The blistering pace of summer activities sometimes makes it hard to keep up with all your responsibilities. However, letting your finances get away from you during the summer months can have costly consequences. Though summer holiday is a British staple, it’s also important to find time for personal financial review.
A comprehensive financial check-up not only helps you stay tuned-in to your finance status, but periodic review also provides opportunities to make necessary adjustments. Are you saving for a house, but having a hard time putting by a deposit? Has your cash flow changed, resulting in a monthly surplus or shortfall? Are your ISA and pension needs covered, setting the stage for the type of retirement you expect? You can answer these and other important questions about your finances each time you conduct a financial check-up. And when you’re not making progress toward financial goals, you can change your habits, based on your finance assessment.
Finance Concerns to Think About This Summer
In addition to managing DIY projects at home and enjoying holiday travel this summer, it’s also important to protect your financial health. A few of the areas to focus on during financial review include the following money matters.
Outstanding Debt – Debt has a way of building beyond affordable levels – particularly when you turn your back on your finances. For fluid cash flow, regularly assess debt levels and repayment obligations, so you don’t fall behind. Left to grow unmanageable, repaying costly debt can lock you in to a negative cash flow cycle, which can be hard to reverse. Assessing your monthly debt also includes a look at outgoings, such as mortgage principal and interest, car payments, and student loan repayment.
Some of the worst offenders undermining a healthy household budget are high-interest credit card debts. If you run short of money more than a few months each year, excess debt may be dragging you down. If you’ve overspent and need to turn things around, a spending freeze and other measures may be required to lift you out of problem debt.
Cost of Credit – Are you paying too much for borrowing privileges? If most of your charges post to high interest credit card accounts the answer is “yes”. As you evaluate personal spending and other matters of financial health, controlling credit costs can lead to savings. For example, alternative finance resources, such as payday loans, may prove more cost effective than carrying credit card balances month after month. Loan rates and terms are easy to compare online, giving you the information needed to make efficient credit decisions. Most of these loans are funded quickly without formal credit check requirements.
If it’s mortgage interest interfering with your prosperity, a remortgage may help reduce monthly costs. Competitive rates are available for well-qualified borrowers, so you may be eligible for savings, compared to your current terms and conditions.
Savings – If you’re like many Britons, your actual savings may lag behind your goals for putting by cash. Full financial review’s not complete until you assess your savings trajectory and make moves to improve conditions. Even if you can’t afford to make large deposits, regular savers accounts are available to help you make steady contributions. And banks offer introductory bonuses, so if you’re a newcomer, you may be eligible for “free” money, adding yet another incentive for launching a savings account.
Bank Charges – While you’re elbow deep in your personal finances, you should evaluate your banking costs. Does your bank or building society charge avoidable fees? Are you earning acceptable interest on deposits? Are the services you use most provided free of charge? Is your bank well-equipped with cost-effective remote and digital banking solutions? Though it’s easier to maintain the status quo, switching banks can sometimes help you keep more money in your account, instead of paying bank charges.
Regular financial check-ups are an essential component of effective money management. Summer distractions aside, waiting too long to assess the features of your financial life can make it harder to reach your goals. For consistent results and continued growth, take the time to actively manage financial concerns such as personal debt, cost of credit, banking charges, and personal savings.