Financial Wellbeing #3: De-Clutter

  •  By
  •  Murray Humphrey

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be walking you through a few tricks and tips to help improve your financial wellbeing. We’ll look at evaluating what you have, reviewing your budget, tidying up your finances and planning for the future. Check back soon for more!

Step 3: De-Clutter

Hello and welcome back to Penfold's 4-step program for taking care of your financial mental health 👋

In our last couple of posts, we’ve looked at taking stock of your finances, cutting down your outgoings and making your money situation work for you. Now, it’s time to look at how you can simplify things - making your life easier and cutting down how much your have to worry about your finances. Let's get straight into it.

What Do You Need?

We’ve talked about reviewing your current account, savings and any other financial products you use. Now’s the time to take a step back and work out which ones you actually need.

While there can be advantages to using a wide variety of financial products and services (think tax benefits, savings limits), you should also consider how realistic it is to manage it all. Without a financial advisor or accountant doing the hard work for you, it's easy to lose track of your different pots. Is the interest rate still good? What are your log in details? How do you transfer your money out? Things can quickly become a hassle.

Committing to taking on what you can actually manage easily often achieves more than taking on too much. We're all busy and adding a pile of financial services on top isn't always going to give us the significant upside we think. That's why the Penfold pension takes care of it for you. You have enough to worry about as it is!

It's not about cutting down completely - like we mentioned, there are real benefits to having a suite of financial products. Just ask yourself: How much can I really keep on top of? Where can I consolidate or cancel services?

Never forget to take your financial wellbeing into account. Simple and straightforward is always best.

Get Organised

The first step to keeping your finances nice and tidy is to make sure all the information you need is at your fingertips.

Check out all the apps and tools that your financial products offer - do they make it easy to view and manage all the information you need? Try grouping any apps on your phone together in one folder, or add any websites to your browser's bookmarks. Make sure you keep your logins stored securely. You might like to keep everything in an encrypted note for easy (but secure) access. You can read more about how you to keep your notes secure here.

Once you know where everything is digitally, it's time to get rid of any old or out of date physical paperwork. Spend 30 minutes going through your file to double-check you only have vital documents stored, organised and easy to access. Remove anything that doesn't need to be there. You'll be surprised how much you can cut down!

Keep Track

The best way to feel in control of your financial health is to fully embrace your situation. And that means keeping records 🤓

We know, it doesn't sound thrilling but believe us - being able to see your complete financial situation at a glance in one place will work wonders for your mental health. No hidden costs means more control and less anxiety.

We recommend creating a basic database in whatever form works best for you. A spreadsheet, word document, notebook, ring binder... anything you can manage.

Here are the essential things to keep a record of:

  • What you're paying for
  • How much you're paying
  • Who you're paying
  • When you'll review the payment

That way you can ensure you’re getting the best deals and won't get taken advantage of if anything changes.

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Debunking Debt

Debt is a word with bad connotations - but that doesn't mean you should always avoid it . Debt is a normal part of the modern financial landscape and it does serve a purpose. Anyone who’s tried to get a mortgage with minimal credit history knows that having absolutely zero debt can actually cause a financial headache as much as an unwelcome credit card bill.

During your de-cluttering, take the time to look at whether you can save any money (or just make your life easier) by consolidating store card and credit card debt. If you’re not currently making much progress in paying it off, what's the cheapest way to bring it all together so you're working on one number rather than several?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a once and done exercise. To make the most of your finances you need to stay in control over the long-term too. Build a habit of quick tidy ups at least once or twice a year. Our top tip? Every time you finish your de-clutter, treat yourself. We recommend celebrating with a pizza and a glass of wine. Hey, you just sorted out your finances, you deserve it! 🍕🍷

Once you're done set yourself a reminder to check back in in a few months time.

Getting Help

Part of our mission at Penfold is to make managing your pension less of a pain. Our motto is "forget about the future" - leave your pension to us so you can get back to the stuff that really matters. Living in the moment.

One tool that might help your financial tidy up is our Find My Pension service. Track down your lost pensions by telling us where you used to work and consolidate them into one, easy to manage plan with a few clicks. Leave all the dull, difficult stuff to us.

Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about saving for life after work, you can always get in touch. We're more than happy to help.

A photo of Murray Humphrey

Murray Humphrey