Kick Off The New Year With A Financial Health Evaluation

February 6, 2019

The start of a new year is a great time to review your finances. Taking a personal inventory of your financial health allows you to take advantage of any opportunities you might discover to make smarter investments and save money. 

Consider the following questions in your financial review.  You might find it helpful in deciding where you are today, as well as what next steps you need to take in your financial journey. 

Do you currently have a monthly budget? 
If the answer is yes, do you regularly stay within budget? Reevaluate your budget to see whether you have allocated too much or too little to specific expenses.

If the answer is no, take some time to create a monthly budget that includes necessities, as well as savings. Start by blocking out portions of your income for things such as rent, mortgage, car payments, food, etc. Next, designate a healthy portion of your income to either savings or investments. Finally, set an amount for spending on entertainment and non-necessities per month. Most importantly, stick to it. A general rule of thumb is to designate 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings.

Are you thinking about purchasing a home or believe you might be paying too much for your current mortgage? 
If you’re interested in buying a home, this calculator can help you to determine an affordable mortgage for your budget. 

Think you’re paying too much per month on your existing mortgage? Refinancing could be an option to lower your monthly payments, help you obtain a lower interest rate or even shorten the term of your loan. 

Have you recently reviewed your current insurance coverage?
A check-in with your insurance representative to review your existing policies can help in determining if it is beneficial to make any adjustments. Does your existing insurance cover too little, too much, or just enough? Could you be getting the same coverage at a lower rate? Have you considered umbrella liability insurance to protect your finances from potential lawsuits? 

Are you on track in meeting your savings goals?  
Use this calculator to determine whether your monthly and annual savings line up with your personal goals. 

Are you saving for retirement? 
Do you know what your expected retirement needs are? This retirement savings calculator can help you find an estimate. Are your monthly or annual IRA or 401K contributions in line with this expected amount? Does your employer match contributions to these accounts, and if so, are you getting the maximum gain out of this benefit?  

If you haven’t reviewed your 401k or investment portfolio recently, now is a good time to check-in online or make an appointment with your investment advisor. Evaluate whether your investment strategy is on target to yield the desired result in the amount of time you intend to hold the investment or if there are any changes you need to make. 

Taking control of your financial future is an on-going process. Texas Gulf Bank offers the resources and guidance you need for every stage of your financial life. We offer a wide variety of services to help you achieve your goals, including a variety of savings accounts and personal loans to meet your specific needs. Speak with a Texas Gulf Bank representative to help you decide which options might be best for you. Visit any Texas Gulf Bank location or contact us via e-mail or telephone.