FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — With the first half of 2013 behind us, it’s time to plan, budget and save for the rest of the year. The experts at Consolidated Credit have conducted a mid-year budget check-up plan to help consumers analyze their finances and manage their money for the second half of 2013.
By evaluating spending habits, consumers will be able to extrapolate a budget for the rest of the year. Review your spending history and make changes to incorporate any scheduled plans that may affect your budget. Consolidated Credit recommends taking the following steps to assess mid-year finances.
- Check investments: Review portfolios to ensure allocated funds and target dates are still yielding the best benefit. Make sure funds are being invested in the way you planned or make changes that may give better results.
- Update W-4s: If life changes have occurred, it’s crucial to make some changes. Events such as divorce, marriage or birth of a new child can affect withholding exemptions, meaning you might pay too much or too little taxes, each of which can result in consequences.
- Deal with debt: Request free credit reports to see if there are any negative items. If discrepancies exist let the credit bureau know and begin the process to fix/remove the items. Enrolling in a debt management program can be beneficial to those who need assistance with their finances.
- Assess retirement goals: Tax laws allow those 50 years of age and older to make greater contributions. Check your payments from the first half of the year and determine whether to increase the amount to meet goals.
- Holiday shopping: Set-up a monthly account for holiday gifts half way through the year. Depending how many people you plan to shop for, it’s wise take $50 – $100 a month and put it in a holiday shopping account.