We’ve all been there: you only popped into town for the essentials, but instead left with two jumpers, a pair of trainers and anything else that caught our eye for that matter. It’s this mindless spending that is causing 63 percent of us Brits struggling to stay in control of our money, according to new research by Barclays.
To help us take control of our finances, Barclays has teamed up with podcast host and author, Fearne Cotton to design bespoke illustrations for a selection of lucky Brits, capturing their goals, interests and motivations.
Why did you want to get involved with this campaign?
“It’s an utter joy to be able to use my love of art and design that I’ve been doing normally for work because that’s a part of my life that hasn’t really crossed over until recently. I also think it’s a really nice initiative, not only because it’s Christmas, but also just because we’ve got to look at sustainability and what we’re buying so that’s why I think having a big aim or goal rather than constantly buying ‘stuff’ is a good option.”
How can the illustrations help to encourage people to save money?
“I suppose it’s just a little reminder so that every time you look at your bank card, you know what you’re working towards. Visual things are a great way to steer us in the right direction, which is why I think this works so well because you’ve got this bespoke and personalised design to help support that.”
What can people do to stick to their financial goals?
“I’m the same as everyone, sometimes I fall off the bandwagon and can’t picture the thing I’m saving up for, and then other times I’m really disciplined. I would say it’s helpful to bear in mind that the things you think are going to bring you joy or contentment probably won’t in the long run, so I think it’s better to focus on the bigger things, whether that’s improving your living conditions or being able to have wonderful experiences if you’re going away with your family, for example – I think that’s just a really nice focus to have.”
What was the first thing you properly saved up for and felt good about buying?
“I remember it very well! I started work very young, so I was very lucky that I was able to start saving early and I specifically wanted a rose-coloured Fiat Punto. I saved every penny I made and was finally able to buy one and I was absolutely over the moon about it, I couldn’t believe it was mine! I drove it around very proudly and it felt really amazing that I know that I’d worked hard for something which meant an improved quality of life for me because I didn’t have to keep asking my mum and dad to drive me everywhere. I could drive myself to drama school or to a job and that was a really wonderful moment.”
How does being better at money affect our wellbeing?
“I think anything that lowers stress is good for your wellbeing. If you’re in debt or not as great with money and tend to spend it before you get it, it can be very stressful to know you’ve got bills hanging over your head, so anything you can do to make you feel more at ease with that situation can help. It’s not easy, but if you can take a look at what you’re buying and make better choices, your wellbeing will increase massively.”
Do you have any other mindful tips?
“I think there are lots of simple things you can do to be more mindful. In my 20s, I probably was a lot more conditioned to think that I had to have certain things in place to feel happiness, whether it be a status at work or things that I should be buying and I’ve realised it’s none of them – it’s just small things every day that help. For me, getting out in the fresh air, listening to music and having a bit of me-time is essential for me to stay grounded. I love being outside, having a nice walk and not being on my phone all the time. I’ve definitely got to have big periods of time when I don’t look at Instagram and engage with it because a lot of it can be quite negative, so I think anything that allows you a space out of that world is so useful.”