2021 Spring Term 1

The know zone

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  • Get your finances in order
    The way you use money in the short-term impacts your future financial freedom. Here, with tips for getting your long-term finances in order, is Joshua May from income protection insurance specialists PG Mutual. More
  • Change must be sustainable
    If FE is to play its full part in the country's recovery from the pandemic, it must be funded realistically, argues ASCL Senior Advisor Anne Murdoch. More
  • Visions of 2020
    There's no doubt that 2020 was a year like no other and one that most of us would like to forget, but among the doom and gloom of the pandemic there have been many stories of positivity, kindness, inspiration and laughter. Here, ASCL members share their views... More
  • SEN-sational!
    Director of Inclusion Dr Nic Crossley says being a member of ASCL Council enables her to be an active voice for the special educational needs (SEN) sector and for women leaders. Here she shares her passion for Council, leadership and... shoes. More
  • Splendid isolation
    What are the rules regarding pandemic social etiquette when it comes to teaching and meetings? Debrett's has yet to pronounce on this delicate issue, so how are we supposed to know how to behave in front of a screen or at a social distance, asks Carl Smith. More
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The way you use money in the short-term impacts your future financial freedom. Here, with tips for getting your long-term finances in order, is Joshua May from income protection insurance specialists PG Mutual.

Get your finances in order

Okay, letís be honest. Diving into the dusty folds of your financial life isnít necessarily fun. But itís more fun than having that nettling feeling that the financial actions youíre taking right now could be harming your future wealth. So buckle up, itís time for a financial health check.

  1. Review your pension contributions
    Think of your pension like a money tree. The earlier you plant it and the more you feed it, the larger it grows. Chances are itís been a while since you last had a good look at your pension, so maybe itís time to reassess. If youíre earning more than you were five or ten years ago, consider upping your contributions to make your money work harder for your future.

  2. Take a look at your budget
    Budgets must flex with the ebb and flow of life. So, if you havenít set a budget in a year or so, schedule an evening to sit down with your numbers. As your income grows, itís nice to splash out on a few luxuries and enjoy more freedom to spend on everyday items. But that shouldnít come at the expense of your future financial comfort. Reducing some of the needless expenses and being a little stingier with your spending allows you to set more money aside Ė whether thatís to cover annoying expenses like broken boilers and damaged dishwashers, or simply to stick into long-term savings or your pension. Doing your future finances a favour could be as simple as ditching the daily trip to the coffee shop.

  3. Scrutinise your insurance policies
    Put too much focus on accumulating for your future and you sometimes forget to protect what you already have. Thatís where insurance comes in. Protecting your assets against any eventuality is a must. After all, who wants all their hard work to go up in smoke? Review old policies and consider new ones.
    At PG Mutual we are seeing more people take out an income protection policy. It provides cover for lost income when illness or injury prevents you from working. So instead of worrying about how you will make ends meet on state benefits, you can concentrate on your recovery, knowing that you could still receive up to 70% of your salary while you are off work.

  4. Speak to a financial adviser
    Money matters can get confusing. Itís easy to end up with your brow firmly furrowed when trying to figure out how much you should set aside now for the future. Seeking advice from a financial adviser can give you peace of mind. You could leave with a clear roadmap about what you need to do in the short-term to achieve your financial ambitions for the future.

  5. Improve your credit score
    Your credit score is a measure of your financial health. A good score encourages financial institutions to offer you better deals. Whereas with a poor credit score, you may find yourself barred from certain products. Paying your bills on time and chipping away at any debt you have will go a long way towards a healthy score. Even keeping your address up to date makes a difference, so it pays Ė almost literally Ė to make sure your credit record is accurate.

  6. Make a will (or check itís up to date)
    Nobody likes to think of the unexpected. In fact, more than 60% of adults in the UK donít have one (tinyurl.com/ y5awhf72). But writing your will takes a lot of stress out of an already stressful situation in the event of your passing, while at the same time possibly saving your estate and your beneficiaries thousands of pounds in expenses and taxes. If you already have a will, remember to review it every couple of years or so to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

Over to youÖ

Spending a day or so each year to sit down and look at your finances is a great habit to get into. Not only will it help you manage your budget in the short term, but it can have a rewarding impact on your future financial prosperity. Set the time aside and make it happen.

More about PG Mutual

PG Mutual offers ASCL members a 15% discount off your first two yearsí premiums.*

For details visit www.pgmutual.co.uk/quotation and enter discount code ĎASCLí or call 0800 146 307.

* See website for full terms and conditions.

Joshua May
Marketing Assistant at PG Mutual