The start of another year is a popular time for people to think about their personal finances and reset money goals for the 12 months ahead whether that’s to pay off credit cards or loans or save for a holiday.
As the New Year approaches, Britons are urged to not only try and keep on top of their bills but to also be able to use their salary to boost their well-being and future.
Gianpaolo Mantini, financial expert of wealth management firm Saltus, outlines the five pillars to follow to guarantee financial peace of mind and prosperity.
As the year comes to a close, it could be the best time to think about a financial reset and starting a fresh.
Knowing what gives life meaning and purpose is the key to financial happiness
Having clearly defined objectives and understanding what motivates individuals are both essential to financial well-being.
For someone to achieve their financial goals they need to be motivated by intrinsic rather than extrinsic reasons: so what motivates them at a deeper rather than superficial reason?
Mr Mantini said: “Some people think that they might be motivated by the desire for a flash car, or I want a big house or stuff like that. But it doesn’t make people happy, and well-being is about being happy.
“It’s therefore important to find out what motivates you on an intrinsic level in order to understand how money can contribute to your happiness and wellbeing.”
Budgeting is not a dirty word
He explained that budgeting has become a dirty word and suggests one can’t afford something. However, budgeting means having an awareness of what one is spending their money on.
Mr Martini said: “Ask yourself, ‘What is more important to me is it having this item? Or is it being able to achieve the fulfilment of a long-held aspiration – which is more important to me?’ and then making spending choices based upon that framework.”
Do you have a disaster mitigation plan in place?
Having a disaster mitigation plan in place ensures there is not a financial disaster on top of a bereavement.
It will be things like making sure people are aware of their employer’s Death in Service plan which will be part of their employee package. It’s also about making sure they have, for example, life insurance cover in place, critical illness cover and income protection. “It’s not exciting but it’s important,” he added.
Security & clarity
It’s important plans are in place to ensure security and clarity for those left behind. People should ensure their wills are accurate and up-to-date and that instructions are left in the case of lost physical capacity.
Financial happiness is a journey
Mr Martini said: “It’s important to remember that financial happiness is a journey so you need to have a destination in mind but appreciate that the location might change over time. It’s also important to have a financial plan, so you may well need ISAs or stocks and shares investments.
But it’s important to have a destination, and goal in sight – is it to retire at 50 or to work for a charity once you hit a certain age? If you don’t have a destination in mind, you won’t know when to put more fuel in the car or where to find a petrol station.
And it’s important to remember that although we can have a general idea of where we’re trying to get to, each year there will be some minor course corrections to make.
“What you want now, versus when you’re 47 or 57 is going to change, that journey the destination will change. That’s why you need to have a financial plan that changes with your needs and can be reviewed and altered in a positive way.”