Summertime Money Tune-up…. It’s time to get serious!
Here we are more than half way through the year. Did you set some money goals at the beginning of the year? Save more, spend less, make more money or get the debt paid down? Here are four guidelines to look at and structure your financial situation and give attention to what and how you are doing money and see how things are working for you.
1. Review. How have your plans (assuming you made some ;) worked out? Did you make any resolutions at the beginning of the year? Promises to yourself that you were going to change your money situation this time for good! This is a good time to take a look at how you have done and what changes, if any, you made. Did you start an online money management program like Quicken or MINT.com? Did you make any changes to your savings plan for your children’s education or your retirement fund? Did you have a budget for vacation time? These may be a few of the areas you might want to be reviewing. Can you think of others where you may want to review and consider, as applicable to your cash flow?
2. Relevant. Maybe what was relevant at the beginning of the year may have changed. Possibly areas that you wanted to change or do something about have been accomplished and they’re off your to-do list. On the other hand, maybe there are areas that are relevant that need to be placed at the top of the list that may need more immediate attention. If, for example, you had planned to start a money tracking system and you didn’t. Or you were going to stop using the credit cards. Is there some credit card debt that needs to take a front row seat? Have you started saving for long term goals?
3. Results. When you reflect on your current situation, using the structure of an actionable plan to keep moving you forward, are there new results you want to achieve? Do any of your original plans need changing or updating to be more in line with your review? Do minor adjustments need to be made in one or two areas? If so, set a date to do them and allocate the time to make a plan.
4. Refocus. After reviewing your situation and determining the current significance of your plans and the results you want to achieve, now may be a good time to refocus your efforts on planning and making the changes. Sometimes, in the summer, we relax our efforts. Set a date to refocus on the one or two areas that may need your attention. Also consider your time and re visiting your goals for the results you want to achieve.
So these areas can vary from back-to-school planning (do you have a budget?) to a small business start-up, or giving thought to a winter vacation.
When you consider the four words in the outline discussed above, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
“What areas are most important for me to focus on in doing a review of my money this summer? Can I set a date to start and reenergize my focus on the areas that need it, or simply get back on track from a summer breather?”
You can use these questions as a guide to help you with your own personal situation. There is ‘peace of mind’ in knowing that you have a plan, or that you were on the right track and this summer review was validation of your plans to date.
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To your success,