After an unpredictable and rocky 2020, the new year inspires renewed confidence, especially with a Covid-19 vaccine currently being rolled out.
Reflect on what is important to you
The pandemic has cast our priorities in an entirely new light and now is the ideal time to make sure your personal finance strategy lines up with what’s important to you. When you set your finance goals for 2020 this time last year, Covid-19 was only just starting to make the news and few people could have foreseen what was coming next. It is worthwhile asking yourself how your priorities have changed in the last 12 months, to help you assess your current situation and set goals for the next 12.
Switch and save
In 2021, make a commitment to shop around to get the best value cover that suits your needs. Too many people simply accept their provider’s renewal quote, and this could be costing them hundreds each year.
From broadband and car insurance to health cover and your mortgage, reviewing the market can make a big difference to your budget.
Mortgages are one key area where switching your provider can save you thousands over the life of your loan. In Ireland we continue to have the highest mortgage interest rates in the EU, so as interest rates fluctuate, it makes sense to check you have the most competitive rate. Switching your mortgage provider is pretty straightforward and, in some cases, the provider will even cover the cost of your legal fees to make the switch!
Reviewing your health insurance before you renew is another important area where you can save money, but it is critical you switch before your renewal date else you will be locked in to your current plan for another 12 months. With more than 300 plans on the market in Ireland, you could save hundreds by simply switching to another plan or provider.
Investments vs savings
In 2020, the sheer lack of opportunity to get out and spend money unwittingly turned us into a nation of savers. As a result, bank deposits rose to unprecedented levels, with banks now introducing negative interest rates to discourage savers sitting on their deposits. While many people feel safe with their money sitting in a deposit account, the reality is that the value of that money is being chipped away by inflation and in some cases, negative interest rates.
Despite economic flux, investment solutions can represent a much better option for growing your money than leaving it on deposit. There are plenty of options available to suit your individual risk profile and help protect your savings from being slowly eaten away.
Make a plan to deal with debt
After a pretty bleak year, it’s no wonder we wanted to have a little extra cheer at Christmas! If you happened to overspend, now is the time to make a plan to deal with your debt. You can tackle expensive credit rates by switching your debt over to a balance transfer credit card. This can save you hundreds and help you get your debt under control.
Keep your plans for the future in check
No matter how uncertain things may look right now, one thing is for sure; you are going to get older, so continuing to save for retirement is a must if you want to have a good standard of living. You can keep your retirement goals on track simply by reviewing how well your pension fund is performing, and whether your fund’s fees and charges are acceptable based on what it is returning. You could end up saving thousands across the life of your pension savings journey simply by reviewing your fund regularly and ensuring it is performing in line with your goals and expectations.
Talk to a financial advisor
If reviewing your financial situation feels at all daunting, you don’t have to go it alone. Our team at Hennelly Finance offers financial advice, support and even a free initial financial check-up, so getting 2021 off to a strong start doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Visit our website at hennellyfinance.ie or call us on 091 670 123.