Building good – really good - financial habits can go a long way. Could your finances do with an in-depth early Spring Clean? Certainly, the new year provides a good opportunity to get your finances in check.
Here are our top tips to help you do just that:
1. Think about how you want to manage your finances
Building on, or refreshing your financial education, is a good place to start. What do your savings look like at the moment? Make sure you have a good understanding of the saving and investing vehicle that is right for you, and check that what you’re using at presents fits your current situation.2. Do you have the right tools for the job?
Look around for financial information, workshops and online education tools – there’s plenty out there, including the fantastic Money Advice Service, as well as many other online platforms and apps that can make it easier for you to save and invest. There are tools available offering risk projections (check out our risk explorer!) so you can see possible outcomes before you take the plunge and invest your money. Those saving with us also get the added benefit of our CushonMe monitoring service which automatically reviews your investments every day and alerts you when certain investments are not performing as you might expect, allowing you to make changes. This could prove useful if the financial markets are impacted. Also, your employer might also offer financial education as part of a benefits package; if you’re not sure, then ask.3. How accessible do your finances need to be?
In an ideal world, we’d all want the comfort of a financial buffer in case of the unexpected, particularly during times of economic uncertainty. Both the 2008 financial crash and 2020’s dark days have reinforced this necessity. When choosing savings and investment vehicles, it’s important to think about why you are investing and how quickly you might need to access your money; investing is usually for the longer term, added to which, there is the unknown quantity that is the risk to your capital. Think about what is right for you, for now.4. What can you afford - realistically?
Don’t stretch yourself further than you are comfortable with. You can start saving now from as little as £10 per month. Work out what you can afford after bills and other essentials are accounted for, and choose an amount that works for you. You can always increase or decrease your contributions depending on your circumstances.
Many employers also offer a workplace savings initiative whereby the money can be taken straight from pay, much like a pensions scheme. These are becoming increasingly popular, with 92% of employers who don’t already offer one now saying that they are considering the implementation of such a scheme alongside a pension, as a result of the circumstances brought about by the 2020 pandemic.5. What are your goals?
Whether you’re saving for a new home, your future, or just wanting to protect yourself should the worst happen, it’s good to have a goal in mind. Be clear about your objectives. This will help you to decide what sort of investment risk you are willing to take, depending on whether your goal is short, medium or long term. The accessibility of funds deposited into accounts you have opened will depend on these goals.6. What do you need to do?
What happens next is down to you. Once you’re clued up and have given some considered thoughts to your financial position, you’re ready to plan. We can help, so get in touch.