Mid-Year Financial Check-Up!
Mid-Year Financial Check-Up!
It’s Halftime!! This is the time of year when we re-evaluate all of the goals and resolutions that we set in the beginning of the year.
Here are some tips and areas that should be reviewed to determine your progress in meeting your financial goals for the year.
1-Your Personal Spending Plan
Knowing where your money is going throughout the month is key to being in control of your finances. If you currently have a spending plan in place, this is a great time to review it and ensure that you are not over extending your self in various areas. Double check your fixed expenses such as mortgage and car payments, utilities and insurance premiums and make sure you are paying yourself prior to spending on extracurricular activities and entertainment. (Check out www.mint.com to help in managing your cash-flow and to create a budget)
2-Debt | What’s Your Pay It Down Plan?
Have you made any progress on your debt-paydown plan? Review your current credit card statements and compare them to your January 1st balances. Have the balances remained the same, increased or decreased and review if there has been any changes in your interest rate. Many people are motivated to begin by paying the smallest debts off first then tackling the larger ones last. If you are just beginning to tackle your debt,this strategy may work for you. Also set a date in which you would like the first credit card to be paid off. Stick to this date and create a payment schedule to match.
3-Investments and Savings | Set It and Forget It
Review your retirement accounts and ensure that your target asset allocation is still in place. This is the perfect time of year to rebalance your accounts. Hopefully you are now half-way to your year-end savings goal. If not, don’t worry, there is still time to jumpstart your savings. Set-up automatic savings from your checking account directly to your savings or investment account. If you set-up smaller amounts, perhaps weekly or bi-weekly there will be less of a strain on your monthly cash-flow. So its kind of like you are tricking yourself to save!
4- Personal and Asset Protection | Life Happens!
You can have the best financial plan in place and then life can happen! This is a great time to ensure that you have an adequate amount of insurance coverage in place. With life changes such as a birth of a child, marriage, job loss, death, divorce and several other circumstances, a insurance review is in order. Be sure to also review your beneficiary designations on all accounts.
5- Estate Planning & Other Critical Documents
People often talk about their wishes once they pass on, however are these wishes and plans documented? If not, there is no time like the present to place these concerns into focus. Although this preparing and organizing for your eventual passing can be make you feel uncomfortable, it is very important to have a plan in place outlining your wishes and requests. If you haven’t reviewed or created your family trust, wills, or power of attorneys, now is the time to do so. In addition, if you have children, ensure that you have guardianship provisions in place.
Yes, there is a lot to review! If you are just getting started don’t worry, if you put these tips into action you will be on track for a prosperous second half of the yeara Let’s make the second half great!