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Financial Wellbeing

Almost 8 in 10 UK employees take their money worries to work, affecting their performance. Fortunately, there are many ways to champion financial wellbeing in the workplace.

Money worries affect our mental and physical health, which is why the Council as part of the Four Pillars of Wellbeing toolkit have brought together details of some supports available for staff experiencing money issues or those who wish to have better control over their finances for the future.

Cost of Living Support

Feeling the Pinch Fund is now open to West Lothian residents living with a low income. This fund can provide a one-off grant of up to £300 to help toward unexpected costs or essential items if you cannot access financial support with these costs elsewhere. Applications for the fund can be made online here: Feeling the Pinch Fund

The West Lothian Fuel Grant is a one-off grant of £100 to help with gas and electricity costs. The fund is open to anyone with a low income who is experiencing fuel poverty or at risk of disconnection from supply due to inability to top up pre-payment meters. 

A second fuel grant of up to £150 can also be paid to anyone applying for the West Lothian Fuel Grant who has a disability or health condition that causes increased energy costs. This could be due to having mains powered equipment, or a health condition or treatment that affects body temperature regulation resulting in higher heating costs. 
Applications for either grant can be made using this online form: West Lothian Fuel Grant

Unison members may also be able to access a one-off Energy Support Fund grant of £200 to help with winter energy costs. This grant is available to Unison members with a low income and savings, or who are in receipt of means tested benefits. The fund is open from 16th November 2022 and applications should be made online. Follow this link for full criteria and to make your application: Unison Energy Support Fund (opens new window)

What we mean by financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing is about a sense of security and feeling as though you have enough money to meet your needs. It's about being in control of your day-to-day finances and having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.

Here are a few ideas to help maintain your financial wellbeing.

  • Write down your budget: Knowing your income, expenditure and disposable income once your day-to-day expenses are covered, will give you confidence in your decisions. If your partner or spouse usually looks after the finances, be sure to talk the budget through with them, so that you both understand your financial situation.
  • Avoid income comparisons: Research shows that comparing ourselves to our friends or peers reduces life satisfaction. Keep in mind that we all have different priorities and find pleasure or enjoyment in different things. For example, you may love to travel and invest in experiences, rather than having a big car or house.
  • Look for the positives: Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that practicing gratitude regularly can help to rewire your brain structure. Feeling grateful stimulates the production of natural 'antidepressants' such as serotonin and dopamine, giving you a feeling of contentment and wellbeing. Try writing down 3 things you're grateful for each day.

For more information on Financial Wellbeing, and up to date advice, check out the Advice Shop webpage.  In addition please click here [195KB]  for our handy guide to local advice and support in West Lothian.