While it feels like you just took down the holiday decorations, in reality 2019 is already half over. Now is a good time for a mid-year financial checkup! This will help make sure you’re on your way to a financially successful 2019.
Use the five steps below to guide you through your checkup.
Step 1: Revisit Your Budget
Remember sitting down in December and crunching all those numbers? This is easier. Look at where you’re spending — and where you’re not — and adjust as necessary. Account for any life changes (like a raise or paid-off credit card) that may have altered your finances. Life changes and your budget should change with it.
Step 2: Anticipate Large Expenses
What large expenses do you anticipate in the next six months? This could include replacing an appliance, car repairs you can’t avoid or a planned medical expense not fully covered by insurance.
Now, where is this money going to come from? Can you use the money in your emergency fund? Or start setting aside funds now to cover the costs? Make the decision about sourcing this money now so you avoid the stress of it later.
Step 3: Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score is like your money grade; it tells you the degree of your financial wellness and responsibility. It also can alert you to possible fraud.
If your score has gone up in the last six months, you’re doing great! Keep up the good work.
On the flip side, if your score has dropped, review your report in detail. Are there any errors? Is there a credit card bill or another line of credit you’ve been neglecting that is dragging your score down? Are you having trouble remembering to pay your monthly bills in a timely manner? Take the necessary steps to fix your score today.
Step 4: Tackle Your Debt
List all the outstanding debt you carry, including credit cards and loans. Designate one debt to tackle first: choose either the one with the highest interest rate or the one with the lowest balance. Next, work on a plan to pay this (but continue to pay the others). Once you’ve paid it off, move to the next one on your list — and then you’re on your way to a debt-free life.
Step 5: Review Your Financial Resolutions and Long-term Goals
Which financial resolutions did make last January? What are your dreams for the future? Did you want to start socking away another $200 a month? Is your goal to retire comfortably at 55?
Review these goals to determine if you’re taking the right steps to make them happen. If you’ve neglected them for the first half of 2019, that’s OK — now create a plan for the rest of the year. With determination and proper planning, nearly any financial goal is possible!
Now that you’ve given yourself a thorough financial checkup, you can enjoy some guilt-free back-to-school shopping knowing you are one step closer to financial success.
For a more in-depth checkup or guidance, visit with one of our community outreach representatives today.
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