Financial Tune-Up, Part 1 Start By Checking Out Where You Are
Financial tune-up should start with some kind of self-diagnosis. Just like the physical check-up that you undergo with your doctor checking up your overall health status and then diagnose whatever is wrong, you will do the same with your financial health.
Sure you can do this with a financial planner but I find the best person who can do this is yourself. After all we do not have to analyze the blood pressure, cholesterol level and such but rather we have to check up our good and bad debts. For this we do not need seven years of medical school and another three years for residency training.
What we need is to look at all our financial records. Evaluate each one to see what points you need to improve. We have to analyze the assets and liabilities and see if we are on track and whether we will be able respond to any financial problem.
Usually, when financial planners diagnose the financial situation, they have a set of questions to guide them in their financial analysis. Once we know those questions, we can self-diagnose our financial health ourselves. You have all your records and have to dig them out anyway for the financial planner if you hire one, so you may just as well do it yourself.
If you do this every year you will be able to gauge your financial temperature. You can tell at a glance if you are saving money, spending more than you have to or if you are living within your means. You will be able to tell if you are on track for attaining your financial goal. Then you can make the necessary adjustment.
If your net worth has gone south, find out why it has. It is not always a problem when the net worth declines; just know why it has and make adjustment as needed. Perhaps the market went down and so did your portfolio. Check if the debts are going up which is not a bad thing if you just opened a new business or went back to school. Now you know the first thing to do about financial tune-up.