Well here we are, at that time of year where we take time to take stock and to see if we need to make any changes. The usual suspects; losing weight, getting fit, stopping smoking etc., top the list, but do financial New Year’s resolutions ever come into the equation?
With the Covid-19 pandemic following us into 2021 too, you may be left feeling a little lacklustre at the prospect of making new changes. But why not spend some of that extra time at home seeing how you could improve your finances. There’s lots of information out there, so why not have a go? That’s why we have put together a short list of things you could start with that could make a big difference.
Here are a few points which may help:
1. Review debt levels
Be it your mortgage, loans or credit cards, have these been reviewed in the past 12 months? Are you tied into any deals, or are there any penalties for moving? It might be worth a look round to see what deals are out there.
2. Review your current account
It’s now much more common to change current accounts and many banks still offer a cash incentive for doing so. If you feel your current bank is not offering what you want then look to switch – the new bank will usually take care of transferring all your standing orders and direct debits, etc. and current banking rules are there to make sure this happens as smoothly as possible.
3. Review your pension arrangements
Pensions come in all shapes and sizes, so it is important to ensure that yours is a good fit. If you’ve had your pension for a number of years you could be paying high charges for a contract with little flexibility. Newer arrangements, such as stakeholder pensions, might be able to offer a wider range of investment options than your current plan, often at a lower cost. Before making any alterations to an existing plan make sure this will not affect any guarantees that it may have. Always talk to an independent financial adviser first to see how this affects you.
4. Review your savings and investments
With interest rates so low, finding a good home for your money has become more difficult than ever. The best savings rates are usually reserved for internet based accounts and whilst a lot of savers are wary of the internet, it really may be worth overcoming that fear to find the better rates. If the internet is definitely not for you then consider telephone or postal accounts, as these often offer better rates than the high street.
Talk to your financial adviser about your investment portfolio to make sure that the mix of investments matches your attitude to risk and the funds within the portfolio continue to meet your investment objectives.
Getting the right help with your financial New Year resolutions should, hopefully, make sure that they last beyond the end of January and put you on the path to financial fitness. Our friendly team are always here to help so give us a call on 01228 530913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org