William Thompson, Head of Consumer Banking NI Bank of Ireland UK is learning more about being mindful…
‘Mindfulness’ is a term I’ve been hearing a lot recently, whether it’s in work, at the gym or seeing a news article on the topic. I happened to look up the Oxford Dictionarydefinition which describes it as a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.
It seems to be a relatively new movement, or maybe it’s just something I’ve never paid much attention to before now, but I understand how we can all potentially benefit from it at different stages of our lives. Put simply, mindfulness seems to be about finding techniques to better cope with the stresses that life often brings.
There are lots of guides available to teach adults mindfulness. We have recently taken part in some mindfulness workshops with local mental health charity Aware and I’d recommend their website, aware-ni.org, as a good place to start looking for guidance and you will also find some great videos to get you started on your journey.
Aware also runs a mindfulness programme for children through primary schools called Paws B which aims to develop mindfulness as a life-skill which they can use to help them feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled to cope with stress and anxiety, among other things.
While practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to take perspective and help alleviate some of life’s worries and concerns, sometimes we need more practical support, like managing money. Financial management, or sometimes a lack of it, can be a cause of stress and it is vital to learn from a young age how to manage money in the simplest ways, and it’s something I have started to teach my own children. I want it to become second nature for them so that when they get their first pay packet, or need to take a loan, they don’t find it daunting and stressful and they can progress with confidence.
I thought it might be useful to share some fun and engaging ways we can encourage all of our children to interact with money and help instil good money management skills:
Tasks for reward: Work together with your children to identify age appropriate tasks that they can undertake in exchange for a percentage of their pocket money. There are apps, such as ‘Pennybox’ which can be useful for this.
Pocket money saving: Have a conversation with them to agree an amount of their pocket money they should save each week/month. You could also take this a step further by offering an additional reward at the end of the year if they can save a certain amount.
Piggy bank vs bank account:Encourage them to lodge their money into a bank or building society where it will be safe, can earn interest and they can see their money grow.
Play Monopoly:This is probably more relevant to the older children and teaches them about the benefits of buying and selling and encountering risks and rewards along the way.