The following is a guest post.
Well, we’re a little over halfway through the year with the second half to deal with. The economy isn’t looking a whole lot better, but hopefully you have made some progress with your financial goals. The halfway point in any project is a good place to take a quick inventory of what has worked and what hasn’t for you, and to make adjustments to make the most out of the remaining months. Here are some suggestions and financial tips you might want to implement in July:
- Evaluate your credit card debt and make some decisions. Where are you, financially speaking? It might be advantageous to compare the best credit cards and make some adjustments. Just remember every credit card application counts against your credit score, so research and choose carefully.
- Take a look at your investment portfolio and determine if any changes need to be made at this point. Although it may be your strategy to let things sit for the long term, it’s not a bad idea to see how certain investments are performing to date.
- Assess your current spending. Are you still on track, or have you fallen into bad habits? Check your credit card receipts to track spending trends, and correct your spending behavior if warranted.
- Are you planning a vacation in July? Set a budget and stick to it. Take advantage of a credit card offering rewards or air miles if you must travel, but be sure to pay the balance off before the end of the billing cycle. Don’t spend more than you’ve allotted.
- Review your current budget for household expenses and calculate where you can make more reductions in cost and how to translate that into more in the savings account or investment portfolio.
- Look ahead and reconfigure the budget for the rest of the year, taking into consideration any changes you need to make which will bring you closer to your ultimate goal.
- If you need to buy furniture, computers or grills, this month is the best time of year to purchase these types of items. Retailers are looking to empty their floor space for the new season coming up, and you can find some pretty good deals.
- Buying clothes off-season at this time of year can also save you a lot of money. However, don’t buy just to spend money. Only purchase what you would normally buy and take advantage of discounted savings.
- It might be time to downsize and de-clutter. Consider having a yard sale or donating items to a local charity. You can either put money in your pocket or use the donation as a tax write-off.
- Take a good look at your Ultimate Goal and evaluate what you need to do to get there. Whether it is an early retirement or buying a yacht, performing an assessment at this point could get you on track and that much closer to being financially independent.
Finally, when dealing with any paperwork related to money, make sure you always use appropriate measures to avoid identity theft.
[Mich] How do you evaluate your financial position at any given date? I am able to get an accurate snapshot of where I am and where I am going for each month thanks to Excel. In my opinion, it is of paramount importance to have access to your finances in full detail at any time since it will help you achieve your goals by knowing exactly the ins and outs of every dollar.