As we cross the midpoint of 2023, it can be beneficial to spend a few minutes putting on our financial wellness hats for a mid-year financial tune-up. This exercise, akin to preventive maintenance, allows us to reevaluate our financial standing, make necessary adjustments, and plan proactively for the rest of the year. I’ve put together a list of 10 questions you can ask to help evaluate your financial progress going into the second half of the year:
1. Am I making satisfactory progress toward my annual financial goals?
A look at where you stand with your financial goals is essential to measure progress, and course correct if necessary.
2. Have personal or professional life events emerged that necessitate a shift in my financial objectives?
Life’s unpredictable nature can often require us to adjust our sails. Reflect on any significant changes that might influence your financial journey.
3. Have I fully leveraged applicable tax deductions and credits to my advantage?
Proactive tax planning can make a noticeable difference in your savings. It’s worth exploring whether you’re harnessing all the benefits at your disposal.
4. In the event of income fluctuation, have I adjusted my tax withholdings or estimated payments suitably?
Keeping up with income changes is important to prevent any unwelcome surprises during tax season.
5. Do I fully understand my current cash flow?
A thorough understanding of your cash flow is vital. It not only sheds light on your spending patterns but also helps you make informed financial decisions.
6. Are there seasonal influences in my financial cycle that require strategic planning for the latter half of the year?
Acknowledging the seasonality of your finances can help in making necessary budget adjustments, enabling you to stay prepared for what’s to come.
7. Have I capitalized on the opportunity to maximize my retirement contributions and secured all associated tax benefits?
Retirement contributions are often an overlooked area, but they serve a dual purpose – securing your future and providing immediate tax benefits.
8. Am I utilizing my Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to the fullest?
These accounts can be a treasure trove of tax advantages. Ensure you’re making the most of them for your medical expenses.
9. When did I last review my credit report, and am I aware of my current credit score?
Regular check-ups of your credit score and report can offer insights into your financial health, besides helping identify any signs of identity theft.
10. Have I been tracking my charitable donations accurately throughout the year?
Alongside the satisfaction of supporting causes you care deeply about, it’s important to keep track of the charitable contributions you make during the year. This way, come tax season, you’ll be prepared with any required documentation.
The mid-year mark is the ideal checkpoint to reflect on your financial journey, address issues, and recalibrate your path for a prosperous latter half of the year. And remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Whether you have a specific situation you’d like to discuss, need assistance with the financial review, or just want some guidance on best practices, I’m here to help. I’d be more than happy to lend my expertise to your unique financial needs and help you craft a strategy that ensures the rest of the year is financially successful.