The Easter holidays are a lot like the Christmas holidays – only, much better.
Rather than the doom-and-gloom of January looming over us, we have spring, sunshine and barbecues to look forward to. We still have an excuse to indulge in a few too many chocolates, just minus the pressure (not to mention expense) of present buying.
The Easter holidays are a time to relax and enjoy some downtime, which also gives you the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the financial goals you set yourself in the New Year. And if you didn’t make any resolutions on January 1st, now could be the perfect time to set some!
Are you on track?
Four months in, you might be making solid headway to achieving your financial goals for 2017, or there might still be room for improvement. Are you managing to clear debt as planned? Have you started to build a decent emergency fund? Are you saving as much you hoped for a deposit for your first home?
Consider this a (slightly delayed) quarterly financial review. If you’re well on your way to reaching a number of your goals, then by all means celebrate! Your goal is made up of many smaller goals, and celebrating passing each milestone will keep you focused and motivated.
Equally as important, however, is to put your finger on where progress is lacking and find ways to pick up the pace. Not saving as much each month as you wanted to be? Time to scrutinise your spending for Q1 – go through all outgoings with a fine-tooth comb, printing off statements and gathering receipts. You’ll then be able to pinpoint what you’re spending too much on, and devise a plan of action that’ll help you save more and get you back on track to achieving your goals.
Where do you see yourself four months’ from now? And no, “Sipping cocktails on a beach in Mauritius” is not the answer we’re looking for! We mean, where do you see yourself financially? How many more of those mini goals do you hope to have accomplished? Picture your ideal financial position, and work out what has to happen to get you there.
Things may have changed since the start of 2017 –a marriage proposal, pregnancy or redundancy, for example, could mean that you now need to set new, financial goals for the future. These might even take precedence over those you set in January, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
What are you waiting for?
No excuses… put the Easter egg down, and get to work planning your financial future!
Spring is the season of clean slates and fresh starts. As businesses start putting their plans for the new financial year into action, so should you be making strides into achieving your goals for 2017 and beyond.
Speaking of the new financial year, if one of your saving initiatives involves saving your money in a Cash or Stocks and Shares ISA – or both – there’s a new limit of £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year, up from £15,240 from the previous tax year. So don’t wait around… start taking advantage of it today!
Make the very most of the Easter holiday downtime by carrying out a personal, financial review, re-assessing your goals and possibly setting new ones for your future. As soon as that’s done, you can get out and enjoy that spring sunshine (we hope…)!