January is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when we start to think about fresh starts, new beginnings, and goals we want to achieve. Most of us focus on health and fitness goals, relationship goals, and even travel goals, but now is the time to start looking at our finances.
We 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!
Creating a budget may seem like a simple thing to do. But the truth is that most of us have no idea where to start or we can’t seem to successfully follow the money plans that we put in place. Going through the motions of setting up a budget is not enough, to experience the benefits that come with budgeting, we have to actually adhere to it.
Financial planning is essential to learning how to live within your means and is a key factor in helping you achieve financial success. I often tell my children that learning how to master your money is the most empowering education you will ever have.
In my early 20’s I thought that I was drowning in debt. Credit saved me several times from financial emergencies, but figuring out how to make the monthly payments became an ongoing challenge. I remember keeping a notebook and a calendar. In my notebook, I had a debt repayment log. I kept up with bill due dates, interest rates, minimum due, amount paid and the remaining balance. The calendar was filled in with bill due dates and the amount that I was planning to pay. I was so excited each month and I was able to reduce the amount I owed or cross another paid account off my list. I kept up with everything, until all of my debt was completely paid off.
Looking back, the amount of debt that I had back then is laughable (now), but at the time I was completely overwhelmed with the looming reality that I owed money and had to pay towards it every month. My anxiety was likely caused by the fact that there was no extra to spare. I was barely making ends meet and I remember trying to stretch my remaining $20 – after all bills were paid – until my next payday. But I learned a lot about the rewards of discipline and the mindset shift that needs to take place to overcome debt and change your financial situation.
I’m the go-to girl for all things money. The one that always provides money advice and tips to my clients, friends and even strangers. I used to feel like a walking encyclopedia of information, because I constantly receive calls, texts and emails asking me how to navigate financial dilemmas. But I get it. There’s a reason people look to me for counsel, in this area. They trust experience. They want to hear from someone that has been through it, survived it and bounced back from it… especially when it comes to their finances.
Here’s the thing, I offer a unique perspective. I’ve faced and overcome just about every possible financial obstacle. Over time I came to realize that bad credit and financial misfortune does not mean that you’re a bad or irresponsible person. Sometimes, we make poor decisions and sometimes life just happens. I’ve learned that others, like you, can benefit from my experiences, trial and error and breakthroughs! …I’m also pretty sure that my financial knowledge and b-school education doesn’t hurt either.