10 simple ways to improve your personal finances

Protection & Prosperity Financial Services | AIBF

When it comes to personal finances, many of us have our heads in the sand…

Anxiety and confusion around savings, spending, long term planning, mortgages and pensions can cause us to disengage, and lose track of our finances.

The key to overcoming financial overwhelm according to expert advisor Barry Oliver is active engagement.

Barry is the founder of the Business All-Star Accredited, Protection & Prosperity Financial Services, a market-leading financial advice company whose core mission is to engage clients with their finances.

Under the slogan; “Let’s chat – coffee is on us” Protection & Prosperity have achieved huge success for their growing customer base – breaking negative perceptions around finance and encouraging clients to take control.

In a fascinating interview for the All-Ireland Business Times, Barry offered ten essential tips to help you engage with your personal finances.

Here they are…

Protection & Prosperity Financial Services | AIBF

Pictured above is Paddy Keenan, Senior Financial Consultant and Barry Oliver, Principal at Protection and Prosperity with their All-Star Accreditation certificate and medallion.
Break negative perceptions you have around personal finances

There is a perception that conversations around finances are “difficult”.

We need to break that perception because if you actively engage with your finances, you can only benefit.

Talk about your situation with an advisor you trust and come up with a clear roadmap towards where you want to be.

At Protection & Prosperity, we want people to come in – chat to us and ask us questions over a coffee.

Take control of your finances

Take a good look at your policies and your accounts.

Insist on getting online access to your pensions, investments, mortgages or whatever policies you have with your provider.

Review these accounts regularly and take responsibility for your spending…

Beware of tap culture

People are spending more now because of how easy it is to just tap and go – you hand over nothing physically so it’s very easy to lose track of your spending.

If you’re spending too much it mightn’t be a bad idea to withdraw your budget for the week – take back control if you’re spending frivolously.

In some cases – the old ways are the best.

Get a hard copy of your bank statement and go through it – be honest with yourself and see where you’re wasting money.

Seek out sound financial advice

Speak to an expert for advice on how to realise your financial goals.

Pictured above is Paddy Keenan, Senior Financial Consultant at Principal at Protection and Prosperity.

Major life milestones like a new house or early retirement are best achieved with a solid plan in place and a good advisor can help you do that in a time and cost-efficient manner.

Shop local

Go to your local brokerage – the one that’s been on the high street for 30 or 40 years and is sponsoring the local underage teams.

You’ll want to speak to someone who is going to go on the journey with you.

Look for consistency

Go somewhere you’re going to see the same financial advisor year after year.

We all change jobs – it happens, but if you’re going somewhere where your advisor is constantly changing then that’s not good.

Build a relationship with your advisor

I’ve had some clients for more than 20 years.

We’ve been through good days, bad days, recessions and pandemics together – we know each other inside out and we can sit down and have the important conversations.

You need to build a relationship with your financial advisor and be comfortable in interrupting them to ask the important questions you need to know.

Ensure that your financial advisor is engaged on your behalf

This is vital. Make sure your advisor is giving you information in a manner that’s fair and transparent.

When they give you your policy documents – go back and have a chat with them. Review the documents together and ask if you don’t understand something.

If you don’t understand your policy then why have you got it?

Visit them regularly

Insist on meeting them once or twice a year.

If you haven’t talked to your financial advisor in five years then they shouldn’t be earning commission on your policy – it’s as simple as that.

Think of the long term goal

Remember that Instant gratification is often the enemy.

The decision to take out a loan for a shiny new car today could be what stops you from buying a house in three to five years.

Warren Buffett said: “The stock market is a wonderfully efficient mechanism for transferring wealth from the impatient to the patient.”

The All-Ireland Business Foundation would like to thank Barry for taking the time to share his expertise with our readers.

To learn more about Protection & Prosperity’s service visit their website www.ppfs.ie or reach out to Barry by email on barry@ppfs.ie.