By Matthew Kneller

Summer holidays are a time of relaxation, reading a good book on the beach, just chilling by the pool or soaking up the atmosphere of a new city. Hopefully, it provides an opportunity to turn off the emails and put work to one side for a week or two. With the distractions of work slightly subdued it can be a time to review your financial ‘To Do’ list. In this article we offer ten things you might want to consider:

1) Review Your Budget

Now is a great time to take stock of your income and expenditure. If you have surplus income, have you considered how this can be best put to use? If you are running a deficit, can expenditure items be trimmed?

2) Put in  Place an Emergency Cash Buffer

It is often said that bad things happen in threes – when the boiler blows up, no doubt the washing machine will stop working and the car will need some work on it! With this in mind it is sensible to have an emergency cash buffer in place. Generally speaking this can be anywhere from three to six months worth of expenditure.

3) Review Your Protection Policies

Scottish Widows estimate that close to 56% of adults don’t have Life Insurance in place and only around 7% of adults have any cover to protect them if they could no longer work. Many people acknowledge the importance of having adequate life insurance but very few actually do something about it.

4) Plan for Your Retirement

Ok, so I might be the only one who thinks about pensions on their holidays, but planning for your retirement is incredibly important. If you are lucky enough to be a member of a good final salary scheme then great but the majority of people will be dependent on the value of whatever pension fund they can build up over their working life. It is important to start early, to save enough and to put in place a suitable investment strategy.

5) Make Sure Your Money is Working Hard Enough

We find that investors forget to review their investment portfolios or even their bank accounts to ensure that they are performing as expected. Over time, portfolios can become skewed to a particular asset class or they can drift away from the agreed risk profile. Savers with deposit accounts may have started off receiving a great interest rate but often this includes a bonus rate which drops away after a period of time.

6) Minimise Tax Where Possible

Are you making use of your ISA allowances or annual CGT exemptions? Are you claiming higher rate tax-relief when you make a pension contribution? Are assets held in the name of the person paying lower rate tax? There are a number of ways to legitimately minimise your tax bill.

7) Draw up a Will or Review your Existing Will

If you haven’t got a Will in place it makes sense to have one drawn up. This ensures that, on your death, your estate passes to those people you would like to benefit. If you have a Will in place, it makes sense to review it from time to time especially if your circumstances have changed. You may also want to consider setting up a Power of Attorney.

8) Protect Your Business

You may have devised some great business strategies during your holiday but have you considered the impact on your business if you or a key employee were no longer able to work?

9) Make a Financial Plan

We’ve all heard the cliché, ‘People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.’ However, setting down some short, medium and long term goals and objectives is a great way of starting to plan for financial independence.

10) Obtain Professional Advice

Well we would say this wouldn’t we! In many areas of life, paying for good quality advice and outstanding service makes sense and financial planning is no different. Sitting down with a professional financial adviser who truly understands you and who can assess where you are today and where you want to get to can play a huge part in achieving your goals and objectives.

We sincerely hope you have had an enjoyable summer and we look forward to discussing your financial planning requirements shortly.

To start your financial planning journey, call Matthew Kneller on 01249 700402 or email


This article contains the current opinions of the author and does not represent a personal recommendation. Information contained herein has been obtained from reliable sources but cannot be guaranteed. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission from Fresh Perspective Financial Planning Ltd.