Protecting Your Financial Health 

By Dave Southby of Dave Southby Financial Planning. Dave, who runs his business from Swindon, offering financial planning to individuals, families and business owners. For more information visit

 Running your finances effectively during a cost of living crisis can be challenging for us all. We may have mortgages to pay and our future payments are uncertain, we all have bills to pay and many have gone up and if we are reliant on savings for some of our income, we may well be concerned that we are not making the most of our nest egg.

Some of us may be considering big life changes – buying our first home, downsizing, retiring or something else. When these moments come along it’s wise to plan around your wealth, whatever that wealth may look like.

As we head towards 2024, here are a few tips to keep your finances as healthy as possible.

*If you are thinking of selling your home or downsizing please bear in mind the continued reduction of the Capital Gains Tax exemption threshold. This relates to the selling of an asset where the asset is worth more now than at time of purchase. This asset could be a property, artwork, jewellery or something else. In April next year that threshold will be £3,000. Therefore planning the sale of valuable assets and that financial liability is critically important.

*If you are thinking of buying your first home or you want to support your 0lder children to do so – there are a few options which you might consider. One of these is a Lifetime ISA. You must be over 18 and under 40 to take one out, allowing  you to invest up to £4,000 a year until you are 50 years old. If you put in the whole £4,000 the government will currently add in a bonus of £1,000. Bear in mind however you will need to have an account open for a minimum of 12 months before you can purchase your first property.

*Consider your financial wellbeing – stress over money can lead to mental health issues. It’s very important to seek advice early if you are struggling with your finances in any way and to not be embarrassed about this.

*Plan for your pension. This tip is one which applies for everyone. By starting your plan as early as possible for a time when you are not working full-time, you will have far more success in having the income you want in your more mature years. This might be the ability to go on several holidays a year, or one luxurious holiday a year, or to buy that caravan or motorhome or to travel.