How often do we decide we are going to do something, we set some time aside and get it done, but then we move on with our life and forget about it? We have jumped the initial hurdle, but then fallen flat on our face without thinking about the ongoing maintenance of it. This applies to almost everything we do in life, whether it’s our own professional development or that drawer (affectionately called, “The Man Drawer”) in your house that you stuff everything into and hope it closes. I know I’m guilty of it, and if you are honest with yourself, you’ll probably find yourself guilty too. Your financial life is exactly the same. Keep it up to date, keep it arranged neatly, and don’t let it become one of these.
Regularly Review Your Finances
Whether you started saving £100 per month a year ago, or if you have made major changes and are one of our lucky financial planning clients, did you ever revisit it? Maybe you’ve changed jobs and could increase your savings to £200 per month. Maybe you’ve got engaged and you should be thinking about increasing your cash savings because you’ve a wedding to pay for soon. Or maybe you’ve had a baby and things are going to be a bit tighter for a while. Or it could be something as simple as that car loan you’ve been paying has finally come to an end. What next?
A financial plan, no matter how basic or complicated, is probably wrong as soon as it’s written on paper. Am I saying it isn’t worth your while doing one – no. I’m just saying it should be continually reviewed and updated as your life changes. No matter how significant – or insignificant – the change has been, almost everything costs money, so your finances will be impacted.
If you’ve invested money with us, every year you will be prompted to complete a review of your situation. This asks simple questions like whether your income and expenditure is the same? Have you got married? Have you paid down some of that debt? It might seem insignificant at first and something that you can delay or just ignore, but small changes will impact your finances. You might have more disposable income (read “Fun Money”) which maybe you could do with saving some of it. You might have less and need to think about cutting out the routine pizza takeaway at the weekends. But you’ll only know if you revisit your own situation, to see what has changed.
Keep On Top of Them
So don’t leave your finances to get as messy as that drawer. Some day the time will come that you need something. If your financial life had been in check you would be able to sort it without too much drama. Believe me, it’s easier to get into the habit of keeping on top of it instead of waiting 10 years to tackle it. Then it’s so much more complicated and you’ll say to yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner…”