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Life Insurance > Love Life > Your Money > Your financial resolution

Posted 10 April 2017

Quiz: what should your resolution be for the new financial year?

Answer a few questions about the state of your personal finances, your family finances and the quality of your life admin, and we’ll diagnose you by your answers.

Plus Kalpana Fitzpatrick, personal financial journalist and founder of Mummy Money Matters, shares her financial tips to help you get on top of your finances.

  • Answer our seven questions to discover your financial focus for 2017
  • Helpful tips and key statistics to help you get your financial plan together
  • Share your financial resolution with one of the graphics below

Questions

How many of your bills do you pay by direct debit?

a) All or most

b) Some

c) None

Top tip: Direct debits save you time and money as you don’t have to worry about manually paying bills or being charged missed payment penalties.

What’s your debt situation?

a) I find it easy to manage my money and keep up with payments

b) I’m not sure because I never really check

c) I’m struggling to pay off credit cards and pay back money I owe

Top tip: If you’re struggling, talk to the companies you owe money to and find out what help is available. Citizen Advice has a clear, step-by-step debt guide that could help you get back in the black.

Do you have a family?

a) No

b) Not yet, but I’m planning on starting one soon

c) Certainly do!

Top tip: Kids are expensive – the cost of a child in 2016 was £231,843, from birth to age 21, to be precise. So, if you have children or you’re thinking about having them, take control of your finances sooner rather than later.

What state is your pension in?

a) I have one and am contributing into it

b) I have various pension pots and I’m not sure how to manage them

c) I don’t have one

Top tip: If you have various pensions pots, consider consolidating them to make your retirement money easier to manage.

What will be your biggest purchase this financial year?

a) I’m hunting for a new home, car, investment opportunity, or maybe just something for me

b) Not sure. I’m not saving for anything in particular

c) Probably helping my kids out, perhaps with university fees or towards their new home

Top tip: If you haven’t already, set yourself a savings goal – it’s great motivation to save.

What’s your policy when booking a holiday?

a) I always choose the holiday I want, but I’ll shop around for a good price

b) I’m always searching for the best deal, but not necessarily a specific destination

c) As soon as I see a holiday I want to go on, I’ll just buy the first tickets I find

Top tip: Make the most of your holiday money by buying currency online to get the best exchange rates.

Do you worry about a sudden loss of income if you became ill or disabled?

a) No, I have income protection cover

b) I’ve not thought about it

c) Yes, I’m worried about what will happen

Top tip: Being out of work is worrying, especially if you’re the main breadwinner for your family. Income protection can help but it’s also a good idea to build an emergency fund worth at least three years’ salary.

Results

Mostly As

You’re off to a strong start to the new financial year, but make sure you maximise your savings opportunities.

My new financial year's resolution is...To maximise my savings opportunities

As you’re already paying off your bills using direct debits, kick-start the new financial year with the right bank account, such as one that gives you cashback on your utility bills or one that gives you a competitive interest rate if you have two or more direct debits.

If you don’t yet have a family but think you may one day, then maximise your savings. In the new tax year 2017/2018, you’ll be able to put away £20,000 into an ISA if you’re aged 18 to 40 years old.

You may also want to research investment opportunities to make the most of your savings.

And don’t forget your pension – if you’re saving into one, make sure you keep on track with it and that you review it regularly.


Mostly Bs

You’re at a financial crossroads – choose the right path.

My new financial year's resolution is...To choose the right path in tackling my savings

You may feel a little unsure about your financial situation, so carry out a few checks to make sure you start the new financial year as strongly as possible.

First, consider direct debits if there are any bills you’re paying manually – otherwise you may miss a bill and risk paying penalties or damaging your credit score.

It’s also important to know what bills you owe and if you’re behind with payments, as you may be making significant interest payments without realising.

If you’re unsure about your savings, set yourself a goal – a new car, a holiday, latest gadgets for the home and so on – as it will help motivate you to save.

Make sure you know what your pension is worth and that you are contributing as much as you can.

When it comes to holidays, you don’t always have to compromise – the holiday you want may still be affordable if you budget and set yourself saving goals.


Mostly Cs

Take control of your money now to avoid financial troubles.

My new financial year's resolution is... To take better control of my money

Direct debits can help stop you missing payments – you can even set them up for the minimum payments.

If you’re struggling with bills, talk to the companies you owe money to, as they may be able to come up with a repayment plan that works for you.

When booking a holiday, shop around – there’s usually always a better price to be found. Set yourself some saving goals too, whether it’s for yourself or your children.

If you’re working, by not joining a workplace pension, you’re also missing out on ‘free money’ – because when you pay in, so does your employer.

If you’re worried about getting ill and loss of income, especially if you have a family, then it may be worth considering income protection cover, should things go wrong.

For more personal finance ideas and resources, follow Kalpana Fitzpatrick on Twitter @KalpanaFitz or check out her website Mummy Money Matters.


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