How to Brexit-proof your finances! Hints and Tips…
The importance of saving money for the future…
We hardly dare mention the B word! Every day the news is full of it. There are seemingly endless proposals and votes. MPs are resigning left right and centre. There are so many twists and turns that many of us are completely confused as to what is happening and when.
And if the journey towards Brexit is as fraught as this, many of us worry what will become of us if and when Brexit actually does happen. It feels like taking a giant leap into the unknown.
So what can you do to prepare personally for Brexit? In these uncertain times, how can you “Brexit-proof” your finances?
Here are five things that we think will help:
Make a budget and stick to it
In our article Top Ten Tips to Balance your Budget we discussed the importance of making a realistic monthly budget and then sticking to it. This is particularly important as we enter Brexit. It is possible that some prices may rise, so sorting out a budget, knowing where your money is going, and having the ability to juggle things around to cope with any price increases is important..
Pay off your debts
When you are working on your budget, also make a plan to pay off any existing debts that you may have. Many of us spend quite a bit of money each month paying off debts, for example credit card payments. This can then lead us into more debt if there is not enough money left for all our other monthly expenses. So make it a priority to pay off any debts as soon as possible, as this will then free up the rest of your finances. One possible way to do this is to take out a small loan with affordable monthly repayments that you can use to clear off all your existing debts in one go. Loans2Go may be able to help with this: you can check out our loan calculator here.
Get your house in order
Expert opinion is divided as to the likely impact of Brexit on house prices. There is a widespread expectation that prices may fall – and certainly the housing market does seem to be slowing down. So if you already own a home it may not be the best time to sell – and in fact many people seem to be playing it safe at the moment and staying put.
On the other hand if you are a first time buyer – or are already a homeowner but looking to move to your “forever home” it could be a good time to buy if prices do stagnate. But with potentially less property available on the market you will need to be in a position to move quickly.
So if you are thinking of buying a new home in the next year or two it is good to prepare for that. Take financial advice about mortgage options and try to get a mortgage Agreement In Principle. This is a document indicating that a mortgage lender would be prepared to offer you a mortgage if you need one. It could save you a lot of time if you do find your ideal property and need to proceed quickly.
If you are already a homeowner and are serious about moving, now is also a good time to start getting your existing home ready to show. Catch up with all those nagging DIY jobs that need doing, do any cosmetic redecorating as needed, and get the decluttering process underway. Doing these things now will make your home easier to market when the time comes – and also make it nicer to live in for you if you change your mind about selling!
Planning to travel?
One quick way to Brexit-proof your short-term finances is to organise your travel money now if you are planning to go abroad this summer. Whilst we can’t predict the longer term effect of Brexit on the pound, we can probably expect the next few months to be turbulent so it may be safer to exchange holiday money now rather than wait until after Brexit.
Save save save!
Last but by no means least, it is always a good idea to get some savings behind you. Having savings would help with any of the areas that we have already looked at. Whether it’s trying to make ends meet over a particularly expensive month, paying off a hefty credit card bill, improving your home or travelling abroad – savings make things possible.
So particularly in these uncertain times, make savings a priority in 2019. There are various ways you can start to save; one of the easiest is to open a separate bank account and put a bit of money into it every month. It doesn’t have to be much at first: establishing the habit is the most important hurdle to start with. Move just a small amount of money in there every month, and perhaps top it up with any unexpected money you may receive. It will soon start to grow.
There are many other ways of saving as well. You may want to research savings schemes such as ISAs. Some people like to buy premium bonds: your money is safely tucked away and you are also entered in a draw for a monthly prize. Others like to try investing in other areas such as gilts, stocks and shares or crowdfunding – where there may be a chance of a higher return but the investment is a little more risky. So do take financial advice as needed.
Whatever you choose, you will be doing yourself a big favour if you establish strong saving habits this year. That is a sure way to Brexit-proof your finances.
Check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.