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Getting back on track with finances

Posted by Alex Heron, 19 days ago

2 min read

This Financial wellbeing week, Dale Taylor from our Supply Chain Services team explains how one of our Financial Foundations Workshops – a service we offer to all of our colleagues to help them better manage their finances - helped get him back on track after separating from his wife.

Hearing from other people at the workshops really motivated me to think more about my money and the stuff I’d been putting off.

My wife used to look after all the finances, and I did other jobs around the household. We played to our strengths I guess. It’s how my parents managed things too - and how I was brought up. So when we separated, I didn’t have a clue with a lot of that stuff. I didn’t know how to budget or anything - and we’d always had two good incomes coming in. It was a steep learning curve.

Going through a divorce is quite stressful. On top of that, money’s tight for everyone just now, but it became even tighter for me as I was starting again. I was having sleepless nights over it.

Then I got an opportunity to join a Financial Foundations Workshop with colleagues Evelyn Dick and Aimmie Allward. It was free and colleagues were giving up their time to help people like me, so I thought why not?

They told me that the Financial Foundations Workshops were originally launched in March 2021 to help young adults at the start of their financial journey. Over time, the workshops have continued to develop so there’s helpful content for everyone, no matter what stage they’re at. And they’re available for customers as well as colleagues.

I found it really worthwhile chatting to people and just sharing ideas. I shared tips on how I budget now – simple things like planning what I’m going to eat. Before was spending around £150 a week at the supermarket and either eating stuff for the sake of it because it was going out of date, or even worse just throwing it out. Now I spend about half that, and I’m eating more healthily too.

Do one thing

Hearing from other people at the workshops really motivated me to think more about my money and the stuff I’d been putting off. If I’m honest, I was putting a lot of it off because I was embarrassed. I like to think I’m a pretty intelligent guy – and I’m good at my job. But there are some things that I just don’t have a clue about.

I decided to do one thing – sort out my pensions, and then as I learnt more it gave me a bit more confidence to start talking to other people about money. They start sharing their tips and useful links, and before you know it, you’re building up a little library of information.

I discovered that, after my divorce, although I’d registered my next-of-kin change with HR, it hadn’t automatically pulled through to my pensions, so the money wouldn’t have gone to my daughter if anything happened to me. I’ve got all that sorted now, I’ve pulled together all the information and I’m arranging to speak with a pension advisor.

Taking one action away from the Financial Foundations Workshop really helped me. If everybody does just one thing this week during Financial wellbeing week, then it can only be a good thing.

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