With the year more than half over, it’s time for a mid-year financial resolution checkup. If you’ve been making progress on your resolutions — way to go! If you haven’t, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to work on them before the year ends. And even if you didn’t make any, it’s a good time to take stock of how you’re doing financially and make adjustments that will benefit you the rest of the year.
Take Control of Paperwork
You should have a filing system in place and be using it to keep track of receipts, statements and other financial documents. If your intentions for staying organized haven’t quite panned out, don’t give up. Spend a few hours on a hot summer afternoon (who wants to be outside, anyway?) gathering and sorting through paperwork. File what you need to save, shred what you don’t and be proud of yourself for tackling a big job before it becomes unmanageable.
Make More Money
Did you get that raise? Are you applying for higher-paying jobs? Or did you decide to just make do with where you stand right now? It’s not too late to start earning what you’re worth. Polish up your resume, fire up the laptop and get that job search underway. You could be in a new, higher-paying position by the time the leaves start to turn.
If you have decided to stay where you are for the time being, take a look at these desirable employment perks that go beyond salary. They can make a difference in your bottom line and quality of life.
Pay the Right Amount in Taxes
It’s the tax sweet spot – having just the right amount taken out of your check so you don’t owe the IRS – or get a huge refund – come tax season. Double check your withholding to ensure it’s at the right level. Have you worked a lot of overtime? Or maybe logged fewer hours than normal? If so, it might be time to adjust your withholding.
Start an Emergency Savings Account
Did you open that savings account? Have you been contributing to it regularly? Building up a savings cushion to use for emergencies is one of the most important things you can do to protect your financial future, because it minimizes your reliance on credit cards. If you haven’t done it – do it now and start adding to it with every paycheck. There’s no wrong time to start saving.
Protect Your Identity
Are you changing your passwords regularly? Checking your account statements for suspicious activity? These are important steps in a mid-year financial checkup. Change your login passwords on financial accounts at least once a month and be sure they’re complex – ideally containing a combination of upper and lowercase letters, plus numbers and symbols. Check your bank and credit card statements for unfamiliar charges and sign up with your bank and credit card issuers to receive text or call notifications of suspicious activity so you can stop a problem before it starts.
If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, file a complete report and contact your local police department, too.