5 reasons to be positive about your finances in 2024

Posted on

After a difficult economic backdrop in 2023, it seems that there may be hope on the horizon. A recent study reported by FTAdviser has revealed that the majority of UK adults (52%) feel positive about their finances going into 2024.

With inflation falling, the cost of living crisis easing, and interest rates forecast to be cut, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to finally be coming into view.

So, with the old year behind you and the new one ahead, here are five reasons for you to be positive about your finances in 2024.

1. Inflation is falling, helping your wealth to keep pace with the cost of living

In January 2023, the UK inflation rate was at 10.1%. A year on, inflation has more than halved, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting that inflation fell to 4% in the year to December 2023.

Although economists generally agree that a degree of steady inflation is good, and the current rate is still above the Bank of England (BoE) target of 2%, it is certainly moving in the right direction.

As inflation falls, it can mean that returns on your savings or investments may be more likely to keep pace with the cost of living.

For example, IG reports that the total annualised return of the FTSE 100 averaged 7.48% between 1984 and 2022. So, if inflation is lower in 2024, your returns may outstrip rises in the cost of living and your wealth could grow in real terms.

2. Interest rates are forecast to be cut, reducing borrowing costs

The BoE sets the base rate of interest in the UK and adjusts it to help regulate inflation. When inflation is high, the BoE will often raise the base rate to dampen demand, when inflation is low, the BoE will often reduce the base rate to encourage spending.

Interest rates have been at 5.25% since August 2023, which represents the highest base rate for 15 years. However, Reuters reports that many experts expect the BoE to lower the base rate to around 4.25% by the end of the year as inflation continues to approach the BoE’s 2% target.

If interest rates fall, mortgage and borrowing rates will usually come down too. This could be great news if you’re a first-time buyer, your mortgage deal is ending in 2024, or you’re a business owner with outstanding loans.

3. The UK avoided recession, meaning sound news for markets

Despite predictions to the contrary, the UK economy avoided falling into recession in 2023, and experts predict no recession in 2024. A growing economy means more job security, higher levels of employment and, typically, better business performance.

Furthermore, there are knock-on effects in the economy that can be difficult to predict, but positive news in one area often leads to positive developments in another.

For example, the Guardian reports that energy bills are forecast to fall by 16% in April of this year, which should help to further ease the cost of living crisis that has squeezed the nation for the past two years.

As the economy steadies and the cost of living crisis abates, stock market performance may also improve as consumers and businesses have more money to spend and invest. So, if the economy continues to grow, this could result in positive returns in 2024 and beyond.

4. A fall in National Insurance contributions means more in your pocket

One of the headline announcements in the Autumn Statement was the reduction in National Insurance contributions (NICs), some of which came into effect from 6 January 2024.

Class 1 contributions, paid by all employees, have already been reduced from 12% to 10%. This means that if you are employed on a salary of £50,000, you will save around £748 a year.

Class 2 contributions, a flat rate paid by self-employed workers who make £12,570 or more in annual profits, will no longer be a requirement from 6 April 2024. In positive news, if you have profits above £6,725, you will continue to get access to contributory benefits including the State Pension through a National Insurance credit without paying NICs as you do currently.

Finally, Class 4 contributions, paid by self-employed workers who make £12,570 or more in annual profits, will be cut from 9% to 8% from 6 April 2024. This reduction will save a self-employed worker on the average salary around £350 a year.

So, whatever your employment status, a reduction in the NICs you will pay is something you can feel positive about going into 2024.

5. The State Pension is going to increase

Another popular announcement in the Autumn Statement was the pledge to raise the State Pension by 8.5% in April 2024.

If you receive the full State Pension this increase will mean you benefit from an extra £900 a year, which is certainly another good reason to be positive about the year ahead.

Get in touch

If you’d like advice on how to positively boost your wealth this year, please get in touch. Email enquiries@blackswanfp.co.uk or contact your adviser on 020 3828 8100.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.

    Subscribe to our newsletter