Let me start with a question, out of many things that you plan on doing this year, is there any personal finance related task in there? if not you’ll do a ton of good by adding some simple tasks like reviewing your insurance coverage, putting your valuables in bank locker or paying off that credit card debt.
For me this is the year to increase contribution to our retirement fund. We may buy our first home this year, so if that happens there are plenty of financial things to take care of. At this time our financial house is in order. Although I always feel that we should reduce some expenditure and stop buying more and more thing.
Sorting out the cutter in your house, confessing to clandestine love and affairs, as well as settling all of your legal affairs were named as the top ways the public will use to seek some peace of mind this year.
However, where a third of participants in the research understood the importance of creating a Will in order to secure their family’s financial future in the long-term, 50% of us think that simply just clearing out the junk from our attics or basement would be more important.
These results indicate a tendency to put off the bigger jobs that may have more long-term value in favor of doing smaller jobs which can pay off immediately.
According to the research, the top five things that the public think can bring them peace of mind are:
- Clearing out clutter and junk
- Telling someone that you love them
- Organizing your personal effects
- Paying the mortgage off
- Writing a will
- Repaying personal debts to those who lent you money
Where a third of people think that paying their mortgage off would be the thing to bring them peace of mind, nearly the same number of people thought that the same peace of mind could be achieved by just paying money back to a loved one.
(Also Read – 5 Things to Take Care to Stay Rich and Wealthy)
Over 25% stated that settling arguments and feuds with friends and family would be enough to soothe their conscience. 36% said that organising personal effects, like letters and photos would have the same effect, which perhaps shows that whilst stereotypes would show us as having a stiff upper lip, we are at our core, more focussed on emotional affairs, as opposed to financial or legal ones.
The reality is that whilst sorting out any clutter you have and doing ‘life laundry’ can be therapeutic to a degree, the importance of having properly maintained financial and legal affairs cannot be underestimated. There are almost 9 million adults in the UK who currently live with serious debt.
Creating a Will can be one of the most important things that you can do in order to protect the long-term financial security for your family. Failure to create one could have serious repercussions which can include legal wrangling, turmoil financially, and could lead to family feuds.
The best personal finance task that you can do is reducing or completely eliminating debt. One very achievable step would be to pick one debt out of several and completely pay the money off. Whatever you chose to follow, a debt snowball or paying the most expensive debt or even paying off the money you borrowed from your friend.
Readers, what do you have in your action plan for 2014?