Take your finances off “pause” and into action

No matter how much your summer is shaping up to be, it’s time to take your finances off pause and into action. Take just 30 minutes to assess your financial progress this year. Have you made steady progress? Are there adjustments needed? Here are 3 quick measures to look at:

Cash Flow: Is your spending under control? Are you dipping into savings or swiping a credit card? If you are, take a dive into your budget to see where your dollars are going. Can you tighten the proverbial belt to save a chunk of income each and every month? If you are struggling with where to start savings, make sure you first have an emergency fund. You should have at least 3-6 months of savings put aside in the event of an emergency.

Look at your long-term progress: We get it, savings for an emergency isn’t much fun. So after you’ve accumulated 3-6 months of expenses, reach to save for a ‘fun’ goal — starting your own business, a down payment on a house or car, retirement, or an investment. Don’t worry about timing the market. Research has shown that the time in the market may be more effective than trying to time it. In short, be consistent, be diligent, and connect your savings to your specific goals.

Adjust based on life: What’s happened so far this year? Births, deaths, breakups, job promotions, or something else? If you heard the words “I’m sorry” or “Congratulations” that is generally a sign that a milestone event has occurred that could impact your financial plan. Examples of changes might be tweaking your insurance coverage, amending your estate documents (or maybe even just getting them in place?), and revisiting your beneficiaries on your accounts and policies.