Approach 2021 with renewed sense of optimism & resolve
As we enter 2021, I doubt that any of us have ever been more sincere in our wishes for ourselves and others to enjoy a “Happy and Healthy New year”!
After the year we have all just endured, and given that we are still deep in the Covid 19 Pandemic with all of the restrictions in social liberties that it brings, it may sometimes feel difficult to approach 2021 with much of a sense of optimism.
But, here are a couple of reasons why we might want to look forward with hope for a better future in the coming months.
Firstly, while the current Covid restrictions are some of the most severe we have had to deal with since the crisis began, we really can look forward now with expectations for an end to the crisis.
In early December the first available vaccine for Covid 19, from Pfizer BioNtech, was approved for use in the UK. By the end of December over 600,000 people in the UK had received their first dose of the vaccine. Of course, we have all heard about the difficulties in rolling out the vaccine due to the extreme low temperatures required for storing it, but this was still a major breakthrough and gave us all hope for some light at the end of the tunnel.
On 30th December came further exciting, and potentially game changing, news; the approval by the UK’s drugs watchdog of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine. This vaccine may potentially prove to be even more influential than the Pfizer BioNTech one, not just because it is far easier to distribute (it doesn’t have the low temperature storage requirements of the Pfizer BioNTech offering), nor that the UK has already secured 100 million doses (compared to 20 million from Pfizer BioNTech), but it is also far cheaper to buy (just under £3 per dose compared to £15 per dose for Pfizer BioNTech). This means that it will be cost effective for all countries around the world, no matter what size their economy is, which is vital of course for the global pandemic to be defeated.
I guess we all hope that we will hear the word “Brexit” less and less as 2021 moves on (4 ½ years is enough for anyone right?), but we can at least now move into the post transition phase of the UK’s departure from the EU with some degree of certainty, now that a Post Brexit Trade Deal has been struck.
It was probably always going to be impossible for any deal to satisfy all parties from each corner of opinion, but the deal finally reached does appear to have received a thumbs up from all but the most ardent Brexiters (Even Nigel Farage referred to it as “a very big moment” and “a big step forward”). From a Remain perspective, whilst it is clear that those who voted for the UK to continue to be an integral part of the EU will never be completely at ease with a Brexit deal of any kind, it does at least mean that the UK has avoided the much vaunted “driving over the cliff edge” scenario that so many feared.
Will the deal be the vaccine for the Brexit divisions of the past few years? For some perhaps yes, for others no, but clearly we must all now accept that the UK is outside the EU and does (at least) have a deal which allows us to make the most of any opportunities that this presents.
Let us hope that the closing of the page on this chapter in the history of the UK will enable us to heal the divisions we have experienced since 2016 and ultimately restore some positivity and optimism for all of our futures.
How about some New Year Resolutions?
If I asked you what your number one New Year resolution might be for 2021, what would it be?
To have a holiday in the sun? To go to the theatre or attend a sporting or music event? To lose a few pounds that have been acquired due to the lockdown home baking craze? Of course, to see more of your family!?
There is so much that we have all missed in 2020 that the list could go on and on; but I wonder how many of you have considered any New Year “Financial” Resolutions?
Well to help you decide, here are a few financial resolutions that we believe could make your finances enjoy a “Healthy” new year.
Organise your finances
Get on top of your files, paperwork and plans and make a simple and clear summary of what you own, owe, receive and spend.
A friend of mine told me recently that during a recent spring clean of his personal files he found an old letter reminding him that he had an internet savings account. Upon investigation he found the account held £1,200, being interest added after he had withdrawn his capital three years previously.
It pays to be organised!
Understand what you are spending
It doesn’t matter how much you earn, if you spend too much, then you will never be financially secure.
As Charles Dickens “Mr McCawber” famously said, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery”.
If you never seem to be able to regularly save a meaningful amount, or you are racking up debt, then chances are you don’t know exactly how much you are spending and on what.
Manage debt carefully
Although interest rates are abnormally low at present, it’s unlikely that they will stay that way forever.
Even so, some types of debt, such as credit/store cards and higher cost loans, charge high interest. Debt repayment represents a risk-free, tax-free return equal to the interest you will avoid.
Pay yourself first
If you are still working then the chances are you aren’t saving nearly enough for when you can’t or no longer want to work.
As a rough rule of thumb you should be saving around 20 per cent of your annual income, less if you are young and more if you are older.
Make sure you have enough of the right insurance
Insurance is something no one likes paying for but is always happy to claim. If you insure for what can go wrong, you can then invest for what can go right.
If you were to take on any or all of the above suggestions then there is no doubt that your finances will be healthier in 2021.
If you like the idea but would benefit from a bit of help then give us a call. Our Relationship Managers can assist you with a free, no obligation, review of your financial situation and can help you to find the right path to making and keeping your New Year “Financial” Resolutions.
Together you might just create a plan that would benefit you greatly, not only in the coming year, but for many years to come!
Ancojada Limited trading as Prosperitas Consult is not authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.
All financial advice is provided by other regulated businesses.