Now that we’re debt free and in a better financial position that we were in at one point, planning for our future is a huge priority for us and something we’re really going to focus on during 2019!
It’s obviously never too early to start thinking about your financial future but it’s something we did find hard to really think about when we had debts to pay off. I wish we hadn’t really left it this long though and my advice to you this year but be to sit down and make a plan.
Whether you’re just about to retire, are somewhere in the middle of your career or even in your 20s (I wish) it’s always a good idea to think and plan for the future but why is it so important?
Whatever your long-term financial goals are, a plan is essential for guidance in reaching and achieving those goals – without a plan, you can’t take steps to achieve your goals. Work out what you want to achieve and then figure out how you can achieve it.
And don’t worry if you can’t figure it out yourself – there are a lot of areas you can easily navigate yourself when it comes to your money, however, you may want to seek the help of a financial adviser to aid you when it comes to more complicated and competitive arenas such as pension schemes and investments.
We’re planning to do this in the next couple of months because we need to weigh up whether we should be paying our spare money off our mortgage or into some sort of investment account. We’re pretty clueless when it comes to investing so figure it’s worth paying an expert to help us make such important decisions.
I know that a financial adviser can help take a lot of pressure off when it comes to implementing a plan for your finances and I’ve had some great recommendations from people who have taken advice from a professional and I definitely think the advice that a good financial advisor can give us will be well worth it! After all, money is their business – they’re the experts with all of the knowledge who can guide you through the process with ease while giving advice on what they think would be best.
I feel like we’re at the stage where we’re earning more money than we were when we bought our current house and life feels quite settled as far as our finances are concerned although we definitely still have a long way to go before we can call ourselves ‘comfortable’. We know that we can afford to have a nice holiday if we save and even though we don’t have any phone contracts, car loans or credit card debt, we know that we could afford a little extra in our budget so the temptation is always there.
Just this weekend we went car shopping because I know my 10-year-old car is not as reliable as it needs to be for the distance I drive to work and I don’t want to be using our main family car as it’s not as good on Petrol as my old faithful little Citroen is. It was so easy to give in to the ease of getting credit and buying a nice car – so easy in fact that we almost did it! I don’t want to spend a fortune on a new car but circumstances mean that my journey to work is suddenly a longer drive (there was no choice involved) and with no direct buses/trains serving the area I need to be, there’s no choice but to drive.
So a new car is going to be pretty much essential but I don’t need a fancy one – even if we could afford the monthly repayments it would involve and I’m so proud of us for realising that before it was too late. We’re learning how important it is to take control of our spending so that we can invest it in our savings.
I’m going to try and hold off on the new car and keep my current one for the next six months and in that time, I’m going to do everything I can to save a healthy deposit. I’m going to do everything I know I should be doing – making sure that I’m thoroughly budgeting for every pound and penny. I will get my car but I won’t get int debt to get it.
The car is just an example though as that’s what’s on my mind this weekend. You might have a similar medium-term goal to us of paying off your mortgage early or a longer-term goal that you can live comfortably when you retire.
You might also have smaller, easier to achieve goals of saving enough money to pay for a funeral when the time comes which is something we’re working on as I don’t want my children to have to worry about that when we die. We found that when my Dad died, as lovely as the funeral director was, they still needed a good chunk of money in advance before they would pick my Dad up from the hospital which was something I’d never even thought of before it happened.
On a brighter note, you may just have goals to save for more exciting retirement plans like that all around the world cruise that you’ve been dreaming of or moving to a different country.
Whatever your plans are and whatever your reason for saving is, the time to start thinking about your financial future is now.
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