Now's the Time for a Fresh Start for Your Finances
With the festive excess fading fast in the memory and the new year dawning, this is the ideal time for a fresh approach to your finances.
Establish a Baseline
Many off us start off the new year with a health kick, so why not treat your finances to the same? Just as stepping on to the scales is a necessary, albeit daunting, first step in many a January diet, a financial health check will give you an accurate picture of your true financial situation and what to do next.
Whether you’re prioritising retirement planning, saving for a child’s education or building an emergency savings fund, you will be far more likely to achieve your goals with a clear understanding of your current position.
Look at Spending as a Blank Slate
Tracking your spending across the month can be an eye-opening experience. Whether you jot down transactions as you go, use a budgeting app or scrutinise your bank statement at the end of the month, set your self the challenge of accounting for every penny spent in the first few months of 2023.
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to ask yourself some important questions on your spending. When totted up, are you comfortable with how much you’ve spent on takeaways or other ‘little’ luxuries? Has checking your bank statement reminded you that you’re still paying Direct Debits for subscriptions and memberships you no longer use? Are there costs you could save on or swaps you could make? A gym membership is a tempting purchase in January, for example, but you may find that an existing Apple subscription or Christmas gadget gift includes a fitness app as a cheaper and more convenient offering. Similarly, if you’re looking forward to riding out the rest of winter with a Netflix subscription, look into whether the new discounted ad-supported version could meet your needs.
Aim for Alignment
When considering the big changes and issues in your life, aligning your financial plan with your overall goals is a great way to build momentum. Working with one of our own dedicated financial advisers can help you develop a holistic financial plan based on a full understanding of your current situation and what you would like to achieve.
We can help identify the best financial options to support your goals. Parents and grandparents, for example, might explore making contributions to Junior ISAs for their loved ones; those thinking ahead to their retirement will want to ensure that current contributions to their pensions are enough to provide a secure retirement when the time comes, while anyone unsure about the best moves to make in the housing market this year can take advice from our top team of mortgage professionals on their options for new home loans, remortgages and buy to let prospects. Investors may like to explore our ethical portfolio to ensure their money is invested in portfolios they support. Proactively managing your finances can offer unexpected benefits – for example, experts now suggest that one valuable contribution an individual person can make in the fight against climate change is to ensure their pension savings are invested in green and sustainable funds.
Whatever you have planned for 2023, why not get in touch for a friendly chat about how a financial health check or fresh start for your finances could help you achieve your goals?