5 top ways to help make your money go further this Financial Planning Week. Matthew Walne, of Santorini Financial Planning gives his tips on how to
- Define your goals and targets, and with timescales, priorities and costs too! Quite simply, if you don’t know what you want your money to do for you and by when, how can you know if you have enough money or not? Whether it’s retiring at 55, upgrading your car or setting up a business, work out your priorities and start to plan for them.
- Pay down debt. The cost of debt on credit cards and personal loans is likely to be far higher than the returns you get on any savings accounts so work out a debt repayment plan and pay these off first if you can.
- Make saving a habit. If you know what you are saving it for it makes a huge difference, it becomes real. For example, if you know how much your children’s school fees are and when you need to pay them, it makes it easier to work out the amount you need to save to achieve this. Don’t forget with inflation running at 3.2%, your net returns after tax and charges needs to be over this figure if the value of your money isn’t going to depreciate. Using tax efficient savings products such as ISAs and Pensions may help.
- Know your numbers. How much do you need to earn, save or sell your business for ( if you have one!) to get what you need? How much is enough? You need to work out your household income and expenditure very closely to see what you realistically have spare and are able to comfortably set aside. Having a budget and keeping to it will help you. There are useful online tools such as that available free on www.financialplanningweek.org.uk which may help.
- Shop Around. Finally, always make sure you shop around to get the best deals on key household expenses. Get into the habit of using price comparison sites for car and home insurance, gas and electricity, phones, broadband, TV and even holidays. Even when shopping for clothes or children’s toys the difference in price from one retailer to another can be quite significant. It all adds up. As the saying goes “if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves”