Your financial checkup

Farm Forum

Do you do an annual checkup each year, or at least with each major life event such as marriage, job change, divorce, children, or retirement? If not, now would be a good time to start. You could make it one of your financial goals. Earning a paycheck is good, but true financial success comes from saving some of the money you earn. It is recommended you put away 10% or at least three to six months’ worth of expenses for emergency savings. Research shows that 28% of Americans do not have money set aside for these emergencies. Then when an emergency does come along, you may have to figure out how you will pay it, or borrow from somewhere else.

You can create a net worth statement by listing all of your assets minus liabilities. Hopefully you will have a positive number. Then consider creating a budget that identifies amounts you can put towards savings for emergencies, retirement and your financial goals.

Your financial checkup should include the following:

• Review your financial goals. Are you making progress, or do they need changed? Do they include retirement?

• Where are you in your life events? Will you be having children soon, college, or retiring soon?

• Review your insurance policies. These should be reviewed each year with your agent.

• Review or create a spending plan/budget. Having a budget and sticking to it is the only way you will get ahead. Be sure to include your savings plan just as you would any other expense.

• Organize your files and shred any documents you no longer need.

• Review your will or estate plan. Be sure to keep it updated.

By regularly reviewing your finances can help you identify any problems, and help you develop a plan to achieve your financial goals.

For more information on these topics go to and click on Healthy Families/Families & Personal Finance.

Reach Karen Slunecka at 605-626-2870 or