Tuesday, 1 September 2015

10 Things To Do To Get Your Finances Ship Shape

If you want to get your finances into good shape, how about taking a few minutes to look at them?  Making sure you have ticked off all the boxes in this 10-step check-list will help keep them looking good too.

1. Make a Will
If you have any assets at all and there is anybody in life you love more than the Inland Revenue, make a Will.  Even if you are young and single with no dependants, make a will.  If you do die unexpectedly, it can make life much easier for your loved ones. 

2. Life Insurance
If you have anyone who depends on you financially, then life insurance should probably be high on your agenda.  The bad news is that even young people can die unexpectedly.  The good news is that it is relatively unlikely so young people tend to get the best life insurance deals. 

Shop around to see what is on offer.

3. Start Saving into a Pension
It is never too soon to start saving into a pension.  Later, however, is still better than never.

Saving into a pension has two big plus points.  Firstly contributions attract tax relief.  Secondly, those in workplace pensions can get additional contributions from their employer. 

The fact that pensions have these benefits means it may be worth contributing to them even if you are still clearing debts.

4. Clear high-interest debts
Mortgages, car loans and student loans are designed to be paid off over the long term.  These types of loans tend to have relatively low interest rates. 

Personal loans and credit card or store card debt is an entirely different matter.  This kind of debt tends to be very expensive.  Therefore it is generally best to pay it off as quickly as possible.  If your credit rating is good, you may be able to get a 0% interest balance-transfer deal.  This can help to freeze the amount of the debt instead of having interest added every month.  Ideally you should pay off the debt before the deal comes to an end.

5. Look at Moving Your Mortgage
A mortgage is a significant expenditure.  Make sure you are getting the best deal you possibly can.  If you are not, see if you can move to a new mortgage.

6. Learn to Budget Properly
Look after your pennies and your pounds will take care of themselves.  Little purchases can slip under your mental radar and have a significant impact on your finances. 

You do not need to stop making convenience or impulse purchases.  You just need to know where your money is going.  Then if you are looking for savings ideas, you know where to start trimming your expenses.

7. Organise Savings Pots
Some bank accounts will allow you to tag your money for designated purposes.  This can be a great way of keeping on top of your savings goals.  For example you could have dedicated pots for holidays or Christmas.

8.  Get an ISA
ISAs are essentially tax-efficient accounts.  They can be used for cash savings or for a wide range of investments.  In short, they help you to make more from your money and give less to the tax man.

9. Take a look at investments
Investments can help to make your money grow over the long term.  There are many different kinds of investments available to suit all kinds of tastes.  Take a look and see what suits you.

10. Make Time To Review Your Finances
As you go through life your circumstances will change and your finances need to stay in sync with those changes.  Therefore make time at least once a year to ask yourself “How to organise my finances?”.  This will help to ensure that you make any changes you need to.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on wwfs@wardwilliams.co.uk.

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