The world is all a bit uncertain at the moment on so many fronts, not least of all in relation to the economy and its impact on our finances. Economic growth is slowing, inflation is high, interest rates are rising, and the stock market continues to be volatile.
So, in this uncertain climate, we thought it would be useful to give you a few pointers to keep your finances in order in 2023.
Avoid unnecessary debt
This is a really important place to start. Interest rates are rising, and debt is getting more expensive as a result. Now is not the time to take on unnecessary debt. If you are considering a major purchase, maybe you need to think carefully about how badly you need it right now? Is there an opportunity instead to save for it either fully or partially in advance? When economic times get tough, the less debt you have the better.
Have a budget
Every successful business very carefully prepares in advance for the coming year. They forecast their likely income and develop a careful plan of expenditure. And then they monitor it closely throughout the year, seeking to cut out unnecessary spending and making sure that their income always exceeds their expenses.
Why would it be any different for a household? Too many of us simply have an income coming in every month that we then just spend in a somewhat haphazard way. We have seen time and time again the power of a household budget. With a bit of planning and attention, it is amazing the level of savings that can be achieved when people think carefully before spending money. Apart from in exceptional circumstances, if it's not in the budget it doesn't get spent.
Get your money working for you
If you are fortunate enough to have some spare cash that might be sitting in a bank account, maybe it's time to think about getting this money working harder for you. After all, with inflation running at around 10% and deposit interest rates creeping up ever so slowly, the real value of your savings is falling rapidly each year.
We know it's daunting to think about looking at other asset classes such as company shares etc. at the moment. However with the recent falls in markets, some commentators compare the current lower market prices as similar to a discount sale. We know the level of caution though that is needed and that moving your money from cash into the markets is a big decision. We would be delighted to discuss your options with you, and help you identify where best to keep your money based on your own personal appetite for risk and how long you plan to save for.
Don’t stop saving
This is such an important point. Savings that you make today, be they for an education fund for the kids, an emergency fund in case something unexpected happens or indeed saving towards your retirement will benefit you hugely over time. The power of time and compound interest is enormous when it comes to saving. Albert Einstein once described compound interest as “the eighth wonder of the world!” So even when times are tough, your future self will thank you for continuing to save today.
We hope that these tips help you to have a very successful 2023 in relation to your finances
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