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Lessons from the Byrne Family financial cookbook! September 2020


Nick’s recent blog: “Things I wish I could say to my younger self” has had lots of positive feedback within the Metfriendly community and if you haven’t read it yet it’s definitely worth a look. I particularly like the idea of not spending all of your pay rise – definitely a sensible idea. As Nick says, you managed to exist without the extra money, so it’s worth seeing if you can do without. It can be challenging to do this as you start your career and you experience some good increases in those early years. Unfortunately, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us in many different ways and my thoughts go out to those looking to start their careers.

My top tips are relatively simple when it comes to looking after my finances and, like a well-worn family cookbook, represent top tips passed down from different family members.

“Save before you spend”

Its’ probably not surprising that my Mum has always been a key person in my financial education, as she is a retired teacher, and this is one of her favourite sayings.  From opening my first Halifax account for me on my 16th birthday to start me on the road to home ownership to suggesting I look into a financial career; she has always encouraged me to focus on achieving my goals. In recent years, I was pleased to be able to help her review her own savings and improve the return she was getting.

“Just Do It”

This is my Uncle Norman’s favourite saying and he thinks actions speak louder than words. Achieving your goals starts with setting them and getting started. That’s how I wrote and published my first business book.

“Get a (financial) personal trainer”

Many of us work better with the input from someone else. Although I go to the gym, it was only when I started using a personal trainer that my fitness improved significantly, and I dropped several dress sizes. This was a recommendation from my sister who rarely has time to sit down and sort these things out. Many of us talk about plans for the perfect retirement, saving up for a new car or a new kitchen but rarely get around to putting plans in place to help us achieve them. Often its helpful talking to someone else to help you clarify your plans and discuss options – this is something that Metfriendly can help you achieve. Book a 121 with one of the team to see how saving with Metfriendly can help you achieve your ambitions.

“You work hard for your money – make it work hard for you”

This is one of my Dad’s and it links to his attention to detail – he was an engineer! It’s important to monitor your money to make sure its performance it is matching your expectations. A great place to start is my 5 step plan that I detailed in my July blog. This reminder to check rates and products is quite timely since as I write this blog, I hear that National Savings & Investments (NS&I) have slashed their rates. For example, the rate on Income Bonds will be cut from 1.15% p.a. to just 0.01% from 24th November 2020. This means that I’ll need to take action in November ahead of my next planned 6 month money review.

“Seek inspiration from others”

Whether you agree with Warren Buffet that “The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient” or you lean towards Benjamin Franklin’s view: “Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it”, I think we can all agree that having some level of financial reserves in these challenging times makes a lot of sense. Talking about money and sharing financial stories within your family between different generations is something that I believe is of great value and would encourage. If you have any family sayings or financial top-tips that you would like to share, please send them to me kathy.byrne@metfriendly.org.uk – I would love to hear from you.

Stay safe
Kathy Byrne, CEO Metfriendly

Topics: Savings & Investments, Making the Most of your Money

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