My mid year Financial Health Check
Most people create their goals and look at their forward planning in January in line with a fresh new year, but how often do you review those?
I like to use the end of financial year to review my goals and finances to give myself a financial mid-point check up. Here are the things that I’ll be looking at for myself:
Review my spending plan.
Costs have gone up across the board. I’ve noticed it personally and I’ve noticed it for my clients. I have a thorough and automated money management system, but I will be reviewing certain costs. For example, I am no longer putting enough aside for groceries because the average costs of groceries has definitely increased. I’ll need to review this for the rest of the year.
Other areas that need a tweak include home loans (the obvious here), petrol and health insurance which also increased.
I also like to look at any plans I have in the next 6 month and make sure I’m setting aside enough for that.
Once I’ve reviewed this, I will then update all my automatic direct debits to align with the updated plan. Then it’s set and forget for another 6 months.
Review my long term investments
I have a few different investments in place for different reasons. It’s a good time to check in with them and again, adjust any ongoing contributions to the investments. The goals for the investments will be different for everyone, but for me, it’s to build towards my financial freedom number.
I want to consider whether I can increase the ongoing contributions and how that impacts the rest of my finances.
Again if I can, I’ll update the reoccurring payment and review again in 6 months time.
Ask about my home loans
I don’t know about you, but the first Tuesday of every month has been a bit of a ‘dread’ day for us finance people, because it’s the day the RBA meet to discuss interest rates. As we all know, interest rates have increased pretty much every single month for what seems like forever at this point.
The mid year point is another good prompt to ask my broker and bank for a discount on the home loan and investment property loan interest rates. If you haven’t reviewed your loans this year, then let this be the reminder to do so. Ask the question because it could save you hundreds.
Check all my points
I have flybys and I use a credit card transactionally that has points allocated to it. I like to check on my points to see what is available to me.
I can use some of these points for direct cash off of expenses or gift cards for shops that I shop at regularly. Alternatively, I consider whether I can use some of these to go towards planned holidays and travel.
I like to do a quick stocktake on what I have to see what I can/could use but also to make sure none of them expire at the end of the financial year.
If they do, I’d rather cash them out into gift cards for everyday expenses like groceries and get the benefit.
Update centrelink for childcare
Now I don’t have children and I’m not in the childcare system, but if I was (like many of my clients) now is the time to update your earnings with Centrelink to ensure you are correct and so that you won’t end up with a tax bill next financial year.
We encourage people to actively check in the ‘master plan’ for their finances at least 2 times a year, which is why January and the middle of the year is the perfect time to do so.