In 2018, Perennial helped people in horticulture access nearly £4 million in financial assistance – more than any other year in its 180 year history. A recent financial wellbeing survey1 of working-age people found that 94% worry about money and of this group over three quarters say it impacts their work. Less than half of employees surveyed had a financial plan and debt was cited as an issue for 58% of people. Perennial is combating some of these money worries for people working in horticulture, including those who are self-employed, looking for work or retired, with its easy-to-use online budgeting tool and is encouraging everyone to check their financial wellbeing, regardless of their financial status, to understand their financial situation and proactively manage their money.
Wendy Tozer, Debt Advice Manager at Perennial, says: “Most of the people we help require financial support of some kind and we know it is a huge contributing factor to stress and other mental health issues. But financial wellbeing is so much more than managing debt and we want everyone working in horticulture to have the confidence to take control of their money. Our online budgeting tool can help you understand your financial situation and suggest changes for successfully managing monthly budgets.”
According to the Close Brothers Financial Wellbeing Index 2019, money worries are more prevalent among younger people. Over half of people aged 18-34 say they worry about money, with women twice as likely to worry than men. The top three concerns are funding retirement (31%), paying off debts (27%) and coping financially with losing their job (23%). Taking control of your finances, particularly when earning a low wage, can be challenging but Perennial’s budgeting tool could be the first step for many people in horticulture.
Wendy continues: “Creating a realistic budget is really important because it helps you understand how you are using your money and where your biggest expenditures are. Seeing this written down can really help and the great thing about our tool is that it suggests changes you can make to achieve a good balance between your income and expenditure. The tool also offers lots of tips for increasing your income and reducing your spending and points you in the right direction for further help if you need it.”
Speaking about his experience of using the Perennial budgeting tool, one person said: “I used the Perennial budgeting tool on my phone and it was very easy to use. It has helped me understand my finances better and encouraged me to contact Perennial for additional help and advice. I’d certainly recommend it to others who might be worrying about money.”
In 2019 Perennial wants to reach more people than ever before with information about its services, including preventing the need for Perennial’s help in the first place.
Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial, says: “We know that unplanned expenditure remains a challenge for families managing a stretched monthly budge; in the last few years we have seen a 22% increase in the number of people needing crisis and emergency support. We can often make a positive change to people’s circumstances and we find that when people seek our help early we can often prevent their situation worsening. If you would like help, information or are worried about money please use our online tool and speak to us as soon as possible.”
Perennial’s online budgeting tool is available via the Perennial website and can be used on a desktop computer, tablet or smart phone. It is very easy to use and does not require any technical or financial expertise. All information provided is completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone else. People can use it anonymously if they wish or they can register to allow them to revisit their budget at any time and see how their planned changes are working.
If you have urgent debt issues you can contact Perennial’s qualified debt advisers who can help by negotiating with creditors, preparing financial statements, advising on bankruptcy, helping with court paperwork and offering representation at hearings. In addition, Perennial offers direct financial help in some circumstances, including help for spouses/partners and dependent children. If you need one to one help, call Perennial free of charge and in complete confidence on 0800 093 8546.
Find out more at www.perennial.org.uk/budgeting-tool.
1. Financial Wellbeing Index 2019, Close Brothers https://www.closebrothersam.com/media/1969/the-financial-wellbeing-index.pdf