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Re-Establish Your Money Goals: A Mid-Year Financial Check-In

As we approach the halfway point of the year, it’s a perfect opportunity to evaluate our finances and establish new money goals for the remainder of the year. Often, the expectations we form in our minds—like ideal summer plans or lofty New Year’s resolutions—don’t always align with reality.

 

The Importance of Mid-Year Financial Check-Ins

The beginning of the year is typically marked by ambitious resolutions, many of which are financial. However, as the months pass and we get caught up in the daily grind, it’s easy to lose sight of these goals. A mid-year financial check-in allows us to:

Evaluate Progress: Assess how far we’ve come in achieving our financial goals.

Adjust Goals: Modify any unrealistic goals or set new ones based on our current financial situation.

Change Habits: Identify any bad financial habits that have crept in and work on changing them.

Plan Ahead: Set a clear path for the rest of the year to ensure we end 2024 on a strong financial footing.

 

Steps to Re-Establish Your Money Goals

  1. Review Your Current Financial Situation

Before setting new goals, it’s essential to understand where you stand financially. This involves:

Checking Account Balances: Review all your bank accounts, including checking, savings, and investment accounts.

Evaluating Debts: List all your debts, including credit cards, student loans, car loans, and mortgages. Note the balances, interest rates, and monthly payments.

Assessing Monthly Expenses: Review your spending habits over the past six months. Categorize your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back.

 

    1. Revisit Your New Year’s Resolutions :

Look back at the financial goals you set at the beginning of the year. Evaluate your progress:

Which goals have you achieved?

Which goals are you on track to achieve?

Which goals need more attention?

 

  1. Set New or Adjust Existing Goals

Based on your current financial situation and your progress so far, it’s time to set or adjust your goals for the remainder of the year. Here are some common financial goals and how to achieve them:

Paying Down Debt: If paying off debt is a priority, focus on high-interest debt first. Consider using methods like the debt avalanche (paying off debts with the highest interest rates first) or the debt snowball (paying off the smallest debts first to build momentum).

Building an Emergency Fund: Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. While it might sound impossible, start by setting aside a small amount each month and gradually increase it as you can.

Saving for a Specific Goal: Whether it’s a vacation, a new car, or a home down payment, set a specific savings goal. Determine how much you need to save each month to reach your target by the end of the year.

Increasing Retirement Contributions: If retirement savings are your priority, consider increasing your contributions to your 401(k), IRA, or other retirement accounts. Even a small increase can have a significant impact over time.

 

  1. Create a Detailed Budget

A well-structured budget is crucial for achieving your financial goals. Follow these steps to create an effective budget:

Income: List all sources of income, including salary, bonuses, freelance work, and any other sources of revenue.

Fixed Expenses: Include rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, loan payments, and other regular monthly expenses.

Variable Expenses: Include groceries, dining out, entertainment, transportation, and other variable costs.

Savings and Debt Payments: Allocate a portion of your income to savings and debt repayment.

PRO TIP: Try using budgeting tools or apps to track your spending to help ensure you stay within your budget.

 

  1. Automate Savings and Payments

Automation can help you stick to your financial plan by reducing the temptation to spend money that should be saved or used to pay off debt. Set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts and automate bill payments to avoid late fees and interest charges.

 

  1. Monitor Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays a crucial role in your financial health. Regularly monitor your credit report for any inaccuracies and take steps to improve your score if necessary. This can include paying down debt, maintaining low credit card balances, and avoiding multiple new credit inquiries where possible.

 

  1. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Identify areas where you can reduce spending without sacrificing your quality of life. Some ideas include:

Canceling unused subscriptions: Review all your subscriptions (streaming services, magazines, etc.) and cancel those you don’t use.

Dining out less: Cook at home more often to save money on food.

Shopping smarter: Use coupons, buy generic brands, and shop sales to reduce grocery bills.

Reducing utility bills: Implement energy-saving measures to lower your monthly utility costs.

 

  1. Increase Your Income

Finding ways to boost your income can accelerate your progress toward your financial goals. Consider:

Asking for a raise: If you’ve been with your employer for a while and have taken on additional responsibilities, it might be time to ask for a salary increase.

Freelancing or side hustles: Use your skills to earn extra income through freelance work or a side business. Consider these same-day-pay options.

Selling unused items: Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need on platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Here’s advice on how to sell your unwanted items.

 

  1. Seek Professional Advice

If you’re struggling to make sense of your financial situation or need help setting realistic goals, consider consulting a financial advisor. They can provide personalized advice and strategies to help you achieve your financial objectives.

 

  1. Stay Committed and Flexible

Achieving financial goals requires commitment and perseverance. Regularly review your progress and adjust your plan as needed. Life is unpredictable, and your financial situation may change, so be flexible and adapt your goals accordingly.

 

Don’t Give Up!

As we approach the halfway point of the year, it’s an ideal time to reassess and reestablish our financial goals. By taking a proactive approach and implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can make significant strides toward achieving your financial objectives. Whether it’s paying down debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a specific goal, staying focused and disciplined will help you end the year on a strong financial footing.

 

Check Into Cash Is Always Here For You

Remember, Check Into Cash is here to support you with various financial services and advice to help you navigate your financial journey. Whether it’s a Payday Loan, Installment Loan or Title Loan, there’s something for everyone at Check Into Cash. Need to cash a check or purchase a money order? No problem! We’re happy to help. Find a store nearby today to kickstart your financial goals.

 

*Not all consumers may qualify; certain restrictions apply. See store for details. In California, deferred deposit loans are provided in accordance with the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation pursuant to California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law, Cal. Fin. Code §23000 et seq.

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