It’s hard to believe we’re in the second half of 2019. However, now is the perfect time to check back on your personal finances — and your 2019 money goals. Are you hitting your save goals, or overspending too often? Do you need to tweak your goals for the rest of the year? Are you communicating with your partner regularly about finances?
Summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your action plan for the remainder of the year so you actually hit those big goals you set for yourself; it’s slower, you’re likely taking shelter inside during the day, and you might be taking time off to just relax at home. If you want to make the most of your summer, read on to learn how to reevaluate your goals — and adjust course accordingly.
Check In With Your Progress So Far
How are your finances going so far? Now is the time to look at your progress. Some common signs you’re veering off track include:
Forgetting to stick to or review your budget. It’s common and totally understandable to forget about your budget, but don’t let yourself get too far on that path. Tracking your expenses takes time, and it can feel tedious. However, it’s important to know how your money is being spent in order to meet your goals.
Overspending. Look at your budget. Are you spending too much on a particular category? Are you tracking your spending correctly? Do you need a different budgeting system?
Missing your save goals. Can you allocate more towards savings? Are you manually moving amounts from your paycheck to savings, or can you automate transfers?
After you check in with the progress you’ve made so far, you can reevaluate your money goals to see if they need to be adjusted. Even if they don’t need to be adjusted, reevaluating can put you in the right mindset to meet those goals.
Reaffirm Your Money Goals
What are your money goals? Remember that you have short-term, long-term, and ongoing goals. Now is the time to reaffirm those three types of goals and adjust them as needed. If you’ve already met several short-term goals, perhaps you can create new ones for the coming months in 2019. For example, earlier this year you may have set a goal to save a certain amount of money for your family’s summer vacation, and you reached it. That’s great! A new short-term goal may be to save a certain amount for your holiday shopping at the end of the year.
As for long-term and ongoing goals, remember not to treat them as short-term goals. Check that you’re making progress on them, but there’s no need to obsess over your results too often. An ongoing goal like sticking to your weekly budget for groceries isn’t meant to be perfect all the time. It’s meant to keep you in check with regular monitoring. You won’t always hit that goal, and that’s okay.
Touch Base With Your Partner
Communicating frequently and honestly with your partner about money can help you bond as a couple. Money talks can be difficult and stressful (money is the top reason couples fight) but it’s important and essential to successful avoiding financial conflict as a couple.
If you planned to have regular money talks with your partner at the beginning of the year, look back through the months to see if you stuck to your schedule. Were weekly money talks too hard to stick to? Try planning money talks every other week or once a month instead. Then, look at the discussions themselves. Did they become emotional or focus on the negatives? Make a note to focus on what’s important instead. Remember that you’re in this together, and you want to be financially successful as a team.
Touch base on what financial security means to each of you — and what you value when it comes to money and life. Is the budget working so far? Do you want to spend more on valuable experiences, or would you like to prioritize saving? Are there big expenses coming up soon? This halfway mark is the perfect time to get back on the same page with your partner through an open discussion.
Fill in your Everyday Money Workbook
Monitoring your spending is a great habit, but it doesn’t replace your budget. You may use your bank’s tracking tools or an app like Mint to track spending, but using a tool to keep your budget, goals, and analyses in one place can work wonders. The Everyday Money Workbook does just that.
This workbook has assignments to keep your finances in order, periodic check-ins to evaluate your financial health, and sections dedicated to your goals, values, communication, and assessment. Plus, by purchasing this workbook, you get access to even more helpful resources, like in-depth videos, PDF forms, a private online group, and a Certified Financial Planner to help you with your questions.
Don’t let the last half of the year pass you by! Take control and meet those goals — you’ll be so glad you did.