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June. For many of us, this will be the month in which our unaccomplished new year’s resolutions are conveniently repurposed as mid-year resolutions. Along with getting healthy and organized, many of you resolved to tackle one financial priority by year-end (did you think we would forget?!). If your mid-year progress isn’t exactly what you planned, it’s time to call for reinforcements. So, schedule your trainer or workout buddy, peruse Pinterest for organization hacks and re-read our list of top financial priorities below. Crossing an item off of this list will be a lot easier than burpees or lifting Rubbermaid bins. Just sayin’.
Contribute More to your 401(k) or other Employer Retirement Plan: Increase your contributions to your workplace retirement plan to at least the amount that your employer is willing to match. Already maximizing the company match? Increase your contributions by another 1% by year-end.
Stash Cash: Set aside enough cash to cover three months of living expenses to be available in case of emergencies. Even when interest rates on cash are low, the value it can bring in a crunch – compared to say, charging on a high interest credit card – may far exceed lost earnings.
Categorize Your Cash: Categorize your spending into three types: essential (like mortgage, rent, utilities and food), discretionary (think Netflix, shopping or entertainment) and savings (such as emergency fund, retirement plans or investment accounts). If you aren’t allocating at least 20% of your after-tax income toward savings, identify a discretionary expense or two that you can cut back on during the year.
Check Your Credit: Request a free credit report from an online provider such as freecreditreport.com, creditkarma.com or annualcreditreport.com. More importantly, review your report for damaging errors or potential fraud.
Create an Estate Plan: If you’re married, own a home or have children, create an estate plan; this is your rulebook for what happens upon your incapacitation or passing. Learn more about the key documents of an estate plan here.