- Focus on the Critical Events – detail is the foundation of any personal budget and it is often the reason personal budgets fail. But first, you need to list out what is critical to your financial wellness. Do you have a high excess on your car or home insurance? How would you pay the excess of a car breakdown, or a home repair? What would you do if you lost a job, how would you cope? Or worse, what would you do if you or a family member became seriously ill? These are important questions and essential for your financial well-being and that of your family so you need to give some consideration to what you would do.
- Identify Your Net Income – this is the money you get to take home after taxes and other charges are taken out. This is the key to how much you really have to work with. It’s important you know this and some of the ways you might be able to claim back from Government for certain expenses, such as medical expenses, it may offer a way to increase your overall income.
- Factor in Future Income and Expenses – If you have a mortgage, have you factored in future rises in interest rates? This is important if you have a variable (including Tracker) mortgage as costs will increase. Do you expect a pay increase (or reduction) as a result of career changes? All of those can and do have a major impact on a majority of Irish families so it is advised to think ahead over the next 12 months to 3 years and consider how such changes in income and expenses will impact you on a day-to-day basis.
- Account for Change – Most people will be impacted by life changes. Getting married, starting a family, caring for a loved one, the list goes on. One thing is certain and that is there nothing more permanent than change. It is vital to your long-term financial wellness that you consider what those changes might be and how you plan to deal with them.
- Be Disciplined – above all else, you need to be determined to succeed financially. And while this might seem difficult if you feel income is modest, remember, some people that earn millions can end up broke because they have poor money habits. Ultimately, keep this in mind; how well you do when it comes to money is not solely as a result of how much money you have coming in, it is most often as a result of how well you manage that income.
For many Irish families, life events can and do challenge their financial wellness. But ultimately, their financial situation will largely be the result of how well they manage their income and control their expenses. With the right approach and determination to succeed, it is possible to put an effective plan in place for future expenses.