How to do a Mid-Year Money Review  

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Finance

It’s almost July and we’re halfway through the year! Did you make New Year’s Resolutions or goals? Have you been keeping track? Whether you did or not, mid-year is the perfect time to do a financial check- in. Assess your progress, identify any obstacles, and make necessary adjustments while there’s still half a year left so you can stay on track to meet your goals. 

 This proactive approach ensures that we stay on track to realistically meet our financial aspirations by year-end. Whether you’re working towards building an emergency fund, paying down debt, or boosting your investments, this check-in provides a valuable opportunity to recalibrate and refocus. By analyzing what has and hasn’t worked so far, we can fine-tune our strategies and make informed decisions that enhance our financial well-being. Join us as we guide you through a comprehensive mid-year financial review, empowering you to make the most of the remaining months and achieve your financial goals with confidence.

Reviewing Your Financial Goals 

The first step is to evaluate what you set as your goal (or goals!) and your current financial situation.  

Assess your goals

First, refresh your memory on what you set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year. Some common financial goals are saving a specific amount of money, increasing your saving or investing percentage, saving or investing for the first time, paying back debt, and/or cutting back on spending.

Gather the numbers

Next, you’ll want to collect the information you need to be able to track your progress. Know your current income, expenses, and account balances. If you’re not already using a budget, that is a helpful place to start! As you’re looking at expenses, make sure to identify and take special note of any new recurring costs (or notable cost increases) since the beginning of the year when you set your goal.

Analyzing Your Progress

Now, it’s time to see how you’re pacing toward your goal! How you’ll measure this depends on your goal:  

If your goal was simply to start saving or investing, you can more easily check on that by determining if you have a high yield savings account or investment account set up. If so, you’re on pace! If not, now’s a great time to go open a HYSA with Milli.

If your goal is to save a certain amount of money or pay back debt, you can evaluate this on a percentage basis. Measure your current savings toward your goal, putting it in percentage form. For example, if your goal is to save $10,000 in a year and you’ve saved $5,400, then you can tell you’re 54% of the way to your goal. This website has a handy tool to see exactly how much of the year has passed.  If you’re further to your goal than the percentage of the year has passed, you’re ahead of pace! If a higher percentage of the year has passed than your progress, you have some catch-up to do.  

If you’re on a debt repayment journey, you may evaluate if you have paid off any specific outstanding debts or lines of credit, or you can measure by percentages as well. You can calculate the percentages between your prior an

d existing debt balance and see what percentage you have tackled, and if it aligns with your goal.If your goal was to increase the amount or percentage that you save or invest, go through your budget and financial statements. Evaluate if you have in fact been setting aside the extra money consistently, the amount of money, and if it is more gross dollars or money proportionally than the year prior.  

Image showing two different progress bars to visualize goal accomplishment with the percentage to goal bar being higher than the percentage of year bar

Adjusting Your Financial Plan 

After you’ve measured your progress toward your goal, you may see you’re on pace, behind, or ahead – or a variation of these if you have multiple goals. From here, you’ll make adjustments. 

Identify obstacles and challenges

Before making any changes to your financial plan, it’s important to take stock of what might cause you to be behind your goal. Review any obstacles or challenges you’ve experienced in the past few months, such as unexpected expenses, income changes, or market fluctuations. Some of these things are outside of your control! However, by evaluating mid-year, you have the chance to course-correct by adjusting what is in your control. 

Re-evaluate your goals 

Now, it’s time to consider if your goals need updating. Given the state of your finances, progress, and any other financial constraints or considerations, ask yourself: are my goals still relevant and realistic?

Perhaps you’re well ahead of pace. In that case, consider if you can speed up your goal, save more money, or pay down more debt than you thought. You could set a new goal to explore new financial products once you hit your main goal, to help you further your financial security in a new way! 

If you’re behind pace, you may need to adjust your timeline to reach your specific goal and expectations for how much progress you can make this year. Perhaps you can get back on pace and reach your goal if you make other adjustments. Either way, it’s time to re-evaluate and reset expectations. 

Modify your budget

After evaluating your goals and making any mindset shifts, it’s time to make budget shifts. First, update your budget categories based on your recent spending and the cost of living. That can help give you a new starting point to address any of those unforeseen costs when you set this goal months ago. From there, see how you can allocate your discretionary money more effectively.

That may look like cutting spending, or adjusting the financial products you use to meet your goals. At some point, reaching your financial goals involves having sufficient means; budgeting can only take you so far! If the numbers indicate that the source of the issue is the amount of money coming in, consider ways to increase your income. 

Image showing a checklist of financial goals, including save $500, save $1,000, pay off credit card, open 401(k), and start investing. The first two goals are checked.

Maintaining Motivation

With any goal, it’s important to maintain your motivation so that you’re encouraged to keep going! Research shows that different parts of our brain that manage emotions and logic can compete when it comes to getting instant gratification or making progress toward things that are good for us. Our brains often prioritize instant gratification because it feels good. 

Knowing that, use it to your advantage. Here are some ways to appease that emotional part of your brain, which can help you maintain consistency and stick to your goal for the back half of the year. 

Set smaller milestones

Setting smaller milestones for your larger goals can help you build the momentum that comes when you’re on a roll of wins. This can build a sense of that instant gratification, but in a positive way.

Break larger goals into manageable tasks that you can accomplish in a quicker timeframe. This might look like smaller savings increments, depositing money a certain number of times into a savings or brokerage account, making more debt repayments, or cutting back on purchases a certain number of times.

Be sure to set a timeline for when you will achieve each smaller milestone. This could be one task for each month of the year, or one task associated with each paycheck you receive. Use a physical calendar as a visual reminder and set digital reminders on your phone. 

Then, celebrate those small wins! This helps build the connection between action and positive results, which can keep you going. 

Find accountability buddies

Surrounding yourself with people who are also working toward growth in their lives can help keep you on your path. Whether it’s a partner or spouse, other family member, or friend, find someone who wants an accountability buddy and team up! Make it a point to check in monthly about how you each have made progress toward your goal. It could be a financial goal of some kind, or it could be another personal goal. The whole point is to surround yourself with people who want to cheer each other on.  

Another option is to check out financial groups or forums for support. This can be a way to help inspire you without needing to necessarily participate, or participating on an anonymous basis, which can be helpful if you prefer to keep your finances private. You can find financially-minded communities and discussions on Reddit, Blind, Discord, and Facebook Groups. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re pacing ahead, on target, or behind, if you want to reach your financial goals, a mid-year financial check-in is a must to ensure you’re on track! Start by reviewing your finances as they stand. Next, revisit your goals. Confirm that they still align with your priorities and life changes. Analyze your progress by comparing your current financial state to the milestones you set at the beginning of the year. Finally, make any adjustments needed. Taking time to recalibrate your financial plan not only helps in achieving your year-end goals but also builds your long-term financial health!

If you’re looking for a bank to help you reach your financial goals, check out Milli. Our customizable spending and saving features can help you stay informed and on track. With our competitive Annual Percentage Yield, you’ll grow your savings. Download Milli from the App Store or Google Play today! 

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