Sunday, 29 November 2009


AXA survey really highlighted how reluctant people are to go for financial advice. One in seven people said they'd rather go to the dentist than to a financial advisor. The tips we devised to make it easier for the most-reluctant are:

· Take the first step

Visualise your goal. Have a clear sense of where you want to be. Break down how you are going to get there into small steps. Then take one small step towards your goal today.

· Make it known

Own up to a fear or problem and share it with someone you trust. Enlist the help of a supportive buddy. Once you’ve put it out into the world there’s more chance of a solution.

· Get outside yourself

If you’re trapped by inertia and indecision, ask yourself ‘What would X do?’ Think of someone who you believe has it right financially - then put it into action.

· The law of opposites

You can trick your brain by behaving in the opposite way to how you feel. So acting as if you are the person you want to be will conquer some of the barriers you’ve been putting up.

· Reframe

Putting a different spin on problems can lead to a fresh approach. If the idea of a pension bores you, for example, reframing it as a gift to your future self could shift your mindset.

Almost two thirds of the people surveyed said they would seek help - if they could find someone they trusted.

Simonne has helped hundreds of people sort out their finances, so if you're one of the reluctant ones she may be able to help you -have a look at Wise Monkey Financial Coaching.

Or go to This great site, run by top personal finance journalist Sarah Pennells, has a panel of experts on hand to answer your financial questions.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

What's stopping you?

I have written a report on the psychological barriers to financial management for AXA, based on a yougov survey.
The three main 'blockers' that people have come under the headings:
  • inertia (doing nothing because of fear, indecision or the status quo bias
  • ignorance (thinking things are better than they are or being baffled by jargon)
  • immediate gratification (wanting rewards now instead of being able to postpone them)
If you want to read the report, with some fascinating stats too (one in ten men would rather have a minor operation than see a financial advisor) it's downloadable from our Sheconomics site.

Friday, 27 November 2009

The buzz at Birmingham

What an amazing time I had today at the Women on their Way to Wealth conference. I had such a positive response to my keynote talk from so many women and the sheer energy in the room today was palpable. I'm sure anyone looking down from outer space would have seen Birmingham glowing!
The combined wisdom, humour, creativity and vision of 150 go-getting women is a powerful force indeed. Thanks so much to Jo and Lisa at Women on their Way for putting on a really inspiring and uplifting event.
Wise words from Johanna Waagfjord, one of Iceland's top businesswomen, were "Just say Yes", reinforcing Jo's message that women are prone to overthinking and need to just take the plunge now and again.
Talking of 'plunge' I am still smiling at Jo's slip when she mentioned that she was 'hugely breast'. She meant blessed but hey, we all know about post-natal hormones and she's a wonder.
At book-signing a few different inscriptions were requested but the best one was from one woman to her friend - "JFDI" (Just f*cking do it)!
And thanks to Deb Davies for telling all mothers to say "You're on MY bus". The perfect mantra for all mums whose kids give them the run-around.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

My Budget Day - AXA's inspired idea

I love Axa's idea of My Budget Day, this week.
If only more of us just put aside a bit of time for financial planning, we could be a load better off.
Another brilliant idea they have is to rename pensions! If the very word 'pension' strikes fear to your soul can you come up with something better?
In Sheconomics we reckon on reframing your pension as 'a gift to your future self', but renaming is also an effective way into tricking your brain into associating it more with pleasure than pain -
what would the word be though?
To enter go to Axa's site - you could win a cash prize.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Simonne asks: How green is your money?

This week (8-14 November) is National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW). The idea is to raise awareness of green and ethical options for investing money and inspire us to invest in a way that will have a positive impact on society and the environment.

As a nation, we may have got into a good habit of recycling, buying fair trade products and preserving energy, but few of us are choosing to invest ethically. Half of people with savings and investments would like to make money and make a difference, yet only 8% of investors have an ethical investment or savings account (source YouGov).

To find out more about ethical choices take a look at YourEthicalMoney. This site provides independent information on what banks do with your money, allows you to easily compare green and ethical investments and helps you find an ethical financial adviser. There’s also a link to this site on the Resources page of our Sheconomics site.


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Simonne's tip for tracking your spending

Here’s an easy way of staying in control of your money while you’re on the move.
There’s a great tool you can download on your iPhone for free - called ExpenseIT.
It allows you to keep track of spending against budgets you set for everything from food to frivolity.

We’ve had great feedback on it so far, but have a play with and let us know what you think... Simonne.