Reviewing your financial health and setting goals

In a previous article, we wrote about some of the things that you can do to put yourself in a good position ahead of applying for a mortgage. One thing that we omitted from that particular list is actually very important, it is actually the bedrock that you can build on for a successful mortgage application.

This is the review of your financial health.

So how do you start something like this? Is there such a thing as a money doctor… or money personal trainer? You may be lucky enough to work with a financial advisor, although even then it’s unlikely you would meet with them on a frequent basis.

This is why we came up with this quick three-step plan to do your own financial health check, and make sure you’re on track to get the mortgage offer you want (and if you aren’t looking for a mortgage, ensure you’re financially healthy).

CHECK YOUR NET WORTH

If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this. The best thing you can do for your financial health (before doing anything else), is to calculate your net worth and know exactly where you are from a financial perspective. This calculation may scare you, but it is the important first step to take before doing anything else.

Checking your net worth (and also step two, knowing where your money is going) will help to inform what your financial goals are going to be. For example, if the immediate challenge you’re facing is being in negative net worth then a priority will be to pay down debt. If your net worth is positive, but you’re spending a lot on trivial things – it may be time to reassess your financial goals.

So, how do you actually calculate your net worth?

Some people do this using an app like Mint or YNAB (You Need a Budget), or you can do it in a spreadsheet if you find that easier. Whilst, for the uninitiated, calculating a net worth can appear to be challenging all you need to do is the following.

Add up all your assets (think about the things that put money in your pocket)

Add up all your liabilities (think about the things that take money our of your pocket)

Subtract your liabilities from your assets.

If the total of your liabilities is greater than your assets, then you will have a negative net worth.

UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING

Once you’ve made this calculation, the next step to take is to have a serious look at where your money is going.

Unless you live the life of a monk, you’ll be spending your money on something. This could be the interest on your credit card, it may be that you have a real addiction to purchasing high end furniture or fashion.

So taking a good hard look at your spending should give you a decent idea of at least the broad categories that your spending breaks down into. Examples of these categories could include mortgage or rent payments, travel, food (it’s worth splitting out groceries and restaurant spending) and spending on luxuries. Once you know your spending habit you’ll be able to assess if the spending pattern you’re in is a positive one (paying down debts and investing for the future) or a negative one (living beyond your means).

SET YOURSELF SOME CLEAR FINANCIAL GOALS

If you’ve followed the two steps above, congratulations – you’re going to be in a lot better position than many other people. It’s true, plenty of people would much rather bury their head in the sand around their personal finances.

Given that you’re now in a position of knowledge, it makes sense to put this newfound information to work.

Start by setting yourself a SMART goal around your financial health. The focus here with your goal is to put something in place that will definitely improve and benefit your financial health, but isn’t so overly ambitious that it will negatively impact your finances. Whilst it may be possible to funnel £2,000 a month into investments – for the average person, this would be the majority of their income and would either leave little or no space for mortgage payments.

So, what would a good smart goal look like?

It could be to save an extra £100 per month, over the next year towards your pension. This goal is specific – saving towards a pension, measurable – you’ll know if you’ve achieved this goal at the end of the year, achievable and realistic – for most people an extra £100 isn’t a massive stretch, and time bound, looking to hit the goal in 12 months.

Now this isn’t specifically the goal that you should set for yourself, however, it gives you a decent idea of the type of goal you can set.

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Important: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured upon it. A fee of up to 1% of the mortgage amount may be charged depending on individual circumstances. A typical fee is £495.

What is the next step

Step 1

Life continually moves on and with that comes increased responsibility. Whether you are buying a home or starting a family, it is an exciting time but you must plan ahead now to ensure that if something goes wrong, you and your loved ones are fully protected.    

Step 2

Speak to our friendly team to discuss your needs. Simply book an appointment and we will advise you on the right level of cover. With whole of market access we will ensure you find the right products for your individual needs.

Step 3

Our expert team have a wealth of experience helping individuals and couples plan for their futures. Whether you are considering mortgages, life insurance or income protection we will find the right option for your circumstances protecting you for the future.

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Important: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured upon it. A fee of up to 1% of the mortgage amount may be charged depending on individual circumstances. A typical fee is £495.

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About:
Chambers Financial Services Limited is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Mortgage Planning Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No:08201095, Registered Address:Arlington House West Station Business Park, Spital Road, Maldon, England, CM9 6FF We normally charge a fee for mortgage advice, however this will be dependent on your circumstances. Our Typical fee is £499. Click here for more information. Internet Privacy Policy

Important:
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured upon it. A fee of up to 1% of the mortgage amount may be charged depending on individual circumstances. A typical fee is £495.

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate buy to let mortgages.

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