Just as you would get an oil change in your car, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors, or get an annual physical at the doctor, you should be auditing your finances on a regular basis. Instead of waiting until something goes wrong, financial checkups are a way to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Whether you review your finances monthly or quarterly, financial checkups can help provide peace of mind and allow you to address any issues as they arise.
The Importance of Financial Checkups
The longer you wait to review your financial situation, the more opportunities there are for issues to compound. If you keep a close eye on your accounts, it will give you a better understanding of your cash flow, savings, investments, and debt. Whether you are managing personal finances or business finances, it’s important to know if there are any changes you need to make.
For many Americans, finances are a source of stress — in fact, 53% express that thinking about their finances makes them anxious. And while some might assume that regularly analyzing financial accounts would cause more stress, the more you know about what’s going on with your money means you can address small problems immediately and help eliminate long-term problems like avoidable debt or overspending.
A Checklist for Your Financial Checkups
A financial checkup doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, it should only take you a handful of minutes to cover everything. Here are the steps you should take to begin your financial checkup:
- Compile all your financial documents
- Statements including checking and savings accounts, retirement and investment accounts, and loans and credit cards
- Budgeting documents
- Insurance polices
- Credit report
- Review any financial goals you’ve made. Are you progressing toward those goals? For example, if you are aiming to reduce debt, are you staying on top of bills or putting more money toward each one?
- Evaluate your retirement and investment account activity. Both 401(k)s or IRAs and other investment accounts will fluctuate over time, but is your current rate of saving on par with your long-term objectives?
- Re-evaluate your insurance policies, which can include home, auto, health, and life insurance. Have your premiums gone up? Has your life situation changed? Determine whether any of these factors may indicate you should update your coverage.
- Check your credit report for any inaccuracies and be aware of all your debts. If you are looking to secure a loan of any kind, your credit report will impact that significantly. You are allowed one free credit report from the three major bureaus each year.
- Evaluate how much you have versus how much you owe. This will show you your net worth, which gives you a big-picture metric to track over time as you continuously evaluate your financial stability and growth.
Ask for Help
Financial checkups are a great way to track your gains, losses, and long-term goals. As with any finance decision, being proactive and staying informed is going to help you achieve those goals with more accuracy and ease. And if you find you’re having difficulty conducting financial checkups or you’re facing larger issues you need to address first, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced team members at Republic Bank. Give us a call at 800-526-9127 and head to our website for more helpful finance tips!