Giving Yourself a Financial Checkup?

( – Every year, millions of Americans set health goals in hopes of living longer, but many fail to make sure their financial health is on the right track as well. Before you get started, it’s important to learn exactly what you need to do to give yourself a financial wellness check-up.

The first thing you should do is review your expenses from the previous year. Make note of any funds you can have directly deducted from your pay. For example, can your employer have your health insurance premium taken directly from your paycheck?

Additionally, you’ll want to see what you spent your disposable income on and find savings there. Are there subscription services you’re not using? Have you spent a lot of money on something that you could get cheaper somewhere else? For instance, I spent $11 per day on Starbucks’ coffee last year. Instead of giving up my beloved espresso, I bought a machine to make it at home, and now I save $250 a month after the cost of coffee pods. I split those savings between retirement and vacation funds.

Set up a retirement fund, if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to keep tabs on the balance. While you’re at it, make sure you have a durable power of attorney, will and living will. Nobody likes thinking about those things, but they’re still important to take care of.

You’ll want to make sure you’re properly insured. If you own a business, house, car or boat, or even if you’re renting, make sure your property is protected. Remember, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Finally, make a budget. There are plenty of free templates online to help you keep track of your spending and savings. It is worth the time you’ll spend on it.

Checking on your financial health is necessary. Sometimes it can be a little nerve-wracking to lay it all out there, but once you do it, you’ll be happy you did. Besides, it might help you kick some bad habits, like spending $333 a month on coffee.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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