3 financial areas to review in January
A new year is a great time to take stock and review things. There is never a bad time to make sure all your financials are in order when it comes to your home but, as the calendar ticks over into 2022, it will be a particularly good point to do so. 2021 was a bit unsettled to say the least so any stability you can put in place going into 2022 has got to be a good thing. While everyone has different circumstances there some key areas to look at where we can all benefit from a bit of a review and some planning for the year.
I suppose with health and wellbeing having been on all our minds so much this year that would be a good place to start.
- Life insurance: Despite the absolute importance of life insurance, you would be surprised how many people are not aware of what they have and where it is held. Why not take a few minutes to find the details and make sure that you and your next of kin know what insurance you currently have and how to access it if needed? It is also worth checking that the amount covered is still suitable and that all the details are up to date. Don’t forget that you can change your life insurance provider if there is a benefit in doing so.
- Income protection, critical illness, and key person insurance: Nobody likes to think about long term or critical illness happening to us or someone we would need to care for, but you really do need to make sure that you are covered. Self-employed people and business owners should also review their need or provision for key worker insurance. If your business can’t survive without out, neither can your finances.
Next on the list is your personal finances.
- Counter inflation: The trick with rising costs is to make sure you have budgeted for them in advance. A small rise in inflation and the interest rates can have a big impact if you are slow to react. Both these things seem likely which means you could see an increase in things like your mortgage payments, so if you plan and adjust for them now, it will make life easier if they happen.
- Make saving a habit: Get into the habit of saving again or, if you already so save regularly, do a saving health check. Are you saving enough for you goals or any problems that may come up? Try to up your saving levels if you can. Too much in savings is never going to be a problem but too little can be. This is particularly important if you are looking to buy your first home or moving home.
- Reducing debt is like earning more: Reduce your debt as fast as possible (particularly if Christmas ate into your savings or you hit the credit card). The less debt you must pay every month the better. Not only because of the expenditure but because the interest you pay is lost money.
Homeowners and first-time buyer’s 2022 checklist
Your home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make so you really need to keep on top of the finances.
- Homeowners, check your mortgage details: If you already have a mortgage in place refresh your memory on the details. If your fixed term is coming to an end, you really want to make sure that you have a plan of action to either get a better deal in place when it ends or a good understanding of what will change and when.
- If you are thinking of moving, check out government schemes: There’s a general misconception that government schemes are only for first-time buyers. This isn’t correct, sure, many schemes are aimed to get people on the property ladder but there are schemes for people looking to move home as well. Additionally, now there are some great mortgage deals out there, so check what is on offer because you could find that it is well worth considering a move.
- First time buyers: seriously, check out government schemes – getting on the property ladder might be easier than you think with the help of various schemes that are out there. Additionally, innovative mortgage products like springboard mortgages make it even easier. It may seem like a big hill to climb but it is worth it to get into your own home.
2022 could well be as big a rollercoaster as the last year or it could be stable and a blessed relief from the uncertainty. Either way a good review in January will prepare you for the year.
As always, we are here to help if you need advice on anything related to mortgage and protection – just give us a call.