The first quarter of the year is coming to an end, and whether you are an individual or a small business, the time has come to take a moment to step back and assess the situation. A lot of things can change during one quarter, and as markets fluctuate so too can your personal income and/or that of the business. It is a good idea for individuals and companies to conduct quarterly reviews to discover what is working, what is not working, and what has changed in the last three months. CNN suggests checking investment portfolios and personal standings each quarter, so here are some things to review after the quarter has closed.
Update Your Personal Balance Sheet
Take the time to sit down and compare what you own against what you owe. Look through your bank accounts to see how much cash you have on hand in checking and savings accounts. Brokerage and retirement accounts should be poured through to evaluate performance and determine whether you are still on track with investments or not. How is your home equity looking, if you own a home? Do not forget to compare your short-term debts and long-term debts. Are you close to paying off that student loan, or on track with your mortgage? The Motley Fool recommends updating your personal balance sheet as the first "must-do" in a quarterly review.
Review Mission Statement and Goals
What are your formal, stated goals for saving and spending? Have you been hitting those marks or missing them badly? The past three months have no doubt presented you with many challenges, some of them pinching your spending with less income while more income may have only boosted your spending. If you have a roadmap in place for your financial goals, look it over to see how you are progressing at reaching those goals. If you do not have a roadmap in place, there is no time like the present to set some short-, mid-, and long-range goals to review in the quarters ahead in the future.
Dig Into Costs
Quarterly reviews are good for individuals, but also for businesses. Whether you run a small or large business, the end of the quarter is a good time to look
Make the Next Quarter Matter
By now you know what is working and what's not, hopefully, and you can set your eyes on the future. Before the next quarter is gone, take concrete steps to make the next three months matter. Put your plans into action to improve for the future. Start paying down credit card debts, establish automated funding of retirement accounts, whatever it takes to get moving!
Schedule the Next Quarterly Summit
There is no time to rest on your laurels now. You have gone through the steps of conducting this quarterly evaluation, and now it is time to schedule your next quarterly evaluation so you can build upon the success you have established with this quarter's look back.
If you have any adjustments to make to your plan, call your advisor at Manhattan Ridge Advisors.