If our calendar year could be compared to a basketball game, we're at about half time. For those of you who don't know anything about basketball, the game is broken into two halves with half time in the middle. During halftime both teams retreat to their locker rooms.
So, right now, we're in our half time. We're in the locker room taking a quick breather from running up and down the court like athletes trying to score as many points as we can. It's time to huddle up and make sure we are doing things right.
Halftime is a chance to pause and reflect. What's the score? How is the other team playing? How are you playing? You probably went on the court with an objective. Maybe the objective is to win. Or maybe the objective is to not lose by 30 points. Whatever the objective is, now is the time to take stock of the score, your performance and how you can make adjustments to finish strong.
Remember: What you focus on expands. If you don't measure it, you can't improve it.
Here are five things to do in a midyear review.
1. Review Your Financial Goals
You’ve probably got a list of #goals as the day is long. Whether it’s buying a house, saving for a baby, saving for that baby’s college education, getting a new car or starting a business, you need to see where you’re at with your goals.
Reflect on where you’re at for the first half of the year. Are you halfway to your annual savings goal? If you are on track or ahead, that’s awesome. If you’re not, what happened? Do you need to make an adjustment for what is realistic for the rest of the year?
2. Investment Checkup
Take a look at all of your investment accounts. You want to make sure that you’re invested appropriately considering how long you are going to invest your money and the amount of risk you feel comfortable taking. If you have a financial advisor, now is a good time to meet with them to review if your investment portfolio has the right mix to help you reach your goals.
3. Know Your Net Worth
Your net worth is calculated by finding the difference between all of your assets and all of your liabilities. Assets are things you own that have value. Value means you can sell the thing you have and someone will give you money for it. Unless it's already money, money is an asset. Here are some examples of other assets: a house you own, a car you own, shares of a business you own, the cash in your checking and savings accounts, the value in your retirement account, jewelry, valuable art or money that is owed to you because you loaned it to someone.
Liabilities are what you owe. The mortgage, your student loans and your credit cards are all liabilities.
To calculate your net worth, find the total of all your assets and subtract the total of all of your liabilities. In a perfect world, you have positive net worth. Having a positive net worth is helpful because it means you have more than you owe. If you have a negative net worth, it's important to understand why. Do you have crazy student loans or a mortgage and a lot of debt? Start keeping track of whether or not the number is going up or down. Try to set short-term goals. Measure your progress.
4. Cash Flow Review
If you’ve been keeping a budget, spend some time looking at the trends over the last six months. Have you been consistently saving and staying within budget?
If you don’t keep a budget you can start with baby steps. Even if building a budget seems like it’s in your far future, looking at how you spend your money will at least give you the data you need when you start creating your budget.
If you’re consistently saving money and staying out of debt, then you’re probably in great shape in the cash flow department. But there is always room for improvement.
5. Insurance Review
Now is a good time to make sure your insurance coverages are up to date. If the value of your house appreciated or you have a lot more assets to protect, you might want to look into increasing your homeowners insurance and life insurance, respectively.
Occasionally, Logix will invite guest bloggers to post on assorted financial topics. These posts may or may not represent our views