Check in on your financial goals

With the first half of the year behind us, summer represents the season for vacations and outdoor fun, and it is also a perfect time to take a pause and perform a check in on your finances.

Many of us begin the year with a clear set of resolutions or goals that we want to achieve by year end. According to a survey conducted by Magnify Money, 51% of Americans planned to set a finance related goal in 2021. While many people fail to stick to goals or resolutions during the year, a great way to improve your chances of achieving financial goals is to check in on and review your progress regularly. 

With the first half of the year behind us, summer represents the season for vacations and outdoor fun, and it is also a perfect time to take a pause and perform a check in on your finances. Similar to scheduling time to perform a check up on our physical health and it is equally important to schedule time to check in on our finances regularly to review progress towards achieving financial goals and to identify if adjustments are necessary.

If you have not set financial goals, this is also an opportunity to sit down and determine exactly what you want to accomplish financially this year.  Common financial goals are saving for a home, saving for retirement, paying off debt, increasing credit scores. The first step is to figure out your why and identify what matters most to you. This will also help serve as motivation to keep going when temptation to spend or deviate from the financial plan creeps in.

Using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific) goals method is a recommended way to set financial goals because this process will help break down the what, who, where, and why of each financial goal that you’ve set.

If you know your financial goals, here are three things you can do to perform a mid-year check in:

Review your numbers

  1. Review your total income and expenses and analyze your spending using your bank and credit card statements. Think about how, why, and where you have been spending for the past six months. Does your spending align with your values and goals? This exercise might be eye opening if you haven’t been sticking to or monitoring your budget but doing this will enable you to identify where adjustments are required in order for you to achieve your financial goals.
  2. Calculate your net worth which includes total assets minus total liabilities. Your net worth is a key financial metric that helps to determine your wealth.
  3. Request a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com and verify that everything on your report is accurate. Your credit report and credit history is important to determine credit worthiness and having a good credit history can position you to receive lower interest rates and save money over time.
  4. Analyze your savings and investments which includes short term goals, long term goals, and retirement planning.
  5. This step will include reviewing your goals and making sure that you are on track and also reviewing retirement plans or investments outside of retirement plans to build your future nest egg.

Analyze your budget

Your budget is your roadmap to getting control of your money and achieving your financial goals. During the mid-year checkup, leverage the knowledge gained from analyzing your spending to identify if and where adjustments are needed in your budget.The practice of budgeting takes time to perfect, but the steps are to know your income, plan your expenses, and track your spending. Update your budget monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly, depending on your preference and track your spending to insure that you remain in line with your budget.Also, build room in your budget to save for a rainy day.It’s recommended to have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses set aside in a liquid savings account to pay for life’s emergencies should they arise. This is key to helping you to stay on track with your budget and achieve your financial goals.And finally, be sure to allocate money to have fun in your budget, too!

Estate Planning

Your midyear financial check-up is the time to conduct a review of your insurance policies and estate plans and documents.Schedule time with your or insurance agent to confirm that you have the right levels of coverage to protect you and your assets.Also, review your estate plan or create one if you don’t have one.  An estate plan can act as a safety net that helps preserve the value of your assets, minimizes wait times for disbursement, and helps ensure the legacy you envisioned is carried out.   

Staying on top of your finances is an important component of building wealth and helps with the achievement of financial goals. Checking in on your progress regularly will help to stay motivated when temptation arises and will also help to stay focused on the end goal. 

Remember to be flexible, leverage the financial check in as a time to update your goals as your life changes and share your goals with a spouse, partner, or trusted friend for accountability and support. And finally, reward yourself for your progress along the way!

------------------------------------------------

Stephanie is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and Financial Coach. She specializes in simplifying complex financial terms with a goal to empower through financial education.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.