Give Your Finances a Mid-Year Checkup
Five steps to keep your finances on track
Early summer is the midpoint of the year, making it a great time to check your progress toward your goals. Here’s a five-step guide to giving your finances a mid-year checkup.
1. Revisit your budget
If you have a budget, start by reflecting on how well it’s been working for you and whether any adjustments or updates are needed. (Don’t have a budget? Here’s what you need to get started!) You might find you’ve been spending more than you planned to in certain areas, such as shopping or dining out, and that you need to adjust your habits to stay on track. Also check for expenses that can be eliminated, such as streaming services or app subscriptions that you no longer use.
2. Evaluate your debt
Then take a look at your debts and how they compare to the beginning of the year. If you owe more than you did six months ago, it might be a sign that you need to curb your spending habits or adjust your repayment schedule to avoid going deeper into debt. If you owe less than you did six months ago, congratulations! Check to see if you’re on track to reach your repayment goals for the year, and make adjustments as necessary.
3. Review your health plans
Next, check in on your HSA or FSA to make sure you’re set up to get the most of these accounts that you can — both by optimizing your contributions (and any offered by your employer) and by using any funds that won’t roll over at the end of the year. It’s also a good idea to check in on your medical and dental insurance plans to see where you are in terms of your deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, and maximum benefits for the year. This will help you make informed decisions about any healthcare expenses you may be anticipating.
4. Check your retirement contributions
Also review your retirement plan and see if any adjustments are needed to stay on track or accelerate your progress toward your goals. Make sure you’re taking advantage of any employer contributions available to you, and assess whether you should increase your contribution amount. For instance, if you’ve recently received a raise, a promotion, or a reduction in living expenses, you may decide to increase the amount you’re saving for retirement. And if you’ve recently turned 50, you may be newly eligible for catch-up contributions, allowing you to contribute more to your 401(k) than before.
5. Examine your credit report
Last but not least, give your credit report a good once-over to check for any errors or red flags. You can get a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax ®, Experian®, and TransUnion®); some people prefer to get all three at once, while others like to spread them out. Whichever approach you choose, review your report carefully and note any areas of concern, including incorrect or outdated information. Then take additional steps as necessary, such as correcting errors with the credit bureau, reporting potential fraud or identity theft, or taking steps to improve your credit score.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation. MCCU does not provide legal, tax, or other advice. Please consult with your own professional services provider for more information on these matters.