We all know how difficult sticking to a budget can be (just ask the Chancellor!), particularly in January when all the bills seem to come in at once. So here are some tips to help you make the most of your money.
Spend less than you earn – while this sounds obvious, it is important to be realistic about where and how your money is spent. A simple budget planner will identify where the bulk of your monthly spend is i.e. mortgage payments, food bills, utilities but there may also be subscriptions and payments going out regularly that you no longer require.
The secret is to automate your good habits and necessary spends (as above list) and de-automate the bad habits, take a look at your direct debits and standing orders and cancel those no longer used.
On the subject of your mortgage, now is a great time to consider refinancing. Interest rates are still low, although indicators from America suggest they may rise this year as inflation creeps up, this week by 1.6%. This may mean a rate rise is soon upon us, so act quickly. At David Allen Financial Services we offer a FREE review of your existing mortgage, searching the whole of the market, so now is a great time to see how much we can save you.
Credit cards where you are not repaying the full outstanding balance each month and are incurring interest can be refinanced too. There are interest free deals on offer for balance transfers – well worth investigating and could save you £££’s.
No spend days or no spend weekends are a great idea, using up the contents within your fridge and freezer. Pop on an unopened Christmas DVD, put your feet up and leave the bad weather outside. The aim being to spend no money at all.
Start saving for short term goals such as a holiday, open a new savings account and set up an automatic payment to go in on your payday.
Start investing for your long term goals, write your dreams down and then construct a plan to achieve these. It helps to prioritise these goals too, maybe using gold, silver and bronze categories or a timeline as to when you wish to realise these dreams. Then we will help, we will review your existing plans, help you set realistic and achievable future goals and then ensure you remain on track along your journey. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Protect what’s important. This is fundamentally crucial if you have a partner and/or children. Is your cover adequate and fit for purpose? Are you paying too much? Review all of your insurances including life cover, critical illness, income protection, car insurance and home insurance. This can really help shed some pounds ensuring you’re getting the best deal for your circumstances.
And finally, don’t forget to make a Will. It’s never too early but more often that not too late.
For a fresh, whole of market review of your finances, contact one of our Independent Financial Advisers on 01228 711881.