• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

First half of the year is near, start preparing for a review

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While at a roundtable discussion with colleagues last week, one of them exclaimed: “We are approaching first half of the year and we are here, nothing!” Immediately, another person interjected, “In fact, it’s a serious issue my brother; before you know it, the year is over gain.”

Right there, the expression of many changed in response to the observation of the two speakers. What this tells me is that many people out there have been taken unawares by ‘time’. It is possible that their 2013 financial plans or resolutions may not have sailed through or at least they are yet to get started till now.

Now, what about you? The reality is that majority of us may have been taken unawares by our plans and time is ticking. Six months have rolled by already; what do we do now? 

Experts say this is the time in the year, when you will need to do a financial heath check, and then look back on how you’ve done financially over the last six months; take stock, review your mistakes and successes and put a plan in place to run the remaining part of the year.

Are you one of those people who postpone scheduling your financial check-up? The result of not having a regular checkup means that you may end up wasting the precious time you would have utilised to reorganise yourself for better wealth creation. Regular checkups are as important for your physical health as they are for your financial well-being.

Do a six months review 

This is the first six months of the year. So, a proper review starts now. You had probably set some goals early in the year, either as part of a New Year Resolution or just to try to get some order into certain aspects of your life. What were your goals for this year? As you look back now, you will probably find that you reached or exceeded some of them or fell short.

Even if you failed to reach any of your goals, assess your situation to ensure that this does not happen again or that it is corrected before the year runs out. By reviewing your goals, and considering your successes and failures you can have a huge impact on your financial life.

Major life changes such as getting married, having children, retiring, buying a house, getting a significant promotion or a bonus or even winning the lottery, will have an impact and you may need to make some adjustments to your savings, spending, or investments to keep your plans on track, a financial adviser said.

What is your financial plan? 

Do you have a financial plan? It is important to have a written personal financial plan in place with your short and long-term goals clearly stated and with assigned time frames. A personal financial plan covers several areas including credit, savings and investments, insurance and estate planning. Ideally, you should be aiming for a balanced scorecard where all areas are receiving adequate attention.

Does your budgeting fall within your plan? 

Where does all your money go? Have you managed to keep your household spending under control? Do you have a working budget in place? Write down all your income and all your essential expenses. If you have been living more or less within your means and trying to stick to a household budget, then you have made some progress.

What is the return on your stock, bond, or mutual fund investments? Are you satisfied with their performance or is it time to make some changes? Consolidate your investments among one or two strong institutions where you can monitor your progress more efficiently.