Make the most of your money in 2015
It’s a new year and traditionally now is the time to commit to some well-intentioned resolutions. We probably all set some goals; for some it might be to spend more time in the gym, for others it might be about getting a better work / life balance. So in this vein, we’ve put our thinking caps on and identified 8 areas for you to consider that will help you make the most of your money in 2015.
1. Get a full financial healthcheck
This is where we can really help you! We can help you to look at your particular circumstances and your financial objectives and then help you to get your money working harder for you. This might be through wiser investment choices or lower cost policies – there really are lots of areas in which we can potentially help you!
2. Create and follow a household budget
It’s really important to know how much money is coming in and going out every month and where you are spending it. Once you get a handle on this, you can start planning your personal finances in a structured way. This will help you to both manage your day to day spending, and will also help you to plan better for the bigger costs you face such as buying a house, a car or planning your holidays.
3. Reduce your tax bill
Take a lot of care completing your tax return – have you claimed all of your medical expenses and other deductible expenses? Lots of people fail to claim back all of their allowable expenses – a little effort might result in a nice refund cheque from the Revenue Commissioners!
Also, have you maximised your pension contribution in order to reduce your tax bill and also to save for the future? Have you claimed tax relief on your income protection premiums? What about your life cover – some policies qualify for tax relief…can you avail of this? Ask your independent financial adviser to review all your policies to ensure you’re availing of all the tax reliefs and other potential savings available to you.
4. Pay off your credit card every month
We all know this one but it is surprising how many people still run up and keep credit card balances that sit just below their spending limit. With such penal interest rates, credit card debt eats away quickly at your personal budgets. Make a big effort to reduce or better still, to clear your credit card balance and then make sure your credit card bill is paid off in full at the end of the month, every single month.
5. Protect your biggest asset – your income!
It’s your income that enables you to maintain your lifestyle and indeed covers the cost of the insurance you have for your car, house and indeed your life itself. But what happens if you lose your income? Income protection provides you with a replacement income in the event of an illness or accident and provides you with the comfort of not having to worry about money if or when you get sick.
6. Make sure you’re not paying too much for your life assurance
Premium rates for many protection products such as life assurance have reduced significantly in recent years. On top of this, since the end of 2012, premium rates for all insurance related products are the same for both men and women. This will result in potential savings in some areas.. Ask your financial adviser to do a review of your protection portfolio to see if there are any areas of potential savings for you with your protection products.
7. Make spare cash work harder for you
If you’re in the fortunate position to have some surplus funds, it might be some money left over every month or indeed a little nest egg set aside, make sure that it is working as hard for you as possible. Don’t just leave it sitting in your current account. Check out the different deposit rates on offer with your bank or better still, get an independent financial adviser to do the work for you and find the best rates to suit your circumstances.
8. Know the risk of your investments
Make sure that any investments you have in place reflect your personal appetite for risk. How important is capital protection to you? Will you be able to sleep if the values of your investments fall in the short term? Ensure your financial adviser has designed an investment portfolio that reflects your own appetite for risk.
We’re here to help you make sense of each and every one of these money saving ideas and to help you to manage your finances better in 2015. Please give us a call and we’ll work out how to get your money working for you as hard as possible.
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