Follow This 3-Step Midyear Money Checkup to Keep Your Finances on Track

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Now that the calendar is firmly in June and 2022 is almost halfway done, it's time to sit down for a midyear financial checkup to make sure you're following all of your financial New Year's resolutions

With the volatility that the markets have experienced over the past few months, it is more important than ever to focus on what you're able to control, says Amy Richardson, a certified financial planner at Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium.

"Just because things are uncertain in the financial markets right now doesn't mean you should stop saving or shouldn't be focused on your goals," she tells CNBC Make It. "It's never a bad time to be looking at your financial plan and making sure your budget is in a healthy place."

Here are the three things she says you should do for your midyear checkup.

Step 1: Review your budget

Make sure you are following the budgeting guidelines you set for yourself at the start of the year. Are you able to pay off your credit card bill in full? Do you have the recommended three-to-six months worth of living expenses in your bank account in case of an emergency? 

Richardson recommends assessing your spending to see if there are any areas to cut. One place to start: your recurring subscription payments, which have a way of snowballing over the course of a year, Richardson says. 

If you have five streaming service memberships, see if you can cut that down to two or three and put your extra savings into a retirement account or travel fund. However, it's important to avoid depriving yourself or cutting out things that you enjoy.

"To me, it's all about healthy trade-offs," Richardson says.

Step 2: Check in with your retirement savings

Next, take a look at your retirement accounts and see if you are on pace to meet your goals for the year.

Measuring your progress has nothing to do with how much money you have. Balances can fluctuate with the markets and aren't necessarily an accurate measurement of how well you're looking after your finances, Richardson says. 

What you should look at instead is what kind of progress you are making with increasing contributions to your tax-favored retirement plans like a 401(k) or Roth IRA

"I like the challenge of increasing my 401(k) contribution by 1% each year," she says. "I think a good strategy would be to max out those tax-favored plans."

Setting an attainable goal to continually grow your contributions can make it easier to stay on track.

"That growth feels really good and makes you more inclined to keep doing it," Richardson says.

Step 3: Do some financial housecleaning

Finally, do some financial tidying up to make sure everything is up to date. Among items worth reviewing are:

  • Review your health savings account contributions.
  • Consider making tax-deductible donations to charity.
  • Make sure you are on pace to max out your Roth IRA contributions, if you have an account. The 2022 contribution limit for investors under 50 is $6,000. 

Additionally, if you've had a major life change since the beginning of the year, such as getting married or having a baby, you'll want to make sure your employer updates your tax withholdings on your paycheck and your bank account updates your name if you've changed it.

"Make sure you're checking in on your withholdings," Richardson adds. "Nobody wants to get a tax bill because their withholdings were incorrect." 

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