Summer Financial Checkup

Getting a check-up is never fun, but evaluating your finances is an important part in being fiscally responsible.

Getting a check-up is never fun, but evaluating your finances is an important part in being fiscally responsible.

 

Who actually enjoys a checkup?

Whether you’re visiting the doctor, dentist or taking your car in, checkups often come with unpleasant news of things we’ve neglected or need to have fixed. But isn’t that the point of a checkup? Shouldn’t you need to know what you’ve been doing wrong in order to fix it?

At Titonka Savings Bank, we believe your finances need regular checkups as well. Evaluating your finances regularly can help keep your budget on track, your spending in check and debt at manageable levels.

As we’re about halfway through the year, we thought now would be a good time to do a financial self-check. Go through the following questions to see how you are doing with your finances.

Spending

  1. Are you following a budget? Using a budget helps you know where each dollar is going.
  2. 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.
  3. Are you making impulsive spending decisions? If so, remember this phrase to ask yourself before any purchase: do I really need this?

Saving

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Retirement

  1. 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.
  2. Are you making contributions to retirement? Regardless of age, you should be making regular contributions to fund your retirement.
  3. 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.

Credit Cards

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Are you making payments on time? Late payments, missed payments and incomplete payments mean more in interest and lower your credit score.
  3. 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.

How are you doing? Whether you feel good or bad about your answers, the best thing is that you can always take charge and fix your weaknesses. Titonka Savings Bank is here to help any way we can with that process, so feel free to call or stop by our offices in Titonka, Thompson or Forest City today!

 

Titonka Savings Bank, Member FDIC