6 tips for employees to master financial wellbeing during a crisis

6 tips for employees to master financial wellbeing during a crisis

6 tips to master financial wellbeing during a crisis

 

Worried about your financial wellbeing during the #coronavirus crisis? You’re not alone. With the pandemic making huge changes to our everyday lives, anxiety is on the rise.

33% of people in the UK are worried their job is under threat, as more and more employees fear financial insecurity, but there are some ways you can help minimise this anxiety and take control of your financial wellbeing even in this current crisis!

 

1. Freezing Financial Commitments

Bippit’s Investment Director, Roger Portnoy, told us, ‘my first recommendation would be to take a look at your current financial commitments and assess whether there are any services that could be frozen’, for example:

  • If you are paying for a service you’re unable to use because of the lockdown, you could freeze your subscription. Many businesses would prefer you to freeze than leave them! This can range from music subscriptions to gym membership.
  • If the service you’re paying for is pricey but necessary (for communication/ essentials/ some much-needed entertainment) you could consider switching to a group or family subscription.
  • If there are plans you’ve already made, now’s the time to assess which ones you can change – from holidays to theatre tickets, you could very well be eligible for a refund.
  • There might be other expenses you haven’t thought of, like after-school clubs or activities that can’t be done remotely – it’s worth seeing if you can get at least a partial refund on these.

 

2. Lifestyle adjustments

Many of us are facing real lifestyle changes as a result of the pandemic – and we’re not just talking about queuing at the shops. With schools closed and some family members vulnerable, you could find that your dependency situation has changed. To find out what government credits or support you could be eligible for, visit www.gov.uk for information about benefits, support, and help you might be entitled to.

 

3. Keep lines of communication open with your employer

It can be a scary time, and we know you may be facing fears around:

  • Decreased working hours
  • Work and childcare commitments
  • Workplace closures
  • Being asked to work from home

Throughout all of this, it’s more important than ever for everyone to be on the same page. Talking through the worries you have with your manager or HR department could help you.

Support is available: 83% of employers already have put some form of support in place and services like www.bippit.com are now available through the workplace to provide expert guidance during this time.

 

4. Reassess your budget and spending

A new focus on “essential buying” may help you rethink what you used to consider as your “disposable” income.

Now that many of us are spending less on travel, and all of us are spending much less on going out, this could be your chance to start saving or save even more.

With everything whittled down to the minimum, you may find that you have more time now to focus on your savings, investments, and spending plans. You may even be able to address a debt that’s been hanging over your head!

 

Bippit app - plan for financial security

5. Set clear financial goals

What are your priorities? Maybe you’re saving for a home, or paying off a mortgage. Maybe you’re into investing, or planning on a big holiday (once this is all over). Whatever your priorities, setting clear financial goals is really important. The Goals Feature on Bippit’s app can help you stay on track and work out what you really want to do with your cash!

So take a good look at your finances, and think about:

  • How much you could be saving, and how you could save it, e.g. putting aside money that you’re not using right now. You could think about this in terms of time, for example setting a goal of saving 10% of your earnings every month.
  • How are you managing all of your different accounts? It is now possible to manage all your financial accounts in one place.
  • If you don’t already save or invest, you could start thinking about the goals that you want to achieve.

 

6. Get professional financial guidance

At Bippit, our mission is to provide financial peace of mind to as many people as possible by making it easy and affordable to get access to expert financial guidance.

There are many benefits to using a financial advisor – perhaps you want to buy a house one day or learn about investing in the stock market. Whatever is on your mind, you can now get expert guidance delivered by real people and tailored to your needs.

So why not take the time to improve your financial wellbeing during Covid-19? Shine a light on your finances by letting your employer know about the service or by dowoading the app today.

4 reasons why you should speak to a Financial Advisor

4 reasons why you should speak to a Financial Advisor

4 reasons why you should speak to a financial advisor

 

When I started writing this, I started thinking about the similarities between managing our physical health, and our financial health. Human biology is of course incredibly complicated, and there are many areas within it that require training, experience, and specialist knowledge to understand – but the same is true when it comes to our finances.

