have just hit that time of the year where we are in full transition. Happy June. Not only is this the month of reflection – mainly because we are passing from the 1st half of the year into the remaining 6 months – but it’s also the month of the reboot; and yes, that includes your finances. We’re a few months past spring cleaning but it’s now time for a midyear financial checkup.
Money is one of those topics that does not improve (or go away) if ignored. Before any more time gets away from you, let’s evaluate those annual goals and see if you’re exceeding expectations, right on track, or in need of a little help to get back on the road to financial security. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve made it easy for you. Keep reading for my top tips to a painless mid-year financial checkup!
Review Your Goals
When we set goals, at the beginning of the year, they’re generally based on a positive outlook and best-case scenarios…. Right? Well, that doesn’t always mean that all things will go as planned or fall into place the way we predicted. Now that we’re halfway into the year, it’s time to evaluate where we are and what we’ve accomplished.
Some goals may need to be completely revamped.
For example: If life got in the way of a lofty savings goal of $6,000 ($500 month for 12 months) – and your current savings is nonexistent – it’s time to set a realistic amount that you start working towards right now.
The worst thing that you can do, unless you foresee a significant change in your finances, is to leave your goals as-is, and not make adjustments for missed opportunities and lost time.
Commit to Your Saving
Saving is essential to financial freedom.
If the past few months have been hard on your bank account, now is the time to re-adjust your saving goals and put systems in place to ensure that achieve them. This may mean setting up automatic savings drafts and reducing a few expenses (think cable bill, dining out and your weekly spending allowance), to ensure that you stash the cash needed to reach your goal(s) by year end!
Evaluate how you’ve been spending your money so far, this year. Not every unexpected expense was an emergency… or even necessary. Pay attention to the amount of money that has been going to your ‘wants’ versus being allocated towards savings, debt reduction, and goals.
For example: If you’ve been paying the minimum on your credit card debt, but are ready to upgrade to a newer car (and a higher car note) – you may want to rethink your priorities and get your budget back in order. Consider, paying off your credit card before purchasing that new car and have greater peace of mind (about your purchase) and a bigger bank account.
Identify what goals are ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’ and allocate accordingly.
Now that you’ve updated your goals and created a manageable budget for the remainder of the year, take some time to consider a few things. If you’re not exactly where you wanted to be financially, ask yourself what happened to get you off track in the first place. Evaluate if financials emergencies were really emergencies, or if they were events that could have been prevented. Implement habits that will help you make your money goals a priority and don’t let the second half of the year get away from you.
Tip: It may not be top of mind right now, but the holiday season will be here before you know it. Set aside separate savings just for the upcoming time of year – and don’t just allocate for gifts… think: travel, décor, even food. If you’re not careful and prepared the holiday season can wreck your finances and undue a year of financial progress!
If you’re right on track to meet or exceed the goals that you established for the year, consider increasing them and maximize your momentum. You’re making moves! Keep going with what’s working and you’ll be in a stronger place financially than you expected.