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For those of you not living in the UK, Brexit is a word coined to mark the Great Britain’s intention to leave the European Union. This decision was the result of a national referendum in July 2016 in which the electorate voted to ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain.’ The United Kingdom was very divided; 52% voted in favour of leaving and 48% voted to remain. Those who voted to leave did so without any real understanding of the repercussions of such a decision; they were encouraged by politicians who were economical with the truth. Now in December 2018, UK inhabitants find themselves heading towards Brexit and what looks like a self-inflicted recession.
Businesses and consumers have been heavily impacted; consumers are not spending as much as they used to and business people lack of confidence about the future. Businesses are currently less likely to invest in new equipment or staff and according to the GFK consumer confidence Index the current score for the UK is – 13. To give that some context, in December 2015 the confidence index score was +2. Significantly 2015 was the first time the index had remained positive for an entire calendar year since records began in 1974.
Prepare For Brexit
From a personal finance perspective, how can you better prepare yourself for the reality of Brexit? Below I have listed 4 practical steps you can take that will help.
Revisit Your Budget
Take a look at your current monthly budget and re-evaluate all of your expenditure. If there are opportunities to cut back – take them. For example, a lot of people have unmetered water bills even though in many cases a metered water bill will work out cheaper; read this post for information, Water Bills: Are you Pouring Money Down the Plughole? There may be other opportunities for you to cutback.
Assess Your Employer & Job Stability
In financially challenging circumstances many companies suffer and some go into administration. In the UK, we have seen this with the demise of Maplin and Toy R Us.
The task for you is to dispassionately assess how well your employer is doing and how likely/unlikely it is that you be made redundant. Do not rely on any assurances from the management team at your company; do your own independent research. If you think that you could be made redundant save more money into your emergency fund.
Reduce Discretionary Expenditure
In personal finance circles, there is a lot of discussion around how much impact cutting out daily Lattes will have on the path toward better financial health. That’s a choice that you are best placed to make. However, what is sensible is to rein the dining out occasions and perhaps replace them with entertaining friends at home. Beyond entertaining, holidays are another area that you should review. Choosing a more cost effective destination or changing an international holiday to a UK based ‘staycation’ will give you greater financial comfort. Also, do not go overboard at Christmas.
Review All of Your Financial Products
Review all of your financial products including savings, mortgages, investments and pensions. Assess the impact on Brexit in each case and evaluate whether you should continue with your current provider. If appropriate, change to better performing products with other providers to maximise your returns.
How are you preparing financially for Brexit? Let me know in the comments section below.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.