Having a financial plan in place early on can make it easier to manage your money further down the line

It's never too early to make a financial plan. The sooner you work out your goals and start following a plan to achieve them, the more likely you are to succeed. Following the 10 steps below could help you to gain control of your money, while living the lifestyle you want.

1. Work out where your money's going

First, note down all of your outgoings. Next, add up your regular income over the same time period, and set that against your outgoings. Knowing what you're spending will help you to feel in control of your finances, and make it easier to see where you can make savings. If you've got lots of expenses each month, it might be easier to use an online tool like the Money Advice Service Budget Planner.

2. Establish your goals

This should include short-term goals like saving for a holiday, but also longer term aims too, such as buying your own home, starting a family, setting up your own business, and – although it may seem decades away – retirement by a particular age. Be realistic, and try to be specific about the amounts of money you're likely to need.

3. Consider seeking financial advice

You can work through several, if not all, of these steps by yourself, but professional financial advice could help you to select financial products that best suit your needs. Recent research by Royal London found that people who had taken advice were, on average, around £47,000 better off a decade or so later in terms of their total wealth.

4. Decide on your tolerance to risk

Working out whether you're naturally suited to a low, medium or high-risk investment strategy will help you to grow your money, and sleep at night. The team at Kellands can help you to get an idea of what your attitude to risk is.

5. Build up an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses

It's a good idea to have a pot of money set aside in an easy-to-access account, just in case you need it. Other sources of ‘quick’ money, such as payday loans, can have a negative impact on your credit score, making it more difficult and expensive to get a mortgage, or borrow money over the long term.

6. Take control of your debts

If you've made any big purchases, like a car, you may have outstanding loans and balances on credit cards. It could save you money to check which debt is costing you most in interest, and concentrate on paying that off first.

7. Start saving

Once you're on top of your debts, you can begin putting money towards the things you want to achieve. Using tax-efficient schemes such as ISAs can help your money to grow more quickly.

8. Protect yourself

You may struggle financially if you fall ill or have an accident that prevents you from working for a long time. Income protection insurance can replace some of your income in these circumstances.

9. Start saving for retirement

It may seem a long way off, but the sooner you start, the longer your money has to grow. If you've been enrolled in a pension scheme by your employer, make sure you stay in it, and find out if they'll contribute more if you do.

10. Be flexible

Your goals are likely to change over time, so be prepared to adapt your financial plan. Where possible, use financial products that will allow you to make changes without getting a penalty, and review your progress at least once a year to make sure you're on course to meet your goals.

Kellands has a highly qualified team who can help you to put a financial plan in place which will help you to achieve your future goals.

This week as part of CISI Financial Planning Week - kellands supports financial planning week - Kellands are offering free financial planning (on the phone or on Zoom) which will help you to feel more confident and secure about your finances and future. In these uncertain times it has never been more important for people to review their finances and seek specialist advice on how to manage their money.

Contact paul.edwards@kelland.co.uk today to arrange your session.

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