Financial planning for yourself and the ones you love needn’t be daunting or sophisticated or need the help of an advisor. There are a number of things you can do to help yourself and here are five tips from Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services to consider:
- Know where your money goes – keep a spreadsheet or other record of your income and expenditure (including the small items such as your daily Latte habit). You can see where the money goes and where savings might be made, then make a budget and stick to it. There are free tools available to help such as the Money Advice Service https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner. Make sure you shop around for the best deals on utilities, insurance and other expenditure and that you cancel old direct debits for services that you change.
- Claim any benefits or tax reliefs you are entitled to. For example; a couple who are married or in a civil partnership, with neither paying tax above the basic rate, can apply to share part of one partner's personal tax allowance (up to 10% or £1,250 in the tax year 2019/20). This increases the amount that one partner can earn before paying tax and can reduce their tax bill by up to £250 per year.
- Saving for a mortgage deposit? – make the most of savings schemes that benefit from a government top-up such as the Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA (terms and conditions apply to both of these schemes so make sure you understand them before starting one)
- Save an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. You should aim to have a ‘rainy day’ fund of at least 3 x your monthly expenditure. Cash savings accounts are an accessible way to do this.
- If you have a family, think about what would happen if you weren’t available to provide for them; consider taking out life insurance to pay off any mortgage or other debts in the event of your unexpected death. You should also consider insurance that pays out if you suffer a critical illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke etc.. Many employers only offer sick pay for a limited time (some not at all) so you should also consider income protection insurance that pays out if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.fincap.org.uk
If you are in the lucky position to have money to invest and/or need advice about pensions, mortgages or remortgaging (especially if you live in employer-provided accommodation), protecting your family or retirement and want advice from a company you can trust and who offer fully independent services, contact Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services on 0800 107 0190 or email [email protected] and speak to one of our advisors for a no obligation introductory conversation. Should we proceed to provide advice for you the fees applicable will be agreed with you before going ahead. You should remember that the value of investments and pensions can go down as well as up and if we arrange a mortgage for you, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments.”