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Kimberly Palmer: How to set and vet money goals midyear
May 22


If you set money goals for 2023 back in January, now can be a smart time to check in on your progress. And if you didn't, it's not too late to create goals for the next six months and beyond.

"If you don't have your goals, everyone is so busy with life that a year will whiz by and you'll have forgotten to start," says Dan Casey, owner of Bridgeriver Advisors, a financial firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

With many people's money goals hampered by the dual headwinds of inflation and economic uncertainty, it's easy to get discouraged if you haven't made as much progress as you'd hoped. Financial experts offer these five strategies for using the midyear point as a way to get back on track, or to embrace a slightly altered course.


Rebecca Eve Selkowe, New York City-based accredited financial counselor and owner of the financial counseling firm RebeccaEve.com, urges people to first define what they want their money to accomplish, noting that those goals can shift over time. That discussion can lead to unexpected discoveries, such as realizing what you actually want is not just to pay off debt but to work fewer hours or change jobs.

"Just articulating the goal with that specificity can be enough to start looking at the numbers more deeply," she says.


Once you've refined or established your goals, Selkowe says, it's time to come up with a specific plan to achieve them. If you know you need a certain down payment to buy the home you want, then you can create a budget and start setting aside money each month in a high-yield online savings account, for example.

Valerie Rivera, certified financial planner and founder of FirstGen Wealth, a virtual financial planning firm in Chicago, suggests setting a timeline, too. "We make a spending worksheet because a lot of people don't know where their money goes. That gives you accountability," she says.

Opening a separate savings account for each specific goal can also help, says Keith Spencer, CFP and owner of Spencer Financial Planning in Spokane, Washington. "Whether it's saving for a home improvement, vacation or wanting to pay off the mortgage sooner, I find it helpful to set up a dedicated account for that so it's more tangible," he says, adding that clients can more easily watch the money saved grow over time and track progress.


In addition to the midyear check-in, Casey suggests making quarterly or even monthly check-ins for yourself. "We get overwhelmed thinking about the whole year, so create micro-timelines instead," he suggests. You could set a mini-goal for what you want to have saved by the end of the month or quarter, for example.

Then, you can make adjustments to catch up to your bigger goal if you fall behind or find you have the flexibility to increase your savings rate.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023

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