Financial expert Jody Fenton on burnout and money

This post was written by Megan on February 24, 2011
Posted Under: burnout and money

Jody Fenton and money health cartoon

We already had a post on money awhile back: Money and the lack thereof. But that was just my two cents (get the pun? boom boom!).

It's now time to bring an expert in. Jody Fenton runs Boutique Money Management, offering her expertise as 'money coach' and corporate workshop trainer on finance. However, she also has fab free tips and a shop of (very reasonably priced) goodies aimed to help minimise time spent managing money (which means more nap time for us!). 

Jody is an expert in things financial, but she also has personal experience with burnout. Come and sit with Jody and me while we chat:

  1. Jody, have you every suffered from burnout – or have you helped someone who has?
    Yes to both. Through burnout we often find ourselves questioning and challenging ourselves, including re-addressing how we manage our finances – purely out of necessity. It can be tough, but we can learn a lot this way.
  2. Are there ways of getting immediate financial assistance that don't make you feel like a complete loser?
    Take any help that is offered at first. You can always sort out family and friends later when you get back on your feet. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help. Ask your doctor(s), hospital and/or social workers to help you gain access to government assistance. And don’t forget to look into your various insurance policies to see which ones can be claimed upon – including trauma, income protection, disablement etc.
  3. The big expenses tend to be rent/mortgage, utilities, running a car (if you have one), health practitioner fees/insurance, food (and, for me, medicinal tequila). Are there any tricks to taking the pressure off these big guns?
    Talking with your bank about a 'mortgage holiday' is definitely worth considering. Also look at changing some of your regular bills onto different plans or cycles just to keep the cash flow going smoothly until you know what you really have to deal with. These things tend to happen from left field and it can take some time to find your new feet. Don’t rush yourself. Take the time to investigate all possibilities.
  4. Do we assume that we shouldn't indulge in a visit to the hairdresser, enjoy a live sports event or wallow in the melancholy joy of a chamber performance until we're back in full earning action?
    Absolutely not, you need to enjoy life but look for different ways to enjoy some of your favourites for a while. For the next few months, look into cheap or free concerts that will give you the same buzz without the cost.
  5. If you are in debt already, it hard not to consider finding the nearest cliff to jump off. Surely, the financial situation is just going to get worse. Any tips on debt management to avoid falling into the great abyss?
    if you think you’re going to get into financial trouble, talk to any of your debt providers and banks as early as you can. Getting them on board early may mean the difference between a new repayment plan and financial stress. They like to know they are going to get their money, so will usually try and work with you to set up an affordable plan. Definitely don’t put this one off.
  6. If you already have some savings, you can see them dwindling away pretty quickly on living expenses. Should you kiss it good bye and be grateful you have your health…I mean, be grateful you have your your nap pillow.
    Some days you definitely want to have that nap and your health will need to be put first. Don’t beat yourself up over it but look at getting creative to find other ways to bring in small amounts of money. This will help with some smaller, every day costs to take some of the pressure off. Can you rent your house out for a few months and live with some relatives short-term? This may help take the immediate pressure off.
  7. What if you are asset-rich (or asset-well-to-do) but cash poor? Is selling you assets for cash (so you can live) the best thing to do?
    Isn’t the whole purpose of building a good asset base to allow us to enjoy our lives? Who says we have to wait until we’re in our 60’s or 70’s to do that? If selling some assets to give you a better quality of life now in a time of need is the best thing to do, then by all means do it. 
  8. If you have children, how do you talk to your scallywags who have grown to expect a certain amount of pocket money/toys/etc.?
    This is age-dependent, but being honest and leading by example is definitely the best way to go. Start by asking them to pitch in more around the house with odd jobs to help out. Then move onto the direct questions of pocket money and toys.  Now is a good time to start teaching older kids some negotiation skills – it will be handy for when they start working. Just don’t teach them too well until you’re back on your feet!
  9. Celebrations can be stressful for 'burnees' for all kinds of reasons. One of those reasons is to do with buying gifts (making gifts to save money can be just as challenging). Any tips on how to deal with this sticky situation (beyond saying "The invitation must have got lost in the mail")?
    Honesty really is the best policy here. You might need to just let them know you simply can’t afford it this year – but you don’t expect anything in return, so no presents all around. Most friends and family are very understanding about this situation. And you can always make it up to them next year when times are better.


Jody on Twitter: @JodyFenton
Jody on Facebook: Jody Fenton


This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer and cartoonist who likes the idea of being well-to-do (with napping time).  Find out more about Megan

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