6 Simple Steps for a Mid-Year Financial Checkup
By Euna Kim, SaveUp Marketing & Content Coordinator
Now that we’re halfway through the year, it’s a great time to do a quick financial checkup! Taking some time to review your financial progress from the first half of the year can help you organize and prepare for the remaining months.
- Review your New Year’s Resolutions – Did you make any financial resolutions to kick off 2013? Now is the perfect time to look back and see how you did. If you followed through, congrats! Set some new financial milestones to continue your streak. If you didn’t do too well, think about why you weren’t able to stick to your goal—was your budget too strict? Did you have some unexpected expenses? Set new goals that will help you stay on track.
- Reorganize your financial goals – The next step is to reprioritize your goals. If you have multiple debts you’re paying off, decide which one you want to aggressively pay off first. Choose either the one with the higher interest rate or the smallest balance—whichever will help you stay motivated!
- Be prepared for emergencies - Saving and paying off debt at the same time can be challenging, but it’s totally doable! Tuck away some money each month into an emergency fund. We all face unexpected expenses at times—just make sure to refill your emergency fund after you’ve used it. Start with the goal of $1,000. The next step is to save up enough for 3-6 months of expenses.
- Cut unnecessary expenses – As you review your last 6 months of expenses, if you notice a lot of unnecessary spending, it’s time to trim the fat. Are there some monthly bills you can live without? Why not save that extra cash instead?
- Plan for holiday spending now – This may sound crazy, considering we’re still in the middle of summer, but planning ahead and saving a little extra for the holidays will help keep you from incurring any debt during the holidays.
- Don’t neglect your retirement fund – It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Does your employer offer a 401k plan? Take advantage of it! Many employers also match a percentage of your contributions. If a 401k isn’t an option, consider opening an IRA or individual retirement account.
As you save for your financial goals, make sure you reward yourself along the way! America Saves is great resource to help you stay motivated—and don’t forget to sign up for SaveUp to get rewarded for making good financial choices!
SaveUp is the first free rewards program for saving money and paying down debt. Join American Saves and receive a special link to earn 100 bonus SaveUp credits to play for great prizes like cars, vacations and even a $2 million jackpot.
Written by Super User
Published: 12 August 2013