Blog Homepage > How to Commit to Financial Planning as a Young Couple
In 2014, over 9,700 Public Sector employees availed of our Financial Planning Service. It’s a great service (and free for Public Sector employees!), so we reckoned we’d start a series on financial planning at the various stages of your life. First up is our guide on how to commit to financial planning as a young couple.
1. Setting realistic goals is the key to good financial planning
Take a look at your current lifestyle: maybe you’re a teacher in your second year in a full-time position, with a partner who works as a mechanic. The goal of financial planning is to be realistic about your prospects: what’s your current lifestyle and what lifestyle would you like to have in the future? Your financial plan should include an outline of goals. The goals in your financial plan should cover everything from moving home to completing a higher degree or starting a retirement plan—whatever’s relevant to you and your partner.
2. Get your financial records in order
Yeah, we know, it’s not the most fun you’ll ever have, but it’s important to get your finances in order; otherwise you’ll end up with a clutter of receipts and lost forms. Financial planning gets messy if you don’t keep track of your documents. The easiest way to organise your financial records is to create a filing system for your tax returns, bank statements, contracts, receipts, and any other relevant documents. Don’t chuck anything out—you never know when it’ll come in handy.
3. Book a meeting with one of our financial planning experts
It’s free for Public Sector employees! Our financial planning experts will give you a whole host of brilliant advice that’ll get you and your financial plan on track. What exactly will we go through with you? Have a look at our handy table for examples of how we can help:
|Tax:||82%* of PAYE employees overpay taxes. We’ll help to ensure that you are claiming all entitlements available to you and not overpaying tax.|
|Payslip Analysis:||We will assess if you are on the correct point of the salary scale.|
|Life Cover Analysis:||We’ll ensure that you are not over-insured and also assess if you can make any savings in this area. Financial planning is all about living well within your means.|
|Savings:||We’ll help you to maximise your savings e.g. educational saving, house deposit, new car etc.|
|Health Insurance:||We compare VHI Healthcare, Aviva Health, Laya Healthcare and GloHealth to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.|
|Home & Car Insurance:||We’ll provide you with details of the special group deals that we have negotiated exclusively for Public Sector employees. We also offer a range of plans for non-Public Sector employees too.|
All sounds pretty great, right? We’ll also talk you through pension legislation and your sick leave entitlements, if you like. Once you’ve had your meeting and potentially identified ways that you could save, it’s time to head home and make up a budget.
4. Draw up a budget
Financial planning and budgets are a bit like Ant and Dec—they work best together. Any good financial planner will tell you that a budget is more than worth it, especially if your scales are tipping towards the red. You don’t need a monstrous document with forty pages of your incomings and outgoings. A straight-forward list will do!
If you’ve only recently started living together, now is the time to let your partner know about your expensive shoe habit or your ever-growing collection of vintage football jerseys.
5. Talk about the future
The future can be daunting, especially if you’re still in your twenties and you’ve only just said goodbye to the few years between college and your first full-time position. It’s never too early to look ahead. Having an idea as to where you’d like to go as a couple makes sense. Will you have a joint savings account or will you keep your finances separate? Do you want to invest? Do you both have pension plans? Set goals and really consider how you’re going to get there.
Setting time frames are always good. Maybe you think you’re too young to seriously consider a pension, but in five years time it’ll make a lot more sense. Our financial planning experts can talk you through your options for all of these things.
6. Commit to financial planning
It’s one thing to say you’re going to stick to your financial plan. It’s something else entirely to actually stick to it. As time goes on, regularly check in with and update your financial plan to suit wherever you are in your life. Financial planning is something that happens long-term, it’s a process! Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way, even if that means having to redo your budget!
*Cornmarket's Tax Return Service - Statistics 2014.