Jaime Catmull, Contributor
Aug. 16, 2022
We all set New Year’s resolutions of some form or another. These personal goals set a hopeful tone for a fresh year.
Once the summer rolls around, though, it’s easy to leave those goals behind, lost in the shuffle of life. If you set personal finance resolutions this January, it’s a good idea to revisit them for a mid-year checkup.
Here are a few common personal finance goals to review and re-evaluate as you head into the second half of the year.
1. Stick to Your Budget
A budget is ground zero for healthy personal finances. If you planned on creating (or updating) your budget in January, this process should be well underway by now.
By mid-year, you should have a few months of bank and credit card statements collected. Use this to analyze your spending and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Wealth Woman also suggests using this data to automate as many bills as possible and put yourself on a weekly allowance.
Fighting for a clearer picture of your finances through a budget can help you in many ways. You can separate wants from needs and avoid impulse purchases.
2. Set Up an Emergency Fund
Emergency funds are perfect for the very eponymous crises that gives them their name: emergencies . If you planned on creating an emergency fund half a year ago, take a look at your progress.
Have you set anything aside? If so, how much? Only you can know what is enough, but there are ways to gauge how big your emergency fund should be.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends considering both common and unexpected expenses that you’ve had in the past. Use these to set a goal that could cover any similar expenses if they come up in the future.
3. Pay Down Debt and Save Toward Goals
Many people set financial resolutions that revolve around either debt or savings. You might want to save for a big upcoming purchase, like a new car. You could also tackle something like a nagging student loan to free up future cash and boost your credit.
If you set a debt or savings-related resolution in January, it’s time to revisit it and consider what you’ve accomplished in the last six months or so. If the results are unsatisfying, consider what you can change moving forward.
Paying down debt requires strict discipline and focus. Revisit the first tip on budgeting to help with that one. Saving also requires strict fiscal standards, as well as something to work toward. If you haven’t set a solid goal, do so. If you have too many goals, Schwab recommends things like prioritizing and categorizing your goals to save effectively.
Set Expectations and Refocus
2022 has already been rife with financial challenges, from market pullbacks to runaway inflation . Now isn’t the time to throw away your personal finance resolutions. On the contrary, it’s time to fight for them.
So, take some time. Review your six-month-old resolutions, and reorient your personal finances so that you can survive and thrive throughout the rest of this rollercoaster of a year.
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