Show me the money
From loans to investments, women can make smart decisions with a little help, says adviser Áine Cullen
In a recent report published by Kantar, women were found to be considerably less confident about long-term finances in comparison to their male counterparts. While managing the family’s day-to-day finances comes as second nature, planning for a financially secure future can prove more worrisome, it continued.
So Magazine+ asked Áine Cullen, a senior financial planner with AskPaul and Pax Financial, to share her top tips. 1 saving grace Always pay into your savings first when you start working. Have a direct debit or standing order that goes into your savings account on the day you get paid. 2 fund fact Your savings should include a blend of deposits (emergency funds and short-term cash), investments (for money you don’t need in the next five years or more) and a pension fund (for replacement income in retirement). Using something like Revolut Vaults for your emergency funds and short-term savings is very handy. 3 let’s talk about tax Get to know and understand your taxes and make sure you’re claiming back everything that you can. Claim last year’s tax back. Get onto revenue.ie (myAccount) and claim your tax back on medical/dental expenses from last year. 4 Credit where it’s due There is no such thing as a ‘good credit rating’ in Ireland, only ‘bad credit’. You do not need to take out personal loans just to prove you can pay them back. If you do hear financial advisers talking about a ‘good credit rating’ then they are normally US-based advisers. You can check your credit record for free on centralcreditregister.ie. 5 touch of class No matter what age you are, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your education. This is always money well spent. 6 loan survivor As tempting as it can be to take out a loan for things like holidays, home improvements or a new car, always try and save first. Taking out a loan means paying a high interest rate to a financial institution, resulting in the loan costing you more than you have borrowed. 7 back to the future Always protect your income and your potential future earnings by applying for an income protection policy or specified illness cover. It’s best to be protected. 8 Invest is yet to come Make your money work for you by investing it and allowing it to grow over time.Keep in mind that if you have money sitting in a bank or credit union, it is earning close to 0pc interest, whereas if you invest your money, you will earn more over time. Investments are available from as little as €100 per month. 9 computer says no Sticking to a budget requires a great deal of restraint and the ability to say ‘no’. Try not to compare your life to what you see online. Be honest with your family and friends when you can’t afford something. 10 Swap ‘til you drop At the moment, absolutely everything is affected by inflation. Loyalty doesn’t pay so shop around and secure a better deal on your utility bills, mortgage or insurance.Switching is normally very easy.
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