Financial Checkup 2013

With the end of 2013 just 3 or 4 months away, now is as good a time as ever to do a financial check up. It’s not uncommon to establish financial goals at the beginning of each year, and while most people start off on the right track, financial goals typically fall by the wayside by midyear.

Goals vary by person, but typically involve different areas of finance from savings to simplified issue life insurance. But even if your yearly goals have nothing to do with personal finance, it doesn’t hurt to look at your situation and see where you can make improvements.

1. Increase your mortgage payments. Did you know that by increasing your mortgage payments buy 1/12 every month, you’ll make the equivalent of one extra mortgage payment a year. One extra payment doesn’t seem like much, but this small move can knock years off your home loan term. This reduces how much interest you pay over the life of your loan, and since you’re able to pay down your home loan faster, you’ll build equity quicker.

2. Automate your savings. Saving money is a big hassle for some people. Even if you have good intentions, other expenses may pop up and get in the way of your savings plan. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many ways to jumpstart your savings.

For example, talk to your bank about automatic savings options. This can work in a variety of ways. With each debit card transaction, your bank may round up the change and deposit the savings into your savings account, or you can set up schedules where the bank automatically transfers money from your checking into your savings. This approach can work if you lack self-discipline, and before you know it, you’ll slowly increase your savings account with minimal effort.

3. Up your contributions. If you don’t properly plan for retirement now, you may kick yourself in the long run. How much are you contributing to your employer’s 401(k) plan? Can you afford to up your contributions? Sometimes, increasing your retirement savings is all about sacrifice. If you shop less, entertain less or take one less vacation each year, this can free up money for retirement. Another approach: supplement your employer’s retirement plan with an IRA. Between your 401K, your individual retirement account, and hopefully Social Security, you might be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

4. Review your life insurance policy. If you purchased a life insurance policy years ago, it pays to review your policy to make sure the coverage is adequate. Maybe you’ve acquired additional debt since taking out the policy, or maybe you’ve gotten married and had children. Any life changes can affect your life insurance needs.

A review of your personal finances each year is one way to ensure you’re on target to reach your goals. You’re the one in control of your money, and the decisions you make today can affect you and your family in the future.

Content in today’s post was provided by Amanda G.  Thanks to her for the information.

5 thoughts on “Financial Checkup 2013”

  1. We just reevaluated our life insurance and decided to add more. We definitely wouldn’t have had enough if we didn’t look into it. Good tip!

  2. At this time of year, beyond the checkups you mention, I like to make sure my tax withholdings are correct, and also make sure I will max my 401(k) account contributions at the end of the year. If either of these are off, I get in touch with the accounting department, and make the necessary adjustments.

  3. Thanks for the tips and for reminding us the essence of insurance, saving and other financial matter. It is correct that we should update our financial needs from time to time. This will keep us on track whatever financial goal we have.

  4. For one, I could really benefit from automating my savings, thats one area am definitely lagging behind on. As you point out, once the money is in my hands its usually hard to focus long-term and thats something am working to improve on.
    One small addition, plan for Christmas holiday spending well in advance 🙂

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