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The Money Column - ISSUE 2 (MK)

Welcome to Spring, how’s it going?

Hi, my name is Charlotte, and I am your resident money columnist!

So Q1 of 2021 is coming to an end and let’s be honest it’s been as weird as the

majority of the previous year! Let’s hope that we are now on the road to some

sort of normality...I am very much welcoming the brighter days and the sunshine.

At the beginning of the year we talked about making money goals, whether that

be for paying down debt, saving for your first home or just an extravagant purchase.

As I’ve mentioned before, break it down into small bite-size chunks, it makes it more manageable then.

Recap on repaying your debt quicker:

  • Pay yourself enough to live, beyond that chop a chunk off your credit card - it will feel good next month, trust me

  • Check that you are paying either 0% on all credit cards, if not, can you balance transfer? *transfer fees will apply*

  • Check your bank statements, with a highlighter, are you spending double on things you don’t need ie. phone insurance that is covered by your bank?

Take this quarter to get in touch with your money if you haven’t already. We can’t get a handle on it if we know nothing about it, right?

April 6th 2021:

On April 6th, we enter the new financial year. What do you want to achieve by the end of it?

Take some time to think about this... not only do we want to plan some ‘stuff’ for now (especially after the last year we’ve had) but we must plan for tomorrow and the future too. I did a recent poll on LinkedIn where I asked “at what age do you think it is important to start planning/investing for your retirement?”

The results came in that 70% of people believe that they should be contributing to a future investment from the ages of 20-30. My follow-up post is going to be, how many of that age do. Do you? A close second was 22% of people between 30-40s.

I’m often talking to my clients about the different things that we can incorporate into supporting our future financial selves. This being, property, pensions, general savings and stocks and shares ISAs which are amongst the most common forms. Each plays a really important part but pensions, in particular, are, by far the most cost-effective.Did you know that, when you pay into a pension, whether you’re employed, self-employed or a limited company director, that the tax relief benefits are immense.

When you contribute to a pension, HMRC gives you tax back, or relief. There are not many things in life that give us these types of advantages/free money that could otherwise not be had. You can have multiple pensions but make sure you keep track of these and update addresses when you move! There is a very large sum of unclaimed pension savings at the moment and every penny counts when we come to retire!

We are limited on how much we can pay into different investments in each of the tax years. Now that a new one is beginning, make sure you take advice and don’t lose out on an allowance that will probably benefit you in the future.

Following the budget announcement earlier this year, if I’m honest, the only thing worth noting, for now, is that the Government is launching a new help to buy guarantee scheme for first time buyers, which means that people are going to be able to buy houses with only a 5% deposit! We aren’t certain what these products look like yet but lenders have agreed to start coming to market in April with their T&Cs around these. Take some advice, get off to a good start and know your options. If you’re wanting to buy a house this year, the market seems to be a busy place at the moment so create a proper plan.

As always, I am happy to answer questions and have a general coffee chat with anybody who needs my advice. Thanks for checking in.

Head over to my Instagram @charwalters_finance

& my blog www.fashionablefinance.co.uk

to check out my regular and free financial tips!

Get in contact....

Email: charlotte@fashionablefinance.co.uk.

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