McHugh, Neil, Olga Biosca, Rachel Baker, Fatma Ibrahim, & Cam Donaldson (2019). Innovating on methods to understand the relationship between finances and wellbeing. In Gaël Brulé & Christian Suter (Eds.), Wealth(s) and subjective well-being (Ch. 6, pp. 129-144). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-030-05534-9. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-05535-6_6)

Abstract: It is well documented that individuals who are materially worse-off have poorer health and subjective wellbeing. Despite their limited means, we also know these same individuals can have complicated financial lives. However, it is not clear how individuals’ strategies for managing their wealth impact on broader aspects of their wellbeing. In this chapter we draw on a recently-completed project that used a combination of innovative methodologies – financial diaries, qualitative interviews and Q methodology – to examine whether there is a perceived link, negative or positive, between the use of ‘fair finance’ initiatives aimed at low-income populations in Scotland and health and wellbeing, and the mediating mechanisms that might facilitate, or militate against, this association. Illustrative examples from the data are provided and we reflect on the success of employing these methodologies. Gaining in-depth insight into individuals’ financial lives and links to wellbeing has potential implications for product development and wider health and social policy.

Neil McHugh <> is in the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.