We have just hit that time of the year where we are in full transition. Happy July! Not only is this the month of reflection – mainly because we are passing from the 1st half of the year into the remaining 6 months – it’s also the month of the reboot; and of course, that includes your finances – it’s time for your July Money Checkup! Let’s evaluate your annual goals and see if you’re exceeding expectations, right on track, or in need of a little help to get your money all the way together. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve made it easy for you. Keep reading for my top tips to a painless July money checkup!
1 – Review Your Goals
When we set goals, at the beginning of the year, they’re generally based on a positive outlook and best-case scenarios…. Right? Well, that doesn’t always mean that all things will go as planned or fall into place the way we predicted. Now that we’re halfway into the year, it’s time to evaluate where we are and what we’ve accomplished.
Some goals may need to be completely revamped.
For example: If life got in the way of a lofty savings goal of $6,000 ($500 month for 12 months) – and your current savings is nonexistent – it’s time to set a realistic amount that you start working towards right now.
The worst thing that you can do, unless you foresee a significant change in your finances, is to leave your goals as-is, and not make adjustments for missed opportunities and lost time.
2 – Commit to Your Saving
Saving is essential to financial freedom.
If the past few months have been hard on your bank account, now is the time to re-adjust your saving goals and put systems in place to ensure that achieve them. This may mean setting up automatic savings drafts and reducing a few expenses (think cable bill, dining out and your weekly spending allowance), to ensure that you stash the cash needed to reach your goal(s) by year end!
3 – Budget is Bae
Evaluate how you’ve been spending your money so far, this year. Not every unexpected expense was an emergency… or even necessary. Pay attention to the amount of money that has been going to your ‘wants’ versus being allocated towards savings, debt reduction, and goals.
For example: If you’ve been paying the minimum on your credit card debt, but are ready to upgrade to a newer car (and a higher car note) – you may want to rethink your priorities and get your budget back in order. Consider, paying off your credit card before purchasing that new car and have greater peace of mind (about your purchase).
Identify what goals are ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’ and allocate accordingly.
4 – Stay Committed
Now that you’ve updated your goals and created a manageable budget for the remainder of the year, take some time to consider a few things. If you’re not exactly where you wanted to be financially, ask yourself what happened to get you off track in the first place. Evaluate if financials emergencies were real emergencies, or if they were events that could have been prevented. Implement habits that will help you make your money goals a priority and don’t let the second half of the year get away from you.