NS&I has launched , The Five Questions, with Sir Alan Sugar, to help the British public to give their personal finances a health check.

Research from NS&I has revealed that 40 per cent of us have no long-term financial plan and 17 per cent don’t seek information on managing our money because it is too confusing. The need for a quick, simple way to help us review our current financial situation was clear to the NS&I.

The Five Questions prompt individuals to consider important aspects of their financial management, including how much debt they have and what their cash and assets are worth. Each question is designed to ensure that everyone, regardless of age or situation, really thinks about their current financial situation and plans accordingly for a secure financial future.

John Prout, Director of Customer Sales and Retention at NS&I said the questions help focus the mind and help people make an honest and straightforward appraisal of their financial situation.

Once answered, the five questions link to specific information on NS&I’s You and your money website. This is an impartial website launched by NS&I in 2008 as part of an ongoing drive to improve the public’s understanding of personal finance. The site has a dedicated financial jargon-buster guide and sections on key life stages, such as planning for a family or retirement. Just like The Five Questions, it is simple and easy to use, even for those who find finance difficult to understand.

John Prout also said that most people are very familiar with the healthy eating model of ‘five portions of fruit and veg daily’ and the NS&I want to encourage a similar mindset about financial planning to ensure people review their finances on a regularly.

Nick Cann, Chief Executive at the Institute of Financial Planning commented, “Asking the key questions to help you get your finances in better shape needn’t be hard work. Through basic planning techniques, individuals can then make the first step to improve their overall financial ‘fitness’. We welcome this initiative, and it aligns well with the IFP’s development of a national Financial Planning Week – scheduled for September 2009.”

You and your money has a range of useful links and tools to help people decide what action they should be taking. These include:
-pensions and personal inflation calculators
-FSA online tools
-Government online tools and calculators