Periodically measuring your progress can help you stay on track to achieve your goals.
At the beginning of the year I sent a series of blog posts entitled 9 Steps to Becoming Financially Fit. As you read the posts, hopefully you were able to complete the “call to action” steps to help improve your financial fitness. Since we are halfway through the year, this is a good time for a mid-year financial fitness checkup. Here are three areas for you to review to measure your progress:
- Review your goals-You probably set some key financial goals to achieve by the end of the year. You may have set a goal to pay down your debt, increase your contribution to your retirement plan or boost your emergency fund. This would be a good time to measure your progress against those goals. In addition, there may be some goals that you feel need to be adjusted.
- Check your spending –Did you create your spending plan? Are you sticking to it? If you have started using financial software such as mint.com or quicken, you can easily track your progress. Print your monthly and year- to-date reports to see if you are staying within your budget or if adjustments need to be made. Are there spending issues that you need to address? If so, address them to get back on track.
- Review your portfolio– Although it is important not to get caught up in the day to day noise of the market fluctuations, you do need to review your portfolio periodically. This may be a good time to reallocate or rebalance your investments.
Goals and priorities sometimes change, so it is important that you review your financial plan on a periodic basis and when you have a key life change. This process will help you stay on track to meet your long term financial goals.