Managing your Personal Finances
Managing your Personal Finances
Concerns about finances consistently top polls as being the biggest cause of stress and anxiety for young adults ages between 18-34. In particular, it has been shown that many young professionals have money worries about how to get onto the property ladder and how to budget effectively which can have a knock on effect both personally and professionally.
Taking control of your financial future can be a serious benefit to your mental health, wellbeing and lifestyle. With that in mind, we partnered with Brewin Dolphin to run an online session, in which guest speakers Charlotte Tattersall and Harrison Turner provided us with basic guidance on key areas to manage, protect and grow your financial affairs. Here are few notes from the event.Charlotte let us know what some of the things you need to think about when looking at your finances. You need to understand what you want to achieve.
- Everyone is different and there is no one size fits all. For some, your goal could be travelling in the future or being able to start your own business. For others, this may be getting on the property ladder.
- There is no silver bullet and no one size fits all approach to financial planning.
- Wealth is an enabler and being more financially secure will only help in meeting your financial goals, giving you more financial freedom.
- Balance to be struck between living your preferred lifestyle now and saving for the future you – to enable you to meet some of your future goals.
- Enjoying today and making sure your loved ones are protected.
- It is not all about saving every single penny, life is also for living and doing the things that you enjoy. It is also not about spending everything you have with no regard.
- Now might a good time to take stock of what you really want, and when things return some level of normality, you can decide what that new normal looks like.
- You may decide holding more on cash than you do normally gives you comfort in difficult times – so if you have previously lived month to month, it be may building up your emergency cash reserves. Brewin recommends 6 months expenditure as a rainy-day fund.
- Goals also don’t stay the same, your goals will most likely change over time.
- Financial life can be split into thirds
- First 3rd – studying, taking on debt, start a career, look at getting on the property ladder. The planning to consider in this stage of life could include paying down some of those debt, building some cash reserves, taking out financial protection like life cover, and maybe starting to invest
- Second 3rd – financially the most important. It is the time in your life where your career may be more established, you may start a family, you are taking on bigger mortgages and paying these off over time. In this stage, you need to be able to fund your lifestyle now but also start to build up funds for later life. The planning you could consider in this stage will be financial protection, investment and tax planning, as well as starting to plan for retirement.
- The last 3rd – will likely consist of retirement and ensuring you have a sustainable income, and it may also include planning as to how to help children financially or pass on wealth tax efficiently on your death. By this stage, if you have not planned for retirement, you are unlikely to be able to meet your goals of a comfortable retirement
- Financial Protection is simply about protecting yourself and other people that are dependant on you (such as spouse or children) in case the worst happens.
- As it stands today, you may be able to meet all of your outgoings with your income… but ask yourself, what happens if you couldn’t work due to long term sickness? How long could you continue to pay your bills for?
- Financial protection can be cheap to obtain and there is some level of cover for everyone’s budget.
- If you want to review your own cover, where should you start?
- Consider any policies you have taken out (maybe when you took out a mortgage) and obtain details from your employer of any benefits you have with them and other benefits you can select through work.
- When thinking about how much you should save – this will be different for everyone. It will depend on what you are saving for and it also depends on how much you can afford to save. Some people aim to save 20% of what they earn each month, but only you will know if that is the right level for you at this time.
- Others start small and there are various banking apps which round up purchases to the nearest £1 and invest the rest automatically.
- If you can only save a small amount, you might think is it worth it? Can start with as little as £25/50 a month, and sometimes just starting is the key to building up a bigger pot over time.
- Where to save?
- ISA – Individual Savings account. Everyone can invest up to £20K pa – this can be in cash or investments or mixture of the two types of accounts. An ISA is great place to start, as all returns are tax free
- Junior ISA – Great place to invest for children – can invest £9k per child p/a, like the ISA, this is tax free. Whilst you do need to be comfortable that your child will own any monies in the Junior ISA at age 18 (and could therefore draw it all out and buy a fast car), it can present a good opportunity to get your child involved in finance from an early age as part of a financial education
- Equities – Stocks and shares. Most common investment. Owning a small share in a company.
- Fixed income/Bonds – ‘I owe you’ or loans to companies. They pay you interest over the period of the bond.
- Alternatives (what’s left) – Gold/silver. Commercial property
- Broadly can be split into two categories, equities being the riskier assets while the others less so with cash being the least
- Generally the riskier your portfolio (more equities) the larger the swing in prices but it also has the greater chance for growth.
- Risk vs reward. You can’t receive any without taking some risk.
- The longer you remain invested the less likely that the ups and downs will affect your portfolio
- The rising cost of living – Typically each year the same basket of goods costs more.
- Rising cost negatively effects your savings
- £100 in your bank account at an inflation rate of 2.5% over 25 years will be worth £54.50 in real terms
- The risk in cash that it loses its buying power.
- The earlier you start investing the less of your income you need to put away to reach your ‘golden number’
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