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Mark Delgadillo: Are Your Financial Resolutions on Track?

Midyear is a good time to review and renew the goals you set in January

Everyone begins the year with the best of intentions — whether it be exercising more, eating healthier or getting finances in order. But inevitably, our busy lives take off in all different directions, priorities change and certain things begin to take the back seat.

Mark Delgadillo
Mark Delgadillo

Midyear is a good time to revisit those financial goals you set in January. Take a look at where you stand compared with the beginning of the year, and renew your commitment to those resolutions.

Things to keep in mind:

Keep Investments Focused on Goals

Upon receiving all of your midyear financial statements, take some time to evaluate them. Are your investments performing as you hoped? If they aren’t, but you’re not quite ready to make adjustments, you may want to tag underperforming investments to watch more closely. While reviewing investment performance, check your progress toward investment goals, including retirement. If you’re not seeing the results you hoped for, you may want to increase your periodic investments and/or retirement plan contributions.

Be sure to take some time to re-evaluate your goals. Have any of them changed since the beginning of the year? Perhaps a long-term goal has now become a greater priority. Consider working with your financial professional to restructure your investment strategy to make room for any necessary adjustments.

Control Household Spending

Did you set a budget at the beginning of the year? Take some time to evaluate its effectiveness. By reviewing your income and expenses during the past six months, you’ll be able to gauge your success. You can track expenses by going through your checkbook register or online bank records. Note how much money you spent on each budget item, and compare the figures with the amounts you estimated. Is the money you saved going toward your financial goals?

Reduce Debt

Frequently review your credit card statements. Have you been successful in whittling down those balances? It’s easy to forget how many items you’ve charged to your cards. Routinely looking at your statements will help you concentrate on your plan to minimize your debt and, in turn, save you potentially thousands of dollars in interest over time. Those saved dollars could go a long way toward moving you ahead financially.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Your midyear review should include assessing your ability to survive emergencies. Having at least three to six months worth of living expenses in a low-risk investment vehicle could save you from costly setbacks in your financial progress in the event of a emergency. Reviewing your life, home, auto, health and disability insurance coverage early in the year will also help you be prepared.

Finally, meet with your financial professional for an annual review of your progress to help ensure that your plan remains on target.

— Mark Delgadillo is a financial advisor for Crowell, Weedon & Co., 111 W. Micheltorena St., Suite 200 in Santa Barbara. He can be reached at 805.618.3160, or click here for more information.

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