In the week following ‘Financial Planning Week’, the Institute of Financial Planning has published a very helpful article to answer the above question.
“Financial Planning is an ongoing process to help you make sensible decisions about money that can help you achieve your goals in life; it’s not just about buying products like a pension or an ISA.
It might involve putting appropriate wills in place to protect your family, thinking about how your family will manage without your income should you fall ill or die prematurely, spending money differently, but it involves thinking about all of these things together i.e. your ‘plan’. You can build a plan on your own, or if your needs are more complex you might want the help of a Financial Planner.
Create a sound financial plan in six steps
- Establish your goals in life – short, medium and long term
- Work out what assets and liabilities you have – write them down
- Evaluate your current financial position – how close are you to achieving your goals
- Develop your plan – create a “route map” for achieving your different goals
- Implement your plan – make the changes and make it happen
- Monitor and review your plan at least yearly and make adjustments when needed
Start by working out your goals in life, in the short, medium and long term. Prioritise them, and think about the likely cost of those goals and when you will need the money, so you can start to plan your finances to work out how to achieve them. Don’t forget you also have to plan for some of the hurdles you may have to overcome too. It’s about getting organised; being in control of your finances rather than letting your finances control you.
By planning your finances to meet your goals you will:
- Have a much greater confidence of where you are going in life
- Reduce your stress levels and start to enjoy life more
- Gain control and peace of mind through knowing whether you’re on track for the future you want for you and your family”