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Four financial skills you may be lacking and how acquiring them will help

Everyone aims for financial security, but then some do better than others. By ruling out some basic mistakes, and getting the best advice available, it is possible to have peace of mind.

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Learning how to save

Emergencies are a part of life whether it involves your health, family or home. No matter what your current situation you should always have cash to hand, or at least quickly accessible. Any windfall should be stored away in a savings account. Making regular savings out of your income will also stand you in good stead.

Credit cards

Many people see a credit card as a part of their economic armoury, but it is important to use this access to cash sensibly, otherwise it can become a burden and a drain on your monthly income. It is sensible to use a card when booking a holiday, for example, as it provides you with insurance against cancellation or the collapse of you provider. If you are disciplined and pay the full amount off each month you are getting free credit. Once you pay just a part of the debt, or the minimum, your purchase is costing you more than if you had saved to make it. Also, although the interest rate may seem relatively low it will soon mount up the longer you take to clear the balance.

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Financial advice

You may want to seek financial advice, although this can seem intimidating at the outset. You can find a reliable list of advisors close to you via the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

You will find many options but it is important to understand how your advisor approaches their work. Many will now use software for financial advisors found online at sites such as www.intelliflo.com.

No matter what your situation or concerns, most advisors will be happy to provide the kind of tailored service to suit you. This may involve providing you with a balanced and diverse investment portfolio or advising on your pension arrangements.

Avoiding scams

Everyone is aware of the danger of financial scams involving fake calls from your bank, internet provider or even HMRC. Mostly these are made by email or telephone calls. Always work on the basis that your bank, tax authority or internet provider will never contact you in this way.

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