Being able to provide for your family is any good parent’s aim. It’s not just about the kids though; you need to make sure your future is stable, too. Thus, any financial plan essentially boils down to two common goals: saving for retirement and saving for your children. Whether you have a large or small family, this list of money-savvy tips will help you get more out of your money in the future.
When it comes to saving, it’s good practice to start saving as early as possible to give yourself the best possible head-start. If you manage to put away 10-15% of your salary each month, the savings by the time you reach retirement will be immense. To make any savings count however, you’ll need to avoid debt as best you can. If you’re paying back credit card or personal loan debt every month, the interest alone will likely offset any savings you make. Try not to borrow money unless you need to and, if you absolutely must, avoid disappointment by checking your credit scores on sites such as http://www.creditexpert.co.uk/credit-score.aspx.
When you have young children, the first thing on your mind is protecting them; but that thought doesn’t necessarily extend to the idea of getting life insurance. We don’t often plan for these eventualities, but the harsh reality is that death is certain. Without life insurance, if you pass away, your partner and your dependents (i.e. children) will be left to struggle.
Get an ISA
For medium-term saving, such as the cost of putting your children through school, it’s a good idea to look at getting an ISA (Individual Savings Account). For the 2013/2014 tax year you can invest up to £11,520 and all profits are tax-free. The full amount can be invested in stocks and shares (at greater risk) or you can put as much as half (£5,760) into a cash ISA. If you have a cash ISA with a fixed-rate interest of 3%, you’ll earn just over £172 a year if you pay in the full allowance. You can also open a junior ISA for kids under 16
Get a SIPP
A SIPP is a Self-Invested Personal Pension and allows you to manage your own pension plan. With a SIPP, you can save up to £50,000 a year and £1.5 million over your lifetime. If you pay the more standard rate of 20% income tax, then you make an £80 contribution to your pension fund and the provider will make up the difference to £100; 40% taxpayers only need to contribute £60. Your money is tied up until you reach 55; which for many is a welcome bonus. (Source: Money Saving Expert)
Manage your expenses
Evaluate your monthly expenses and budget accordingly so you can put away more money for the future. If you own a smartphone, use it to your financial advantage by downloading one of the many budgeting apps. Some help you visualize all your bank accounts and keep an eye on how much you’re spending; others help you to tot up your expenses and what you’ve been spending money on, from petrol to coffees.