It may be hard to believe, but the year is half over. Take a timeout from barbecues and beaches to give yourself a mid-year financial checkup.
Step 1: Revisit Your Budget
Take some time to review your monthly budget. Is it working for you or are you falling behind each month? After reviewing, adjust your budget as necessary. A budget is only helpful if it’s actually working for you.
Step 2: Anticipate Large Expenses
List any large expenses you anticipate in the coming six months. This can include household appliances that may need replacing or an anticipated medical expense that is not fully covered by insurance.
Next, determine the spending category you will take the money from to cover these expenses. Deciding on a source for these funds now will help you avoid making the wrong choices when you’re under pressure in the future. If you don’t think you’ll have enough money set aside for these expenses when it comes time to make the purchase, build a savings plan into your monthly budget so you have the funds available when you need them.
Step 3: Review Your Tax Withholdings
Review your tax withholdings to see if they need any adjusting. Remember, your goal here is to pay the perfect amount so you’re not hit with a huge tax bill at the end of the year, but you’re also not lending the government your money all year long.
Step 4: Check Your Credit Score
Did you know, with a MyLife Checking account or a USALLIANCE credit card, your credit score gets delivered to you monthly, for free? It’s true! Make sure to check out your score and keep tabs on how your credit score is doing to avoid any surprises.
Step 5: Review Your Investments
Review and adjust all of your investments. This includes your retirement funds, any stock investments, bonds, trust funds or certificate accounts. Make sure you are maximizing your contributions when possible and that your other investments are performing according to plan. Adjust as necessary.
Step 6: Tackle Your Debt
Make a list with every outstanding debt you carry, including credit card debt and all kinds of loans (student loans, car loans, mortgages, etc.). Designate one debt to tackle first and work on a plan to pay it down. Once you’ve paid off this debt, move to the next one on your list.
Step 7: Review Your Financial Resolutions and Long-term Goals
Review the financial resolutions and goals you dreamed up at the end of 2018 and then determine whether you are taking the steps necessary for making them happen. If you’ve been neglecting them, create a plan for working toward them for the rest of the year.
Now you can kick back and enjoy the rest of the season, guilt-free. Happy summer!