With New Year celebrations behind us, it’s time to start focusing on goals and plans for the upcoming 12 months. Looking at what 2019 holds in terms of finance might not be on the top of your list of things to do. However, it’s a step that can help you make the most of your money and prepare for potential changes.
2018 bought political uncertainty and investment volatility, highlighting just how quickly factors affecting your money can change. It’s likely that 2019 will bring more of the same in terms of changes and updates that could influence your financial security and wealth. Keeping track of the key dates that could affect you can help you reduce the impact of risks and seize opportunities.
Here’s our list of four key dates to be aware of this year.
1. Spring Statement: March
In March, Chancellor Philip Hammond will once again deliver his Spring Statement, setting out government spending for the upcoming year. While the announcement will cover numerous sectors, there are undoubtedly set to be a few that will affect the money in your pocket in some way.
This year’s Spring Statement will occur just weeks before Brexit. As a result, it’s likely that commitments will be dialled back to some degree and that any pledges made could change fairly quickly. Depending on the outcome of Brexit, another budgetary statement may follow this one relatively quickly.
2. Brexit: 29th March
For the last three years, Brexit seems to have dominated the news, with discussions on everything from the shape a final deal will take to the impact it will have on the finances of Brits. The date Britain is set to leave the EU is now just weeks away on the 29th March. However, the relationship Britain will continue to have with the bloc is still uncertain. As a result, the impact it will have on finances is impossible to predict.
With the unknown looming, it can be difficult to decide how you should be responding. Here, preparation can help ease your mind. Understanding how investment market volatility, for example, will impact your long-term plan, can help you identify if changes may need to be made. Alternatively, you may find there are potential opportunities among the turmoil of Brexit you can take advantage of too.
As the future around Brexit is uncertain, keeping on top of your finances and monitoring the impact, with an eye on your long-term goals, could offer a boost.
3. End of the tax year: 5th April
The end of the tax year marks an important date in the financial calendar. If you have any remaining tax-efficient allowances to use up, now is often the last opportunity to do so. That means pouring any extra money into either a Cash or Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) if you haven’t already reached your £20,000 annual limit.
You should also note the Annual Allowance for pensions to get the most out of the tax-efficient benefits of saving in one. The Annual Allowance can be as high as £40,000, though for some high earners it may be as low as £10,000. If you’re unsure of your pension allowance and how to get the most out of it, please contact us.
The annual exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), currently £11,700 per year, also resets at the end of the tax year.
The end of the tax year is the perfect time for getting an overview of your finances and understanding what tax-efficient allowances you’ve yet to make use of. While, in some cases, you can claim unused allowances for a defined period of time, this is typically more complex.
4. Autumn Budget: November
We know that the Autumn Budget will be taking place in November. But what it will contain will largely be dictated by the impact of Brexit, as well as the immediate decisions made following the date. As always though, it’s likely personal finance will feature in some way.
If you’d like to discuss the steps you should be taking over the course of the year, please get in touch. We’re here to help you get the most out of your finances in 2019 and beyond.