This article does not constitute advice. Professional advice should be taken prior to acting on any part of it. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.
Dental and Medical Financial Services Limited is an appointed representative of Best Practice IFA Group Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The UK, along with the rest of the world, is dealing with a cost-of-living crisis caused by increased inflation on food and other essential items alongside higher mortgage rates. For some families, this means they are struggling to make ends meet. Even if you and your family are not at that point, the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone. Here are a few things to help you survive the cost-of-living crisis.
Review your spending habits
One of the first steps we recommend doctors and other medical professionals to do is review your spending habits so you can regain control over your finances. While there will be certain areas where you simply cannot cut back, such as your mortgage, car payments, etc., there will always be ways you can save. For example, reviewing your budget might show you that you have unnecessary subscriptions or are spending too much on takeaways and other non-essential items. Understanding how much money is coming in and how much is going out, as well as where the money is going will help you keep your finances top of mind.
Don’t rush this process, though, as it’s important to avoid making short-sighted decisions that could have long-term consequences.
In the event that you experience a setback, it’s important that you have an emergency fund to fall back on. As a medical professional, it can be a lifesaver during periods of little or no income, but in order to tap into those funds, you will need to prioritise saving when you do have a steady stream of income.
While an emergency fund is by no means a replacement for more robust financial protection, it is still a good idea to have enough money set aside for at least three to six months of expenses, more if you can. Consider setting up an automatic payment to your savings account each month in order to prioritise saving.
Ask for help
If you find yourself struggling to cover essential expenses, there are options to help you – all you need to do is ask. For example, rising energy costs might mean you have trouble paying your bill, and if that is the case then it’s best to contact your provider to discuss assistance or even look for alternative energy suppliers to see if you can find a better deal.
If credit card debt is weighing you down, you can manage your debt by transferring balances to cards with 0% introductory rates. If you do this, it’s essential that you have a clear repayment plan that will allow you to pay down the debt before the higher interest rate kicks in. In extreme cases, if your debt becomes unmanageable, free debt advice charities are available to provide guidance.
Minimise mortgage costs
Mortgages are usually people’s biggest monthly expense. Seeking professional advice from medical financial experts when your fixed-rate mortgage is up for renewal can help secure you a better rate and potentially save money on repayments. Start shopping for new rates six months before the end of your fixed-rate term to allow enough time for the application process.
Work with a professional
If the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on your finances, you’re not alone. One of the best ways to navigate a turbulent time is to work with a financial adviser. They can help you with reviewing your budget, prioritising saving, and work with you to find new mortgage advisers. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Dental & Medical Financial advisers have a wealth of experience and knowledge based on an understanding of the complex financial issues that medical professionals are faced with throughout their personal and professional life. For help making it through the cost-of-living crisis, reach out to the experts at Dental & Medical Financial Services today.