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Your 5-point Midyear Financial Checkup – The Motley Fool



With the summer kicking into equipment, many of us are more focused on beach days and holidays than we are on our economy. But now that we are midway through 2019, it is important to get some time for a personal financial review. Here are some things you should do in the coming weeks to ensure that you can close out in 2019 in a financially secure place.

1. Consider your budget – or create a

Ideally, you should follow a budget to keep track of your current expenses. If you don't have a budget in place, consider this waking up to create one right away. And if you've spent a budget, spend a few minutes evaluating it to see if it's very accurate. For example, you may have allocated $ 1

,200 per month for rent, but if your lease expired and you now pay $ 1,200 a month, something you want to adjust.

  A hand that uses a pen to cross in red ink

PICTURE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Automate your savings

Save money is so much easier when the temptation to use it is removed. That's why automating your savings is a good idea – it effectively forces you to adhere to the goals you've mapped out for yourself.

There are several ways you can automate your savings, depending on your needs. If you want to build a contingency fund with a three-month cost of living, you can arrange a portion of each paycheck you receive to move from your account to your savings account until that goal is met. If you are good at emergency saving but want to continue building a witch egg, you can sign up for the employer 401 (k) plan and get a portion of each paycheck there directly. And if you don't have access to a 401 (k), you can find an IRA with an automatic transfer option and do something similar.

3. Review Your Investments

Whether you're investing in a pension plan or a traditional brokerage account, it's important to check your portfolio so often and make sure it's not just working well, but it's properly diversified. For example, if you are not satisfied with the returns you have generated over the past six months, you can move some investments around to change things. It may mean that you invest a little more aggressively by replacing some bonds with shares, or it may mean that you buy different stocks if those you have are too similar or not.

4. Adjust Tax Retention

The 2018 surplus led to many changes in the tax code, including a brand new set of retention tables for employers to follow. These tables were designed to make more money back in the workers' paycheck, but unfortunately, many tax files were beating due to money on the 2018 return because they failed to adjust their holdings and actually received too much of a boost.

If it happened to you, review your restraint and make changes as needed. You should consider charging fewer allowances for the rest of the year if you owe a lot of money when you have filed your last return, or if you earn a lot of income outside your regular paycheck (such as investment income or a side cash).

5. Assessing the progress you have made towards your goals

Chances are that you created one or more money-related goals at the beginning of the year. Maybe you wanted to save $ 3,000 for a dream vacation next winter. Perhaps you were hoping to spend $ 15,000 as a down payment for your first home. Now that we are in the middle of the year, take a look at how far you have come to achieve these goals and adjust your plans as needed to increase your chances of meeting them. For example, if you only saved $ 4,000 in $ 15,000, you hoped to pay for a home purchase, you might have to think about cutting expenses or getting a side job in the coming months to hit the target.

In the middle of the year it's great to investigate your finances and make sure everything is on the right track. Spend some time in the next few weeks working through the points above – you'll be thankful you came in December.


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