Mid-Year Financial Check-In: Are You on Track to Reach Your Financial Goals?
It’s official: we’re halfway through 2019! Remember those New Year’s resolutions you set out to accomplish back in January? Are you on track to meet them by the year’s end? This month may not only be a good time to check in on these resolutions, but also to reassess your finances and ensure you’re on track to reach your financial goals the end of 2019.
Here are three ways to make sure you’re on track to reach your goals this year:
1. Review your financial goals
These days, you’re probably thinking about your upcoming beach getaway or road trip with the family. Take the time to refresh your memory by revisiting your financial goals and budget. Chances are, you probably have several savings goals. And if your situation has changed, make adjustments as necessary.
For example, if you’ve been saving for a new home or for your child’s college education, you may want to adjust those goals based on the current real estate market and college tuition costs.
And while you’re at it, take a look at how much you’re saving for retirement. Did you get a raise? See if you can increase your savings a bit.
2. Evaluate your debt
Did you make a goal to pay off debt back in January? Good for you - tackling debt is no easy feat! Create a list of all your current debts. Have you made a dent since January? And of course, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way!
Calculate your minimum payment for each account and include each payment in your budget. Can you afford to pay more than the minimum or more than what you set out to pay in the beginning of the year? If so, choose the debt payoff method you feel most comfortable with – debt snowball vs. debt stacking . Not exactly sure what these two methods entail? Here’s a quick run-down:
Debt Stacking method (a.k.a debt avalanche) – recommends you make the minimum payment on all your account and then throw all your extra money toward paying off the highest-interest rate loan or credit card.
Debt Snowball - this method recommends you throw every spare penny toward paying off the loan with the lowest balance, regardless of interest rate. The idea behind this method is that paying off the loan with the smallest balance first will give you the psychological feeling of victory when you cross that loan off your list. This mental win will motivate you to continue saving money and repaying your debts.
3. Start saving more money
If you can comfortably afford to set aside more money for savings, now is a great time to start saving more aggressively. With less than six months left in the year, you will want to work as hard as you can to reach your annual savings goal. Plus, you’ll be glad you saved when an unexpected expense pops ups.
And if you haven’t already, set up automatic savings account transfers. Chances are, you won’t even notice your extra contribution – out of sight, out of mind, right?
Need some help along the way? Not sure where to start? If you’re among the 86% of Americans who say they would like to seek-out financial advice, but aren’t sure where to start, then why not start with your local, friendly neighborhood credit union? Stop by or give us a call at 505-342-8888, and let us help you reach your financial goals! You can also visit our Financial Wellness Center, where you’ll find a free online, self-paced series of interactive modules that cover key financial concepts such as saving, investing, credit scores and home-buying.
By taking these steps to tackle your debt and grow your savings, you’ll be on track to reach your financial goals by the end of the year.