When people use the term “getting your financial affairs in order” it is often thought what is meant is sorting your affairs in older age or a palliative care situation but its so much more than that and people need to be thinking of it as an ongoing thing not just a one off. This is something that comes up often and over the years of financial services experience I have gleaned some tips in this area.
This is going to sound like I am stating the obvious but keeping your documents such as policy documents, insurance details, mortgage and loan contracts all in an easily accessible place kept together is very important. There is nothing worse than in a total panic trying to locate a policy documents or mortgage contract or statement. Its no harm to tell somebody you trust too as you just never know the circumstances you might need to locate them in a panic and it such circumstances remaining calm can be challenging.
Perhaps its the accountant in me but I do love lists and spreadsheets! I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is to know how much a typical month or week costs in your household. For example knowing the nice to haves versus the essentials. This really helps with planning.
Another thing I often do is keep a note of when my utility contract renewal dates are. I do spend time researching to see if there is a good deal out there for example by switching provider or by signing up again getting a loyalty discount. I have been known to haggle too! With mixed success im afraid.
It is always important to seek the help of experts. They are experts for a reason, they have spent likely years learning their trade and can provide more advice and guidance than google ever could! One thing that comes up time and time again is to be careful of high interest debt. This type of debt can generally be accessed easily but the problem being it is often very costly as a result. The general consensus is to pay off your high interest bearing debts first, this is highlighted too by investor.gov. By removing your most expensive forms of debt it will pay off in the long run. Companies such as Cobalt Advisors have dedicated phone lines where you can seek advice and assistance.
The importance of taking control and maintaining control of your financial affairs can’t be stressed enough. It will enable you to have such peace of mind. Its not always easy and it can be hard not to get stressed in the face of mounting debts however taking a deep breath and taking time to seek expert advice and guidance will certainly help. There tends not to be a quick fix when it comes to finances but patience yields rewards and in the long run you will be happy you did it.