We're halfway through 2023, so it's time to check in with those money goals we set way back in January.
It’s the beginning of a new financial year which means we’re officially more than half-way through 2023.
2023 so far has been all about White Lotus, Prince Harry and Megan Markle's royal-tea doco, and all the weird questions we can ask ChatGPT.
And now that all feels like it was forever ago.
Since then we’ve had four more cash rate rises (SIGH), the best movie ever, Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse came out, a bank collapsed (RIP to SVB), and Tasmania’s new AFL team was announced.
Halfway through 2023 makes for a good time to check in with the money goals you set for yourself back in January.
You would have set some swanky goals for yourself at the beginning of 2023 (we hope).
Perhaps to build a savings fund, pay down your mortgage, invest more in your super or shares.
So let’s check in with how you’re tracking against these goals.
It’s been a while since you wrote down these money goals, so let’s start nice and easy by reviewing the goals you set.
And if you haven’t already, write your money goals using the SMART method.
Simply writing down your goals can make you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Looking at your goals helps you assess if you’re on track to achieve these goals.
The idea of asking these questions is to look at where you’re tracking compared to where you’d hope you would be by now.
Now, your finances might have changed more than Andy changed outfits in The Devil Wears Prada since you last looked at your budget.
Which is why it’s important to do a stocktake.
Start by assessing your income, and taking into account any changes to your salary like pay increases or bonuses.
Next your expenses.
It’s never fun going through your bank statement and having to face how many times you’ve spent on brunch, but it’s crucial.
Categorise your expenses and compare them to your budgeted expenses.
This will help you get an objective look at your spending and identify if there are areas where you might be able to reduce unnecessary spending and allocate more funds towards your goals.
Take a look at your outstanding debts like credit card balances, mortgages, or other loans, and track how they’ve progressed over the past year.
Are you where you want to be with your debt?
Are there any steps in your control that can help you reduce your debt?
Remember, paying off high interest debt can help you work towards your financial goals faster, so it’s important to to think of ways you can prioritise paying down any high-interest debt.
Let’s say you discovered you’ve spent less money so far this year than you expected to.
And let’s say you also got a juicy tax return from the ATO this year.
It might be tempting to treat these amounts as free money, and blow them on a luxury purchase or a small holiday, but that money can also be really valuable towards your financial goals.
We recommend the 50/30/20 rule, where you allocate 50% of your funds towards your long term money goals, 30% towards investing in yourself and in improving your income and career opportunities, and 20% for the fun stuff.
You might also find when you’re doing your mid-year money check-in that you’re not where you wanted to be at this point in time.
That’s totally okay. No matter where you are, this exercise isn’t about judging yourself, it’s about making progress towards your financial goals one step at a time.
Everyone veers off course from their goals, but what’s important is rea-djusting and trying again.
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