Chippenham-based mentor and executive Life Coach, Eric Couturier, says his methods normally used for changing habits for a better work-life, can also help everyone through the cost-of-living crisis too.
Eric Couturier is a certified life coach. His work normally helps executives achieve better work-life balance and career goals but recently he noticed how his strategies can improve family habits to cope with the rising cost of living in the UK.
Make changes for the better
Since January 2023, 92 per cent of UK households reported that their cost of living had gone up compared with 2022, with 67 per cent of households experiencing monthly increases in costs – including food, electricity and fuel. Many people, despite earning good wages, are struggling to balance the household budget at the end of each month. Eric Couturier is proposing changing our habits might be the best solution to cope.
“My normal work is about instilling change, and that is not easy,” said Couturier. “Saying you are motivated is not enough in itself. You have to make a choice to be disciplined, you have to plan your decisions and stick with them. We all have habits that we probably should be aware of in a cost-of-living crisis, such as buying certain things we don’t need, buying high-priced items, and not checking how much energy we use or disposable income we really have. With mortgages going up and so many people worried about how they are going to cope, more than ever, now is the time to transform, not only your buying habits but your living habits.”
Couturier focuses on adjusting people’s mindsets. It begins with writing down specifics to understand where someone wants to be, defining a goal, for instance making the home budget balance and still being happy, at the end of the month. Whilst this may sound obvious, the steps are then worked out to achieve it and those will involve making big changes to the daily routines that are usually a set, hard-to-break pattern of behaviour.
“People might be aware they have bad habits, for instance, bad spending habits, ignoring problems, and this creates tremendous stress. My advice is not only to confront those kinds of issues head on, but also to understand how you can still have a good life at the same time as making those difficult choices. No one wants to sacrifice everything for nothing and you don’t have to, but you do need to make conscious changes.”
6 Step Guide to Change in the Cost-of-Living Crisis
Here’s Couturier’s simple self-help to-do list:
- Understand your monthly spending. Write it ‘all’ down and be honest.
- Separate the essentials from the fun and unnecessary spending – in two lists.
- With the essential list, make sure it’s as cheap as possible, for instance, can you get cheaper energy, mortgage, insurance, mobile phone etc? It might make a big difference. Surely, it’s worth a day of your time for potential big savings.
- With the fun/extras list, are there things on there you can swap for less: for example, the gym membership for free exercise outside, swapping eating out for eating in (but make it an occasion!) – this kind of thing. If you have a car, can you use it less? Do you need to do it to go everywhere, can you get shopping delivered, for example? Can you use Zoom more?
- Write down new routines in black and white, stick them to the fridge and follow them every day.
- Don’t make excuses! Make each other in the family accountable to each other – help each other change and make it fun where possible. It will be harder if it feels like a punishment, so focus on making changes easier or fun.
For more information on Eric Couturier go to: https://ericcouturiercoaching.com/