Getting a checkup isn’t always a pleasant experience. Whether it is your personal health, your car or your home that is being evaluated, the news is generally a mix of good and bad.
The same can be said for your finances, especially if you know you’ve been bad. However, the point of a checkup is so you can correct whatever it is that is wrong. It may be tough to hear, but it is necessary for improvement.
As summer can be an expensive time with trips, activities and so forth, we thought it would be a good time for a Mid-Summer Financial Checkup. Take a look at the questions below to evaluate your current financial health.
- Are you following a budget? Using a budget helps you know where each dollar is going.
- Are you monitoring your spending? Checking regularly to see if you are going over budget in any spending areas is critical to refining your spending habits.
- Are you making impulsive spending decisions? If so, remember this phrase to ask yourself before any purchase: do I really need this?
- Do you have a savings plan set up? This includes what you will be putting into your savings account and how often (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).
- Are you being consistent with your savings contributions? Saving money is a marathon, not a sprint. Improve consistency by setting up an auto-transfer from your checking to your savings on your paydays.
- Do you have goals? You need to have both short and long-term goals to measure your progress and give yourself something to shoot for.
- Do you have a separate retirement account set up? This can be through your employer or on your own. Either way, you need to have somewhere to save for retirement.
- Are you making contributions to retirement? Regardless of age, you should be making regular contributions to fund your retirement.
- What goals do you have for retirement? You need to know what it will take to live the way you want in retirement and work toward that specific number.
- How much do you use your credit card? Regular use for certain expenses is healthy; relying on your credit card for most of your purchases is not.
- Are you paying off your balance each month? If not, you’re costing yourself in interest payments and late fees, as well as damaging your credit score.
Loans & Mortgages
- Do you have a payoff plan in place? This is important if you’re juggling multiple loan payments to help increase the efficiency of your money and to pay as little interest along the way as possible.
- Are you making payments on time? Late payments, missed payments and incomplete payments mean more in interest and lower your credit score.
- Can you make extra payments? This is the best way to negate the amount of interest you pay over time, and also shortens the life of the loan.
Look over these questions carefully to see where you can improve your finances this summer. If you need help with any of the above items, Putnam Bank is ready to help you any way we can. Simply call or stop by any of our locations today!
Putnam Bank, Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC