The UK Personal Finance Flow Chart

Personal Finance Flowchart

Step 0: Budget and reduce expenses, set realistic goals

Step 1: Build a small Emergency Fund
(1-3 months)

Step 2: Automatic Enrolment Pension

Step 3: Build a full Emergency Fund
(3-12 months)

Step 4: Pay down debts

Step 5: Save for short-term goals
(<5 years)

Step 6: Invest for long-term goals
(>5years)

Start Flowchart

Know where your money is going by creating a solid budget plan. Consider a tool like Emma.

Check your state supported entitlement at entitledto.co.uk

Pay essential bills:

Food

Rent/Mortgage

Council Tax

Find more advice on MSE

Pay Income Earning Expenses
(e.g. transport to work)

Make minimum payments on all debts

Insure what you can't afford to replace such as:

  • Home, Car, Life, Income, etc.
Read more about insurance

Pay non-essential bills in full
(Internet, Phone, TV)

Are you reliant on credit to make ends meet?

Yes
No

Seek debt councelling from a reputable charity.

Visit stepchange.org

Okay, what's next?

Build a small Emergency Fund
(1-3 months of outgoings)

Ensure you are (auto)enrolled in company pension.

Take advantage of matched contributions or any other available company contributions.

Do you have any high interest (4%+ PA) debt?
(excl. student loans)

Yes
No

Pay off high-interest debt using a debt-management method such as Avalance (highest SPR debt first, more efficient), or Snowball (smallest debt first, less efficient but with possible psychological benefits)

Find out more on each method here

Sure, then what?

Build a full Emergency Fund
(3-12 months of outgoings)

Are you saving to buy your FIRST home?

Yes
No

Consider opening a Lifetime ISA (LISA)

I'll look into it. What's next?

Do you have other short term goals?

Yes
No

Find highest-interest-paying savings account and keep short-term savings in cash

Great idea. Let's keep going...

Do you have long term goals?

Yes
No (really?!)

Congrats. Increase your discretionary spending budget and enjoy your money!

Don't know what to buy? Check out Dead Wallet for some spending ideas

Does your goal happen before you can spend pension funds?
(~58 years old)

Yes
No

Is the total cost of your workplace pension ≤ 0.5% PA?

Yes
No

Open a SIPP and invest in low-cost global index trackers

(If in 40%+ tax bracket, claim additional relief)

Pension full or on track for £1m before retirement?

Yes
No

Additional contributions to company pension

(If in 40%+ tax bracket, claim additional relief)

Pension full or on track for £1m before retirement?

Yes
No

Are you on track for your retirement goal?

Yes
No

Do you have any other goals?

Yes
Nope!

Buy the same things in your S&S ISA, but in a taxable account and harvest dividend/CGT allowance

Sounds like a plan! Anything else?

Well done! If you have no other goals, you can increase your discretionary spending budget and enjoy your money.

Don't know what to buy? Check out Dead Wallet for some spending ideas

Combine S&S ISA with pensions

Invest in low-cost global index trackers. Buy the same things in your S&S ISA but in a taxable account harvest dividend / CGT allowance

Consider S&S LISA in certain niche circumstances