With stock-taking in full swing, each turn of life events can be an ideal time to pause and reflect on the year you’ve had and set some goals for the next one.
Are you ready to give your financial life a once-over? Here’s a checklist to get you started.
Is saving more money one of your top priorities, but things aren’t quite going as planned?
If you didn’t save much in the past year, it’s important to understand what went wrong. Unexpected expenses? Lack of budgeting? Or perhaps you have re-invested your savings in that long-awaited vacation?
By understanding why you have fallen a bit short on your savings goals, you can set the foundations to create a more successful strategy. And if you need some directions, keep us in mind; our SHARE financial advisers can help you devise a realistic savings plan. This time may be the charm.
Your budgeting habits
Where did your money go this year? Did you spend it towards something that’s important to you or do you feel that impulse buys took over?
Take a good look at your financial situation, factoring in fixed monthly bills as well as discretionary funds. Sometimes, the ‘money leaks’ are immediately apparent; other times, you may need to question your attitude to money, and make adjustments here and there.
Remember, you don’t have to revolutionise your entire financial life all at once. Creating positive habits often starts with small changes. Once again, please feel free to contact our team – SHARE financial advisers can provide you with an external perspective, without the emotional weight that money decisions often carry.
When it comes to your income, did the past year live up to your expectations? If you received a raise or bonus, how did you make use of it?
You may not have a specific income goal in mind, but taking a moment to assess how you feel about it is important. For example, you might find that you can use some of it to reach certain key financial goals, like paying off your mortgage faster. Or you may decide that you want (or need) more. What would it take you to move your career up a gear? Have you ever thought about starting a side hustle or a business of your own?
By setting attainable income goals, you can find ways to earn more.
Home ownership is the quintessential Kiwi dream, and if you have a mortgage, you already know that home loans are great tools to help you get a slice of it. However, they are also one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll ever make.
That’s why scheduling annual mortgage reviews with your SHARE mortgage adviser is key. It’s about ensuring that this crucial component of your life is still working for you and your financial future.
Start by asking yourself some questions. For example, if your fixed interest rate is due to expire in a few months’ time, are you looking to re-fix – or maybe take advantage of the floating rate “window” to pay a lump sum and reduce the outstanding balance.
Have your circumstances recently changed enough to require you to refinance your existing mortgage? If you’re planning to sell your house or grow your property portfolio, are your finances ready to take on the opportunity? And last, but not least, can you put a strategy in place to pay off your home loan faster?
We can help you answer any mortgage questions you may have, so please be sure to get in touch at your earliest convenience.
Your investment plans
Why are you investing? Is it for a long-term goal, like retirement, or some shorter-term ones, like buying a new house or the car of your dreams? Is your investment portfolio set up for the most suitable risk and expected return?
With a SHARE adviser in your corner, a regular review of your investment plans can help you monitor your progress and make tweaks where appropriate. You can work out whether you are on track, or if any changes happening in your life require an update to your financial strategy.
For example, as you enter a different life stage or your goals simply evolve, you may want to lower or increase the degree of risk involved in your investments. A SHARE investment adviser is here to help you check your asset mix, and help you make informed decisions based on your current goals, time horizon, and tolerance for volatility.
Is your insurance coverage included on the year-end review list yet? As we said, your life may change – and sometimes even faster than you’d expect. This can create gaps in your cover or pave the way for potential savings.
So take a moment to think about what has changed since you last reviewed your cover. You may have had a change in marital status or welcomed a baby into your family. You might have bought a house, quit smoking or changed jobs. These are just some examples of events that can trigger the need to review your insurance.
Has anything come to your mind as yet? Get in touch – our SHARE insurance advisers can help you identify whether there are any gaps to fill or premium savings to make.
It’s all about your goals
With so many different aspects colliding, assessing your financial life in its entirety can be challenging. But it can also form the basis of your goal setting. The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. By spending some time with your SHARE financial adviser, you can get a better understanding of where your financial life’s at, and develop a course of action. If there’s one resolution you keep this year, let it be a financial review.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in these articles is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your specific situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in these articles, please use your discretion and seek independent advice from your SHARE Financial Adviser.