Have you ever heard of second quarter financial resolutions? Maybe you have and maybe you haven’t, but either way, we’re going to explain. Because, remember those New Year’s resolutions you made a few months ago? You know, those promises we make to ourselves that typically involve wealth and health, happiness, and a laser-focused renewal of our lives. Well, now that the rush of the holidays is behind us and tax time is fast approaching—it’s time to take stock of those resolutions to make sure we are on the path we want to be.
Just as each day presents another chance for us to be better, happier, more helpful, and successful—a new year is typically the time we set the most lofty goals for ourselves.
But, now the first quarter of the year is over and it’s time for an evaluation! We’ll let you analyze the status of your health and happiness goals while we address your financial health.
Ask Yourself These Questions Regarding Your Financial Health
Where are you on your path to wealth planning and financial resolutions? Are you on the straight-and-narrow or have you veered off into unchartered territories? Have you even had time to check yourself? Or, are you feeling guilty about not tending to those resolutions because as usual, your daily life responsibilities have taken priority?
Your answers to these questions are critical—and reflect the importance of second quarter financial resolutions. At Pantheon Wealth Planning, we strongly believe in monitoring progress every quarter to evaluate and renew your financial goals. Why? Because the health of your finances has a direct effect on your overall health, making both equally important.
According to Employee and Family Resources® (EFR), anxiety and depression are two of the most common health issues caused by financial stress. Many people believe that if they could just make more money, their problems would be solved. However, simply having a fat paycheck won’t solve a thing if you don’t learn how to budget, save, and invest to protect that hard-earned wealth.
So, while we’re sure you made resolutions about being healthier this year (everyone does), we want to ensure your financial resolutions are not forgotten.
This Is Where Second Quarter Wealth Resolutions Come into Play
Now is the perfect time—the exact time—you should step back to evaluate your progress, strategy, and redefine your goals. You’re probably in the midst of finalizing your income taxes to meet the April 17, 2018 deadline. So, all of your financial information is (hopefully) already together.
1. Inspect your income and expenses. Savvy investors already know to save at least 15 percent of their gross income. But, if you can find an extra 5 percent to put towards your investment or retirement portfolio—do it. Here’s another idea: look at your expenses every week. Doing so causes you to be more aware of unnecessary spending, which can help you save and boost your investing capital.
2. Examine your debt-to-income ratio. Even if you aren’t upside-down, most people have debt. Whether it’s a house payment, credit card balance, or for a car—some debt is necessary. However, the high interest rates you may be paying are not. Be on the lookout for different ways you might refinance or consolidate some of that debt.
Tackle each debt with a payment strategy that fits your needs. Maybe that extra 5 percent in savings mentioned above would be best spent paying down debt before investing it. The point is, with a little discipline, you can decrease that debt-load by staying focused and budgeting as much as you can to pay off those loans as quickly as possible.
3. Take a look at your investment and retirement accounts. Do you know what they are invested in? Do you know if they’re earning the returns you deserve? If your answer is no to either question, it’s time to get involved. While you don’t have to know each asset inside-and-out, you should have a firm grasp on what’s working and what’s not. Work with your broker or wealth planner to determine how to adjust your strategy to get your assets back on track.
Notice, we’ve only presented three financial resolutions—and they are achievable. In fact, they should be incorporated into your wealth planning strategy every quarter. Especially since financial health has such a direct impact on your physical health. Protect each aspect of your life in these realms so that you can enjoy life as you deserve, for as long as you can.