It's Time for Your Mid-Year Financial Checkup
It is the middle of the year, and a good time to give yourself a financial checkup. Examine your finances and evaluate where you are compared to the goals you have set for yourself. If you haven’t established any goals yet, take some time to do so. In addition to goals, having a handle on your budget, savings and credit is important as well.
When it comes to setting financial goals, you want to make sure that they are reachable for you in current financial situation. That is why following a SMART goal setting method can be very helpful. What this method means is your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By following this method, the goals you set will be well thought out and allow you to set a path to achieving them. Check out this article for more information.
Budgeting is a plan for your money. Establishing a plan for your funds will help in tracking exactly where your money is going. Check in on your budget to see if anything needs to be updated or changed. Can you spend less in some categories? Can you put more money into savings? If you’ve had any problems with keeping track of your budget consistently, try a different method. There are many budgeting apps, spreadsheet templates, ledgers and you can always use pen and paper. If you haven’t already established a budget, it may be time to sit down and do just that. Try budgeting for at least 90 days, this will help in creating a habit forming behavior.
Saving is crucial to attaining your financial dreams. One method of saving is to pay yourself first, which means to make your savings a priority. Every time you get paid, transfer or put away a certain amount of your paycheck. The amount that you choose is completely up to you, but should be a number that you know you will be able to save out of each paycheck. When figuring out where you will put your savings, the Credit Union has you covered with many account options. We recently launched “The Savings Builder” which is a savings account that encourages you to save by offering a much higher dividend rate than the average savings account.
When is the last time you checked your credit? Every year, you are entitled to one free credit report through annualcreditreport.com from each of the three credit bureaus, which include Transunion, Equifax and Experian. Look through your credit report to ensure everything on it is accurate, and dispute what is not. If one of your financial goals is to resolve a past due debt, then plan for how much money you will have to spend on paying it off. Whatever agreements you make, be sure that it won’t offset staying current on bills and other debts being paid.
The stock market is built to be invested into over a long period of time. The global pandemic has surely had a big effect on it. Historically, the market has rebounded from the economic downturns and made up for the loss. With that in mind, it may be a good idea to not check your retirement savings as much. When we constantly check on the status of our investments and see that they may be losing money, it can create anxiety and panic. This anxiety and panic can then turn into making a rash decision. Remember to consult a financial professional before deciding to make or change your investments.