Caroline Allen founded Yorkshire Financial Planning with Joanne Baker with the vision of sharing effective cash flow modelling tools with women.
Prior to launching the business, Caroline completed her degree in Theology and went on to work at the Nationwide Building Society for almost 20 years.
Caroline’s ethos is that she only makes recommendations that she genuinely believes in and would give to her family and friends. She explains the importance of having a financial health check and seeking advice when you need it.
There are no quick fixes
Most people go through life with a fairly good idea of how to budget and know how to shop around to get a good deal on mortgage and savings rates. When it comes to getting financial advice, this is undoubtedly an area which many people believe they can sort out themselves.
Our friend Google helps us to believe that we can find all the answers ourselves and therefore don’t need the advice of a professional. This approach, although fine for some, will get you so far and if you have simple finances you’ll probably chug along quite nicely.
So, why bring in a professional?
Primarily because you don’t know, what you don’t know. For me, I see a personal trainer every week and have for several years. I now know lots of different exercises and I can tell you what muscle group they work and how. What I struggle to do without my PT, however, is join all the dots together to create a structured program to achieve my fitness goals.
My PT keeps me focused on these goals, she helps me plan my workouts and more importantly she checks my form, so I don’t injure myself.
Working with a Financial Adviser is pretty much the same, just without the press-ups! Financial Advisers will talk to you about your long-term goals and analyse what’s already available to work alongside you. Their knowledge and expertise in the industry, along with your personal circumstances, will form a plan for you to achieve your goals.
Accountability will keep you on track
For us, it’s about financial planning and not just budgeting. Though you find yourself wanting to do everything on your own, it just isn’t realistic and as I said before – you don’t know, what you don’t know.
Getting support through regular financial reviews and staying up to date with the latest rules, regulations, and taxation, ensures that you are making the most of every penny you have.
A financial health check will look different to every individual. We are all unique and we all have different goals. Some people just need a few tweaks and a little support, whilst others need assistance in putting a full plan together.
The key is working with someone along the way, and what starts as a professional relationship often develops into your Financial Adviser becoming a part of what we call your ‘power team’. It’s a relationship that grows and after a while, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Strengthening your support network
Women in particular are most in need of a financial health check. Women are impacted by the gender pay gap, meaning that on average they earn less than men. Lower incomes and needing time off work to raise children or family means women find that they haven’t got as much financial provision as their male counterparts.
We also often see that in a relationship, money is directed towards ‘his’ pension as opposed to ‘hers’. With later life divorce on the increase, this can come back to bite us. The key is that you make financial decisions once you fully understand your options and all the potential consequences – an eyes wide open approach if you like.
Advice is available for everyone
There is a misconception out there that only the wealthy need a Financial Adviser. That’s not true.
Having a financial health check, at any stage in life you are at, is something that your future self will thank you for. No one ever feels like it’s a waste of time, so do yourself a favour and find a Financial Adviser that you click with and add them to your power team.
Financial well-being goes hand in hand with mental health and for most, just starting the conversion can make a big difference to your outlook on money. A financial health check could reveal that you have all the tools in place to live comfortably, or that you can afford to treat yourself after all.