Are Your Finances in Order? Time For a Checkup
With so many things having a yearly checkup, such as your pets at the vets, your car at the service centre and a health check for private insurance, it’s about time you thought about something that gives us all a grey hair too many, your finances and did a financial checkup. After all surely you would want to know if everything is alright and if you are on the right path?
A checkup of your finances will enable you to see if you are on the way to delivering your personal objectives and goals. For example you may be saving for a new car or a deposit on a house or paying off a loan, this is the perfect time to see if you are achieving this and if not, what changes you need to make to combat this and take control.
A good time to do your checkup is before the end of the tax year in the UK which is the end of march, so any time from the start of the year to end of February are good times for doing this. It will also help if you need to do a self-assessment or file any company returns as well.
First, get your plans out from last year and review the objectives you set. Did you reach your goals? If you are not there, then why not and what happened to prevent you? It may be a good idea to re-timetable your goals and think about what you can actually achieve this year. For example you may have had to start paying for an unexpected expense which has hindered your ability to pay off a loan. Think about what you can do to achieve your goal of paying your loan off. Can you make savings elsewhere, like on takeout or expensive gym memberships which you are not using? Write these goals down and even list milestones that will help you on your way to achieving your main goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day remember!
You also need to look at your personal circumstance, what has changed? Have you had a new baby? Did you move jobs, or get made redundant, retire, get married or divorced? These events on their own can quickly change your goals and financial dreams, you may need to re-address your budget and goals and look over your investments such as your ISAs in light of your circumstance. For example if you got married you and your spouse may be saving for a new home and so this may be your main financial consideration.
It is also good to look over and amend your insurance policies such as your car, home, health and life insurance. Ensure that major changes to your circumstance are reflected in them. Most people don’t think to do this, for example if they buy new furniture or assets then their home insurance should rise. Shop around if you are not happy with your insurance company’s new premium.
Look at your existing debt, such as credit cards and loans. Have you managed to decrease your debt, according to your plan or has it increased? If it has got worse then ask yourself why, have you indulged yourself? Look at 0% balance transfer credit card deals to help ease the payments for example.
When you review your finances you will be surprised at how much clearer you become with regards to your long term goals and your short term actions. Get to work!