The days have gotten longer, weather is warming up, and all you’re thinking of is hitting the pool and soaking up the sun with a drink in your hand. Ahh, that sounds lovely doesn’t it? You know what would go great with that tan you’ve been working on? A midyear financial check-up!
Okay, I know I know… it’s summertime and probably the last thing on your mind is budgeting, saving, and all those financial goals you set at the beginning of the year.
I hate to be a party pooper, but I’m going to do it anyway and ask you: how are your 2018 financial goals going? “Why now?” you ask… Well, we are officially half-way through 2018 — crazy, I know!
It’s a great time to take a moment to go back and look at what you set out to accomplish this year, how your progress is going, and make any adjustments needed. I know this isn’t as exciting as hitting the beach, but you’ll thank yourself later. So what exactly should a midyear financial check-up consist of?
Here are 5 things that you can check:
- Savings goal(s) – You probably told yourself that you’d save a certain amount by the end of the year. Maybe it was for something specific like a car or a house, or maybe it was to build a cushion and get your emergency fund going. Whatever it was, how is it looking now? Are you on track to meet your year-end goal? If you’re not, now is a good time to re-evaluate things and make an adjustment to save what you need to get to your goal.
- Budget – Ugh, the B word again. Not fun, but super important! Did you create a budget this year? If you did, have you stuck to it? Is it still doable or are there things that need to be changed on it? If you haven’t started one, think about doing it now. There is still plenty of time in the year to get a budget going to help you stay on track.
- Retirement accounts – Retirement might seem like forever away and while it might be decades away for you, you should be saving for it now if you can. Does your employer offer you a 401(k) and a match if you contribute to it? If so, you should consider starting to contribute to it now if you haven’t done so already. If you feel like you can’t save a lot, start small. Any amount is better than no amount. If you’re already contributing to a retirement account, can you save more? Your midyear financial check-up is a great time to look into it and either start participating in your 401(k) or increase what you contribute to it if possible.
- Debt – Did you set a goal to pay down some or all of your debt? Whatever your goal was, take a moment to see how you’re doing. If you’ve stayed on track and paid things off, congratulations! If you haven’t paid as much down as you wanted to, or have added on more debt, make adjustments to be able to pay more down and spend less using credit.
- Credit check – Speaking of credit, have you looked at your credit report lately? If you haven’t, you can make this part of your midyear financial check-up. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. You can order one online at annualcreditreport.com. You should check to ensure that all the information on your credit reports is accurate and up-to-date.
Alright, we made it to the end of that list! Wasn’t so bad, right? The five items here are a good place to get started. Of course, you can check more or less things depending on what’s most important to your financial picture. I can keep going, but I’ll let you get back to the sun and your drink of choice now!
How are your 2018 goals going? Let me know in the comments section below!
Nothing on this blog should be considered personal actionable advice, research, or an invitation to buy or sell any securities. Consider all risks before investing, including the loss of your hard earned money. Vee is an Investment Advisor for Warren Street Wealth Advisors, this blog reflects her personal views, and not that of Warren Street.