Most people have a generally positive outlook on the world and, as a result, it’s not pleasant to think about negative things that could happen in the future. It’s not nice to think about the death of a loved one, for example, but sadly it’s something that people do need to dwell on in order to prevent financial problems. In an increasingly precarious world where employment is unstable and few jobs last for life, it’s also wise to cover yourself against what might occur in your workplace. Preparing yourself financially, then, is a must-do no matter what stage of life you’re at. Here’s an overview of some of the main ways that you can do this in order to prevent problems arising.
Write a will
Do you know what will happen to your property once you pass away? Plenty of Brits don’t as not everyone actually has a last will and testament in place – and if that applies to you, then there’s no guarantee that any of your assets will go to your loved ones. This is especially relevant if you’re not married to your partner, but it can apply in all sorts of cases. Equally, if your partner owns your home and they die without a will – or die “intestate”, as it is known – then you could be in trouble. It’s possible to research this online, but it’s best to speak to a professional such as a solicitor to get a full low-down.
If you were to lose your job unexpectedly, then you might find it hard to cover all the bills – including the mortgage or rent – on which you and your family rely. Employment insurance can cover you here, as it can pay out during a period of no work and ensure that you keep your head above water. Employment insurance is especially handy for those who are self-employed as, of course, it’s possible that work will either dry up a little or simply stop coming in at all. While it can seem like just another cost to bear when you pay each contribution, it’s possible that you’ll need to claim it once or twice in your career – so it’s worth having in place.
Avoid hidden costs
Financial prudence relies in a lot of cases on reading contracts and offers carefully. In an economy where many business models focus on low initial prices but contain a number of added extra costs, it’s always wise to make sure that you’re not being overcharged as a result of a clause that you might miss in the small print. It’s also important to make sure that you claim back any unfair overcharges from previous years. The payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal is just one example of this, and plenty of people are believed to still have an unclaimed case against a financial institution thatwrongly sold them the insurance.
As a result of this scandal, it’s now possible to make a Capital One PPI claim or a claim against another institution online – so there’s no reason not to if you think that you’ve been affected. Going forward, you should make sure that you act to stop any further issues from arising by always looking at the small print in any agreement and by asking retailers or contractors to give full, upfront costings when they outline a product or service for you.
A savings buffer
When cash flows are tight, saving up may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you’re in a position where you can save some money, then it’s definitely worth doing. Building up a buffer of a few months’ worth of spending is a smart move, as it allows you to dip into savings and avoid having to use credit cards or take out high-interest payday loans in order to get through a temporary rough patch.
Protecting yourself against the financial problems that may occur over your lifetime, then, is a must-do. In some cases, such as claiming back the costs of mis-sold PPI, this can be done retrospectively. In other cases, however, it’s not possible to turn back the clock: all you can do is ensure that your future is protected. Whether you need to write a will to be certain that your loved ones won’t be left out of pocket after your death or whether it looks like employment insurance might be right for you, there’s a lot that you can do to future-proof yourself against adverse financial circumstances.