Summer brings the perfect time for BBQs with friends, fun in the sun, and making memories at the beach or pool. With the first half of the year in the rearview mirror, summer also gives us a chance to perform a mid-year assessment on the financial resolutions you may have set at the beginning of the year.
A mid-year financial review can help to take stock of your accomplishments thus far and uncover any needs for adjustments. It’s important to regularly evaluate your financial situation, and summer provides the perfect halfway point in the year. A small investment of review time can help ensure you’re on track for both short and long-term objectives. Here are a few areas to examine:
Review financial goals. Take stock of your overall financial resolutions and long-term goals to determine whether you are making appropriate progress or if there’s a need for adjustments.
Revisit your budget. Assess any significant life changes that may impact your financial needs such as marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, or job change. Determine if any recurring costs could be eliminated or any spending habits tightened up.
Tackle taxes. Do you only focus on taxes right before tax time, when it may be too late to implement effective tax-saving strategies? Review your investments and tax withholdings to make sure you’re incurring the smallest tax burden possible. Also, look for opportunities to maximize charitable deductions, use an FSA account, or make adjustments that could lighten your tax load.
Assess savings. You should have at least three months of living expenses in your emergency fund. If you’re not there yet, don’t worry! Look to see how you can start building it up and consider setting up automatic deposits. Also, check on your progress toward other savings goals.
Review retirement. Check on retirement savings to assess progress and determine if you need to increase contributions or not. Consider account types, contribution sources, and tax implications.
Check on credit. It’s a good practice to pull a free credit report every year and examine for any discrepancies or suspicious activity and review your score. The three major bureaus offer a free report every 12-months. If needed, adjust where possible to improve your credit score.
Evaluate debt. Debt can be a major expense and a hindrance to making progress on goals. Review outstanding debt and what progress has been made toward eliminating it, adjust any habits to prevent you from incurring more.
The year is still young! Even if your review reveals a diversion from your goals, there is still time to modify and put things back on track. Identify the areas that require a bit of extra attention and make needed changes to improve them by the end of the year. And, celebrate your achievements so far!
If you’d like to do a mid-year review together, give our office a call or drop us an email and we’ll get some time scheduled. Whether virtually or in person, it will be nice to touch base with you!