Mid-year money MOT
15 Jun 2016
It’s hard to believe that we are almost halfway through 2016 but rather than lament the quick passing of time, the middle of the year affords a good opportunity to review your current financial situation.  So here’s my simple five point tips to help with your Mid-year MOT:

1. Financial review – take time out to review your current financial situation. The start of the year is the perfect time to set financial goals, such as clearing certain debts and setting savings targets; however, now is the time to review if these goals are still achievable or whether you need to make a few changes to keep you and your financial objectives on track. 

2. Budget analysis – as well as reviewing your wider financial portfolio, it is also worth giving your current budget a bit of a health check. Does your budget still accurately reflect your incomings and outgoings? If not, update your budget and consider whether these changes impact on your outgoings – has your salary increased? Could you look to add to your savings pot? Has there been a reduction to the amount of money you receive? If yes, are there any luxuries you could look to cut back on to mitigate this reduction?

3. Jingle bells – Christmas may seem far away but before we know it, it will be upon us. Don’t let the festive season sneak up on you or your budget – start saving now. Christmas can really pile on the financial pressure, don’t let it catch you out – even saving a little bit each month can make a real difference at alleviating the pinch at Christmas. 

4. Savings scrutiny – are the savings choices you made at the start of the year still working for you? Are your savings working as hard as they could be? Are you benefitting from the best interest rate available? Perhaps the Easy Access account is a little too tempting to dip into? Or is your Fixed Rate account too rigid to suit your needs? Although ISA season has been and gone it is worth keeping up-to-date with the latest ISA news and products so you can be fully prepped for next year.

5. Happy holiday – rewarding yourself for your hard-work throughout the year is important, all financial frugality and no fun doesn’t make for happy bed fellows. Equally all fun and no financial forethought will lead to a meeting with the bank manager. A summer holiday is a fantastic way to relax and unwind from the stress of everyday but the holiday will have been for nothing if you return home with a suitcase full of debt. Once again, budgeting is the savvy person’s guide to navigating the pitfalls of holiday debt – set yourself a realistic holiday allowance, balance your lavish days against more prudent ones to ensure true financial holiday harmony.