early wave when you came up with the idea for that book.

David: I think other people were talking about well being, but it was a fairly new thing.

David: I think you have to dec crystallise it in that book.

David: We’ve expanded on it and it’s really lovely to hear somebody like Liz, who really knows her stuff, as Tomo said, sort of validating and adding support to the work that we’re already doing.

David: And I hope that our listeners agree, our regular listeners, to this podcast, that we’ve managed to do 80 odd of these now, and yet we’re still finding new things, new instructions, new ways of looking at the world, and also, like today, a way of just validating and backing up what we’ve been banging on about for five or six years now.

Producer Tommo: The centre for Private Places are doing some wonderful things and doing wonderful things with governments as well.

Producer Tommo: And I think they’re really making a difference that we can start to look at the world and actually what does success look like for a society?

Producer Tommo: It’s not just all about what our GDP looks like and I think they’re doing some wonderful stuff, so please go cheque them out and especially that Happiness Index.

Producer Tommo: They’re doing some really important work and just helping us be a happier society, which can only be a good thing.

David: Brilliant.

David: So lots of food for thought there.

David: I hope you’ve enjoyed today.

David: I’ve really enjoyed it, as I always do actually, but some I just kind of enjoy it a little bit more.

David: And this has been really good.

David: So great to chat with you guys as ever.

David: I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to it and I hope that you will join us the next time for another one of our Financial Wellbeing Podcasts.

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 – contact@financialwell-being.co.uk

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