We’re half­way through 2016, so it’s time for a money MoT

As he plans his hol­i­days, Will Davies, head of sav­ings at Kent Re­liance, is look­ing for­ward to a mid-year money check-up. Why don’t you join him?

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - BEAUTIFULHOMES -

It’s hard to be­lieve that we are al­most half­way through 2016, but rather than lament the quick pass­ing of time, the mid­dle of the year af­fords a good op­por­tu­nity to review your cur­rent fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

So here’s my sim­ple five-point tips to help with your mid-year MoT test.

Firstly, how about a fi­nan­cial review – take time out to review your cur­rent fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. The start of the year is the per­fect time to set goals such as clear­ing cer­tain debts and set­ting sav­ings tar­gets; how­ever, now is the time to review if these goals are still achiev­able or whether you need to make a few changes to keep you and your fi­nan­cial ob­jec­tives on track.

Sec­ond is bud­get anal­y­sis – as well as re­view­ing your wider fi­nan­cial port­fo­lio, it is also worth giv­ing your cur­rent bud­get a bit of a health check.

Does your bud­get still ac­cu­rately re­flect your in­com­ings and out­go­ings? If not, up­date your bud­get and con­sider whether these changes im­pact on your out­go­ings – has your salary in­creased?

Could you look to add to your sav­ings pot? Has there been a re­duc­tion to the amount of money you re­ceive? If yes, are there any lux­u­ries you could look to cut back on to mit­i­gate this re­duc­tion?

Thirdly, Christ­mas may seem far away, but be­fore we know it, it will be upon us.

Don’t let the festive sea­son sneak up on you or your bud­get – start sav­ing now.

Christ­mas can re­ally pile on the fi­nan­cial pres­sure, so don’t let it catch you out – even sav­ing a lit­tle bit each month can make a real dif­fer­ence at al­le­vi­at­ing the pinch at Christ­mas.

Next up, are the sav­ings choices you made at the start of the year still work­ing for you?

Are your sav­ings work­ing as hard as they could be?

Are you ben­e­fit­ing from the best in­ter­est rate avail­able? Per­haps the easy-ac­cess ac­count is a lit­tle too tempt­ing to dip into?

Or is your fixed-rate ac­count too rigid to suit your needs?

Al­though ISA sea­son has been and gone, it is worth keep­ing up to date with the lat­est ISA news and prod­ucts so you can be fully prepped for next year.

Lastly, have a happy hol­i­day! Re­ward­ing your­self for your hard work through­out the year is im­por­tant – all fi­nan­cial fru­gal­ity and no fun doesn’t make for happy bed­fel­lows.

Equally all fun and no fi­nan­cial fore­thought will lead to a meet­ing with the bank man­ager.

A sum­mer hol­i­day is a fan­tas­tic way to un­wind from stress, but the hol­i­day will have been for noth­ing if you re­turn home with a suit­case full of debt.

Once again, bud­get­ing is the savvy per­son’s guide to nav­i­gat­ing the pit­falls of hol­i­day debt – set your­self a re­al­is­tic hol­i­day al­lowance and balance your lav­ish days against more pru­dent ones to en­sure true fi­nan­cial hol­i­day har­mony. Three-quarters of home buy­ers de­scribe their street as friendly and more than half so­cialise with their neigh­bours, a sur­vey has found.

Some 76% of home buy­ers say they live in a friendly street, ac­cord­ing to the re­search among 2,000 home buy­ers from Sarah Beeny’s es­tate agent Tepilo.

Sarah says: “Liv­ing on a friendly street where ev­ery­one so­cialises to­gether can add value to your prop­erty and it’s def­i­nitely worth check­ing out what the neigh­bours are like when you are look­ing to buy a house.”

Pri­vate rental prices paid by ten­ants across Bri­tain in­creased by 2.6% in the 12 months to April, ac­cord­ing to Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics fig­ures.

For de­tails, call 0845 122 0022 Fi­nan­cial fact:

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