Listing Out the Financial Decisions and Actions You Should Take in the Next 12 Months Is a Quick Exercise, but Could Change Your Life.
We read the other day that the average human attention span is now just 8.25 seconds.
That is slightly less than a goldfish.
Apparently, they can swim around for about 9 seconds before getting distracted.
Unfortunately, we cannot think of a top financial tip that you could implement in such a short timeframe.
But if you had just 3 minutes – that is the length of the average pop song you will hear on the radio – here is something really meaningful that you could do.
USE THAT TIME TO GET ORGANISED
Diarise a range of financial decisions and actions that you will want to make over the next 12 months. Some of them might end up being “5-minute jobs” whilst others will involve more thought and effort at the time.
Like anything worthwhile in life, optimising your finances should involve a meaningful amount of effort each year. Often the barrier to doing this is that it can feel like too big a task to get started with. It can feel overwhelming.
We advise clients to break the task down into manageable, bite-sized chunks.
This makes the task feel less daunting and gives you a sense of progress each time you tick one of them off.
Listing and diarising those actions is quick and easy to do. And once diarised, you won’t need to worry about them because you have mentally committed to them. They won’t be forgotten.
A HELPFUL LIST
To get you started, we have listed below some of the actions you might want to include.
It is not an exhaustive list, and not all will apply, but it should be a helpful start.
You can always add to it throughout the year and once you have a finessed your list, you can repeat it year-on-year.
Have a chat over a glass of wine with your loved ones – where are we and where do we want to get to? What is the big plan?
Create / update your net worth spreadsheet
Check life cover and ill health insurances are all ok and that you know where the documents are kept
Review your will and expression of wishes on any pensions – are you still happy with your choices?
Sort out your annual pension contribution
Sort out your annual ISA contribution
Check that your mortgage is still sensible
Check if there was anything in the Autumn Statement of relevance to you
Check if there was anything in the Spring Budget of relevance to you
Complete and submit your tax return (ideally to be diarised well before 31st January!)
Confirm that your emergency fund still sufficient for your needs
Estimate your total household expenditure for the last 12 months
Check that any investment fees you are paying are competitive
Check that you still think any adviser fees you are paying represent fair value for money
Check if you still need all your monthly direct debits and standing orders
Tidy up your financial paperwork
Review that you are happy with the risk level and performance of your investments and/or pensions
Check that the interest rate on your savings is competitive
Diarise time before your insurance renewals (home, car etc) to complete online questionnaires which allow you to compare providers
GRAB YOUR CALENDAR
We all have limited resources of time and mental energy to fit financial decisions into our increasingly busy lives.
Getting financially organised is a simple yet highly effective way to take control of your financial future.
So, grab your calendar now and write some of these items in as diary reminders.
It will help you sleep better at night, safe in the knowledge that your future is secure.
If you would like any help organising your financial future, please give us a call on 020 3488 9505.
The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less
than you invested.
Tax and Estate planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.