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How to Conduct a Personal Financial Audit for 2024



As we embrace 2024, it's the perfect time for reflection and planning – not just for personal goals but also for our financial well-being. A personal financial audit provides a clear snapshot of where you stand financially, helping you make informed decisions for the future. It's about taking stock of your finances, understanding your current position, and setting actionable goals. Here's how you can conduct a thorough financial audit for 2024.


Step 1: Gather Your Financial Documents


Begin by collecting all your financial statements and records. This includes bank statements, investment accounts, retirement account statements, loan statements, and any other financial documents. Having all relevant information at your disposal will give you a comprehensive view of your financial landscape.


Step 2: Review Your Spending


Examine your bank and credit card statements from the past year to understand where your money is going. Categorise your spending into essentials (housing, utilities, groceries) and non-essentials (dining out, entertainment). This exercise can reveal spending patterns and help identify areas where you can cut back.


Step 3: Assess Your Debt


List all your debts, including credit card debt, loans, and mortgages, noting the balance, interest rate, and monthly payment for each. Understanding your total debt load is crucial for effective debt management and planning how to reduce it.


Step 4: Evaluate Your Savings and Investments


Take a close look at your savings accounts, emergency funds, investments, and retirement savings. Are you on track to meet your financial goals? Consider whether your current savings strategy aligns with your long-term objectives and whether adjustments are needed.


Step 5: Check Your Insurance Policies


Review your insurance policies, including life, health, home, pet and car insurance. Ensure that your coverage is adequate and up to date, reflecting any changes in your life circumstances or financial situation.


Step 6: Set Financial Goals


Based on your audit, set realistic financial goals for 2024. These might include increasing your emergency fund, paying down a specific debt, or saving a certain amount for retirement. Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).


Step 7: Create or Update Your Budget


Your financial audit provides the foundation for creating a budget that supports your goals. Adjust your budget to accommodate any changes in income, expenses, savings, and debt repayment plans. A well-structured budget is your roadmap for financial success in the coming year.


Step 8: Monitor and Adjust


Regularly review your finances throughout the year to ensure you're on track to meet your goals. Be prepared to adjust your budget and plans as necessary, especially if your financial situation changes.


Conclusion


A personal financial audit is a powerful tool for gaining clarity and control over your finances. By taking the time to thoroughly assess your financial situation, you can set meaningful goals and create a realistic plan to achieve them. Remember, the goal of a financial audit is not just to set resolutions for the New Year but to create a sustainable, healthy financial future.


At Oakmere Wealth Management, we understand the importance of a solid financial foundation. Our bespoke financial planning services are designed to help you make the most of your finances, whatever your goals may be. Let us help you navigate the complexities of financial planning, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for the year ahead and beyond.


The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select, and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.


The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.


SJP Approved 29/02/2024


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