The days are longer, the sun is shining brighter, the beaches are full and the last thing you probably want to think about are your personal finances. However, summer is actually a good time to do a quick mid-year financial reality check.
Here are several things to check up on:
- Check your investments. Look at your specific investments and evaluate whether they continue to have a role in your portfolio. Make sure your mix of investments in all of your accounts fits your risk tolerance and not your emotions. Ask yourself whether the allocations are in line with what you originally set, and rebalance if necessary.
- Check your savings plan. Did you stick to saving the exact portion of your salary you planned to save? If so, try to increase it, even by just a little bit.
- Reassess your budget. You can’t anticipate everything that will happen in the future, so halfway through the year is a good time to review your monthly budget and make necessary adjustments to accommodate changes that might have occurred in your income or expenses.
- Review important paperwork. Check your beneficiary designations on your 401K, checking and savings accounts, and life insurance policies. If you don’t have a will, healthcare proxy or power of attorney, take the time to set them up. If you have them, review not only the paperwork, but any life events that have occurred. Marriage, divorce, birth and death are the four big life events that affect estate planning.
- Check in on your medical spending. Do you have a medical insurance deductible to meet, and if so, where do you stand? If you have a medical flexible spending account (FSA), how much of that money have you used?
- Start saving for the holidays. It is never too early to start thinking about the holidays. If you put money aside now, you’ll be better positioned to prevent a huge dent in your budget during November and December.
- Reward yourself if you deserve it. If you are satisfied with how you have handled your finances and the strides you made toward meeting your personal financial goals, this is the time you can give yourself a pat on the back. A little holiday will not dig holes in your finances if you have made the provisions. Make time for some serious relaxation…and wear sunscreen.
Hope you’re having a great summer!