Fundamentally, a lot of life comes down to setting priorities. Just as you can only live each moment in time once, so you can only spend each penny you have once, hence it is often wise to think about how best to use the time and income at your disposal.
Solid financial management covers both the pennies and the pounds
The small decisions we make every day can have a huge impact on our overall financial health. It’s easy to think of this in terms of getting the best price for whatever we buy and there’s certainly some truth in that, but really we should also be thinking about what it is that we buy and how much of it we actually need (or genuinely want). In short, we should always be aware of how we are spending our money and making sure that we get the best value for it, even if this means going somewhat out of our comfort zone, such as by trying new brands instead of sticking with what we know.
Small sacrifices can add up to big wins
Whether it’s your morning coffee from a well-known chain, a magazine as a reward for braving the supermarket or a glass of wine each evening to celebrate surviving the day, the fact is that “treat” purchases are entirely discretionary and the more of them you make, the more of a chunk they can take out of your overall finances. Cutting back on these small pleasures can allow you to dedicate more of your money to larger goals.
Life is for living but peace of mind is priceless
If we worried about everything which could possibly happen to us in the course of a day, we might never get out of bed, but all the same the reality is that each and every day, people do get injured, fall sick and even die of causes other than old age. People also become victims of crime, have accidents or see their pets cause damage or become ill. Because of this, unglamorous as it may be, having the right insurance cover in place should usually be a high priority for anyone who has anyone or anything they care about enough to want to protect and that should probably start with protecting themselves. Income protection insurance and critical illness cover can both provide money in times of need. The former usually covers periods when you are unable to work through accident or illness and may provide some cover in the event of unemployment. The latter pay out in the event of the holder being diagnosed with one of a range of serious illnesses. Private medical insurance may also be a wise investment, even with the NHS, dental bills can be expensive and waiting lists for treatment can be much longer than you’d ideally like, particularly if you’re self-employed and only get paid if you work.
After this, you need to think about the people, pets and possessions in your life, to decide which, if any, require specific protection in the form of insurance. If you have any dependents then they should almost certainly be next on your list of priorities, hence life insurance and medical insurance for them could both be good options. If you have pets, pet insurance could save you some pain if they need expensive veterinary treatment. After that, it’s a question of seeing whether or not your belongings also need protected and, if so, thinking about what protection is best for them. For example, even if you have the option to include your bicycle in with your home contents insurance, you may find it better to get specialist insurance as this may include third-party cover and legal support in the event of a claim being made against you.
There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against loss of income. For impartial information about insurance, please visit the website at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.