Making the most of your money in Financial Planning Week 2019

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Aaah, the old 5 Ps: Preparation and Planning Prevent Poor Performance. A motto for life and something that’s certainly true when it comes to your money. Anyone can benefit from creating a sound financial plan, whatever their income or circumstances, and a little expert help can make the whole process so much more efficient and effective.

Good news. This autumn all UK consumers are being offered free financial planning sessions worth up to £500 for CISI Financial Planning Week, which takes place between the 7th and the 11th of October. This annual campaign, organised by the not-for-profit professional body the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, is a national initiative to help improve the financial fitness of the UK public, while highlighting the knowledge, skills and integrity of CFPTM practitioners.

How does financial planning help me?

In my own life, I’ve found everything goes better when you have a plan. Creating a financial plan, even a very simple one, has multiple benefits. This includes:

  • Setting life goals and money goals
  • Gaining an overview and important perspective
  • Looking at earnings and outgoings
  • Deciding and ranking personal priorities
  • Finding weak spots / areas of risk and troubleshooting them
  • Building resilience in case of emergencies
  • Creating specific, well defined steps to achieve your goals

Working with an expert is particularly helpful for gaining perspective, as modern life is so busy and hectic it often distracts us from seeing the bigger picture and sometimes we miss the finer details too. A professional financial planner can also give you all kinds of tips such as ways to boost your pension pot or gain benefits you didn’t realise you were able to claim, putting you in a better position both now and in the longer term.

What’s on offer for CISI Financial Planning Week

Free, hour long, confidential sessions worth up to £500 are being offered by Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFPTM) professionals who are giving their time again this year on a pro-bono basis, offering consumers a helping hand to achieve financial well-being, resilience and life goal planning. The focus of the 2019 campaign is to help members of the public who have a pension but don’t have a financial plan, but all consumers are welcome.

The free consultation surgeries financial planning firms will be offering include :

  • In person meetings
  • Skype meetings
  • Consultations over the phone

This flexible approach is helpful if you’re unable to travel, busy with kids or generally short of time, and there’s something to suit most people.


If you’re a consumer in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, why not try a free, no-obligation personal finance guidance session, which can be arranged before, during and after CISI Financial Planning Week 7-11 October. For further details and booking, visit their microsite to find out more and make a booking, or call 020 7645 0777 to book your free session with a local CFPTM professional or other financial planner.


goals and personal finance

Things to think about before a personal financial planning session

  • Your life stage (e.g. just starting out, young parents, kids off to uni, approaching retirement)
  • Your most important life & money goals (weddings, buying a home, travel, helping grandchildren, etc)
  • Your earnings, outgoings and current financial situation (in debt, homeowner, no savings, many investments)
  • Financial products you currently have (savings, loans, investments, pensions, insurance)

Having a quick overview to hand helps the planner to get a better idea of where you currently stand, where you want to be, and areas with room for improvement.

My personal financial planning experience

I tend to think of myself as someone who’s quite dorky when it comes to personal finance (I started my first pension a month after I graduated, so like I said, dorky) and have always had goals of some sort or another, but getting the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes from a professional planner a few months ago gave me a bit of a wake up call.

Like many people I’d just been plodding along with everyday life most of the time, and probably hadn’t been as dilligent in the last few years as I used to be. It turned out I needed to refocus my goals now I’m a self-employed 40-something, rather than a 20-something employee with distant hopes of someday buying my own place, or a 30-something employee with a regular income… I’ve always been good at budgeting and keeping my outgoings down, so that’s stood me in good stead, but it turned out I needed a nudge in the right direction in other specific areas.

After some sensible discussion and advice about goal setting, I started ticking off a to-do list of new tasks including finding a better savings account for the money I set aside to pay my taxes, increasing the size of my emergency fund, changing my life insurance and business-related insurance policies for more appropriate cover, and looking at options to get more out of my old workplace pensions.

While the current political situation in the UK has been so unsettled, my partner and I had been holding back on larger purchases such as home improvements and expensive holidays so we didn’t overextend ourselves, but I also had to admit I’d completely been avoiding thinking about making any new or improved investments. Talking to a professional has helped me to regain my confidence and keep going, taking a balanced but careful approach to risk during uncertain times.

The fat has been trimmed, my savings and insurance are better suited to my current needs, and I’m cautiously optimistic about the future. All in all, it’s been worth every minute spent on the process, and it’s helped to get my money working so much harder for me. I’d definitely recommend giving it a go.


inspiration and planning lead to success

About the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

The CISI is the non-profit professional body which sets examinations and offers qualifications for those working in or looking to establish a career in the financial planning, wealth management and capital markets profession. Based in the City of London, with origins in the London Stock Exchange, this global organisation works in close cooperation with regulators, firms and other professional bodies worldwide, with a mission to help members attain, maintain and develop their knowledge and skills and to promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity.


Full disclosure: Sponsored post created in association with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment


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  1. Dear Penny,
    Thank you for this very interesting article. However I am longing to have you come back to some sort of challenges. Having you motivate us, this is what makes me keep going in my every day life. Waiting to challenge with you very soon.
    Love, Pat

    1. Hi Pat, lovely to hear from you – so glad you found the financial planning article interesting, thanks for your feedback! We are indeed going to be having some challenges in the next few days, starting with a new store cupboard challenge, so please join in if you like the look of that.

      Penny x

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