How do you plan your finances by season? There is no set order in which to deal with your finances. However breaking things down into months or seasons can make planning your finances easier and more fun. The financial advisers at Sterling & Law have broken down financial planning into seasons to make the task less daunting and most importantly, doable. Seasonal financial planning in bite size chunks!
What financial planning should I do in January and February?
January is the hangover month and probably the most stressful time of year financially. Payday comes early in December and late in January. This could mean waiting a whole six weeks between paydays. This, compounded by the spending that went on over Christmas and New Year, and January can be a tough month. February is no easier. New year’s celebrations are over and there’s now nothing to get excited about. The weather won’t help!
What to do: This is a great time to take stock of your finances and create a budget for the New Year. Explore your income and expenditure patterns and adjust recover if you have overspent. Set out your budget for the year and plan to stick to it.
Related reading: How to manage money better during the cost of living crisis
What financial planning should I do in March and April?
Spring means opportunity! Your mood should be lighter. This is a popular time to explore saving and investment opportunities, particularly tax efficient ones. If you don’t use your ISA or pension allowances, you’ll lose them. If you are self-employed, it’s also the time to consider getting your accounts ready.
Related reading: Preparing your accounts
What to do: if you’re employed, revisit your personal or workplace pension contributions. Are you contributing enough? Can you take advantage of any unused tax breaks? Savers will have a final opportunity to top up their ISAs before the end of the tax year. Being organised at this time of year will give you a spring in your step – no pun intended!
What financial planning should I do in the Summer?
There’s lots to do in the summer, so watching your expenditure should be a priority. This is another time of year when credit cards and savings can take a hammering. Hopefully the budgeting done earlier in the year will allow you to take the holiday you’ve planned for.
What to do: Keep tabs on holiday expenditure. Heating bills should have dropped considerably leaving you with a bit more headroom. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
Related reading: Financial advice – could I do it myself? Here are five tips.
What financial planning should I do in September and October?
Things get serious again after the summer break. Kids are back at school and it’s time to plan. This is generally the busiest time for our financial advisers. Most of our meetings centre around creating a budget, planning for retirement or topping up insurance policies.
What to do: October is financial planning month and a good time for those who are new to the world of financial planning to engage a financial adviser. They could help you create a financial plan.
Related reading: 5 ways a financial adviser could make you wealthier
What financial planning should I do in November and December?
This is review time. You have had a full year for your financial plans to bed in. It’s now time to check to ensure you are on track to meet your financial goals. Things to review would include your budget, emergency funds, credit cards, mortgage, your pensions, insurances and whether your Will needed updating.
What to do: Lots to do and it can be daunting. But the feedback we get at Sterling & Law is that clients who face their fears and tackle their finances head on are more likely to get a feeling of peace of mind than those who stick their heads in the sand. Things rarely take care of themselves without action. Hopefully breaking things down into bite size chunks will help.
Related reading: Fact: Working with a financial adviser can make you happier