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Where to start your financial planning - plan ahead

As the cost of living increases more and more people are becoming aware of their financial situation and how they can improve it. Knowing where to start and what stage you are at can be a daunting task, having a professional who is able to assist you with your planning will be invaluable to you. Ultimately, where you start your financial planning will be different based on what you currently do. So let’s look at the basics.

How to plan your finances

The best way to plan your finances is to have a spreadsheet, or list, of your expenses. These are the bills that have to be paid each month. You can then create a total at the bottom of the page.

In another section of the spreadsheet or page write down your list of incomings. This is your monthly salary after tax and pension contributions, any additional income you receive and the total at the bottom.

Use this to guide you on how much you have coming in and how much you have leaving your account each month. Any income that is left over is money you have to play with. This can be split across multiple “pots” such as savings, goals, as well as enjoying life.

How do I set financial goals?

When setting financial goals you need to look at where you are currently and what you want to achieve. If you plan on buying a house, setting a goal to save the deposit and additional costs will give you a financial target to achieve. You can use your financial plan to assess how much you can feasibly set aside each month and work out how long it will take to reach that goal.

Setting a goal doesn’t have to be set in stone. If your financial situation changes you can always reassess and see what works best for you. Having a mixture between short term goals and long term goals may be beneficial to you. Read our recent blog here on goal setting.

What stage of life am I in and how does this affect my financial plans?

The stage of life you are in - according to our stages plan - typically depends on your age. We use this as someone who is just starting out (typically in their 20s) will have just left university or education, and will be in a different financial situation than someone who is reaching retirement age.

As you can see, your age can play a factor in where you are financially and as such, this will change your financial plans. Ensuring you are aware of your financial situation and how you want to achieve your financial goals is an important part of planning. Speaking with a financial planner to help you plan how to achieve those goals will be beneficial to everyone, no matter what stage you are at.

How can a financial planner help me with my financial planning?

A financial planner can help you evaluate your income and expenses, they will work with you to understand your priorities and goals. Once they have a grasp on your current situation and plans, they will work with you to lay out an actionable plan which will help you achieve those goals.

They can advise you on other aspects of your finances and how you can make the most out of products and services. Having someone who understands your needs and goals will better enable them to advise on the best way to achieve your goals.

Here at Schofield, we work with you to help you achieve your goals. Independent and chartered, our team pride ourselves on our ethics and honesty. No matter what stage you are in, speak to us now to see how we can help you get on track with your finances.

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