4 items for your midyear money checklist | Smart Change: Personal Finance


Heading into the second half of 2022, it’s a good time to pause and check in on your financial life. But what should your midyear money checklist include? While you may not be able to address every financial matter, there are a few items that are worth some extra attention. With inflation and rising interest rates driving up the cost of goods and services, financial planners say it’s important to reflect on and adjust your spending, pay down debt, plan out holiday shopping, and assess your taxes and benefits.

A lot can happen in six months. That’s why, as we close out the first half of the year, it makes sense to check in on your financial life.

“With inflation, I think people this year are more heavily impacted than they probably have been in many years leading up to this point,” says Jason Dall’Acqua, a certified financial planner and founder of Crest Wealth Advisors in Annapolis, Maryland. “So it’s a good time to see how things have been going … as well as plan for what lies ahead in the remainder of the year.”

So where should you start? Add these four items to your midyear money checklist.

1. REVIEW YOUR INCOME, EXPENSES AND GOALS

You don’t have to tally up every penny you’ve made and spent over the last six months. But taking a few minutes to check a bank or budget app can help you better understand your finances and course-correct if necessary.

“Right now with inflation, even if you had a budget back in January, it probably is not the same as it is today. There are some things that are going to need to be changed. So it’s just really resetting and figuring out where you stand today versus where you thought you were going to stand today,” says Kayla Welte, a CFP with District Capital Management who lives in Denver.

Look for opportunities to scale back if you’ve spent more than anticipated. For example, you can dine out less or cancel subscription services you rarely use. “Any excess spending that you’ve been doing, you may have to cut down to account for this higher cost of things that you absolutely have to buy,” Welte says.

If you set money resolutions or other financial goals earlier this year, check on those too. Have you saved as much toward retirement or an emergency fund as you planned? Are you on track to pay off debt?

2. DEAL WITH DEBT







NerdWallet-Millennial-Money-Midyear-Money-Checklist

FILE – In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Mass. Heading into the second half of 2022, it’s a good time to pause and check in on your financial life. But what should your midyear money checklist include? (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)




Debt is becoming more expensive to carry due to rising interest rates. Pay down debts sooner, particularly those with variable interest rates, to save money. These debts might include credit cards, personal loans or adjustable-rate mortgages.

Concentrate on reducing your highest-rate debt first, then move on to the next highest. Dall’Acqua also suggests switching from variable-rate to fixed-rate options by refinancing, if possible. “If you can lock in the fixed rate now, you’re likely to be saving yourself significantly in interest costs over time,” he says.

Be aware of end dates for loans in forbearance. For instance, federal student loan payments will resume on Sept. 1, barring another extension.

“At this point they have been on pause for nearly two years,” Dall’Acqua says. “So if that money has gotten lost within (people’s) overall spending, it’s going to be a big shock when they then have to resume paying.”

Setting aside money now in a separate savings fund can help soften the blow.

3. PLAN HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Inflation could make holiday gifts a little pricier this year. Create a shopping list and think about how much you can afford to spend. “Figure out what that would require for you to start saving on a weekly or monthly basis and start putting that money aside right now,” Dall’Acqua says.

Starting on shopping early can also help you manage the…



Read More: 4 items for your midyear money checklist | Smart Change: Personal Finance

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