Mid-Year Financial Check Up: Quick Guide and Financial Tips

BFG gives you explanations why a mid-year financial check up is necessary

In January, many individuals and families are excited with their new budgeting and financial goals for the upcoming year. However, as with all New Year's Resolutions and best-laid plans, motivation and action often wane as time goes on. That's why it's important to do a mid-year financial check up to see how those budgeting and financial goals have been coming along, and what should be changed or improved upon to see more success in the future.

  1. What's Changed?: Look back to the beginning of the year and see what's changed that perhaps wasn't expected. Maybe someone in the family lost a job, or maybe somebody got a raise. Maybe a car broke down and a new one was needed, maybe there's a new child on the way. Before establishing new money management guidelines for the rest of the year, current conditions need to be evaluated and compared to what had been expected.

  2. What's Working, and What's Not?: Many individuals forget that one of the best budgeting tips is to analyze not only their pre-existing spending habits or circumstances, but also their budgeting plan itself. What has been working, and what hasn't been? What should be tweaked, changed, removed or added to help facilitate greater success? Budgeting goals that are too restrictive are doomed to lead toward failure, and abandoning the entire plan, while lax-oversight never got anyone anywhere, either.

  3. Use Finance Tools: Personal budgeting can be made much easier through the help of finance tools. Many such tools (like FinanceWorks and debt in focus from BFG Federal Credit Union) are available online, for free, and offer their users a quick path towards successful money management. Figure out exact amounts of money that should be allotted for different areas, keep track of spending by various categories, and more.

  4. Debt vs. Savings: If new debt has been acquired, it's time to pay that off, or start paying it down. Removing debt should always be the first budgeting and financial priority, before savings accounts, before investing, and before anything else. Debt eats away at money far more than savings pays it back, so it should always be the first step of an action plan. Remembering this will always be one of the most important budgeting tips for anyone's finances.

  5. Look Ahead and Make Specific Goals: By nature, successful budgeting is future-focused. It's important to look ahead, and to create specific financial goals, not just an ideal to "save more." Creating specific milestones, goals and figures leads to superior results, and makes goals more realistic, accessible and motivating.

It's never too late to start improving spending habits and budgeting. Utilize the above budgeting tips to conduct a mid-year financial check-up, and successfully move ahead into a bright, financially free future.

Visit BFGFCU.org to utilize free online finance tools, and learn more about the great financial services available, ranging from checking and savings accounts, to auto and home loans and more, for individuals and families in Hudson, Akron and all Summit County, Ohio residents.