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5 Tips for Financial Planning

When it comes to finances many people bury their head in the sand and spend up to, or over their means every month without considering the future. If people are happy with their lot and lifestyle then this is not necessarily a bad thing – so long as debt is kept under control.

However, of course the majority of people have dreams and aspirations for which healthy finances are helpful or even vital. The average person could never save up for a house deposit, for example, without cutting down on outgoings and planning ways to conserve funds. Such a person would also need a good credit rating to secure a mortgage, which they may not have if they live on credit and are constantly in debt.

There are numerous benefits to having one’s finances in order. This reduces the stress and anxiety that go with unmanaged debt and therefore leads to a greater sense of ease and comfort. It is also good to know that some money is put aside in savings or investments, for a rainy day or perhaps to make a large purchase such as a property. With the advantages of financial planning in mind, here are 5 tips that are well worth considering:

1) Pay off credit cards

Credit cards carry high interest rates so if the balance is not paid off each month, they can incur considerable interest. Making minimum payments will barely touch the outstanding balance either, so credit cards should be paid off completely as soon as possible. Sometimes low interest loans are the best way to do this, but a banking manager should be able to suggest a suitable plan of action.

2) Reassess outgoings

An effective way of saving money is simply to cut outgoings. Many people are in a habit of spending more than they need to, so by reassessing what they spend each month they will most likely be able to find several areas where savings are possible. People should check direct debits and if they are not necessary or beneficial, stop them immediately.

3) Use an ISA

An ISA is a way to save up to £3000 in a tax free account and this benefits savers much more than a regular savings account. People should choose an ISA if they are saving and use their full ISA allowance to maximize its effectiveness.

4) Get a pension

This is certainly an area that many young people ignore, but this could be to their financial peril in the years to come. A pension is a vital form of financial planning and there are a variety of products available, offering facilities such as pension release and drawdown. Anyone wanting a comfortable retirement should ponder their future without a pension.

5) Make a will

Making a will is another area that people often ignore, perhaps unaware of the possible consequences of dying intestate. Making a will ensures that someone’s money and assets goes to the people they want it to, and stipulations can be included in a will if the donor wishes. A will is not a death wish, merely a shrewd financial precaution.

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March 27, 2012 um 9:16 am
Personal Finance
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