Everyone has a story. And as individuals, we get to be the ‘main character’ of our own lives — with all the colourful chapters that unfold for us, and the turned down corners of pages that hold our important events.
When we imagine closing our book at a ripe old age of 100, wouldn’t we all like our life stories to be rich and purposeful?
Of course, we all have different definitions of what a ‘richer life’ might look like, and your goals and ambitions are fundamentally unique to you. Perhaps, your version of ‘rich’ might be less about private jets, and more about getting to a point of life where you’ve taken care of your money worries and you’re free to enjoy yourself a bit more.
No matter if you dream big, small or modestly, we want to help you get there. So, Loqbox has put together these simple steps to help your richer life be more in reach:
Build your (financial) security net
The first step towards living a richer life (one that you totally deserve, by the way) is to protect yourself financially. Why? Because, as we all know, life happens! Unexpected redundancy, long-term illness, unpaid care commitments, not having enough saved for retirement — these are just a handful of common monetary stresses that, without them, would alleviate a lot of burden from your financial wellbeing and let you feel free to enjoy a fuller life.
Loqbox ran a short survey in 2022 to figure out what ‘financial wellbeing’ meant to our members. The majority of the respondents stated that ‘Not being stressed or worried about finances’ was their clear definition with 71.6% of the votes. This was followed by things like ‘being able to pay all their bills’, ‘having a financial safety net’, ‘having money to spend on things they enjoy’, and ‘being debt free’.
Much lower in the results was ‘having a lot of money in the bank’ with 13.8% of the votes. But even with a pile of gold in your personal vault, what does that truly give you? Financial security, right? The freedom to worry less about money, and to do what you’d like, when you’d like.
Here are some simple steps to get you towards living a richer life:
Step one: Protect your income
Did you know that there is a type of insurance that covers a percentage of your income if you’re suddenly unable to work due to a serious illness or injury? Some more bespoke policies even cover redundancy too, albeit at a slightly higher premium.
‘Income Protection insurance’ (also known as ‘permanent health insurance’), is a little-known insurance that less than 10% of people in the UK have. But it’s one that can help tremendously with your financial wellbeing.
Step two: Build your credit history
At some point in life, it’s likely that a lender is going to run a hard credit check on you. And because we know that lenders can (and do) charge a lot more interest to individuals with poor credit ratings, it’s good to master this before that day arrives when you really need to take out a new credit agreement.
We talk about credit scores a lot here at Loqbox, but really, the scores are just a tool for you to use to reach your financial goals. The number is simply a reflection of your credit report, and largely your credit history that is included in the report.
Your credit history is going to take a long time to build up, so start today by familiarising yourself with and following these ‘Golden rules of credit building’. This stuff is not rocket science, but it is shrouded in mystery (which Loqbox hates), so mastering these will be highly beneficial for your credit rating.
And by making a start today, you could be saving your future-self £1,000s! Because the best possible deals are offered to people with an optimised credit report (which includes a long list of evidence showing they’ve managed their credit responsibly — aka your credit history).
Keep an eye on your credit score as your guide for how well you’re doing, and check this at least once every six months.
Step three: Build an emergency fund
If you found yourself in a difficult situation tomorrow, would you have enough cash saved to cover you, and prevent you from getting into debt while resolving it?
This savings goal is really important for helping you to enjoy a happier, healthier relationship with money. Loqbox recommends you set the goal to save enough for three to six months of your essential outgoings.
This can feel like an uphill struggle for some, we understand. So if that seems unachievable, start with £1,000 and go from there.
If you are looking to get started with this, you can combine steps two and three of this list at the same time by using Loqbox Save! Many of our members are using it to build their emergency funds, and it could work for you too.
Step four: Invest in yourself
Once you have the foundations of your financial life in place, you can start to relax and focus on you a bit more. Investing isn’t just about stocks and shares, it’s also about becoming the best future version of yourself.
At this point, you’ll be able to start achieving what matters most to you. Set your next goals, now that steps one to three are out of the way, without the feelings of money stress or guilt hanging over you. Use this ‘Personalised goal-setting toolkit’ to put your plans into action.
Following your path to a richer life can be shuffled forward through self-education! Have you always wanted to learn a new skill, unlock a new career path, or fill a knowledge gap? And if you’re sitting reading this, perhaps you’re motivated to learn how the UK financial system works as a starting point (check out Loqbox Coach for help with that).
Step five: Time to enjoy yourself
And breathe! This is the easy part, because it’s all about truly living that ‘richer life’ you’ve been working towards.
By this step, you would have built brilliant money habits and set yourself up for a stress-free financial situation.
Cue more freedom to enjoy quality time with your friends and family, or take up hobbies to keep you feeling challenged, healthy and fulfilled. And most importantly — to enjoy it! Whatever your idea of a ‘richer life’ looks like, use these steps towards reaching the financial independence you truly deserve.