Let’s be honest: no one looks forward to a checkup. Whether it is your health, your home or your car being inspected, we always fear that bad news is coming when we go in for a checkup.
But let’s think about the purpose of these evaluations for a moment. They are meant to point out deficiencies or things that need to be improved. So, while checkups may seem awful, they are for your own good.
Your finances are no different. They need to be evaluated regularly to ensure you are doing well. As we are about halfway through the year, now is a good time to evaluate the health of our finances. Answer the following questions to see where you are doing well, as well as where you need to improve.
- Are you following a budget? Using a budget helps you know where each dollar is going.
- Are you monitoring your spending? Checking regularly to see if you are going over budget in any spending areas is critical to refining your spending habits.
- Are you making impulsive spending decisions? If so, remember this phrase to ask yourself before any purchase: do I really need this?
- Do you have a savings plan set up? This includes what you will be putting into your savings account and how often (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).
- Are you being consistent with your savings contributions? Saving money is a marathon, not a sprint. Improve consistency by setting up an auto-transfer from your checking to your savings on your paydays.
- Do you have goals? You need to have both short and long-term goals to measure your progress and give yourself something to shoot for.
- Do you have a separate retirement account set up? This can be through your employer or on your own. Either way, you need to have somewhere to save for retirement.
- Are you making contributions to retirement? Regardless of age, you should be making regular contributions to fund your retirement.
- What goals do you have for retirement? You need to know what it will take to live the way you want in retirement and work toward that specific number.
- How much do you use your credit card? Regular use for certain expenses is healthy; relying on your credit card for most of your purchases is not.
- Are you paying off your balance each month? If not, you’re costing yourself in interest payments and late fees, as well as damaging your credit score.
Loans & Mortgages
- Do you have a payoff plan in place? This is important if you’re juggling multiple loan payments to help increase the efficiency of your money and to pay as little interest along the way as possible.
- Are you making payments on time? Late payments, missed payments and incomplete payments mean more in interest and lower your credit score.
- Can you make extra payments? This is the best way to negate the amount of interest you pay over time, and also shortens the life of the loan.
How did you do? Whatever areas need improving, Raccoon Valley Bank is here to help any way we can. Simply call or stop by any of our bank offices today to see how we can help!
Raccoon Valley Bank, Member FDIC