Home » What your tax return can teach you about financial planning
Let’s start by clearing up a widespread misconception about the extent of my skills and ability (or lack, thereof):
You see, I may know personal finance, diversifying an investment portfolio, how to change a plug, building solid financial foundations, moving across the world with two small children oh and killing insects without fear.
But self assessment tax returns? Ask someone else.
Like many others across the country, I dread this time of year. Because despite best intentions, I invariably leave things until the 11th hour and then spend days and weeks sweating over it. And the angst doesn’t end upon submission either, does it?
Because then we’re all plagued by that lingering doubt about whether something small yet vital has been missed, and that we’ll all be in jail by Christmas.
The whole experience this year left me with two revelations:
1. It’s time to manage my ego and pay for professional help with my returns from now on.
2. The parallels between our approach to tax returns and our overall financial planning are startling.
For example, how many of us are card carrying members of the ‘I can do this myself’ club, with everything, including our self assessment and our wider financial planning?
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in many respects, it’s brilliant. As women, especially, there are so many ways that we undermine ourselves through extreme self deprecation and negative self-talk so where we are confident in our abilities to just crack on, I’m here for it.
But what about those of us for whom this isn’t the case?
Whether we’re struggling with the will, the time or the mindset, if we’re in a position to pay for help, why don’t we do it?
Perhaps it’s cleaning, babysitting, gardening, book keeping, admin or anything else that’s stopping you from staying in your zone of excellence but whatever it is, don’t we owe it to ourselves to buy back some time?
And shouldn’t this same logic and willingness to call in help apply to ALL of us in our wider financial planning, whether we’re submitting tax returns or not? If we are able to, why not bring in the experts to make our journey smoother, and give ourselves a chance to get things right the first time without all the hassle?
Automate – have a look at what apps and tools are available to help you automate your expenses, savings, and investments.
Plan ahead – know what you have coming in and what will be going out. It’s not sexy, but a good budget will save you plenty of hassle – as I always say, think of it as a tool of liberation, not a financial prison.
Get help – If you can afford it and know you need it, why not let the experts handle it? And for financial coaching. there’s always the Rainmakers Academy...