As many of us have resumed more normal socializing, this summer has flown by even faster than most. But there is still time to enjoy the weather, the time off and lazy summer days. One of the best ways to take advantage of this time of year is to quickly check in on your financial situation before the crazy schedules resume. Here are 4 ways to improve your finances in August.
Check Your Social Spending
The postponed and replanned weddings, rescheduled graduation parties, open restaurants, birthday parties and travel plans may be increasing the amount of money you should be spending socially. While we’re all thrilled to be seeing friends and family again, it might also mean you need to check in and even readjust your household budget.
Secondly, make sure that what you’re currently spending money on makes sense and isn’t just a hold over from earlier pandemic needs. Do you dine out frequently now? If so, you probably don’t need the weekly meal subscription. The same logic goes for the in-home workout apps, if you find yourself at the gym or running outside again.
Lastly, If there’s a big trip in your future, start planning for it now. Set aside as much money as you can, and sacrifice one or two social gatherings in order to minimize financial stress when you are finally able to go on vacation.
Update Your Budget
I always recommend consulting your financial planner Orlando when budgeting, but even if you are a DIY-er, take a look at your monthly budget because it may need some adjusting. Try to work with the 50-30-20 rule: the largest portion of income going to expenses, 30% to casual things you want and 20% to savings. This can and should be adjusted depending on your specific financial needs. It is always recommended to save more money if you can, whether it’s for an upcoming trip, emergency fund or a long term goal. Budgeting is not just a way to keep track of money coming in and out, but it’s a basic element of strategic financial planning as well.
Prepare to Go Back to School
August means back to school prep, so it’s undoubtedly already on your mind. If your shopping list is already compiled, be aware of the weekend holiday sales, and your state’s tax free weekends. Strategic shopping can really help your budget survive this time of year. If it’s college you’re dealing with, there are many college prep checklists to help you know when, what and where to buy all of your child’s college necessities that will both ensure they’ve got everything they need and that you didn’t break the bank.
Check In On Your Parents
We are constantly mentioning talking to your children or your significant other about finances. And although that is of the utmost importance, if you have aging parents, it’s also a good time to check with them. These topics aren’t easy, but they need to be discussed. If they are living on a fixed income, have medical bills, or need long term care, there should be trust and transparency and that starts by having a conversation about finances with them. A parental check in will result in less overall stress and long term security and understanding.
The summer isn’t over yet, so why not take a few minutes and go through your finances on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Reassessing your needs and income, revamping your budget and preparing for the future now will ensure that the rest of your financial year will go smoothly.