Mid-year financial check-ins are a great way to begin a year-end review and evaluate progress. This post is all about my recent debt epiphany. Over the past year, I’ve been paying off my credit cards and building up my emergency fund. But there was one thing I didn’t do that I should have.
I’ve recently started tracking my finances and all the numbers are starting to match up. I have gone from debt to debt-free. I have even paid down a portion of my mortgage debt. Currently, I have no debt. That’s right, I haven’t paid a dime on my mortgage in over two years. I’ve paid what I could afford to pay (paying more than the minimum on my mortgage, but not the entire balance). I have kept a budget, saved, and invested what little I make into my future. I’ve written a post on this before, and I’ll be doing it again soon. It’s good to know where you’re atThis article may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy. How often do you review your financial goals? I like to review them at least once a month, but mid-year I prefer a more detailed review. This is very useful when it comes to:
- Insurance accountability
- Confirm the necessary changes to my plan
- Narrow down the specific areas in which I can improve.
I posted my financial goals on Instagram earlier in the year, but in this post I’m sharing them below with an analysis of my progress. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend that you review your financial goals mid-year. The months go by so quickly, and before you know it, a new year begins. Fortunately, it’s never too late to get back on track. Here’s what my financial goals for 2021 look like.
This was my big goal this year, as I felt one of our bathrooms needed an overhaul. Last year we did a lot of projects in and around the house, so this year I wanted to slow down and focus on the bathroom as my main task. We were able to complete the entire project in January of this year. On you. Below are before and after pictures. I thought it turned out nice. Our budget for this project was about $5,000, and we achieved our goal. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but it also helps to know that bathrooms and kitchens are important features when a buyer is considering a new home. Since we don’t plan to be here forever, I was pleased to learn that a bathroom renovation typically provides a 70% return on investment and increases the value of the home.
I decided to take the time for this goal and contribute monthly. But I’m still on track to reach that goal in a few months. Honestly, our emergency fund was already pretty healthy at the beginning of the year and I just wanted to add to it a bit. If you are looking for specific strategies to help you grow your emergency fund, I encourage you to check out my Master Class Emergency Fund. In this 4-part video course, you will learn how to build a comprehensive emergency fund that you can fall back on in times of need. I don’t beat around the bush, I get right to the point when it comes to how much you need, how to cut costs, how to increase your income in unique ways, and how to streamline your progress to reach your savings goal once and for all. Related topics: Why do you need a full emergency fund?
Deposit $6,000 into an IRA
This is another goal I put on autopilot to get to the finish line. I put $500 into my IRA each month to max it out by the end of the year. Last month was my biggest challenge because it was an expensive month. However, I made sacrifices and still sent my usual $500. I just hope I stay on track with that goal. Since I’m turning 30 next year, I don’t want to get myself invested and put off achieving these goals any longer. If you have not yet opened an IRA, I strongly recommend using Betterment. This is a robo-advisor (with super low commissions) that makes investing easy, and I’ve been using this site for years. Related: Do you have debts but want to invest? You should know
Save $5,000 on Vanguard account
After reading The Simple Path to Wealth, I knew I wanted to invest in the Vanguard VTSAX, an index fund with high performance and low fees. After focusing on paying off my debts and improving other aspects of my financial situation, I was finally ready to make the minimum $3,000 deposit to open an account. So far I have not invested more than that amount. So I have to pay an extra $2000 this year to reach that goal. There’s still plenty of time for that, so I’m hopeful. My account has already earned $30 in just a few months with no additional deposits, so I’m happy with that! Related: How to invest in stocks without remorse
Pay both holidays in cash
Let’s go! I booked spring break with my family and it was so much fun. Then my husband and I went to Gatlinburg, TN for our fifth anniversary. Both trips were paid for in full and we accumulated no debt. I don’t know if I’ll be traveling this year, but maybe a few short hikes or weekend trips are in the works. Related: 10 ways to get a $1,000 vacation
How to revise your financial objectives mid-year
When you review your financial goals mid-year, you don’t have to just talk about your goals. You can assess your overall financial health to see the big picture. Here are a few things I highly recommend you do if you want to take a midterm review and refocus.
- Look at your budget history – In which months did you have more trouble than others sticking to your plan and why? Do you need to change some categories to better fit your current lifestyle?
- Review your subscriptions – Be honest about what you are not using and what you may need to cancel to free up more money. Consider using a service like Billshark that can help you reduce unnecessary subscriptions without any effort on your part.
- Summary of savings and retirement accounts – Get up-to-date information by keeping track of what you’ve saved or invested. Review your brokerage firm’s reports to see how much your investments have yielded, what commissions have been charged, and whether you need to make adjustments to meet your annual goal.
- Adjust your debt plan – Evaluate your debt plan carefully and look at what works and what doesn’t. Never be afraid to change things or shift your focus from one debt to another.
- How is your emergency fund doing? – Do you have enough savings for an emergency? Or do you need to replenish your savings account? Don’t forget to check out my workshop on setting up an emergency fund if you really want to set up a – and – emergency fund as soon as possible.
Setting financial goals is only half the battle. It takes a lot of discipline and responsibility to continuously work towards your goals and implement the process. But even then, life is unpredictable and you never know what the future holds. I would love to hear more about your financial goals for this year and how I can help. Sometimes it is very helpful to discuss your goals out loud with someone who understands them. Then send me an email in the comments below!
Stop worrying about money and take back control
Are you ready to take back control of your money? Take the first step with a free starter kit that includes:
- 2 sample monthly statement schedules
- 1 Checklist for commencement of debt repayment
- 1 Radical cost savings checklist
Good luck! Please check your email now to confirm your registration.