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Mid-Year Financial Check-In: Are You On Track To Reach Your Year-End Goals? Thumbnail

Mid-Year Financial Check-In: Are You On Track To Reach Your Year-End Goals?

As summer comes to a close and autumn draws near, it's time to reflect on your financial situation. Whether you're looking forward to the colder months or wishing summer would linger, the middle of the year has arrived. This is an excellent opportunity to take a moment and assess your overall financial situation and see if it aligns with your year-end objectives. Here are a few ways to examine your financial well-being as summer wraps up.

Check-In #1: Evaluate Current Debt

Last year, holiday retail sales reached an astonishing $943 billion, indicating that our spending habits are not going to decrease anytime soon as we approach the holiday season. In fact, individuals anticipate spending approximately $867 on Christmas presents alone, and that doesn't even cover expenses for holiday parties, decorations, travel, and so on. Since your spending is likely to increase towards the end of the year, it's a good idea to take a look at any existing debt you may have accumulated throughout the year.1,2

You might find it helpful to create a list of all the debts you currently owe, such as credit card balances, student loans, mortgages, and car payments. Make sure to note the minimum payment amounts and due dates for each debt. Once you have this information organized in one place, you can start figuring out how to reduce or eliminate some of your debts.

For instance, if you've been consistently making payments on your credit card, you could try negotiating for a lower interest rate or explore the option of transferring the debt to another credit card company. Having all your debts listed together may seem overwhelming, but it's a crucial initial step in taking control of your finances and finding ways to minimize your debt burden.

Check-In #2: Check Your Credit Score

Do you recall when was the last time you checked your credit score? Most people tend to think about their credit score only when they need to apply for a new credit card, get a loan, or make significant purchases. If you haven't taken a close look at your credit score in a while, it's a good idea to do so now. Your credit scores provide valuable insights into your financial well-being. They can also alert you to any potential issues, like missed payments, identity theft, or unauthorized use of your credit cards.

Check-In #3: Readjust Your Retirement Fund

If you participate in a retirement fund offered by your employer, like a 401(k) or 403(b), it's a good idea to review your account. This is particularly important if you set up automatic deposits a year or two ago and haven't paid much attention to it since. In 2023, the contribution limit for a 401(k) is $22,500 for individuals under 50 years old and $30,000 for those who are 50 and older. If you're approaching retirement and want to maximize the benefits of your employer-sponsored plan, now is a great opportunity to save even more in your account.3

Check-In #4: Refill Your Savings

During the summer, expenses can add up with family vacations, weekend getaways, and concerts. It's common to feel tempted to dip into your savings during this time, and if you did, you're not the only one. However, as we prepare for the holiday season, it's an ideal moment to focus on replenishing your savings. If you set a savings goal for the year, now is a good time to assess your progress. If you're close to reaching your goal, consider challenging yourself to save even more. On the other hand, if you're far from your target, concentrate on adjusting your spending habits to better support your savings objective.

Check-In #5: Rethink Your Goals

Take a moment to reflect on everything that has happened this year. It's likely that unexpected events have occurred, right? From unfortunate situations like divorce, death, or property damage to joyous celebrations like proposals or births, both big and small moments can significantly impact your financial situation and goals.

Now, it's time to revisit the goals you set at the beginning of the year and check if they still align well with your current situation. If not, take some time to review your overall financial status and future needs. Create new goals that better reflect your current circumstances.

By taking some time to prepare and make adjustments, you can approach the second half of the year with financial confidence and stay on track to achieve your objectives. As summer vacations wind down and the school year begins, set aside some time for yourself to readjust, reevaluate, and make any necessary changes to ensure you stay on the right path for the remainder of the year.

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/243439/holiday-retail-sales-in-the-united-states/
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/246963/christmas-spending-in-the-us-during-november/
  3. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-401k-and-profit-sharing-plan-contribution-limits