With the Christmas and New Year period now firmly in the rear-view mirror, planning ahead for the rest of 2019 is key. And when it comes to money, this is an especially important time of year. But before you begin, there a number of critical factors to consider. For a start, with the modernisation of the PAYE system, old staples including the P60 and even P45 have been phased out and more responsibility shifts to you. In other words, YOU will need to become familiar with the MyAccount facility on Revenue.ie as a means of managing your money in the months and years ahead. Additionally, any submissions to Revenue for personal tax credits, relief and refunds (medical, education) will need to be done through the Form 12 (eForm 12 online). This means beginning 2019, PAYE workers will be able to file for their medical expense refunds via their MyAccount facility through Revenue. But back to some essential money management tips that stand the test of time. If you are determined to keep your personal finances in tip-top shape in 2019, here are some fast and easy ways you can get the ball rolling:
1. Master of the detail There is no doubt that modern technology has made paying for services much easier than ever before. In fact, the pace of technological innovation is making use of cash a thing of the past. But while the convenience of paying for services grows, the visibility of how we spend cash and pay for those services falls in tandem. Because of this, it is now more important than ever families put aside ‘budget time’ to review and understand the detail of how they spend, and what they spend their cash on. Doing so will return the knowledge…and control over personal spending. Detail really does matter when it comes to spending across a vast array of services including insurance, utilities, fuel, groceries and so forth. Ultimately, the devil is in the detail, mastering the detail of a personal budget can deliver long-term financial rewards.
2. Harness some ready cash A ‘ready cash’ fund is a small amount of money specifically designated to eliminate the need to borrow when little emergencies, such as a car repair bill, a broken appliance or an emergency trip arise. For example, if and when a car repair bill does pop up unexpectedly, this can force families to rely on high-cost alternatives such as moneylenders and credit cards. Members are eligible to open a regular savings account through employer payroll deduction. Of course, you can also save the normal way too through regular deposits at any of our branch locations, or by direct debit. But, in the event you do have to borrow, as a member, you will qualify for our low member rates. To get an estimate of how much your monthly repayments would cost, use our online loan calculator at www.aviationcu.ie/calculator.
3. Set and link to Personal Goals Personal financial planning should be set against personal goals. If there are no personal goals, achieving a successful outcome will be much more difficult. For example, when it comes to developing a personal savings plan, for those in their twenties, it could be for something as simple as travel or perhaps something more substantial, including savings towards a home purchase. But the steps to meeting that goal should be incremental and allow for life’s little hiccups. So, if you plan to put a set amount of cash aside each month, it’s really important to also allow for situations where other financial needs may dictate a short (one or two-month) break from the plan.
With a financial plan and contingencies in place, that personal plan will have a much higher success rate.