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Financial advice? Why we’d rather put out the rubbish

Samantha Downes

Samantha Downes

One of the more arresting subject headings, from the hundreds of press releases that arrive in my in-box every day (and yes you read that right - I do get 00s  every day) was one with the following: Financial planning as popular as ‘putting out bins’.

The company who sent me the release, an employee benefits specialist, had carried out some research which found that 73 per cent of people have set aside a task for spring. 

Most of these tasks took on the theme of spring cleaning, such as clearing out the loft, garage and/or shed and painting. 

Interestingly of all the spring cleaning tasks - sorting out finances came pretty low on the list. In fact it rivalled power hosing the car and painting the shed, and my personal bug bear - washing the curtains-  which is a really really annoying job but someone has to do it (namely my husband).

And yes, sorting out the rubbish did come above sorting out finances in popularity.

The thing about cleaning - as someone who would clean all day if pesky paid work and looking after my children didn’t get in the way - is that it is immediate gratifying. 

There is nothing more heartwarming and satisfying than knowing the chances of your family catching a serious illness because your home is just too dirty are almost zero. Plus things that are clean and tidy just look better.

Finances, mainly pensions and life insurance are not only less immediate they are also more esoteric . If everyone had the benefit of having the experience of having to manage a financial crisis - like a virtual reality game - then maybe more of us would realise its importance.

It’s why I’m cheered that there are calls for Seven Families - the successful industry protection campaign which used real life finance to highlight the impact of a fail to plan financially - to be revived.  The industry needs some reality - good reality - right now.