Is long-term financial planning included in your budget?
Published 1 November 2012 by Helen Gradwell
It seems it's easier for couples to focus on day-to-day financial decisions than to look way into the future. Sorting out their household budget could make their finances run more smoothly - allowing them to do more long-term financial planning.
The Department for Work and Pensions has recently released some research about how couples manage their finances. It focussed on how couples make financial decisions in general - but with an emphasis on significant 'milestones' and long-term planning.
One of the main findings was that couples find it difficult to build up 'momentum' when it comes to their pensions. They find it much easier to make financial decisions in the short term - for example, saving for holidays. Few couples were actively planning together for their retirement, and they only talked about retirement occasionally.
It's easy to understand why couples often don't tend to plan for the long term. For many, it is a constant struggle to keep track of their day-to-day finances. People are basically more likely to react to immediate needs than to plan far ahead.
Significantly, couples said that they didn't really enjoy managing their finances - but recognised that planning and budgeting is important.
An expert from thinkmoney said: "Managing your finances can be really difficult. There are so many things to think about - like your mortgage payments, bills, debts and putting food on the table - that long-term planning can get swept under the rug.
"So it's easy to see why a lot of people look for some professional help with their budgeting. The thinkmoney Managed Current Account comes with a personalised budgeting service, designed to make sure that all your monthly payments are taken care of - that enough is put aside to pay your bills and that they're paid on time. You and your partner could get a joint account if you wish, helping you manage your finances together.
"Knowing that your day-to-day expenses have been dealt with can make it easier to plan ahead and think about the future."
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