This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Your Financial 'Midyear Checklist' on Financial Health

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's hard to believe, but 2013 is already half over, and it's been quite a year for Americans looking to get the most from their money.

The stock market is climbing to new heights, floating around 15,000. Ten-year Treasury notes are rising and taking mortgage notes higher with them, and Americans are seeing the value of their homes rise 15% from May 2012 to May 2013.

In general, the first half of the year has been a breath of fresh air after stale fumes from 2008 through 2012 wafted across the U.S. economic landscape. But the six-month check-in isn't all about the economy's health. It's about your economic health, as well.

What's the best way to do that? According to Ameriprise (AMP - Get Report), the Minneapolis financial services group, every financial consumers should run through a "midyear checklist" to sure their money management efforts are on the right track.

That checklist should target two primary categories, explained at length below by David Mazzetti, an Ameriprise Financial adviser in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.:

1. Effective ways to track income, expenses and overall progress toward specific financial goals, and maintaining a good budget.

The first step is to identify your financial goals. Whether it's buying a home, sending your child to college or creating security in retirement, having a tangible idea in mind of what you want to achieve will help keep you focused and committed to a budget.

Next, look back on your spending for patterns that affect your bottom line. Ask yourself questions. Has my income changed? Do I have an established budget that I stick to? Do I have any sizable, unanticipated expenses arisen that have thrown off my budget?

If you find that you are spending more than planned, make a plan to address the situation. For a lot of people, this means prioritizing spending and cutting back on unnecessary expenses to save more. Even small adjustments in spending behaviors can add up. We all know how easy it is to spend $10. Deciding to hold back on small expenses equaling $10 per day adds up to $3,650 in savings per year.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AMP $112.05 0.00%
AAPL $109.50 0.00%
FB $93.06 0.64%
GOOG $640.60 0.23%
TSLA $220.00 -3.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,050.75 +138.46 0.82%
S&P 500 2,013.43 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,810.7880 +19.6360 0.41%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs