HOW TO HAVE A PROSPEROUS 2013?

Let’s do something different this time, let’s make a New Year’s Resolution that lasts.

Financial resolutions are often high on the list with promises of “spend less and save more”. Let me guide you on how to make it happen. The following key pointers should help make 2013 a more prosperous year.

Budget 2013

The budget has impact everyone financial but in particular families with special needs children. Start making arrangement now to deal with the drop in income and with the reduction in entitlements such as Respite Care Grant and Child Benefit.

Property Tax

The new property tax is now a reality whether you paid the household charge or not. You will have to make a judgement on how much this will cost you annually and start putting away money each month so that in June 2013, you have some savings to off-set the new tax.

Check Your Number

At least once a month you need to balance your personal bank accounts. The easiest way to do this is to shut down all your accounts except for one joint account and one saving account. People with lots of bank accounts in general find it difficult to see how they are managing financially. Also bank have now introduced additional charges in keeping those bank accounts open.

When you analysis your bank accounts you are acting like an accountant and see if you have made a profit in the month or if you are living beyond your means. Supplied with this information it will be much easier for you to manage your living expenses, plan your holidays and pay for future outlays.

Living in cloud cuckoo land

If you are spending more than you earn then you are in trouble. If you don’t nip this in the bud early then you will end up in big financial trouble. Develop a spending plan that actually works for you based on where you are right now.  Don’t go cold turkey if you know that won’t stick to it.  Instead, try reducing your spending in critical areas slowly until your personal accounts balance.

Start Saving*

Even if it is only €10 per week, eventually this small amount will turn in to something that is substantial. Getting in to the habit of saving is the corner stone to a life without financial stress. Nobody goes through life without getting those unforeseen bills. But when you pay for items from savings you end up using the bank rather than the bank and credit card companies using you.

Can’t do it Alone

It is vital that you get your whole family involved in improving your financial situation. It is no good you getting your financial affairs in order when your partner has decided 2013 is a year for spending!

If possible hire professional advice because this will fast track you to a better financial position. You may think hiring an Advisor is yet another cost, but a good Advisor will save you money.

Final Thought

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best for 2013, I hope it brings great joy, happiness and prosperity. If you have a son or daughter with special needs then it is critical that you start to make progress financially in 2013.

The more financial secure you can become the more options and support you can give your child later in life. If you haven’t already done so, I strongly urge you to set up a Special Need Financial Plan and start to build a brighter future for all your family.

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*Allan Matthew Cuthbert t/a Financial Wellbeing is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland to advice on Mortgage,Savings, Life and Pension products