Always putting things off to the last minute?
You’re not alone. We Brits spend, on average, 11 hours a week procrastinating, a study* shows, which amounts to 24 days a year. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common thing we procrastinate about is planning for our financial future.
Apparently, procrastination makes us more creative; but before you start using that as an excuse, you need to know which things on your to-do list you shouldn’t be putting off.
If you have kids, it’s not just your financial future you need to plan for – it’s theirs, too. You might be busy washing uniforms, packing lunchboxes and doing the school run (all whilst holding down a job), but you need to try and set some time aside to plan how to secure a better financial future for you all.
Think short-term before looking at the long-term. Are you managing to save a decent amount of money each month, or are you spending too much? If the latter is true, you need to assess your outgoings, find out where to cut back, and set a monthly budget going forward. Check out family orientated money-saving blogs for some handy tips.
Make sure you have a few months’ worth of living expenses saved up to cover potential mishaps. If the family car packs in or the boiler goes bust, having an emergency fund in place will get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Cast your mind to 15, perhaps 20 years from now. Your youngest is about to get behind the wheel for the very first time, your middle child is soon to start university, while your eldest has plans to get on the property ladder. Hopefully, these milestones won’t all happen at the same time; but still, as parents, there’s no doubt you’ll want to give them a financial leg up.
Long-term goals often cost the most, which is why you need to start planning for them as soon as possible. And don’t forget your and your partner’s goals, either; someday your kids will fly the nest and you might want to travel the world, up sticks and move to the countryside, or pursue a passion you’ve never had time for.
There’s no time like the present…
When your kids are out for the day or you find yourself with a free afternoon, you can start planning for the future!
How about investing?
For any long-term goals, you could consider a long-term savings option such as a Zurich Stocks and Shares ISA.
Investing your money can be a great way to build your savings over time; you could benefit from tax-efficient growth with the potential for higher returns than traditional cash savings. But investing isn’t without its risks – your investment could fall, meaning you might not get back the money you put in in the first place.
If you’re new to investing, there are two important things to bear in mind. First, investing is for the long term; you want to give your money as long as possible to grow. A longer timeframe will also help to smooth out the ups and downs of the market, giving your investment time to recover from a possible fall in value.
Second, it’s important to invest regularly and consistently. So, if you’ve worked out that you can save a certain amount a month by cutting back, you may want to invest that money and potentially benefit from greater returns.
The new tax year means a new allowance for ISAs. For the 2017/18 tax year you have the opportunity to put-away even more in tax efficient savings because there’s a new, increased, ISA limit of £20,000. So the sooner you start investing, the sooner your money can start working for you throughout the year. When it comes to investing in your future, don’t let procrastination stand in the way!
The Zurich Stocks and Shares ISA is provided by Sterling ISA Managers Limited, trading as Zurich. Sterling ISA Managers Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales under company number 02395416. Registered Office: The Grange, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 8XX.
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