Mid Year Personal Finance Review: 7 Things to Look At

2013 is already halfway gone and we are in the seventh month. Many set forth financial goals for themselves at the beginning of the year and the halfway point is always a good time to review how close or otherwise you are to your goals. Even if you set no financial goal you most certainly have broad hopes to improve and increase your financial worth and when you pass the sixth month in the year you ought to take a close look at where you are and what you have achieved financially.

To do a review of your personal finance here are seven things to analyse.

1. Your Investment Decisions and Portfolio

Do you have any active investments made or accumulated during the first half of the year? Note that investments are not only concerned with stocks and shares. Real Estate, Startups etc are some investment options available in today’s world. What is your investment portfolio and mix like? What are the average return on your investments? Is there anything you need to change in your investment strategy? What is going to be your investment strategy in the second part of the year? How close are you to reaching the networth target you set for yourself this year. These and more are issues and questions you could answer as the year passes the halfway stage.

2. Did You Stick to Your Savings Plan?

As a Career individual with probably only your salary and emoluments as your major source of income the amount of networth you build up will depend on how well you stick to saving some of the income you make and then investing them in carefull thought out, rewarding ideas. Did you stick to saving the exact portion of your salary you planned to save? You also have to decide if the current amount you save monthly is enough or needs to be increased.

3. Re-Access Your Budget

When you set a monthly budget for yourself early in the year you may not have envisaged some changes like increased living expenses (your rent or feeding may have gone up etc) or increased income (as a result of that hefty raise you got etc). So halfway through the year is a good time to review your monthly budget and make necessary and needed adjustments to accomodate changes that might have occurred in your income and expenses pathway. If your income has increased without corresponding increase in expenses you may have to increase the amount you set aside for your investement/savings account. If expenses rise (in circumstances not under your control) without corresponding rise in income you have the option of adjusting your budget or planning on ways to bring your income up to speed either by taking up a part time job or starting something on the side.

4. Reward Yourself if You Deserve It

If you are satisfied with how you have handled your finances and the strides you have made towards meeting your personal networth target this is the time you can decide to give yourself a pat on the back. A little holiday will not dig holes in your finances if you have made the provisions for it. Giving yourself a treat makes it worthwhile and gives you the renewed vigour to continue your fight towards total financial freedom.

5. Make Tax Adjustments

Having gone mid-way into a new year you now have an idea of what your taxes for the year look like and there’s no better time to make the adjustments than now.

6. How Far Are You With Reducing or Eliminating Your Debt?

This is a good time to check if you have succeeded in reducing or in fact removing your debts. The general rule of thumb and the fastest way to reduce your debt is to tackle your highest interest rate debt first. Make plans to tackle and free yourself from those debts that come with the highest interest rates because the longer you let them exist the deeper they eat into your finances. While paying yourself is a must (even in the face of debt) make plans to have sizeable deductions in your income which will go towards reducing those high interest debts. Look for possibilities to renegotiate the debt terms or even get a waiver on some of them if they are becoming too much to manage.

7. How Much Did You Invest in Yourself

Especially if you have many years ahead of you in your career you need to take self improvement serious and have sums of money from your income devoted to becoming better and improving yourself in new and emerging knowledge related to your career. The income you invest in yourself will pay itself back when you r value increases in the industry and with it your pay packet.

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