With the middle of the year approaching, it’s probably a good time to review your “first of the year” financial goals. Many of us start out the new year with certain goals in mind – whether it be contribute more to our retirement funds, starting (or beefing up) that college savings plan or to simply spend less and save more.
There’s no better time to review your 2010 goals than half-way through, to make adjustments or give yourself a pat on the back for sticking to your plan.
- Compile a Net Worth Statement. It doesn’t need to be a complicated form, just a sheet of paper with what you own, what you owe, and how it’s titled. Update this at least annually.
- Track, most of your spending. Don’t tell the other financial planners, but most people don’t need to know where every cent goes. If you routinely overspend, are not saving for retirement or other goals, then yes you probably need to track it all. Be sure to keep up with all tax deductible or potentially tax deductible items.
- Set goals. Goals, financial or otherwise, give us purpose and point us in a direction. Think about your financial goals for retirement: If you retire early, what will you do with your time? Or your estate: What values do you wish to impart on your children or perhaps your grandchildren?
McClain suggests busy parents check out Mint.com for its ease of use and detailed expense/income tracking. “I use it personally; while it takes some time to get it setup, it is a great way to track spending and net worth changes overtime. You can also link up your loans and investment accounts and make manual entries for personal stuff. You get a weekly summary with all your account listed; you can set alerts for payments, etc. It’s very handy,” said McClain.
He does caution to not spend too much time worrying over each detail. “Let me also say, that while it’s important to track this information, be careful not to stress over it. Knowing your spending and debt situation is tool to help you save and make wise financial choices.”
How will you spend your financial attention for the remainder of 2010? There’s no better time to think about it than right now!