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Mind over money


“You don't plan for a pandemic.” - Dylan Alcott

Watch the video above to see the full conversation or click here to read the transcript.

2020 has been a challenging year. COVID-19 started off as a health crisis, but has since had wide ranging economic effects for large and small businesses, families and individuals alike.


Speaking on ANZ’s Wellbeing Conversation series ANZ Deputy CEO Alexis George says recent data from the ANZ Roy Morgan Financial Wellbeing Indicator has seen a significant drop in people’s overall wellbeing.


“It's gone from 60.7 [pre-COVID] to about 56.5 [post-COVID],” Alexis says. “That is actually a really large drop in terms of people's financial wellbeing. And it's turned back all of the benefits that we got during late 2019.”


“It's disproportionately affecting younger people - younger, single people and younger people with children. I think we can probably guess why: new entrants to the workforce. But I think what's also interesting is it's disproportionately affecting women as well.”


Financial wellbeing contributes significantly to someone’s overall health and wellbeing, community connectedness, and economic and social participation. Clinical and coaching psychologist and CEO of the Positivity Institute, Dr Suzy Green says many Australians are under stress at the moment and part of that is the financial burden of the COVID pandemic.


“We know financial stress is the largest cause of stress for Australians,” she says. “One of our basic human needs is a sense of safety and security. And obviously, finances play a large part there.”


Talking money


Suzy advocates for people to take time to look at their finances. “I know not everybody is in a relationship, but if you are, it's so important to be able to dedicate some time. And I know there are lots of other people talking about the concept of date night or financial date night to help get clarity on your values,” she says.


“Often, in my experience, most couples haven't even really talked about their values. And it's where these values clashes occurred that the problems occur as well. And that can in many cases be around money. So what we're really talking about is building a strong, positive relationship and that openness and transparency and time allocated to talking about the things that really matter.”



ANZ is committed to improving the financial wellbeing of our people, customers and communities by helping them make the most of their money throughout their lives.  One of the ways we are doing this is through the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program which is packed with insights, tools and tips to help you get on top of your money.



Paralympian Dylan Alcott agrees. As a young person himself, Dylan says discussing finances with his partner hadn’t crossed their minds until he started working with ANZ.


“We never really communicated about our financial situation. And it was probably something we should have done sooner.”


Dylan sees some of his peers are finding it tough during the current pandemic because they haven’t had these financial discussions with their significant others.


“It's left people in a position whereby they're probably not as set up as they probably wanted to be,” he says. ”Who knows what's going to happen in the future? You don't plan for a pandemic.”


Lex agrees: “If you could just do one thing to improve your financial wellbeing it is having that pot of savings of about three months. That is really difficult in the current environment… but you can see the statistics that show people who did have that small pot of saving [are] feeling much more comfortable now.”


While Lex says she lives and breathes finance every day, most don't and many haven’t been educated about it in school. “And so it's really scary,” she says. “And as a result, you kind of think if you stick your head in the sand, it might go away and it doesn't. So now I think just starting on that journey, one little step about understanding is really important. That particularly goes for women. And they need that nurturing environment to take that step.”



Where to go for help


For ANZ Staff

Please remember you are not alone. ANZ’s Employee Assistance Program is available for support services for ANZ employees and immediate family members. Please visit www.benestar.com or call 1300 360 364.


For ANZ employees outside of Australia in need of help or support please see ANZ’s intranet site Max for details of your local employee assistance program.


For everyone (ANZ staff and members of the public)


If you, or someone you know needs help or support, please go to BeyondBlue.org.au or call 1300 22 46 36. Beyond Blue has a range of resources to help support people’s mental wellbeing during COVID.


You can also contact Lifeline at LifeLine.org.au or call 13 11 14.


For information on other services that can assist with navigating difficult circumstances visit anz.com.au


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