Mid-Year Financial Checkup: What You Should Review

Can you believe that 2018’s halfway point is already here? For some businesses, June serves as the end of the fiscal year. While you might spend some time vacationing with family and friends, summer is also a good time to see how you’re doing with your personal finances. Here are a few things to check to be in good financial shape in the future.

Monthly Bills

This is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked, things to do when checking your finances. During the summer, a lot of the services you pay might be offering specials that you can’t get at any other time of the year. Here are some of the top things to review.

  • Cable, Internet & Phone: See what special offers are available and ask your provider what they can do to lower your rate. Before you call, check what other providers are available in your area and what special offers they have. Present the offers you can receive to your current provider.
  • Insurance: Research to see if there are better deals on homeowners, renters, and auto insurance policies. These three types of insurance tend to be the most competitive. Review any cancellation fees you might have to pay if you decide to switch policies.
  • Subscription Services: Things like gym memberships, music-streaming services, and others can add up. See what you can cut from your budget, or if you can receive a better rate.

Retirement Contributions

Are you saving enough for your future? Now is a good time to check that you’re putting enough money away and that you are taking advantage of your employer’s matching if they offer it. As the stock markets fluctuate, you may also want to review your investments.

If you have a 401K, Bankrate.com offers a great tool to help you determine the best allocations based on your current income, savings, risk tolerance, tax rate, and more. This same site also has Roth IRA and 403B calculators so you can calculate how any adjustments can help you.

Emergency Fund

Do you have money saved for a rainy day? According to the Chicago Tribune, more than half of Americans had less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. With the high cost of living, it might be tough to find extra money to save. Start taking $25 to $50 a month and putting it aside for your emergency savings. This fund can be used for car or home repairs or if you lose your job. Try to save at least six months of your salary by this time next year so you have a comfortable amount saved.

Review Which Tax Bracket You’re In

If you bought a house, got married or divorced, or received a major promotion, you may have changed tax brackets. While you have the second half of the year to get everything together for the 2019 tax season, it’s not a bad idea to review your exemptions and ensure that there are no major adjustments to make. Who knows, you may find a new deduction!

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