At the start of February, we held a 'Financial Fitness' event for the Yorkshire region’s business people - giving them some top tips and food for thought around some of the nation’s biggest financial headaches.
From budgeting and pensions, to investments, our Principal, Louise Woollard, took to the stage - at the Manor House in Lindley, Huddersfield - where over 20 delegates signed up to find out how to become savvier with their money.
The workshop was split into two sections - financial and personal well-being. The second part of the session was led by Louise’s good friend - personal trainer and ambassador of the Jo Cox Foundation - Kim Leadbeater.
Her talk centred around the importance of employing a holistic approach to health and taking care of yourself physically, socially and mentally - in addition to the positive impact getting involved within your community can have.
If you were there, we hope you enjoyed it - and the below should be a nice recap - but if you missed it, you can catch up on our top eight takeaways below...
1. Don’t ignore your finances - This might sound odd, but the majority of people focus on the money they have coming in and tend to forget about - or ignore - their outgoings.
2. Set a budget - One of the most pivotal steps in becoming more ‘in control’ of your money is reviewing what you spend now and establishing a realistic budget. In truth, many people don’t know what they spend - but this is where problems start to arise. That bi-weekly coffee from Starbucks can soon add up to £30 per month - over £300 per year - so drilling down the money you’re paying out into ‘essentials’ and ‘non-essentials’ is the best way to show how much of your cash is ‘committed’. In short, don’t ignore the drinks and snacks when creating your budget!
3. Think about apps - In today’s digital world, it’s never been easier to spend and not feel like you’re actually paying for anything - thanks to contactless, we see our money less ‘in the flesh’ than ever! That’s where technology can help though! Some banks allow you to create in-app budgets, helping you maintain your willpower and stick to your financial goals.
4. Separate out your accounts - Okay, so the theory behind this one is that if you have all your money in one place, you’re more likely to overspend. By setting up different pots - for both medium and long-term savings - you can make your finances less ‘visible’. As a result, you’re less likely to feel tempted to spend it.
5. Get into the habit - "When should I start saving?" is one of the most common questions we get asked as financial advisers, and the answer is simple; the earlier the better. But when it comes to the time of month that’s best to put those pennies away, it’s definitely on the day you’re paid. This means you’re regularly factoring savings into your budgeting - it’s both an effective and simple way to tackle the when-to-save quandary.
6. Consider the future generations - Did you know that anyone - no matter their age - can have a pension? So, if you put the maximum of £2,880 per year into a pension fund for a child from birth until they turn 18 - and basic tax relief would boost this to £3,600 they could have a pot of over £1 million by the age of 65, assuming an annual growth rate of 5% net charges and, that’s definitely some food for thought.
This figure is only an example and is not guaranteed - this is not a minimum or maximum amount. What you will get back depends on how your investment grows and on the tax treatment of the investment. You could get back more or less than this.
7. Prioritise the planet - What’s the point in having money if you’re spending in a world that’s not worth living in? That’s why socially responsible investments are the way forward - it’s is an investment strategy which considers both financial return plus social and/or environmental benefit. Essentially, it’s using money as a force for good. In fact, did you know that moving your pension savings to sustainable funds can be 27x more effective at lowering your carbon footprint?*
8. Appreciate that money is one part of the holistic equation - Getting your finances in order is one thing, but the bigger well-being picture is more than money alone. We know that regular exercise and healthy eating are important, but getting involved in your community is a great way to boost personal morale and feel like you’re ‘doing your bit’. The most crucial thing to remember is that unless you’re feeling good about yourself, you’re not in a position to help others - so, stop putting yourself at the bottom of that ever growing list and start reducing your stress levels.
A big thank you to Kim for delivering such a great talk and also to everyone who attended on the day - we look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events later on in the year.
Keep your eye on Louise’s LinkedIn for further updates...
The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.
The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.
*Nordea, Environment Responsible investment report, 27/06/2018
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