If you’re like me, you’ll most likely have self-diagnosed yourself when sick with the help of Doctor Google. Your symptoms may well have been pointing to a terrifying tropical disease, but more often than not, a doctor with experience and training could have reassured us at a moment’s notice that we’re highly unlikely to have caught malaria on a trip to Birmingham.

The same is true for self-diagnosing our finances. With so many products out there to save, invest, and protect our money, it’s hard to know what’s going on, but as you’ll see below, a financial expert can help us diagnose our financial health and make sure we get the right treatment!

 

Advisors can add up to £48k to your wealth

Yes, you heard that right. According to a study by Royal London, having a financial advisor that gives you expert guidance with your finances can provide a 24% boost to pension wealth. Evidence also suggests that fostering an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor leads to better financial outcomes.

In the study, those who reported receiving ongoing advice had a nearly 50% higher average pension wealth than those only advised at the start. Whether you need general, practical advice or a specialist with dedicated expertise, you are likely to find that in the long term, the money you invest in expert advice will be paid back many times over.

 

Advisors provide an unbiased assessment on your finances

There are many financial products and investments out there that receive a lot of attention initially, but end up going up and down. I know I’ve certainly been swayed by some investments because they were hot tech stock and their price had been soaring.

It can be easy to make an investment decision driven by emotions, especially feelings of worry or panic, which can undo months or even years of hard work.

It never hurts to run it past an advisor first who can provide a more factual analysis on your finances. After all, they know the nitty-gritty on complex products and can highlight the possible downsides and benefits, so you can make an informed decision where you’re putting your money.

 

Advisors can give you a structured life plan

Planning out your life, especially financially, is something that even experts can’t be certain of. You only need to look at the effects of COVID-19 to tell you how unpredictable the economy can be. It’s the advisor’s job to keep up with the changing tax bands, business rates, and world news from a range of sources, which can leave a lot of us scratching our heads.

Advisors have a range of tools that can play out possible scenarios in your life and your finances so that given all the possibilities, you can be better prepared for anything unexpected coming round the corner.

 

It’s now affordable to speak to an advisor

Up until recently, speaking to a financial expert would cost you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds per hour, and even if you could afford this, you’d usually be turned away if you had less than £50k in personal wealth.

At Bippit, we’ve been able to make access to a financial expert 10x less than traditional services. Perhaps you want to buy a house one day or want to learn about investing in the stock market. Whatever is on your mind, you can now reap the benefits of speaking to an expert. Don’t get left behind, speak to an advisor today.

So what is Open Banking anyway?

So what is Open Banking anyway?

So what is Open Banking anyway?

 

In one sentence…

It’s a set of reforms that allow you to securely share your financial data from your banking transactions, such as your spending habits and regular payments, with authorised providers (such as Bippit) that provide tools to give you more clarity on your finances and save you money.

 

How and why did it come about?

On 13th January 2018, the reforms came in as part of legislation put forward by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) alongside the catchily named “Second Payment Services Directive” (PSD2). The aim was to bring more competition and innovation to financial services, by allowing consumers to have ownership of their financial data. So information on your banking transactions like bills, meal deals and pumpkin-spiced lattes (the bare necessities), you now own, not the big banks!

 

So how does it work?

The data is connected through what’s called an API (Application Programming Interface). In simple terms, this is a secure web-based tool which allows the authorised provider to access the banking data directly, without you having to tell your password to anyone. Here’s how it works in 3 steps:

  • You give the app (authorised provider) access to your financial data
  • The API tool gets the data from the bank
  • The data is sent directly back to the app you’re using.

Here’s a diagram by medium.com to explain APIs visually:

 

Awesome, makes sense! What kind of accounts can I connect?

You can connect any account you make payments from, which are current accounts, credit cards, prepaid cards and most high street savings.

With Bippit, you can connect your current account or credit card, and we’ll summarise your spending patterns from the data and display them nice and neatly for you, giving you more clarity on your finances. We can then put you in touch with one of our friendly financial experts who can give you a helping hand with achieving your financial goals in life.

