As we reach June and July, this is the perfect time to take a look at your financial footing and assess where you are exceeding and where you can improve. How are you tracking against those goals set in early January? Is there an opportunity to save more money, contribute to a cause, and/or minimize your tax obligation?
Surprisingly, this mid-year financial check-up is often overlooked. Yet, reviewing the past six months’ worth of activity can do wonders for achieving your financial goals by year-end.
If unsure what to look for, start by examining the financial goals set earlier in the year, and focusing on each major aspect of your financial plan. Below are a few tips to help streamline the process and ensure all bases are covered:
Review To-date 401(k) Contributions. Take a look at your to-date numbers to ensure you are on track to maximize your yearly contributions. In addition to helping increase your account balance, maxing out those contributions can also reduce your taxable income. Win/Win.
Boost Your Savings. With less than six months to go, it’s a good idea to review your current savings and consider boosting your recurring contribution, even if it’s a small amount. And, while summer can be a drain on your finances—trips, kids out of school, additional entertainment—challenge yourself to spend less and save more. It could be as simple as one less cup of coffee per day, or opting for a home-cooked meal instead of an expensive dinner out.
Cut More Fees. You may have examined all of the pesky credit card and bank fees earlier in the year. Note that banks are often changing their rules and you might be surprised to learn you are now paying a fee for something you previously received for free. And every fee you pay means less money in your pocket. See how many fees you can reduce or remove before the end of the year. Consider re-investing the dollars saved into a savings or retirement account to really maximize those returns.
Taxes Already? Yes, we aren’t quite ready to talk about taxes yet. But just because we’re not talking about them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be putting yourself in the best position for when the time comes. If you aren’t already doing so, get in touch with your CPA and discuss your tax estimate. There’s still plenty of time left in the year to mitigate tax consequences, enabling you to have a healthier bottom line.
Information gathered from: http://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T023-C032-S000-tips-for-an-effective-mid-year-financial-check-up.html