The New Year and January encourage fresh thinking and determination. As well as diets, detox and downsizing, getting your personal finances in shape should be a priority.
The chilly months trigger several actions. One is the desire to book a holiday in the sun. That’s great, but it’s also a hit on the family funds. Can you really afford it, and should you put it on a credit card?
Flexibility is often required to help juggle those monthly bills. But credit shouldn’t be viewed as part of the ongoing cash flow. It’s expensive, everyone knows that.
So restraint should be part of the January mindset. Don’t take on additional debts, and clear any existing ones first. Manage expectations, consider something UK-based, more modest, or try a stay cation later this summer!
This leaves you with income that can be put to work as part of your New Year financial health check.
Don’t put off saving
Get the credit sorted out and you can think about saving for a rainy day. There’s so much economic uncertainty at the moment, building a contingency fund makes sense. You never know what’s around the corner.
However, like diets, your savings drive should not be a fad. Stick to it. Set some goals. Create a regular monthly transfer from your current account into your savings.
And don’t be tempted to dip in, unless it’s a real emergency!
Make the most of savings offers
Like utility bills, it’s worth looking at interest rates offered by banks and building societies. They often change, so keep your eyes peeled. Switch accounts if there are no penalties and you can earn more.
ISAs are still a tax efficient way to save. As April approaches, make sure you maximise the amount you save into your ISA. The 2018-19 tax year allowance is £20,000, so if you have spare cash make use of it.
Don’t forget the pension
Reviewing your pension should be a regular event. The state pension will only cover the basics, so revisiting your fund and how it’s managed is the best way to keep it on track. The more effort and attention spent in the early-to-mid years will see benefits when you retire.
The same applies to protection plans. Are they providing the right cover? Circumstances change and so too should your protection.
Whether it’s for death and critical illness, to provide income after an accident or during sickness, or even cover the mortgage payments, make sure it’s doing what you and your family need.
Here to help with financial resolutions
We can’t offer much guidance when it comes to most New Year resolutions, but we can offer some wise words about money.
If you need a little help and encouragement understanding what you need to save, how to plan, and how to remain disciplined, give us a call.
Your savings, mortgage and other investments are all part of your overall estate, your wealth, and will eventually be part of your retirement fund.
Make 2019 the year you ensure that everything is in line with your risk profile and that you are on course to achieve your life and financial goals.
Need that chat?
Any one of the Logic Wealth Planning team will be delighted to point you in the right direction. Just call 0808 1234 321 or email email@example.com and we’ll get that financial health check started.