1. Home
  2. Personal Finance Hub
  3. 6 Steps for Setting Your Mid-Year Money Goals
Published 13 June 2023
Reading Time
5 minutes

6 Steps for Setting Your Mid-Year Money Goals

Written By

A lot can happen in six months. From personal and professional achievements, such as a promotion or raise, to the ongoing effects of the cost of living crisis, your finances can change dramatically from January to June. 

So as we tip into the second half of the year, it’s a good idea to take stock of your financial situation and reassess any money resolutions you set at the start of the year. 

To help you get started, we asked four personal finance coaches about how to create – and stick to –  your mid-year money resolutions. 

Step 1: Review your resolutions

To start with, assess the progress of any money resolutions you put in place in January. Maybe you wanted to clear your debt, save for a house deposit or simply create a monthly budget? You should appraise yourself, honestly, on how far you have come and how far you have left to go. 

At the same time, acknowledge that your priorities might have shifted. If so, ask yourself, “what does financial happiness look like to me?” Perhaps financial stability and predictability is all you are really looking for. 

“Imagine a scale of one to 10, where one is the worst position to be in and 10 is the best it can be: what does being at 10 look and feel like?” advises financial wellbeing coach Jo Morley. “Now think about the number on the scale where you are today: what steps could you take to get you closer to your ideal 10?”

Using your ‘ideal 10’ as guidance can help cut out the noise and lead you to a more nuanced, personalised set of resolutions. If 10 seems very far away and unrealistic, it may be time to reset your goals. 

Step 2: Check what’s on the horizon

While it is good to take stock of the first six months, it is just as important to look at what financial responsibilities you may face in the near future. How can you use this information to budget effectively?

“If you are aware that for the months ahead you have more birthday celebrations coming up, or more travel for work, or a car MOT due, put these extra costs into your upcoming budget,” says Selina Flavius, founder of Black Girl Finance.

This may involve thinking further ahead than you normally would. “For most people, as the sunshine hits, Christmas may be the last thing on your mind,” says Mike Barrow, lead financial coach at Claro Wellbeing. But there is no better time than now to start saving for the holidays. “Even if you can’t afford to save for everything in advance, having a good chunk of it tucked away will make the festive season all the easier on your pocket.”

Step 3: Understand your own spending behaviour

Once you have confirmed or revised your resolutions, and what you need to factor into your budgeting, it is time to tackle the hardest part of sticking to your goals: understanding your spending habits. 

Looking back at your bank statements or money apps for the first six months of the year can be a useful way to spot patterns of behaviour that may have gone unnoticed. 

For example, are you the kind of person that spends more than they should on a night out? “It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and impulsive spending can take over,” says Morley, “Consider just taking a set amount of cash with you so that you can’t be tempted to overspend.”

Or it might be that online shopping is a problem. “If you are aware that as soon as you get an email with a promotion or advert for clothing you start to browse and put things into your shopping basket,” says Flavius, “unsubscribe from this email marketing list. Try to avoid temptations that sabotage your money goals.”

Step 4: Get excited about achieving your goals

“Often we get excited by the goal,” reflects Flavius, “but not as excited by the planning and doing the work to achieve the goal. 

If that’s you and your enthusiasm has faded away, reassessing at this mid-year point is a great way to revive the good intentions you had six months ago.

“If we approach budgeting as a painful, awkward process which inspires zero happiness, we’re just not going to succeed,” says Tom Francis, head of advice at Octopus Money. “Get rid of the phrase ‘I can’t go out this weekend because I need to save money’ and flip it into ‘I am going away in a couple of months, so I need to plan it.’ The money you will be saving is all part of the planning.”

Step 5: Create a check-in routine

Setting goals is one thing, but sticking to them is another. It could help to establish a check-in routine on the last day of each month, so you never lose sight of your target, marking mini-milestones along the way. Not only will you build a healthy habit, hopefully, you won’t be blindsided by unexpected expenses come year end.

Technology can help: you could use a banking app to put away money into individual ‘savings pots’, or to break down your spending into smaller categories, which may help you to budget. However, your best bet for getting into good financial habits may be more personal. 

“While technology is amazing, oftentimes humans are the greatest at inspiring change, and more importantly creating accountability,” suggests Francis. “Share your hopes, fears and plans with friends and family, and this will make a huge difference to your success.”

Step 6: Celebrate your progress

So you have your goals and check-in routine – what next? Well, it’s back to step one: reviewing your targets, taking stock, cheering your successes and acknowledging your disappointments. 

“First of all, it is important to celebrate reaching your financial milestones by allowing yourself to acknowledge and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment,” recommends Morley. “However, it is equally important to be honest with yourself and recognise any challenges you have encountered on the way. It’s OK to make mistakes or experience setbacks – these can only help you learn and grow as a person.”

Image Source: Getty Images

Dive even deeper

NerdWallet UK Survey: Retirement and Emergency Funds are the Most Popular Savings Goals

NerdWallet UK Survey: Retirement and Emergency Funds are the Most Popular Savings Goals

New research by NerdWallet UK reveals that a majority of UK adults have clear savings goals and are taking action to reach them.

UK Lifestyle Debt Worries Statistics

UK Lifestyle Debt Worries Statistics

Almost a third of UK adults feel pressure to spend more than they can afford, using credit cards, loans or overdrafts. New research shows that debt worries still affect those earning above the average salary.

Childcare Funding is Changing This Year: Make Sure Your Family Doesn’t Miss Out

Childcare Funding is Changing This Year: Make Sure Your Family Doesn’t Miss Out

The government’s Childcare Choices scheme is expanding, so more families stand to benefit from 15 or 30 hours funded childcare. But accessing what you’re entitled to isn’t always straightforward. We explain how to claim what you’re eligible for.

Back To Top