 

Can you show me how it works?

It’s very simple. Choose your bank, you get taken to your bank and use touch ID access to grant permission…

..Then the API processes this request and connects your account with Bippit. Nice and easy.

 

Sounds great, but seems like a lot of data to be sharing. Is it secure?

Bippit is regulated by the FCA and we’ll only connect the data needed for the service you’ve signed up to. So if you’ve just connected the one account with us, we’ll only be able to summarise data on that account and nothing else. You always need to give us permission first.

When connecting your accounts with Bippit through Open Banking, you don’t need to enter any passwords. We just direct you to your banking app on your device, which is where you would give permission. We will never share any of your data with third parties and use the latest cybersecurity to ensure your data is safe.

 

Phew! How do I get started?

Simple! Just download Bippit on the App Store, and you can connect your accounts in minutes. Once you’ve done this, you can set up your financial goals, track your budget, or connect with your advisor to get expert guidance straight away.

Covid-19 can’t stop us from getting the financial guidance we need

Covid-19 can’t stop us from getting the financial guidance we need

Covid-19 can’t stop us from getting financial guidance

 

As we all know, #coronavirus is spreading across the globe, causing a worldwide lockdown and inducing panic that seems to have manifested itself in stock piling excessive amounts of toilet paper.

 

We’re all feeling pretty stressed, right?

If only this was our sole dilemma… you might be thinking. Although most of us are safely locked away in our homes, many of us are worrying about our personal finances with no obvious access to financial guidance.

With the stock markets plummeting to lows last seen during the financial crisis of 2008, people are becoming increasingly nervous about their financial security. As companies are thinking about cutting their employees salaries, and encouraging unpaid leave to avoid redundancies, people are understandably worried about how this virus could affect their savings and future financial plans.

 

The World Health Organisation is telling us to relax! So what did I do?

It’s true, the WHO has acknowledged that it is likely for us to see anxiety levels on the rise. So I decided to take matters into my own hands, calm my nerves, and used Bippit’s telephone service to speak to a very experienced and friendly Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), as financial fears need not breed more stress.

Bippit wants to provide everyone with the ability to take care of their finances, and seamlessly link them up with a personal financial advisor. The telephone service is immensely useful during this time, as you can take a call from your advisor from the comfort of your own home, safely abiding by government guidance whilst you gain important financial support.

 

So, what happened?

Having never used an IFA before, and being early on in my financial journey, the conversation I had with one of Bippit’s financial advisors was very helpful. As well as finding myself enjoying thirty minutes of peace from the rest of my household, who I’ve been isolating with for the past few weeks, the conversation helped me to put my financial fears into perspective.

 

What did I get out of it?
  • Straightforward guidance: my IFA went through simple steps to work out my options
  • Convenience: I received financial help from my home, at a time that suited me
  • Reassurance: My IFA suggested that I could invest in longer-term investments and ensure the security of my savings

 

Financial support from an expert really helps.

Prior to the conversation I had with my advisor, I felt that my options were fairly limited, wondering how I might be able to safeguard my savings. But after the call, my understanding of what I can do with my money was vastly broadened. I instead learnt that I could continue with my financial plans and invest in my future.

The clarity I needed during this daunting time was met with such a simple, yet effective service, with the option of continuous support in follow up conversations through the in-app messaging service.

 

Getting financial support really couldn’t be easier.

If you don’t have the time to take a call, you can receive message advice to your device, whenever and wherever you want.

At only £15 a month, the app is also affordable. You can collect ongoing support from your IFA any time you choose, and take advantage of all the other in-app benefits. After you’ve made important decisions regarding your finances with the help of your advisor, you can begin setting financial goals and budgets.  It is a truly unique application, which prides itself in providing affordable financial guidance with reassuring simplicity.

Bippit gave me the support I needed, and it would certainly help many others in remembering that they always have choices, when it comes to their finances.

Take ownership of your finances now!