All good financial planning starts with a consideration of your present situation. Without this starting point, you cannot plan for the future or set out a strategy for financial security.
If you are to be your own planner, here's what to do first: make or review a list of all your assets – everything you own – and a list of any and all debts. List all your set monthly outgoings and estimate your discretionary spending.
Examples of set spending might be: cost of mortgage or rent; Council Tax; gas, electricity, phone & mobile; home insurance, car Insurance, life insurance; subscriptions such as gym or other memberships.
Examples of discretionary spending might be: groceries; clothing and shoes; entertainment; holidays; and gifts.
If you find when you do the sums that there’s more going out than coming in, you have two choices: reduce spending or earn more money.
In the short term, look closely at the discretionary spending, and cut out all unnecessary costs to buy some time. If you have considerable debt then you may need advice.
If you have money left at the end of the month, after the calculations have been done, then you have money to plan with, and you can move on to the next questions.
Having established where you are now, the next questions are:
Where do you want to be?
What are the best steps to get there?
Whether it’s owning a Caravaggio or a Camper Van, it’s your dream, and with a clear goal and a thought-through strategy you will control your outcome.
If you can’t face writing all this stuff down, stuff it all in a bag, and let someone who likes looking at numbers do it all for and with you.
Either way, this is how all good financial planning begins and you can see why; what you need are accurate descriptions of your situation, along with clear aims; because with these two you can really plan.
If you would like to speak to an LGBT-friendly financial adviser who will like looking at numbers, please enter your postcode under the map on your right to find an adviser near you.
VW image by Pauline Eccles
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