It’s a New Year and we’re all full of good intentions! This is the time that most people resolve to improve one or more aspects of their life – whether that is spending more time in the gym, eating better or working a bit harder on a good work / life balance. For some people it’s about getting a better handle on their finances. To help you here, we’ve set out 5 actions that will put you in control of your money in 2019.
1. Understand your spending….We know this sounds really tedious and boring, but it will make a world of difference. We suggest that you track every single euro that you spend for a period of two months. Yes that includes every cup of coffee, takeaway dinner and trip to the pub! Of course it also includes all of your big expenses too – your mortgage payment, insurances and energy bills. When you diligently track all of your spending over a period of time, you will quickly identify areas of potential saving that will result in more money in your pocket at the end of every month.
2. Have a budget and reward yourself….Following on from tracking your spending and inevitably finding areas of potential saving, the next step is to set yourself a monthly budget. Some of your big bills won’t change, but maybe for example your energy costs can be re-negotiated? Within your budget, give yourself an allowance for discretionary spending – but do you need to buy two coffees every day? Reward yourself by putting the money saved into a savings account or policy every month. But here’s the important bit – so that you don’t get the chance to fritter it away, set this up to come out of your current account immediately after you are paid. Where will you go on that extra holiday this year?
3. Reduce your tax bill….When you have your pension plan in place it ensures you are saving for retirement in a tax efficient way. Also you may be eligible for tax efficient life assurance and income protection too. But there are other ways of saving tax that are within your control. Make sure you claim tax relief on all of your health expenses and that you are claiming all of the tax credits available to you. These are relatively easy to do now through the Revenue’s online system.
4. Don’t pay interest on your credit card…. Yes you’ve heard this one before… but we still see people who don’t pay off their credit card in full every month. The interest rates on credit card balances are huge! Pay it off, otherwise it’s free money you’re giving to the bank.
5. Get a financial health check…. The above tips are just a taster for getting your finances in order. It might be time to sit down with Con Friel & Company and let us examine every aspect of your financial life. We will hopefully find areas of saving and get your money working harder for you in 2019.
It’s worth getting professional advice when it comes to something as important as your financial plans, so if you are reviewing your financial plans, get in contact with Con Friel & Company on 074 9121301, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by contact form.